“I’m not an activist; I don’t look for controversy. I’m not a political person, I’m a person with compassion. I care passionately about equal rights. I care about human rights.”
– Ellen DeGeneres
So, here’s an idea. I know it might sound crazy, but hear me out.
So you’re sitting there and this crazy controversial issue pops across your radar. Let’s say it’s…oh, I don’t know…Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner’s gender transition. (Hypothetically speaking, of course.) And let’s say that your uber-Christian beliefs tell you that Bruce (not Caitlyn – because you refuse to call HIM Caitlyn) is going straight to hell as fast as the little fire-breathing demon chauffeurs can get him there. And let’s say that you think, “Hey! You know what?! I think the whole world needs to know that Bruce is going to hell” and so you decide the next logical step is to post something about that on Facebook. And let’s say you lean back, prop your crossed-legs up on your desk, place your self-righteous hands behind your self-righteous head and wait, with a “God loves only me” smile, for the ever-supportive comments and likes to roll in like the waves at high tide.
But then…wait. What is this? Oh no! You drop your feet back to the floor, sit forward and stare at your computer screen in utter disbelief. Right there, in the midst of the support you receive from your like-minded friends, suddenly a comment pops up that….*gasp!*….goes against your opinion. Whaaaaat? Oh yes, ’tis true. There it is. Right in the middle of the self-righteous (have I used that word already?) rants from you and your cronies, there is a comment that has the audacity to imply that you might just be wrong in your stance. A comment that suggests that CAITLYN Jenner is, in fact, not going to hell and that God actually loves HER just as much as He loves you.
So, what do you do? You pout. You and your friends gang up on the commenter and tell her how wrong she is and how “rude” she’s being by going against what you have to say. About how she and anyone who agrees with her are on the wrong path and had better turn from sin and see the light. And then…in a display of utmost maturity…you DELETE said comment so that your post remains nice and one-sided like the good Lord intended.
There. That solves that.
But wait….along come other comments that go against your beliefs. What?! There are more heathens out there!? “Delete!” Pretty soon, after tedious editing on your part, your post sits there just as you like it, with only the supportive comments accompanying it. Shew! That was a close one.
Oh, but wait. You’re not done just yet. Since you know the initial commenter’s mother, you decide you had better tell her what her teenage child did. You proceed to send the mother…let’s hypothetically name her…oh, I don’t know…”Melissa”… a private conversation you had with her daughter (where you contacted her to tell her how rude she was being by disagreeing with you) and then sit back to wait for the mother’s wrath to ensue upon the kid.
But uh oh. This didn’t quite turn out like you thought it would.
Momma Melissa doesn’t quite agree with you. In fact, Momma Melissa is actually PROUD of her daughter. Can you believe that crap? What kind of mother actually encourages her child to stand up for what she believes in and to speak out against something she feels is an injustice? The NERVE! What kind of mother has raised her children to believe that just because someone is different from you, that doesn’t make them wrong? What kind of mother would not only not punish her child for voicing her opinion, but would actually congratulate her for doing so?!
What is the world coming to?
But no worries. At least you’re not the one going to hell, right? Those poor lost souls….
So, back to my point. That crazy idea I had, remember? How about this? How about you not post controversial things unless you want a controversial response? Hmmm? How about that? How about you realize that Facebook is a public forum and, as shocking as it may be to you, there are actually people out there who think differently from you! I know, sweetie. It’s insane, it really is. But alas, ’tis true. Some people out there don’t sit at their computer pushing the little “share” button on articles knowing that they sit at the right-hand of God and that they alone are his chosen one. Seriously. Some people out there feel that we’re all created equal and that, if there is a God up there looking down on us, he wants us to love each other and save the judgment for him to take care of and decide for himself what he deems judgment-worthy.
I know, it’s weird, isn’t it? But darling, these people do exist. Sad as it may be to you…they exist.
And those Momma Melissas of the world? Sheesh. Look out, lady. You try to tell them that their kid has done something wrong, when they know good and well that they haven’t…well, be prepared to hear about it.
In fact, the really crazy Momma Melissas out there? Ha! They might even have a blog and might write about it and call you out in it. Crazy, right?
People these days, man. I tell ya….
“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.”
– Chauncey Depew