Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Put away all malice and slander...except on Facebook?

A few days ago, I unfriended someone on Facebook, right after they posted this image on their wall.

If you don't feel like clicking on that, let me describe it: It's an african-american man in what appears to me to be full marine dress uniform, with a caption that reads "If Obama had a son, I bet he wouldn't look like this."

What the hell, guys? Honestly? I mean, what's wrong with politically conservative Christians that they would see this and think "Yes, this is something I want to be associated with?"

Normally, I wouldn't think I'd need to explain what's so awful about this...but unfortunately, it appears that's not the case.

This image has no purpose whatsoever, other than to offend. It has no message. It presents no argument. It does not make a political point. It doesn't even have to do with current reality. It merely posits a hypothetical situation and makes a defenseless claim, for the sole purpose of offending those who think differently (and no, it doesn't make it better if it's actually to "rally the troops" instead).  What's more, it takes a political disagreement and makes it personal. This isn't an attack on Obama's policies, or his political savvy, or even his fitness for the presidency: To the extent that it has any form at all, this is a baseless attack on his fitness as a father, and the hypothetical values he would hypothetically instill in his hypothetical son.

That's what really gets me. It's one thing to "offend" people as you're preaching the Gospel, or engaging in reasoned argument with them, or giving a defense for your faith or your worldview or even your politics. But this is none of that. This is noise. It has the same amount of content as an empty radio station or TV channel...except it's worse, because this is noise that is designed solely to give offense...well, that and maybe gaining a couple "likes" from people who agree.

I'd probably unfriend anyone, conservative or liberal, who posted that kind of garbage. But when that kind of distilled, content-less hatred and disgust comes from a Christian, it honestly makes me a little sick.

All that stuff in the Bible about living at peace with all men, and not speaking careless words, and putting away malice and slander, and destroying your neighbor with your mouth...we're meant to take that seriously, guys. And the manner in which God commands us to communicate with people absolutely prohibits this kind of thoughtless, slanderous, malicious garbage. There's no verse that says "Except when on Facebook." There's no loophole that says "unless you think it's funny", or "unless you really disagree with their political views."

The world is watching you, Christians on Facebook. What are they seeing?