Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On My Failure to Snark

 

Every so often, I remind my faithful reader (that’s my lovely wife; hi, honey!) that I spend time on Facebook. As most know, Facebook has devolved from a way to keep tabs on friends and family and their daily activities — accompanied by pictures of what they are eating — to a storm of political posts from whatever news source the poster happens to prefer. Even though I have many friends on the opposite side of the aisle, I’ve yet to defriend anyone from my list. I even read a lot of what they post.

One post that recently struck me was posted by a young woman from a church I was a part of in Oregon. For a while, we were in the same Bible study group. Just recently, she had her first baby, about a month before my wonderful son was born. So I’ve been following her, watching the progress of new mom and baby. Of course, she’s politically motivated on the opposite side of the aisle. Below, is a full quote from a post she made (note, it is a bit long):

Religion as well as political views are some of the most sensitive topics you can address with other individuals as most people hold a lot of emotion behind the two. For this reason I do not usually openly share my political views, especially on a social media outlets, but these points are too real not to share… do yourself and your country a favor and educate yourself.

If you voted for Trump because of Hillary’s email “problem” but are not upset that the Trump administration is using a private email server and unsecured phones, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe Jesus was a persecuted refugee fleeing Herod, but support the ban on Syrian refugees, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe life begins at conception, but support defunding the country’s number one source of prenatal care, Planned Parenthood, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe the mainstream media lies but believe Trump when he spouts verifiable lies, that is hypocrisy.

If you dismiss the AP, Reuters or NPR as biased media but accept everything Fox News says, that is hypocrisy.

If you think all life is sacred, but do not support reasonable gun control, that is hypocrisy.

If you think children are the future, but support reducing funds for SNAP, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe in education, but dismiss evolution or climate change as hoax, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe in the sovereignty of the United States, but support forced incursions on Native American lands, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe that we need to drain the swamp in Washington but support Trump’s cabinet picks, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe in the Constitution, but support indiscriminate detainment and torture, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe that unborn black babies lives matter, but black lives don’t matter, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe that we deserve life, liberty and happiness, but support taking away healthcare from millions of American, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe that the practice of your religion is more important than the practice of no religion or a different religion, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe in equal rights under the law, but don’t support marriage equality and non discrimination for LGBTQ+ Americans, that is hypocrisy.

If you are glad that California or New York do not decide national policy for you, but insist on forcing your red state policies on others, that is hypocrisy.

If you believe in the first amendment, but call people who peacefully protest the President hooligans, that is hypocrisy.

If you are an American but think dissent is disrespectful, that is hypocrisy.

If you think that anything that has happened over the last week is normal or acceptable, then you have not been paying attention.

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

-MLK

**I will delete comments as I see fit, you don’t like that, keep movin along

As you can expect, I was annoyed and irritated. I wanted to sit down and argue each statement point by point. I wanted to point out all the straw men, ad hominem attacks, and oversimplifications with wild abandon. Of course, noting the length, I quickly realized that was a losing endeavor (thankfully). Mentally, I followed up with a couple of witty rejoinders, and even found a video clip for one that was perfect. I thought about posting them, but something gave me pause.

I went to a forum where snark abounds in spades and noted this. I even shared part of the above post. I showed my witty rejoinders. Doing so achieved a sort of catharsis for me. But I also expressed my unwillingness to reply, requested someone talk me down from the ledge. On cue, the little shoulder angels and demons popped up on either side encouraging me one way or another. In the end, I chose not to reply. But I don’t think that resolved anything.

Let me put it this way: There’s a divide in American thinking, but it can’t be remedied by demanding the other side approach me. It certainly can’t be remedied by throwing rocks/spears across the divide, as I intended in my initial responses.

But, as a man who seeks to follow Christ, I know I am called to come together with others, especially my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Part of what frustrates me is not just that such things anger me but that, by silence, I do nothing to bridge the divide. My friend, whether she realizes it or not, clearly expects the other side to come to hers, hat in hand, begging forgiveness. And I can’t really fault her for doing so, because don’t I often do the same thing? Wouldn’t it be satisfying to demand the other side approach me and tell me I was right all along?

So there is the dilemma: There will always be political and social disagreement, and my desire is to do what I can to lessen the divide, rather than leave it be or (worse) to increase it. But I am not sure how. I am only in control of my own responses. I’m willing to accept that political stances aren’t dictated in the Bible, but it would seem she does not. At the very least, she seems to accept the Biblical analysis popular with the secular Left. She’s been rather vocal lately, and has (more than once) been among those Progressives who like to declare who is and is not properly Christian.

On the other hand, she is a sister in Christ. If I am to say something, I should say it in a way to build bridges, not burns them, even if she seemingly has poured gasoline all over the timber. By no means should I bring my matchbook with me. So, what to do?

I can take comfort in knowing my identity in Christ supersedes my political identity. Indeed, as one member noted, Christ had Simon the Zealot (a violently anti-Roman faction in Israel) and Levi the Tax Collector (who profited greatly from working for Rome) among his twelve apostles. Can you imagine some of the conversations they had at the table? Yet they remained together, united not in politics but in our savior, Christ Jesus.

We can do similarly, but it is going to be hard. I am not sure how. I only know that I can only affect my own actions and my own responses to other people’s actions. I’m done being divided on this. I only have one thing to consider: How do I proceed?

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  1. Doug Watt Moderator

    Well she has learned how to be a keen observer of the hypocrisy of others whom she disagrees with, not so keen an observer of her own hypocrisy in her attempt to shame the others into silence.

    • #1
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:07 PM PST
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  2. Clavius Thatcher

    Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.

    • #2
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:12 PM PST
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  3. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy WeivodaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I don’t know, Douglas. If she had one point to make, you could challenge it in a non-hostile way and explain why someone is not necessarily her enemy because they voted differently. In this case, she’s fired every round in her arsenal at once, and is saying she doesn’t want comments that disagree with her. She wants to vent. Maybe at some later date she’ll be able to have a rational debate but at this time, I don’t think that’s in the cards.

    • #3
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:15 PM PST
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  4. Hoyacon Member

    Almost without fail, those talking points could be turned on their heads without snark with the addition of a few skillful words. Does it matter to you enough to do that? If the answer is “yes,” I’d politely say something along the lines of “You gave me something to think about, so I tried an exercise. Here’s my version. Let me know what you think.” However, there’s also something to be said for the idea that anyone who doesn’t recognize the flip side of those points already is a lost cause, so it may be all for naught.

    • #4
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:19 PM PST
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  5. RightAngles Member

    There’s no reasoning with them. They’ll have to come to their senses on their own. I deleted my personal Facebook page because of these annoyances, and made a new one as RightAngles so they can’t find me. Before I did that, my cousin, whose father (my mom’s brother) is a Methodist minister, posted a meme that said “The United States is not founded on Christianity” or something, which is just not true. If my uncle had seen that! They’ve lost their minds.

    • #5
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:24 PM PST
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  6. GrannyDude Member

    Boy, am I looking forward to hearing the comments on this! I wish I had a good answer.

    My first thought is to pick one from her list that you know a lot about, and try to answer just that one. E.g. “If you believe that unborn black babies lives matter, but black lives don’t matter, that is hypocrisy.”

    I would say “I agree with you. Moreover, I believe that not just the lives of unborn black babies, but also the lives of already-born black babies, black children, black women, black men, black old people and, for that matter, my friends who are black law enforcement officers, all these lives are worthy of our protection and care. It is unacceptable to me that my black fellow-Americans and brothers and sisters in Christ are subjected to all the hazards and obstacles that the grim statistics on murder rates in black communities point to. What should we be doing about these problems?”

    Maybe your friend will actually answer the question. Mine tend to change the subject, usually with extreme prejudice (e.g. “you’re a racist.”)

    • #6
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:24 PM PST
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  7. GrannyDude Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Almost without fail, those talking points could be turned on their heads without snark with the addition of a few skillful words. Does it matter to you enough to do that? If the answer is “yes,” I’d politely say something along the lines of “You gave me something to think about, so I tried an exercise. Here’s my version. Let me know what you think.” However, there’s also something to be said for the idea that anyone who doesn’t recognize the flip side of those points already is a lost cause, so it may be all for naught.

    Oh, Hoyacon. That’s good. I’m going to steal it.

    • #7
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:26 PM PST
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  8. HeartofFLA Inactive

    I can assure you that she probably didn’t write her post word for word. I’m afraid that she has “lifted it” from other liberal sources. In fact, I googled it and found plenty of other “lifters” of the same hypocrisy thread.

    She doesn’t want a discussion. It’s her philosophy and her page and you can’t question it. So it make little sense to try to have a reasonable debate. She will simply unfriend you because that’s her largest weapon.

    I often wonder if you were sitting in a room and having a discussion face to face, would the same person stand up and declare that you are no longer friends. I sincerely doubt it. But try to have the same discussion online and you will suddenly find yourself wondering why you don’t see posts from your friend anymore. You go and check her friend list and surprise…you are no longer there.

    I find myself posting less political items lately unless I can offer some detail that my liberal friends would never research. I do offer comments on other sites but am always aware that someone will be trolling for trouble and I need to be able to stand up and support my comment.

    Most days I start to comment, back off, come back and sing “let it go.” In most cases, no matter what I post or comment, it’s not going to change their minds.

    • #8
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:31 PM PST
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  9. Jules PA Member

    I did not realize I was such a

    Hyp-i.e.

    On the other hand here is an interesting article about making an effort to see someone else’s point of view

    https://medium.com/@SeanBlanda/the-other-side-is-not-dumb-2670c1294063#.ooso9ave9

    • #9
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:35 PM PST
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  10. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. DouglasJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    HeartofAmerica (View Comment):
    I can assure you that she probably didn’t write her post word for word. I’m afraid that she has “lifted it” from other liberal sources. In fact, I googled it and found plenty of other “lifters” of the same hypocrisy thread.

    She doesn’t want a discussion. It’s her philosophy and her page and you can’t question it. So it make little sense to try to have a reasonable debate. She will simply unfriend you because that’s her largest weapon.

    I often wonder if you were sitting in a room and having a discussion face to face, would the same person stand up and declare that you are no longer friends. I sincerely doubt it. But try to have the same discussion online and you will suddenly find yourself wondering why you don’t see posts from your friend anymore. You go and check her friend list and surprise…you are no longer there.

    I find myself posting less political items lately unless I can offer some detail that my liberal friends would never research. I do offer comments on other sites but am always aware that someone will be trolling for trouble and I need to be able to stand up and support my comment.

    Most days I start to comment, back off, come back and sing “let it go.” In most cases, no matter what I post or comment, it’s not going to change their minds.

    It’s true she lifted this from her sister’s FB feed, and I suspect that comes from elsewhere as well.

    At present I’ve said nothing as it’s been a few days. Responding to a long string like that right away again provoked snark in me which was not helpful. However she’ll come up with more, and occasionally more pointed posts.

    However, I still see there’s a need to reach out. At one point she seemed to be questioning her faith because of her perceptions about her church. Now much can be her perception, but part can certainly be how we might respond or act around her as well.

    Silence may be called for in this instance, as this is a very long list. But sustained silence will do neither good.

    I fear I’m rambling.

    • #10
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:37 PM PST
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  11. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy WeivodaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    I would say “I agree with you. Moreover, I believe that not just the lives of unborn black babies, but also the lives of already-born black babies, black children, black women, black men, black old people and, for that matter, my friends who are black law enforcement officers, all these lives are worthy of our protection and care. It is unacceptable to me that my black fellow-Americans and brothers and sisters in Christ are subjected to all the hazards and obstacles that the grim statistics on murder rates in black communities point to. What should we be doing about these problems?

    She’s already given her answer to that, more gun control.

    • #11
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:40 PM PST
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  12. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. DouglasJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    I did not realize I was such a

    Hyp-i.e.

    On the other hand here is an interesting article about making an effort to see someone else’s point of view

    https://medium.com/@SeanBlanda/the-other-side-is-not-dumb-2670c1294063#.ooso9ave9

    That is an excellent article.

    • #12
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:43 PM PST
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  13. Hoyacon Member

    Getting into the weeds on each of these points individually is probably not what you had in mind, but one in particular caught my eye.

    • #13
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:45 PM PST
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  14. Guruforhire Member

    Remember your time on this earth is finite.

    • #14
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:46 PM PST
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  15. Jules PA Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Getting into the weeds on each of these points individually is probably not what you had in mind, but one in particular caught my eye.

    The headline for that link is:

    Planned Parenthood Caught Denying Women Prenatal Care: 92 of 97 Abortion Clinics Turned Them Away

    • #15
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:49 PM PST
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  16. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. DouglasJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Remember your time on this earth is finite.

    And my time after earth is eternal. But we are called to come together in the finite. I need to pick my battles, but when I do engage, I want to do so with understanding, wisdom, and love for my fellow human being.

    • #16
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:49 PM PST
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  17. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. DouglasJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Getting into the weeds on each of these points individually is probably not what you had in mind, but one in particular caught my eye.

    The headline for that link is:

    Planned Parenthood Caught Denying Women Prenatal Care: 92 of 97 Abortion Clinics Turned Them Away

    Right. There’s plenty of false assumptions, straw men, and ad hominem attacks throughout this. Which makes me understand why people advise not to attack the whole thing (which again, I decided against right away).

    • #17
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:52 PM PST
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  18. Guruforhire Member

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Remember your time on this earth is finite.

    And my time after earth is eternal. But we are called to come together in the finite. I need to pick my battles, but when I do engage, I want to do so with understanding, wisdom, and love for my fellow human being.

    She isn’t looking for a conversation, she doesn’t want to be convinced of anything, to learn or to grow, understand the issues, the trade offs thereof, the hidden complexities. She just wants you to know that she’s better than you.

    There is nothing there. You will just hurt any relationship you had or could have. Wasting your time is just taking away time from a fruitful endeavor. Triage is always an unfortunate necessity.

    • #18
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:53 PM PST
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  19. The Reticulator Member

    Then I’m a hypocrite, and you should be one, too.

    • #19
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:54 PM PST
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  20. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. DouglasJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Getting into the weeds on each of these points individually is probably not what you had in mind, but one in particular caught my eye.

    The headline for that link is:

    Planned Parenthood Caught Denying Women Prenatal Care: 92 of 97 Abortion Clinics Turned Them Away

    On the other hand, let’s take their argument as stated.

    Let’s say you visited a homeless shelter. Let’s say those running said, “We feed, clothe, house, educate, and help many homeless get off the street. Also, we euthanize about 1 out of 100 of the homeless who visit here.” Knowing this, do we defend the shelter because it saves 99?

    • #20
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:56 PM PST
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  21. Doug Watt Moderator

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Remember your time on this earth is finite.

    And my time after earth is eternal. But we are called to come together in the finite. I need to pick my battles, but when I do engage, I want to do so with understanding, wisdom, and love for my fellow human being.

    I have said this before, Christian apologetics should start with trying to find some common ground, which I think is a pretty good starting point for any argument, even political arguments. Defining terms comes next. Even if you hit the wall at some point it is better to walk away by agreeing to disagree rather than throwing metaphorical punches. At least she is not an anarchist, parents cannot afford to tolerate anarchy.

    • #21
    • February 2, 2017, at 3:57 PM PST
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  22. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeekaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Great post, and a help to my own thinking.

    Really a hostile and accusatory fb post you’re trying to work with there.

    • #22
    • February 2, 2017, at 4:01 PM PST
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  23. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVeyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You’re really blasting away on all eight cylinders today, CUD! Keep up the good work.

    • #23
    • February 2, 2017, at 4:12 PM PST
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  24. RightAngles Member

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    I would say “I agree with you. Moreover, I believe that not just the lives of unborn black babies, but also the lives of already-born black babies, black children, black women, black men, black old people and, for that matter, my friends who are black law enforcement officers, all these lives are worthy of our protection and care. It is unacceptable to me that my black fellow-Americans and brothers and sisters in Christ are subjected to all the hazards and obstacles that the grim statistics on murder rates in black communities point to. What should we be doing about these problems?

    She’s already given her answer to that, more gun control.

    Oh yes, “reasonable” gun control. They always put “reasonable” or “common-sense” in front of it.

    • #24
    • February 2, 2017, at 4:16 PM PST
    • Like
  25. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    That is an excellent article.

    I thought so too.

    Sadly though, all the left-leaning friends of mine at work and on FB are so het up these days that even the most benign requests I make for more information are met with hostility, as if the words “do you have a link for more info on this?” are actually code for “Prove it, liar!”

    • #25
    • February 2, 2017, at 4:17 PM PST
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  26. RightAngles Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    You’re really blasting away on all eight cylinders today, CUD! …

    Yep he really gave us something to chew on.

    • #26
    • February 2, 2017, at 4:17 PM PST
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  27. Jules PA Member

    kelsurprise (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    That is an excellent article.

    I thought so too.

    Sadly though, all the left-leaning friends of mine at work and on FB are so het up these days that even the most benign requests I make for more information are met with hostility, as if the words “do you have a link for more info on this?” are actually code for “Prove it, liar!”

    Well kind of. “Prove it, liar!”

    • #27
    • February 2, 2017, at 4:27 PM PST
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  28. Stina Member

    I appreciated your post. It probably is the closest anything has come to convincing me to return to my home church. [removed for main feed]

    So here is what I have to say to you. It is part of our walk to confront heresy and false teaching in the body. To do so in love is ideal. Once you have said what you must in an effort to mainting unity, it is on her to do her part. If she shuts you out, that isn’t on you.

    • #28
    • February 2, 2017, at 4:28 PM PST
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  29. harrisventures Coolidge

    https://versaday.com/Months/01/0126.aspx

    • #29
    • February 2, 2017, at 4:38 PM PST
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  30. billy Inactive

    Matthew 18:20King James Version (KJV)

    20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    No mention of Facebook. You change someone’s heart by talking to him or her face to face.

    • #30
    • February 2, 2017, at 5:06 PM PST
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