Drew Miller is dedicated to the idea that we should take nothing at face value. He believes any idea should be subjected to evaluation, and is interested in the way political correctness often blurs or obscures the truth.
He’s also careful to never, ever use sarcasm in his writing.
Who is Drew? He's an outspoken atheist, critical thinker, and our exceptional pundit of the week.
As part of the "pundit of the week" column, we spotlight one PolicyMic-er to share personal experiences with our community, and pose one never-been-asked question to a staff member.
Caira Conner (CC): First things first, tell me about when and why you decided to get involved with PolicyMic.
Drew Miller (DM): I stumbled across PolicyMic in late 2012, when looking for a dedicated political forum. I found a whole lot more than that, and I took the opportunity to write about topics I would normally discuss on Facebook.
Caira Conner (CC): Your recent three-part article series on the negative effects of evangelical Christianity in the military spurred heated, and critical, debate in the comments section. What motivated you to write extensively around this topic? What are the advantages (or disadvantages) to using PolicyMic as your platform on this particular issue?
DM: The feedback on the evangelized military piece was interesting, to say the least. I’ve written about atheism a lot on PolicyMic, as that’s one of my main passions. Those articles had some pretty animated debate as well. So when the very first commenter on the evangelical piece started cursing me out, I knew I’d written something that would rustle some jimmies, so to speak.
I knew I’d face complaints from those who believe that one cannot write about the military without being in the military. Anticipating this, I included a number of instances of real proselytizing in the armed forces, and accounts of soldiers who experienced it. Unfortunately, to some people, the evidence was moot because I hadn’t actually experienced military religious life myself. Other responses were more open minded, and accepted the fact that, with careful research, you can write about pretty much anything. You’ve just got to be willing to look at the people who actually experienced the topic you’re writing about. I see this as one of PolicyMic’s best attributes. The platform encourages pundits to expand their area of expertise, and continue researching and learning with every piece written.
CC: If you could change one thing about your user experience with PolicyMic, what would it be?
DM: I only wish I’d joined sooner. No matter what field today’s millennials want to go into, written communication is a skill everyone needs to have. Publishing articles for review outside of class is something most millennials could all use more practice with.
CC: Any advice to like-minded peers about the best way to engage with PolicyMic? What's one fantasy outcome that could result from your having used PolicyMic?
DM: PolicyMic is incredibly visible. Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) founder Mikey L. Weinstein retweeted the articles I wrote and called me after publication to talk about them. Affirmation from Weinstein, a personal hero, was fantastic, and categorically proved that one need not be a member of a group to write cogently about it. We talked Christian Dominionism as it relates to the Syria crisis. (Believe it or not, the people who believe in the Biblical end times see Syria as a possible trigger for the events of revelation). It was terrific hearing from the guy whose job it is to tell the hard truths about proselytizing in the military; he’s faced some heat of his own. He’s had swastikas and crosses painted on his door, animal carcasses thrown onto his property, and his windows have been smashed with bricks. It was a nice reminder not to take simple comment-rage too seriously.
CC: Let's go offline. What do you like to do when you're not PolicyMic-in'?
DM: I’m a craft beer addict. Especially IPAs. There’s no such thing as too much hops. And I’m lucky enough to live in one of the best states for microbrewing — Michigan craft beer is tops in the nation. When I’m not online, I’ll usually be feeding my other addiction, reading. I’m not too picky— this year has included authors from Kafka to Talking Heads founder David Byrne, and subjects from neuroscience to political history. Right now I’m reading a book about American desertion during WWII. I’m also a die-hard Packers fan, to the chagrin of my hometown Lions.
CC: Your turn. What's one question you have for a member of our staff?
DM: What is the worst band you admit to being a fan of?
Sam Meier: Do you think the Ramones are bad? Because I'm a huge fan of them, even though all of their songs sound exactly the same. Also, did you know that there is a Ramones musical, called Rock and Roll High School? And I've seen it.
CC: Drew, you're awesome. Thank you for helping make PolicyMic great.
For more news on Drew, follow him on Twitter: @man_bites_dogma