Monday, November 5, 2012

Some things make me sad... some random, scattered thoughts regarding meanness

Of course we are all still hearing about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  As many of you know, we have many loved ones on the East Coast, and most of them were affected to varying degrees by the hurricane damage.

I was checking on their statuses via Facebook on a regular basis, which meant I had to scroll through many other FB friends' updates.  I was shocked and at times left speechless by the types of posts I scanned.

Several posts seemed to indicate that a true follower of Christ would never vote for Obama.  In fact, their posts seemed to do more than suggest that it would be a sin to ever vote democrat. 

Wow.  I appreciate diversity and am thankful to live in a country which promotes free speech.  But as a christian, and a follower of Jesus, it hurts my feelings to see others suggest that people who do not share their religious or political views are less loved by God. 

Other posts suggested that if only people had built their houses on the rocks instead of the sand, they wouldn't be suffering from the damage of the hurricane.  That all the damage they have sustained is their own darn fault. 

And another fb post was passing on a list of how you can tell someone is a muslim, along the lines of the "you know you are a redneck if...".  The jaw-dropping incredulous racial, religious stereotypical slurs were not only inflammatory, they were mean, inaccurate and horribly offensive.

As I pondered the small-minded, petty meanness, I considered the options.

I could just silently unfriend acquaintances who don't share my views.  I could post mean comments trying to set those people straight.  By the way, these are not mean people.  They are kind, sweet, generous folks.  I could just ignore their offhand rants and comments totally, as I hope people would do for me when I let something stupid slip out of my mouth and then wish I could stuff it back in. 

What to do?  I don't want to ignore mean, racial and anti muslim rants because it makes me wonder how many people chose to ignore anti-semitic rants not too long ago, and we can see in history what that atrocities occured because of people keeping their mouths shut. 

Not all muslims are terrorists. 

Not all muslims want to kill you if you are a christian.

And on that note, not all people who were slammed and hurt terribly by Hurricane Sandy had built their house on the sand.  For that matter, the damage was unlike anything sustained for generations, if ever.  And even if it were the case, would Jesus want us to gloat and chortle over someone else's tragedy? Because we were so much smarter to build our houses far from hurricane territory? 

I am just throwing out some scattered words as I try to figure out how to live in a world that is increasingly more divided.  In a world where the loud, "christian" voice is growing more strident, judgmental, condemning and harsh.  I don't want to be harsh and judgmental and condemning of my brothers and sisters in Christ, but certain topics are going way too far off base for my comfort, and this election season is causing more than a few christians to offer up a pretty sad picture of Jesus' unconditional love.  It isn't the political view that offends me.  It is the meanness with which some people are judging the political view of the opponents.  (FYI, meanness seems to come in many party flavors, republican, democrat AND independent!)

I have been more than guilty of saying flippant things about somebody without thinking it through, later suffering the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, as I considered the damage my thoughtless words might have done.  The times my ignorance and fears caused me to throw out a stupid joke. 

I repent. 

I am sorry and I hope that we can all take care with our words, jokes, fears, to become more informed.  To think things through before we post, blog, or speak in public arenas.  And when we do goof, to be quick to turn it around. 

PS I wanted to dash off a mean rant last week, berating mean people, but my computer was broken down.  Which meant I had a helpful several days to think before I dashed off.  Certain things weighed too heavily on my heart and I decided that writing about it might help.  Perhaps we could all have a civil discussion?  I have dear friends on either side of the political coin.  And friends who are muslim, hindu, atheist, agnostic, jewish, christian etc.  Not to mention all the denominations within the christian faith.  Is there a way we can express fears, hopes, concerns without attacking and belittling? 



CountryDew said...

I love this post. Thank you for writing it. said...

Your encouragement means a lot, Anita!!!

chealsdzee said...

so true..tq for sharing...