Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Christian, politics, and social media

A FB friend of mine, and a Christian denominational leader, recently posted a caution about how Christians use social media to make political comments. Some agreed with his warning while other accused him of hiding behind his own political agenda while refusing to stand up for the good of American families.

While I cannot speak for my friend about the motive behind his words I can respond to how I interpreted them. I did not see him saying that Christians cannot hold political views or express them. I read into his comments that we need to be cautious about how we express them. The way some people responded to his post is a good example of this.

The one person who accused him of hiding behind his own political agenda wasn't responding to the post as much as attacking the person who made it. Perhaps he felt he was responding to the FB post, but in reality he attacked the motives behind it, and by doing so was making a personal attack on the person who wrote it.

I've written earlier about how this political season is bringing out the worst in Christians, especially on social media. It's easy to hide behind social media and say things we would dare not say to a person's face. I once responded in agreement to something a FB friend posted and was attacked by another friend of his, not a mutual friend. She questioned my intelligence and informed me that she was a highly educated person and therefore knew more than I did about the matter. It turned out I actually had more education than she did, but that was beside the point. Rather than discuss the issue, she immediately went into full attack mode on my character and intelligence. My only response to her was to inform her that I did not engage in debates on social media and would not be responding.

We can hold political views, and we are free to express them, but it is important that we do so wisely. Attacking the character of those who disagree with us must be avoided. Calling candidates, and those who support them, vile names is hardly Christian. Let's support those candidates who most hold our values and beliefs, but let's do so in a manner that is fitting of the name Christian.

No comments: