I have become increasingly convinced that the failure of character and lack of moral courage inherent in pseudonymous authorship likely causes spiritual harm for both the writer and the reader. Hence, I will no longer expose myself to anything written by anyone who works under a fictitious name online.
I addressed the topic in a blog post a few months ago. The excerpt below more or less summarizes the views I still hold concerning the issue:
This brings me to the more general topic of pseudonyms, fake names, aliases, anonymity and the like. Although I respect medieval artists who purposefully chose anonymity as a way of glorifying God, the contemporary use of anonymity and aliases by artists, writers, and bloggers troubles me. I am not referring to individuals who use aliases but whose real names are publicly known, but to those secretive writers, thinkers, and bloggers who hide their authentic identities under noms de plume.
Of course, I understand the reasons why writers and bloggers use false names; many of them may hail from the academic world or some other vulnerable sector in which they cannot openly express their views for fear of censor, or even peril to their jobs. Yet, I cannot help but pause for a moment and wonder why writers and bloggers bother making their views public if they lack the courage or the means to stand by their words. This applies especially to writers and bloggers who express anti-liberal, anti-leftist, and Christian views in their work. Perhaps I am being too harsh with this criticism and perhaps it is not my place to judge, but I believe this refusal to identify with these expressed ideas essentially reveals an immense failure of character and moral courage.
Put simply, those who rail against the evils of our modern world and make attempts to offer hope and guidance but refuse to put their names to their ideas are cowards. In my mind, their reluctance to stand by their words points to excessive self-concern, one that overrides the good they are saying or doing.
To write under one’s real name or an assumed name is a matter of personal choice. I am willing to accept that some writers believe it is the right thing to do, but this belief does not necessarily entail that writing pseudonymously is the right thing to do.
On the contrary, I am certain it is the wrong thing to do.
Having said that, reading blogs is also a matter of personal choice. Though I appreciate the fine work pseudonymous bloggers often offer, I can no longer support their decision to hide behind fictitious names. Thus, I have made the personal choice to avoid blogs with pseudonymous authorship going forward.
I don’t care to hear any more explanations, rationalizations, or justifications concerning the use of false names.
For me, the matter is simple:
Writers who are afraid to be Real should not be writing about Reality.
Note: This criticism is aimed chiefly at bloggers, writers, and thinkers, and NOT at pseudonymous commenters. Pseudonymous comments are welcome here. Nevertheless, pseudonymous commenters would also benefit from considering the negative implications of using fictitious names. If you cannot develop the fortitude to openly speak your truth and know your limits now, when do you expect to?