This is going to be tough, but I think I should break it to you honestly…
I’m unfollowing you on Facebook, bless your heart.
Author’s Note: “bless your heart” is a secret code pastors often use. You see, we’re supposed to be nice. So, hypothetically of course, let’s suppose we thought someone was acting like an idiot. Well, it would be very unkind (though quite cathartic) to just blurt out that you think they’re an idiot.
So instead, we just say “bless your heart”, which is universal pastor-speak for, “Wow, what an idiot!”
Consider yourself a privileged insider, almost as if a magician had told you how he pulled that coin out of your ear ;0)
I’ve loved Facebook since the first time I logged on. It helps me get reconnected with old friends. But most of all, I’ve loved making new friends with people I don’t always completely agree with. I think it’s a magical thing when folks who disagree can still choose to get along.
I always believed that was a possible, even noble goal. But now, not so much.
I’m going to blame that conclusion on two groups. One group is made up of friends who don’t like Christianity. The other is people who like politics a little too much.
It seems my friends, some of whom are not Christians, think I should be OK with the most hateful anti-Christian rhetoric imaginable on their pages. Truly, many of their posts and memes would rightly be considered hate speech if uttered about any other religion. But for some reason, insulting, misleading and out-right mean statements painting all Christians with a broad brush (“hypocrites”, “bigots”, etc.) are considered acceptable.
Dear friend: you ought to be ashamed.
You insult my faith, lump me in with the worst examples of anyone who calls themselves Christians, and ridicule that which is most precious to me. And I thought you were my friend.
Sure, I can respect the fact you don’t believe. But the truth is, it is you who are intolerant. You truly cannot stand for anyone to have a differing belief with yours.
You post things suggesting I actually have no right to vote based on my religious convictions. You call into question any elected official who shows even the slightest sign of faith, stating their beliefs somehow cloud their reason.
You call many of my Christian friends “nazis”, yet it is you who are oh so much closer to discriminating against people based on their religion than Christians today. If you had your way, people who trust in Jesus would be completely silenced in the public square and banned from public office.
You can deny it, but your posts are crystal clear for the world to see. And I saw them, and was hurt by them continually.
Now to my friends who worship their political party, who think the solution to every problem everywhere is for them to get their political way.
These friends are so passionate about their political views they feel the need to cram them in my face, so much so I feel forced to take sides one way or the other.
If I respond with an opposing viewpoint, you don’t like it. If I don’t respond, it appears I agree with you. Either way, your bombast won’t allow me to just be kind.
I understand you do not like the new president. But now you post things just as vile toward him as what you claim he represents. I’ve also noticed you also enjoy attacking his wife and young son.
But for eight years, I blasted anyone who said anything hateful about our former president, and especially his family. Family should be off base, period. If you disagree with a candidate, fine, but Jesus said to “Love your enemies”.
But now, because you disagree with this president, all those boundaries are fine to cross?
Shame on you, my friend.
I’ve even held my tongue on issues I feel passionate about, for fear they would hurt our friendship. There are times I wanted to post something I found quite timely or true about the issue of life, and how holy it is. But I am ashamed to say, I usually backed away because I knew you were not mature enough to be able to stay friends with a vocal “pro-lifer” – even one who had really logical reasons for believing that way.
I often thought about giving it back to you the way you were dishing it out. I could always shove a picture of an aborted baby in your face. That would be extreme and rude, but no more rude than the putrid slime I’m witnessing recently in the name of free speech.
That brings me to the main person I blame in all this: me. Ultimately it’s because of me I’m having to hide you on Facebook now. And that’s because of one very sad weakness I’ve discovered in me…
I’m having trouble loving you right now.
The Bible warns us to guard our fellowship and love for each other:
“But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” – Galatians 5:15
When I feel so insulted, so disgusted by what I hear come out of a friend’s mouth (or read on their page) that I’m consumed with anger, that’s the time to walk away so that the love can remain.
You see, in the end I believe relationships are more important than opinions…
People > politics.
And I’m determined no one is going to make me stop loving people. I had believed that we could all learn how to “play and get along with others” as they taught us in kindergarten – that we could “agree to disagree agreeably”.
I no longer believe that. At least, not right now.
My hope is that things will calm down in our country and people will learn to cherish each other again, more than they cherish the sound of their own voice.
But for now, I’m not responding to any more of your posts. I won’t engage in any more back and forth with you, at least until it’s safe again.
No lie – I’m gonna miss it. I loved the banter back and forth, and seeing pictures of what’s happening in your life. But it’s turned into something totally different now…
It’s a giant billboard for you and I to tell off the rest of the world.
I’m not saying I’ve never done that, I’m just saying I don’t want to be that person. And out of love for you, I’d like to try and stay in my little “land of denial” and believe you’re not that person either.
God bless and much love,
P.S. – let me know when the coast is clear!