Here’s a rant for your morning joe.
I try to remain tolerant of divergent opinions. And while I am far from blameless on many issues, I’ve learned a bit over the last 54 years (heck, I’ve learned a lot over the last ten). Still, there are some inalienable truths for everyone:
- We are entitled to believe what we want to believe — about people, rules, government, politics, fashion, food, religion, entertainment, literature, philosophy, medicine, and whether or not the Browns will ever see a Super Bowl other than on TV.
- When we believe in a thing passionately, it’s hard — actually, well nigh impossible in many cases — to sway us from our conviction about it.
- It is relatively safe to say that, where politics are concerned, no minds are changed.
And yet, the social media battles wear on. Yes, I’m talking Twitter and Facebook. Facebook: a place I frequent to see photos of my friends, “talk” to them via posting and message, and basically catch up on what everyone’s up to, and enter into an engaging discussion or two. You know; the no stress type of stuff. And then…
Send in the clowns.
Never in my life have I ever seen such vile, vicious, personal attacks on an elected official — by CHRISTIANS, who by any other measure are kind and gentle people. But bring up the government shutdown or the Democratic Party, and some of them turn into ugly, unforgiving, relentlessly cruel trolls, looking for the next internet drainage to post as truth (“Obama refuses to close his favorite golf course! Pass it on! Make it viral!”) How do I know this? Because I saw it, just this morning — not only on Facebook, but on several news sites.
Now Guns ‘n God folks: before you go gettin’ yer dander up, I’m mad at President Obama, too. I’m disappointed that he crawled away from the Common Core debacle. I’m angry that he hasn’t seriously addressed the student loan crisis. I hate the ongoing wars, and what they have cost our government and our families in lives and livelihoods. And there are other things I’m not happy about, but this, as you know, is not a place to discuss political issues. I’m not on about that; rather, I’m on about mean people, who, on one side of their Facebook wall, quote endless bible verses and share memes about faith and preach the gospel of Christ and peace and love and kindness, and minutes later, spew poison about how Obama the Muslim should be assassinated, and wouldn’t that just do us all a favor, or how maybe a cruise missile should be aimed at the White House.
I’m not saying that Christians can’t get frustrated and mad, or can’t choose to dislike someone. I consider myself a person of Christian faith, and I’m mad as a wet hen right about now. I’m mad at Governor Kasich; he needs to leave office in a big fat hurry, before his policies destroy what little is left of neighborhood schools in Ohio. But some of the rhetoric I read about him — people lobbing horrible, personal insults at him and wishing him bodily harm — makes me cringe. Not when faithless people do it, mind; rather, when self-professed followers of Christ do it. I mean, go ahead. Be as nasty and profligate as you like to another child of God. But don’t stand in church on Sunday with your hands raised and your head back, singing “Open the eyes of my hearrrrrt” and expect me to think of you as anything but a contemptible hypocrite.
There. That’s said. Now…what’s for breakfast?
Caveat: I love reading comments! But be advised that any policy-oriented rants will be deleted. No one wants to read yet another partisan diatribe about how the Republicans are ruining Ohio, or how the Democrats have mortgaged the nation. This is not the place where anyone gets on their high horse. ‘Cep me, of course.
Perhaps this is not the arena but all I will say is that I am surprised you were so easy on them…you are such a softie Ms. Fink.
As one with a wee bit of experienced being skewered by the righteous I applaud this particular rant and say “Amen, Sister preach it Baby!” You the Babe!
Haha — yeah, you know me, D. All puppy kitten ballerina cute and cuddly.
And I know you have experience on the barbie as well. I think it makes us more tolerant as time goes on, don’t you think??
Without doubt…the tolerance comes from recognizing the right and responsibility of individual beliefs and opinion. I acknowledge all have the right…the line gets crossed when there is an attempt to shove their opinion down my throat or other orifice. When that happens I defend my heart with all that I am; when it is done under the guise of Christianity I weep.
Love your ballerina cuteness in all its glory!
Well said. I’m struggling with a similar concept in my online class this semester. Not to necessarily change the subject, but the book we’re reading is called “Leap” this month… and our professor CLEARLY states that for whatever book we read, we are only to comment on “craft”, writing techniques and the like. Not only are others not following the instructions, but every person in the class (sans myself) all but wrote reviews on the Morman religion and the book itself, hammering the author instead. So, I refused to comment, since it was no relevant, then I got nailed for it by the professor and the others in the class. “Where’s Rae?”, etc. I said to them, via post, that whenever anyone has something to say about the craft of the book, I will gladly comment. Otherwise, I will keep my hatred/love of this book and my hatred/love of religion to myself… for fear that I would destroy each of their SOULS, via online discussion. These are not “kids”, mind you. Age range is 27-72 in the class…
Basically, your post today just underlined the point I was trying to make to them… but nothing came from it that was quite as positive. Even from the professor, who is also my thesis advisor. Huff, sigh.
Anyway. Loved your comments here. If only people would be as polite as you are… the world would be a much better place.
Love you, Rae Rae — thanks for the kind words. And I can’t imagine the frustration of dealing with bigotry in a writing class! You handled it perfectly, I thought. In the online graduate course I teach, if that would ever happen, I’d feel it was my responsibility to redirect the conversation; get it back on track. Where was this guy, you know?
I was thinking about this same issue all week, and thought about making a similar post on FB. I’m so INCREDIBLY tired of the hypocrisy from these right-wing “Christians” – first & foremost pointing fingers & judging anyone NOT on “their side” as not being a “true Christian.” Like they have a corner on what is true, what is patriotic, and what is right for EVERYONE in the country. I think the American people are getting sick of this “Christian In Name Only” sect – seeing other groups now calling this faction of which you speak the Christian Taliban (which is pretty much spot-on if you were to do a head-to-head comparison of what the “bad” Taliban and the Christian Taliban believe).
How did we in this country so quickly forget that the first settlers of N. America came here fleeing persecution because the church & state were so inextricably intertwined?? First & foremost, found fathers wanted this new country to be a place where citizens could enjoy freedom of religion (practicing ANY faith tradition they so choose), and freedom FROM religion (where no single religion/denomination/sect should have their doctrine and belief system be the law of the land).
This whole issue frequently reminds me of the great Gandhi quote – in “The Christ of the Indian Road” by E. Stanley Jones, Stanley Jones asked Gandhi how to naturalize Christianity into India. Gandhi replied in part: “I would suggest first of all that all of you Christians, missionaries and all begin to live more like Jesus Christ.”
I read your second paragraph twice — it’s that good. To get off-topic a bit: I was discussing the “Pilgrims” issue with my music history class (how there wasn’t this lovely sit-down meal with mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies), and the point was made that many of the people who escaped Britain were in fact *not* Puritanical, but rather the misfits, criminals and miscreants who couldn’t get along in British society.
Where some Americans get their ideas on how pious and righteous the “founding fathers” were baffles me. Hello…a great many of them were almost *everything* that most Americans now abhor: philandering slave owners. That’s why, every time I hear what the “founding fathers” intended (with regard to keeping a God-based government), I smh.
And I’ll go you one further: the man who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance was…wait for it…a Christian Socialist. He thought all should live according to the teachings of Jesus. Imagine that. LOL
Great comment, luv!
Wow, great post Fink. I love this.
I am also sorry that you had to say it…but you did. The idea that anyone who subscribes to a belief that emphasizes love, while defending that love by fending off others with hate and words about death…it has long boggled my mine. I have seen this without and within my own family. I have seen it in family who’s other ideas I agree with a great deal. But if the word “hypocrisy” exists on any level of your subconscious or conscious vernacular…should it not be apparent?
Disagree all you want, oppose all you want, but do it in a spirit of friendship and open mindedness or you will continue to undo your opinion by being a greater example of hate than anything you are preaching against.
I can’t believe how often people pick up the bible and try to use it as a literal sword of truth while ignoring the most important passages. I can’t think anything more important than the phrases (paraphrasing here) “love will conquer death”. “give everything you have to the poor”. “turn the other cheek.” Love and hope and TRUE faith lie in those principals. Anyone who believes in Christ should be aware of the concept of self sacrifice. Christ sacrificed himself for people who murdering him…while they were murdering him! If that is not the point of the whole story…I don’t know what is.
We are all guilty of not practicing what we preach…but there are instances where it is so blatant its hard to hold back the words…so I appreciate very much that you did not do that here. Thanks for writing Fink!
there are typos above…you can parse it…your a teacher!
AM, you summarized it well:
The idea that anyone who subscribes to a belief that emphasizes love, while defending that love by fending off others with hate and words about death…
We are all guilty on some level at certain times, like you said. And when I’m guilty of it, I certainly don’t trumpet it across the land to all and sundry. It’s my hope that I would apologize to those I’ve offended, and redouble my efforts to never do it again.
I’ve often heard it said that Jesus “triumphed over hate.” Talk about incongruity. You’re right on for bringing up the fact that He sacrificed Himself for the people who murdered Him; and I’ll add on one point to say that he forgave them for it during the act as well. Yet, some can’t see past their bigotry, selfishness and anonymous Internet hate speech to see the truly important lesson that act sought to teach us.
Amongst the cherry-picked Bible verses are those that the “militant Christians” seem to ignore. What happened to these? (Taken from a Christian Socialism site)
“[A]ll ye are brethren.” (Matthew 23:8)
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)
“All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matthew 7:12)
“Let everyone who possesses two shirts share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.” (Luke 3:11)
“Give to every man that asketh of thee.” (Luke 6:30)
OK, that was a bit off the track from the political vitriol subject, but you see where I’m going with it. Thanks for your great comments — no charge for typos around here, mate!
AAAAAARRRRRGHHHH!!!! “you’re” a teacher.
Great verses Fink. Right on on all counts. There are many real christians…or real believers of many faiths who do their faith justice. Unfortunately the loudest ones tend to blow things up…or blow up peoples facebook feeds with hate.