Many of my Facebook Friends are what some would call “flaming liberals.” I’m not sure if they see this as a complimentary label, but I expect so.
I belong to a Christian denomination that sprung from John Wesley. He adopted the name, Methodist. It was a derisive term at the time. They were quite systematic, and their detractors began to call them Methodists as an insult. Wesley, being the contrarian he was, adopted the term, and here we are.
That’s why I suspect those friends don’t mind being called flaming liberals. Many of them have probably adopted the title for themselves.
I have just as many friends who have taken to calling themselves “right wing nut jobs.” (The term, Methodist, is sounding better all the time.) They do so, of course, because they are unabashedly conservative.
Facebook (as well as other social media outlets) has been swamped with snarky comments and political mudslinging. It’s a relatively safe place to do so, but not without its consequences.
“That’s not to say I never succumb to the temptation.”
As a Christian author and preacher, I try to avoid political statements on social media. It seems to detract from my ministerial focus. Worse than that, however, it keeps various people from hearing the more important, eternal message I attempt to convey.
That’s not to say I never succumb to the temptation. I’m a political animal just like most other folks. Actually, I find it entertaining more than anything else. Yet, in my weaker moments, I will post something that aligns with one side or the other and find myself in trouble with at least half my “friends.”
I understand the dynamics of this social situation, but there are some things I just can’t seem to get over. For example, I seem to have been unfriended (is that a word?—spell check doesn’t seem to think so) by at least three people who didn’t seem to appreciate my leanings. In each case, it seems to have come about because I “liked” a person or a position that I thought was quite positive.
So here’s the moral challenge.
At this point, I’m sure at least a few of you are expecting me to launch into some sort of moral challenge. I don’t want to disappoint you, so I will. Here goes…
To quote two of my favorite philosophers of all time, “Jeepers Wally!” “Can’t we all just get along?” (By the way, if you know who those two happen to be, I love you.)
Has anyone ever heard of dialogue? Is normal, intelligent conversation even possible anymore? Not when it comes to politics, apparently.
To make matters worse, some of our faith stances have been turned into political footballs, and we can’t discuss them anymore either. I guess that’s where I get into the most trouble. I believe what I believe, and sometimes I say so.
For better or worse, that seems to be the reality in which we now live. Please don’t unfriend me. Politics aside, I’m actually very warm and cuddly. (I know what you’re thinking…shut up…)