There’s a blog that a lot of my friends on Facebook like. I won’t name it here, but it frustrates me. It frustrates me because, while it sometimes espouses views I agree with, it almost always does it in an aggressive, antagonistic way.
If someone says something bad about a post he wrote, the author doesn’t just respond–he burns them to the ground. Insults, ad hominem attacks, sarcasm, the whole 9 yards. This is in a blog post, mind, not private correspondence. No matter how cruel he is, or what he says, or how unkind he is toward those who disagree with him, his comments section is always full of cheerleaders agreeing that, yes, all welfare is just theft, or, of course that person who disagreed with you on how to raise kids deserved a 2,000 word polemic about how stupid they are.
It’s bad enough that these kinds of responses are embraced and applauded (and not just on the internet–talk radio is almost exclusively populated with the same sort of “dialog”), but to see so many friends sharing these things, which they presumably agree with, is disheartening. Sometimes it’s people I respect; other times it’s people I barely know. In all cases, it makes me think a tiny bit less of their judgement when they support someone who can’t seem to discuss things without sharpening his blades.
The worst thing, for me as a Christian, is that this guy is “one of us”. A good chunk of his posts are religious in nature, and they’re no less defensive or abrasive than the ones about politics and parenting. In James 3:6, the Bible says, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” In Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” In Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” And that’s not all there is.
Maybe it’s hypocritical of me to write this at all. I know it could be read as an attack post itself–but I’m tired of it. Tired of seeing the name of Christ besmirched by this guy, and plenty of others, who claim the name but can’t be bothered to extend grace to anyone who gets on their nerves. There’s a time for disagreement and even for sharp words–Jesus even said a few himself–but personal attacks, condescension, being a jerk? No.
When I write, I try to remember the Golden Rule–that’s from the Bible too–”Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” And maybe that’s what this guy, and guys like him, are trying to do. But no one likes being attacked, being the butt of a joke, being treated like an idiot. Maybe we can start weeding that out and make the world a little better place for everyone, Christian or not.