Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shaking My Head

Today has turned out to be exhausting.  It didn't start out that way.  This morning  I read this, and I laughed: 

I laughed because I know people who talk like this.  I mean, I do live in the buckle area of the Bible belt after all.  In fact, our town might be the hole that the buckle prong goes through.  And while I may laugh at this article poking fun at Christian-ese, I do believe in the ideas that these sayings are trying to convey.  

But I haven't always lived here.  I've lived in more liberal states as well, where you couldn't take it for granted that the people around you were Christian.  One of our previous neighborhoods included Baptists, Mormons, Adventists, Native Americans, Buddhists  Atheists, and Agnostics, and yet we all managed to get along and even be quite friendly with everyone.  

But that was before Facebook.  

Now, I regularly have days like today, that leave me shaking my head.  

I have all sorts of friends on Facebook.  White friends, black friends, Christian friends, Jewish friends, straight friends, gay friends, highly educated friends, friends that didn't graduate high school, conservative friends, liberal friends, and somewhere-in-between friends.  Lots of different types of friends. And they all have something to say.  And I agree that everyone should have the freedom to think and to say what they want to.  But as in so many life circumstances, just because you can. .  doesn't mean you should.  At the very least, you should give some consideration to how you say it.    

Today someone posted something that demonstrated a position that they apparently vehemently disagreed with - the teaching of creationism in private school - with the intro, "Lordy Lordy... Any of my bible-thumping friends care to chime in on this one?"  

And because my day had worn me a bit ragged I dashed off a reply.  Luckily for me, I did not press enter before I gave the matter further consideration.  Not because my reply wasn't valid (because it was) and not because I disagreed with their point of view (even though there are points on which I do), but because I didn't want to add fuel to the fire.  I remembered: 

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."  -Romans 12:17-19

And starting a flaming war on Facebook didn't seem like the best way to do that.

But "friends",  when you call me names that you obviously mean as derogatory  or condemn me for a point of view without taking the time to find out what is in my heart, you are not treating me as a friend, so please don't expect me to stick around.  You are obviously not interested in my opinions - you just want confirmation of your own.  And while I will defend your right to that opinion, I will also defend my right to mine. 

So here's my plea.  Before you post, THINK.  

And if it isn't, perhaps think again?