Quick note: I have taken this blog off the setting that forces you to click on the link. You know the setting I’m talking about–where you click the link, start reading, and maybe get offended, then think, Curses! This blogger forced me to click on the link and get offended by what he wrote!! yeah, that setting. I can almost swear it’s a thing, but it’s off, now, if it was ever on for this blog.
In fact, if you’re one of the people who hates what the Supreme Court decided last week solely because it blew up your newsfeed and made people angry and confrontational–if you’re one of the people who “just wants to get along,” and in that end “does your part” by sharing cute puppy videos–and if you think it’s the most hilarious thing just to make fun of people of either conviction who are genuinely attempting to express/discuss their beliefs (and yes, I know it’s on social media:/)–then honestly, I’d rather you didn’t read what I have to say.
[please know that I completely understand not wanting to deal with some of the responses one might get on social media, and for that reason posting something fun and not-possibly-offensive. I’m mainly talking about people who responded specifically to SCOTUS with “ironic” (whatever that means) silly videos.]
By all means, let’s keep watching cat videos and LOLLLLLLLING at them. That’s the perfect way to engage with our fellow human beings meaningfully. (did I mention that the sarcasm setting is, unfortunately, on?)
Wow, no. If people are this upset, and this diametrically opposed to each other’s thinking, do you really think disagreement wasn’t under the surface back when everyone was just liking each other’s harmless posts and not saying anything? Yes, absolutely we should engage thoughtfully, carefully, lovingly with each other’s thinking, but we should engage.
Ideas matter. Words matter. The redefinition of words matters, because suddenly, people with different worldviews aren’t communicating the same thing by the same word, and that’s dangerous. It might get so that I cannot understand your view of how the world does/ought to work, and you might not understand my view. There’s a lot I want to start saying–not in an attempt to make anyone angry, though if that happens, it happens–about different definitions of personhood, of marriage, and of love. Not that I’m the first out there with the definitions. Most of them you can find in the dictionary. Some of them have changed, however, and maybe we missed it. When I say love, you might hear hate. And when you say be tolerant, I might hear shut up.
That was more than I intended to preface all this with. But with that said, here is what I wrote last Friday, amended just a very little where I thought it ought to be. I don’t know, maybe I should have amended it more.
I am frustrated today. Like a lot of people, I’m trying to articulate my frustration in a reasonable, caring way, but the nature of social media is to make both the reader and the author more defensive and less thoughtful than they might be in person. Especially on a day when people really care about what they’re saying. Please extend to me the grace you would ask from others:)
It’s hard for me to realize how passionately people believe something completely different from me. That sounds very naive, maybe. I have just been realizing—today, especially—that when people believe that injustice is happening, people get loud:) It complicates things that people have radically different views of what the injustice is. How can I believe—strongly—in an idea that is completely antithetical to an idea that my friend holds, perhaps equally strongly?
What frustrates me the most, I think, is that our opportunity to discuss and debate is now, apparently, over. Some people have decided that we have had enough to discuss our deeply-held values with our neighbors, and the conversation, for them, is done. It makes complete sense to them—after all, it’s hard for anyone to imagine how anyone could possibly disagree with their cause—but I’m frustrated because I feel that they’ve, in effect, shut the door in my face and said, “Your ideas don’t matter.”
I wish people were still listening to each other—hard though it is to entertain the remote possibility that someone else’s worldview might be valid. I don’t just hold beliefs for kicks, and I don’t actively look for ways to discriminate against people with lifestyles I don’t agree with. I don’t hold to certain truths because they are convenient, rather I hope I hold to certain truths because they are true. The thing that matters about truth isn’t whether you believe it or not, what matters is whether or not it is true.
I’m rambling now, I’m afraid. It’s hard not to be upset when I feel like people are communicating that my take on things doesn’t even matter enough to be considered. A similar thing happened several decades ago, before I had an opportunity to discuss with my peers, colleagues, and friends what was the right (not necessarily most convenient) course concerning abortion. Roe vs. Wade attempted to close the debate and silence those who genuinely believe in the value of life, and in the beauty and worth of unborn children.
In many ways, I respect those who are celebrating today, especially those who truly believe that they are standing up against injustice. They feel, perhaps, that they are speaking up for those who don’t have much of a voice in our society. I respect that core conviction that one is standing up for the helpless, and championing the defenseless. However, there is a rage in me at the wrong-headedness of the world—not against individuals—but at the reality that that conviction I just mentioned was celebrated today, but quashed and dismissed in 1973.
The thought comes that maybe my thoughts are not very gentle or nice or “Christian-like.” Sometimes it feels as if Christians are not supposed to be angry—ever (though they often are). If I really think about it, nothing much has changed—I still believe in an all-powerful, all-good God, who “holds the world in His hands.” I’m conscious, though, that I am not really all I should be—I’m prone to getting things a little (or a lot) off.
I’m angry, deeply angry at our broken world, and I need to remember that God holds all things, and offers grace when I am over-eager to mete out my version of justice. A God who loved sinners before they loved Him, when, in fact, they hated His name—that is God. I don’t deserve His grace, but He offers it continually to everyone.>
By this point, I’ve reviewed what I’ve written, had a couple other people review it, and I feel as if I will unforgivably offend everyone in the whole world! Self-esteem level: tempted to crawl under a rock.