Let’s face it – I’ve always been an attention hog. I enjoy joking and having fun with friends. And most of all, I truly love people. That’s why this is so very hard…
I’m leaving Facebook, at least for now.
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 is my friends of various political affiliations. The other is me.
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, I truly believe 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.
Speaking of politics, there are my friends who 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, you don’t like it. If I don’t respond, it appears I agree with you. Either way, I can’t win at just being kind.
I understand you do not like the new president. I’ve had my own reservations about both candidates on issues of morality. But now you post rallies where the speakers openly imagined the president engaged in sex acts with his children. You quote the tweet from the Saturday Night Live writer who suggested the First Son will one day be the “first homeschooled serial killer”, or something similarly heinous.
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”. I even stopped going to a quite good barber because of his hateful talk about the president. 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’ve witnessed today said in the name of free speech.
That brings me to the second person I blame in all this: me. Ultimately it’s because of me I’m having to get off of 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 politics…
People > opinions.
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 posts. My Buffer app will continue to post articles to my page each day, and I will occasionally do a live broadcast. But I won’t engage in any more back and forth, 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 everyone’s life. But it’s turned into something totally different now…
It is 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,
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I have now returned to Facebook, but on a more limited basis. Hopefully, the discussion will remain civil…