I have been learning something about myself lately. I often feel a strong desire to speak up, particularly in regard to issues when something other than truth is being promoted. This happens primarily in regard to issues such as abortion and my faith in Christ. The unfortunate aspect of this is that I really, really dislike conflict. And of course, issues such as the two mentioned above result in conflict for many. Many, many, many. And social media is one of the worst for breeding conflict. People sit behind their softly glowing computer screens and pronounce judgment on others with a few swift key strokes. I try not to do that, but I know I have before and I have become increasingly aware of it. I am learning to edit my initial response with a more Christ-like one (read: work in progress). Thank the Lord, it has gotten better as He has worked in me on keeping my passion in check and not allowing it to grow into something like unrighteous anger.
I go into all of this because as the upcoming election looms ever near, I find my desire for truth (or in many cases just a possible differing viewpoint), causing me to comment even when it is uncomfortable to do so. I don’t claim to always be right. But I do know that when something is clearly unscriptural, and my beliefs are lining up with God’s word, that I’m clear. Topics such as Christ and issues such as abortion are pretty clear to me. Politics as a whole, however, are a gray, mushy, miserable area to me that people respond to much like a lion crouches waiting to pounce on its prey. And I don’t presume to think I’m always right, or even often right, on many of my political stances, particularly when it comes to the economy, foreign policy, and so forth. Therefore, I have been trying to avoid commenting on political status updates overall.
I failed in my resolve to do this last night and actually made a non-instigative (I thought), friendly comment agreeing that people can’t have it both ways (the context was that conservatives cannot ignore a mistake of a conservative president and then condemn a liberal president for the same mistake). I then erred by giving an example of this in reverse, but in regard to giving credit to one when it is due another). And then it happened. Sarcastic responses, links “proving” me wrong, and innuendo that I am uninformed and not very well educated. Apparently, not agreeing with some of these people means that I must be an idiot who is just politicking and not aware of the real issues (to me, at least, there was that undertone to some of the comments). Why, oh why, does disagreement so often lead to judging one another as individuals?
I’m using this post to vent, I know. I truly don’t mind honest, respectful debate, but I resent the tone that many take and I did have to try my hardest not to engage in a similar response. I often choose to avoid debate because of the tone of the comments, not because I am uninformed and not able to back up my comment. I mentioned above how much I dislike conflict, but I probably should have clarified that it is the nasty, mean-spirited, or presumptive kinds of conflict I cannot stand. I can’t see the benefit of trying to engage with someone in a discussion when that is how they present themselves.
So…where does that leave me? I suppose that when it comes most political issues, I am going to abstain from commenting because it just isn’t worth it all that often. When it comes to my hot-button, passionate issues, such as the unborn, I am likely to share what I know to be true and will do my best to do it in a loving, respectful way. Let’s hope so, right? Otherwise you are apt to see more posts with me venting! 🙂