My status update after the election results was this:
“I think people who use Facebook to vent angry political views are cotton headed ninny muggings. I’m stoked Obama won. Now lets all get on with our lives and get back to posting pictures of cats and what we ate for dinner.”
This post received 73 “likes” from people all over the political spectrum in my group of friends. And the comments were funny, too.
“Even though I’m far from stoked right now, you made me laugh, which is exactly what I needed.”
“I’m not stoked. I wouldn’t have been stoked if Romney won, either, but ppl need to keep their vehement opinions to themselves.”
“what about pics of angry cats?”
But one comment was this:
“I’m disappointed in you, Rachel. You’ll see the error of your ways.”
I realize that by posting anything on the internet, including this blog, I subject myself to public scrutiny. However, I believe “I’m disappointed in you” is a line reserved only for your parents to say when you’ve outgrown spankings and screaming matches. Very few other phrases carry the kind of weight that this phrase does.
And I also object to this comment, because while I’m neither surprised nor concerned that this particular person was disappointed, I’m sure his intention is for me to change my opinion, which NEVER happens if you just sit and tell people they are wrong. Never with the spirit of the message. Never with the tone. It’s this kind of superior, holier-than-thou, “I’m so right and one day you’ll agree with me and figure it out” attitude that has completely alienated so many young people from the world of politics, particularly the Republican Party, as they themselves have been noting, most recently on the Bill O’Reilly show.
The only way to change people is to love and respect them right where they are at, and then engage in healthy dialogue. To listen so that you, too, will be heard. When was the last time hating something hard enough changed it?
I am one of those “one in five” people who has removed people from my newsfeed due to political differences of opinion; acquaintances, friends, people from church, coworkers, even members of my own family.
It wasn’t because I don’t value healthy debate or learning more about other party lines. It wasn’t because I’m sold out on everything Obama has to say. It wasn’t because Mitt Romney has binders full of women.
It was because of the hateful, spiteful, often racist, ignorant, and unfounded opinions. It was the bitterness. It was the frequency. It was the total lack of respect for authority. It was the intolerance of any other opinions.
Recently someone I respected posted this as her status:
“If I used to express my love for you by gifting you at Christmas, I still love you. Just can’t do that anymore-Obama gets all my Christmas money! thank you to all who voted for him(if you disagree, no need to comment- just defriend me please).”
(Her lack of grammar kept intact here.)
I’m especially frustrated with my Christian friends. Because no matter what your political beliefs are, we are supposed to be group of people who believe and proclaim that our faith and our lives are in the hands of no one but God.
1 Peter 2:13-17 “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God… living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
Deciding to not to honor those God has placed into power and to feel less American because the guy you voted for didn’t win is immature. Do you not believe God is in control, that he doesn’t work for the good, even if we can’t see it? Is God not sovereign? Is your faith for your future depending on some people in suits in an office far away, that you will never meet or talk to, that may or may not care about your opinion….or is your faith and hope found in Christ?
I don’t depend on any president, good or bad, republican or democrat, short or tall, fat or thin. I depend on me, my family, my friends, my God. I work hard, I play hard, I pray hard.
I won’t ask you to unfriend me if you disagree. I would ask you politely tell me why. And let’s talk about it, respectfully, and honor each other and the right to have a different opinion. And hopefully walk away still friends.
And for God’s sake, use your status update for what it’s really for – telling me about your workout or vacation plans or how much you hate your job. :)