I know I haven’t blogged in a while, folks, and I’m sorry about that. So to make up for it, I’m updating twice in one go. Because I love you.
Anyway: Brace yourselves for election rant No. 3 (No. 2 is right below this one).
Social media is both blessing and curse. Blessing because now everyone can keep up with long-lost friends, stay informed of people’s lives, share photos and information with the drop of a hat and express themselves.
BUT. Pay attention to that last blessing, because it doubles as a curse.
Has anyone else noticed (in the 2012 election season especially) that their Facebook news feeds and Twitter timelines and Tumblr dashboards and whatever-the-hell-else-you-use-to-avoid-talking-to-people-in-real-life have devolved into this clusterfuck of awful? Because I certainly have.
And when I say awful, I mean AWFUL. Friend against friend, sibling against sibling, husband against wife. This shit is pervading my social media landscape with biting comments, angry retorts and other passive-aggressive fuckery. It’s turned social media into a damn war zone and I’m OVER THIS BULLSHIT.
Case in point: My friend, with whom I served on the Catholic Students Association executive board in college, recently shared a photo from the Obama campaign on his Facebook page. The simple act of sharing on Facebook, I think, is kind of innocuous. Basically, the Obama campaign has a Facebook page of its own and it posted a photo. My friend, who follows the Obama campaign on Facebook, saw the photo and clicked a little link called “share,” which allowed him to post the photo on his own timeline. Keep in mind, my friend added no commentary of his own to the photo. He just shared it.
Within SECONDS some other guy who was a part of the CSA with us (and someone I never particularly cared for) commented on the photo. In the comment he made a long list of legitimate reasons not to support Obama. Which was fine.
BUT THEN he ended it with this sparkly turd of a comment:
“So [friend], why do you support Obama again? Remember, he will fully fund and defend Planned Parenthood to the end. And he is at war with the Church and religion you claim to follow.”
OK, well ignoring the part about Planned Parenthood that makes no sense, THIS KID COULDN’T BE A BIGGER DOUCHEBAG IF HE TRIED. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s Catholics condmening and criticizing other Catholics.
And I could turn this into a separate post if I wanted to (and probably will at some point), but it’s just so damn WRONG. If we claim to be a faith that accepts one another, if we claim to be a faith of love and charity, this kind of criticism and condemnation is just plain wrong.
Not to mention, this is the kind of bullshit non-Catholics (hell, NON-CHRISTIANS) see that give us a pretty shitty name. When a brother or sister in Christ comes up to us and sees us condemning one another based on political views, it shows a lack of unity and a complete lack of Christian love.
AND ANOTHER THING: Both candidates have demonstrated opinions and advocated policies that go against Church teachings. Obama is the most infamous because he’s pro-choice. But Romney’s immigration policies chafe with the Catholic belief of demonstrating charity and compassion toward immigrants. As a Republican, Romney supports capital punishment, which JPII has condemned over and over again.
And tell me again, where in the bible did it ever say that amassing large amounts of wealth was a surefire way of getting into heaven? Remind me where Jesus advocated people going out, getting rich and not sharing. Demonstrate to me HOW the pursuit of wealth can ever be considered holy. I can’t remember where it said the wealthy should not pay taxes because they earned their money while the poor earned their poverty because they clearly haven’t worked hard enough. Because I must have missed that part of the bible when I read it. I’m still having a hard time trying to find it.
Anyway, after this jerkface posted his unbelievably mean-spirited comment, others followed. My favorites included:
[Jerkface], you need to respect people’s differing opinions. [Friend] can support Obama if he wants to, regardless of who you support. And you are free to support whoever you like, regardless of who agrees with you or not. But it is not at all acceptable for you to attack his faith, especially based on his political views.
Regardless of my own political views, i think it’s awesome that you are public with yours. Politics and faith unfortunately get tangled. They are not mutually inclusive or mutually exclusive.
But of course, this guy couldn’t leave it at that and had to comment with yet another glistening turd bomb.
I do respect other people’s views. And when I think they are in serious error, I will attempt to show otherwise. Especially when it involves intrinsic moral issues that affect 1 million unborn lives a year in the USA.
It is quite acceptable for me to call out other Catholics who mistakenly believe it is okay to publicly support a candidate who supports intrinsic evils, and who poses a real, and dangerous threat to religious freedom. It would be uncharitable, wrong, to let a fellow Catholic stray and commit public scandal by not challenging their position as they become an accomplice to the person they support.
By publicly endorsing someone such as Obama, one becomes an advocate of the policies and positions of that candidate. Since Obama is a huge abortion promoter and defender, it is impossible to disentangle the abortion issue from him. An endorsement of him, is an endorsement of the 1 million abortions provided per year in this country. The Church teaches this is an intrinsic evil that can never be justified. Interestingly enough, Hitler killed just over 1 million Jews a year. The US has far outdone what Hitler did since 1973.
These are kids I went to college with and served on a RELIGIOUSLY AFFILIATED STUDENT GROUP WITH. Since we all share a common faith, I thought I could sort of defuse the situation with some light-hearted truth.
I do not support Catholics criticizing other Catholics over political views. Unity, people! There’s enough division in the political world. We don’t need it in the Church.
Sigh. Silly me. I should have known that, in throwing my two cents in, I was opening myself up for attack.
There is no unity when grave sin is overlooked. Then it is false unity (a lie). There is unity in the Church on abortion…it is that it is an intrinsic evil and can never be tolerated. To dissent from that is to separate oneself from the Church.
My reaction went a little something like this:
Here’s the D: I’m all for freedom of speech, religion, the press and expression. I love the First Amendment. If I could marry it, I would. As an American citizen, I will always, always, ALWAYS support your right to free speech.
But as a Catholic, I can NEVER support you using your beliefs to condemn someone else. It’s like having a penis: It’s great if you have one, but you can’t go waving it around and you can’t go shoving it down kids’ throats.
And for the love of GOD, please keep this shit off social media! If you disagree with someone else’s opinions, grow a pair and confront them about it IN PERSON. Jerkface only wrote all of that crap because he was hiding behind a pretty awful picture and a keyboard. I guarantee you if he saw my friend in public, there was no way he would have said any of that judgmental shit to his face.
The truth of the matter is, we’re going to look back on all of this nonsense when we’re really fucking old and shake our heads at our own stupidity. Because that’s what this is: stupidity.