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. Pugshot Inactive
    Pugshot
    @Pugshot

    @ulysses768

    Pugshot (View Comment):
    I guess if I wanted to engage her – one Christian to another – I would ask myself how Christ himself would engage with the woman. He would not call her a hypocrite and argue with her; I believe he would approach her in love and try to reason with her, but she would have to want the discussion.

    @ulysses768
    I agree with the idea that this is the way to approach her in the spirit of Christian charity, but I don’t recall any scripture in which Christ reasons with people. I would define his approach more as deliberately confrontational.

    I don’t disagree with your assessment. I guess where I differ is that Christ could deliberately confront people because He is, after all, God. I have no such pretensions.  I believe things, but I have to – in humility – admit that I don’t know everything (certainly with respect to mundane things like politics). Thus, I think that my discussion with someone from a different political viewpoint should not be a confrontation. So, I guess what I’m suggesting is that any discussion about political disagreements should be conducted in a civil and non-confrontational manner, and that I think Christ would also not argue, but would discuss with respect to such matters. [The one time I can think of Christ being involved in an aggressive confrontation was when he drove the moneychangers from the temple – but there he wasn’t trying to discuss anything.]

    • #61
  2. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    The straw that broke the camel’s back was when a graduate student–a smart and very well educated human being –posted that it was fine to “shame” people with different political opinions in public as long as you don’t get violent.

    This graduate student basks in the knowledge that in our enlightened times, shaming is properly reserved for the Left’s political enemies. This is totally unlike the savage era depicted in The Scarlet Letter, when shaming was wickedly applied to sexual conduct.

    This is not, however, a very well educated outlook, or at least not well educated in the liberal intellectual tradition. It is is, however, well indoctrinated.

    • #62
  3. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    Ulysses768 (View Comment):
    In her mind, she is not addressing her friends and neighbors, but some evil faceless monster that she perceives in her own fear. She is simply blind to the extent of her insults towards half of the people around her. As others here have posted, she would not say such things in a personal conversation.

    This is why I am not on Facebook.  Facebook is evil.

    • #63
  4. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):
    The only addition I’ll make to all these thoughtful, compassionate suggestions is this: Go back to the common connection you and your friend share – you both experienced the miracle of welcoming a child into your families within a month of each other. That eclipses everything…especially for your friend as a first-time mother. Consider asking her what her hopes are for her child’s future. I predict you will share the same hopes. Start there – on a positive, forward-looking common ground. Then – only if the tenor the the exchanges warrants it – you can move to a more balanced discussion of issues. For instance, if she says “I want my child to receive the best education possible” you will (surely) agree and then simply ask how she thinks that can best be achieved for both your children. And so it goes.

    These are, indeed, emotional times for so many. But I will always believe we share far more as children of God than what threatens to divide us. All the best.

    I do that often. And when she is positive, I return the positivity. She’s black, so has been posting daily for Black History Month, and the articles are fascinating and I’ve said so. We have common connections and right now I focus on those.

    • #64
  5. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    This is not, however, a very well educated outlook, or at least not well educated in the liberal intellectual tradition. It is is, however, well indoctrinated.

    As we attended some classes together, I know this is true.  But it made me profoundly sad for she was neither stupid nor evil at heart.  I realized through her final postings that I no longer wanted to know what she thought, and that bothered me more than her particular brand of poison… my own hardening of heart.  It bothered me very much.

    • #65
  6. I. M. Fine Coolidge
    I. M. Fine
    @IMFine

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):
    Go back to the common connection you and your friend share – you both experienced the miracle of welcoming a child into your families within a month of each other. That eclipses everything…especially for your friend as a first-time mother. Consider asking her what her hopes are for her child’s future. I predict you will share the same hopes. Start there – on a positive, forward-looking common ground.

    I do that often. And when she is positive, I return the positivity. She’s black, so has been posting daily for Black History Month, and the articles are fascinating and I’ve said so. We have common connections and right now I focus on those.

    That’s a wonderful approach; I try to do that with my friends who are in a different place politically as well. Return positive for positive. Looking back (at history) and at the future – rather than only the contentious present – is also a good way to keep the conversation productive.  It will help keep the focus on “we” (or “them” – your new children!) which will always engender a better discussion than one based on “I.” God bless you for being such a caring friend.

    • #66
  7. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):
    Go back to the common connection you and your friend share – you both experienced the miracle of welcoming a child into your families within a month of each other. That eclipses everything…especially for your friend as a first-time mother. Consider asking her what her hopes are for her child’s future. I predict you will share the same hopes. Start there – on a positive, forward-looking common ground.

    I do that often. And when she is positive, I return the positivity. She’s black, so has been posting daily for Black History Month, and the articles are fascinating and I’ve said so. We have common connections and right now I focus on those.

    That’s a wonderful approach; I try to do that with my friends who are in a different place politically as well. Return positive for positive. Looking back (at history) and at the future – rather than only the contentious present – is also a good way to keep the conversation productive. It will help keep the focus on “we” (or “them” – your new children!) which will always engender a better discussion than one based on “I.” God bless you for being such a caring friend.

    I’m not all that great. I’m just me.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the last three decades in blue states. I just don’t push away friends based on politics.

    • #67
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I know this probably isn’t helpful after all the above wisdom, but it’s the first thing that came to mind with the repeated use of “hypocrisy.”

     

    • #68
  9. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I know this probably isn’t helpful after all the above wisdom, but it’s the first thing that came to mind with the repeated use of “hypocrisy.”

    That was actually one of my potential responses.

    • #69
  10. I. M. Fine Coolidge
    I. M. Fine
    @IMFine

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):
    Go back to the common connection you and your friend share –

    I do that often. And when she is positive, I return the positivity. She’s black, so has been posting daily for Black History Month, and the articles are fascinating and I’ve said so. We have common connections and right now I focus on those.

    That’s a wonderful approach; I try to do that with my friends who are in a different place politically as well. Return positive for positive. Looking back (at history) and at the future – rather than only the contentious present – is also a good way to keep the conversation productive. It will help keep the focus on “we” (or “them” – your new children!) which will always engender a better discussion than one based on “I.” God bless you for being such a caring friend.

    I’m not all that great. I’m just me.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the last three decades in blue states. I just don’t push away friends based on politics.

    I hear you; I’ve spent four decades in red states – but those same decades have been spent in higher ed. It has made for a wild ride at times; and I for sure am not always successful at bridging the divides. But friendships supersede everything. They just do.

    • #70
  11. Ulysses768 Inactive
    Ulysses768
    @Ulysses768

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the last three decades in blue states. I just don’t push away friends based on politics.

    What a luxury and a curse that would be!  On the very few occasions I have been surrounded by conservatives, I often argue the opposite side of issues.  I’m not even sure why I do it half the time.  I hope the entire basis for my political philosophy isn’t preventing an atmosphere of agreement. :-)

    • #71
  12. Carol Member
    Carol
    @

    “do yourself and your country a favor and educate yourself.” So I was royally irritated by this as reflective of the arrogant excessive self regard of liberals.

    Then I read this, which is just a flat out lie “If you believe life begins at conception, but support defunding the country’s number one source of prenatal care, Planned Parenthood, that is hypocrisy.” And I stopped reading.

    • #72
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Carol (View Comment):
    “do yourself and your country a favor and educate yourself.” So I was royally irritated by this as reflective of the arrogant excessive self regard of liberals.

    Yeah, that’s pretty rich. Mostly liberals I know are highly intelligent, but are either maleducated (indoctrinated), misinformed, or uninformed. And they’re nearly all susceptible to what Thomas Sowell calls “stage-1 thinking.”

    What our universities are teaching is “critical theory” not “critical thinking.” Until recently, the exception has been the hard sciences and engineering, but even those departments have been tainted. I guess the Left saw it could get away with the junk science behind AGW and decided to go for the whole shebang.

    I might start by asking, “How would you save lives (which happen to be black) in Chicago?” When she answers “stricter gun control,” you come back with, “That’s already been tried. Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country.”

    She really won’t have an answer for you, because what’s needed in Chicago is a return to conservative values. Of course, you probably can’t easily answer how to fix Chicago either, as you wouldn’t try to use government to do it. But, this is an exercise in humility which is sorely needed on the Left. Passing laws and growing government doesn’t fix everything. You don’t need to explain how it makes everything worse until later…

    • #73
  14. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    I tried for a long time just to ignore this kind of FB comment.  Somewhere around the week before inauguration, I had to unfollow a lot of people.  Attempting to change their minds never really occurred to me – that’s a fool’s errand.  But I thought I could ignore the political stuff, and just read anything real that they happened to post.  I was wrong.  The daily tsunami of hate and warped thinking just became unbearable.

    I used to keep up with friends for many years before there was a FB, and I can do it now.  I think that’s the only way.

    • #74
  15. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

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

    Charges of hypocrisy are so common on the left I often think they don’t understand what hypocrisy is. This is so ridiculous. Perhaps point out to your friend that Egypt was a colony of the Roman empire so they were going from one colony to another.

    • #75
  16. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    I have only told one other person this story, but here I am, telling it to who-knows-how-many perfect strangers.

    Whether he was a friend or relative, it doesn’t matter. Because of him, I was convinced the Left and Right could somehow get along, as long as politics were not discussed. I believe he felt the same way, but it was never discussed.

    He lived in a different city, so one night we were texting about a football game going badly, and out of nowhere he talked about what a bunch of racists were in this school, this school district, this city, and the city’s police. Now, that’s a lot of people to call racist, and it shocked me that he had suddenly gone far-left on me. Then I realized he was talking about what happened to Clock-Kid. I am sure there is nobody on this site who doesn’t know about Clock-Kid.

    I happened to have studied that case from the moment it happened, nearly. Before the police stopped talking. So, knowing what I know (heck, just watch the 20-second clock kid video) I told him the truth about that hoax.

    It was about 20 minutes later that he finally replied. I was a racist, full of hate for people “not like me” and he no longer considers me a friend and is deleting me from his phone and don’t try to contact him again. I waited a few days to see if he would change his mind, but however long ago that was, he has never contacted me.

    Moral of my story: Give it up, you will never change their minds, Mr. Douglas.

    • #76
  17. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    She sounds like my sister. If she is, discussing anything remotely political will lead to tantrums. I just give her the right to be wrong. There’s a million other things to talk about.

    • #77
  18. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    JcTPatriot (View Comment): … Then I realized he was talking about what happened to Clock-Kid. I am sure there is nobody on this site who doesn’t know about Clock-Kid.I happened to have studied that case from the moment it happened, nearly. Before the police stopped talking. So, knowing what I know (heck, just watch the 20-second clock kid video) I told him the truth about that hoax.

    It was about 20 minutes later that he finally replied. I was a racist, full of hate for people “not like me” and he no longer considers me a friend and is deleting me from his phone and don’t try to contact him again. I waited a few days to see if he would change his mind, but however long ago that was, he has never contacted me.

    Moral of my story: Give it up, you will never change their minds, Mr. Douglas.

    OMG Clock kid! When I still had my personal Facebook page, a friend who up till then I thought was normal posted a meme that said “I Stand With Clock Boy” or something. I sent her a private message to tell her she might want to take it down, since the whole thing had been shown to be a scam, and that his dad was a known anti-American Islamist. She never replied or took the stupid meme down. Our friendship didn’t end or anything, but I now think she’s an idiot.

    • #78
  19. profdlp Inactive
    profdlp
    @profdlp

    I have nieces, nephews, etc., who tell me I should be on FB because it allows me to keep in touch with people I like.

    However, some of the people I like would not seem nearly as likeable if I had to deal with them every day.  Better a once-in-a-while friendship with them than no friendship at all.

    As for Jesus being a refugee, well, perhaps, but so was Jesse James.  It all depends on what you are running from.

    • #79
  20. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    What I wrote to an old, liberal, (black) friend after a long and frustrating conversation in which she asks me whether I’ve read Baldwin (yes) and how many Black friends do I have (84 and 1/2) and whether I consider myself to be a beneficiary of White Supremacy. Despite her degrees from Ivy League universities, she declares herself to be “exhausted” by battling racism and sexism. She loves Charles Blow, Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. She thinks Clarence Thomas is nuts and Thomas Sowell has “identity issues.” She thinks I am a white supremacist, though she does me the honor of considering me an unconscious white supremacist rather than the white-sheet-and-hood kind.

    “Friend, I am not a right-winger, and certainly not a member of the Alt-Right or a white supremacist. I am a classical liberal with some libertarian thrown in for luck. I am, however, deeply disappointed in the liberals and progressives in America and  in my life.

    Why do I like black conservatives—Sowell, Riley, McWhorter, Steele, even Juan Williams? Because they simply make better arguments. They feel strongly about their issues, but they don’t expect me to mistake strength of feeling for a strong point. They don’t flounce out of actual or metaphorical rooms, they don’t call me a racist,  they offer logic, principles, evidence for their views. And black conservatives are willing to believe—without litmus tests  —  that I truly care about poor black human beings.  Maybe because they do?

    The behavior of progressives and liberals—their Facebook-Squawk Ideological onanism, Victimized-Vagina-Hat histrionics and  studied refusal to step out of the echo chamber and talk seriously and honorably with real people —-are what handed  the presidency to Trump. Y’all are now providing him with job security.

    Apart from the political stupidity of this, it is morally lazy to say “why should I talk to those [white, black, conservative] people?” The answer for you as a Christian is simple: because that’s what Jesus did. When did anyone ever say that following Christ  was easy? Or painless? Or even, by the standards of the world, worth the effort? Did Jesus let the “marginalized” off the hook? (Hint: Stand up, pick up your pallet and walk.)

    Friend, since you obviously consider that you are less privileged and powerful than I am—that I occupy some other, elevated American plane as a result of my white skin—there’s not much point in having this conversation. You have my sympathy, since that’s what you seem to want,  for your misfortune. I’ll even pity downtrodden Toni Morrison, and weep for the pathos of poor Charles Blow. But  I’ll save my arguments for those, whether black or white, who know themselves to be my equals (or even, dare I say it, my superiors?) in wit and wisdom.”

    I ended up with snark, in other words.

    • #80
  21. agreen Inactive
    agreen
    @agreen

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    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.

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

    I agree and recommend consider engaging politely. The left would like to change our country along the lines of its own political philosophy and analysis of the situation. But what of other political philosophies and analyses? I think we ought to articulate our approach within the marketplace of ideas, and let the chips fall where they lay. While I can fault the left for not being interested in other political perspectives, I can’t fault them for our reluctance to articulate the alternative.

    A consequence of not challenging another person’s point of view is that they may think they have won the argument or that you agree. The left’s perspective dominates the airwaves and has yielded a level of groupthink that I don’t think will dissipate unless alternatives are articulated. There is no guarantee that your point of view will prevail and there is always the risk of harming your relationship with others. But I think that those of us with different perspectives have less and less to lose.

     

    • #81
  22. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    It was about 20 minutes later that he finally replied. I was a racist, full of hate for people “not like me” and he no longer considers me a friend and is deleting me from his phone and don’t try to contact him again. I waited a few days to see if he would change his mind, but however long ago that was, he has never contacted me.

    He was not a good person.  I know plenty of people who might have argued with me about clock boy specifically, but they would never have elevated a conversation to this level.  That’s just… A shame.

    • #82
  23. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    She never replied or took the stupid meme down. Our friendship didn’t end or anything, but I now think she’s an idiot.

    That’s another reason that I stopped having a personal facebook page.  I was seriously losing respect for people.  I mean… I didn’t want to know that’s what they really thought.

    • #83
  24. Christie121 Member
    Christie121
    @Christie121

    Great post. Well said. This is something I think about often. I have family and friends, some of whom are not Christian, posting that a true Christian doesn’t hold my beliefs, etc. It would be easy to point out their hysterical overreactions, their lack of understanding of basic fundamentals of our faith, the apparent lack of understanding of the history or our country or simple facts of life. But I never do. To what end? Sometimes I worry it’s a lack of courage on my part–an avoidance of confrontation. How are we to change minds if we don’t speak up and let the other side hear a reasoned argument for conservatism? Yet, what good does it do for my witness or our relationship if I alienate them over something political?

    • #84
  25. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Passing laws and growing government doesn’t fix everything anything.

    FIFY

    • #85
  26. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    Christie121 (View Comment):
    Great post. Well said. This is something I think about often. I have family and friends, some of whom are not Christian, posting that a true Christian doesn’t hold my beliefs, etc. It would be easy to point out their hysterical overreactions, their lack of understanding of basic fundamentals of our faith, the apparent lack of understanding of the history or our country or simple facts of life. But I never do. To what end? Sometimes I worry it’s a lack of courage on my part–an avoidance of confrontation. How are we to change minds if we don’t speak up and let the other side hear a reasoned argument for conservatism? Yet, what good does it do for my witness or our relationship if I alienate them over something political?

    If I was still on Facebook, and IF I had the self-discipline to avoid engaging every idiotic thing my family and friends post, I would probably post something periodically to my page saying “I value my friends, so if I don’t respond to every political screed you post, please don’t assume my silence indicates agreement.  You should, however, assume that if I disagree with you I value our friendship much more than any pleasure I would get from correcting you.  You can also assume that I am not so certain of my own rightness to jeopardize our friendship over politics.  God bless.”

    • #86
  27. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Christie121 (View Comment):
    I have family and friends, some of whom are not Christian, posting that a true Christian doesn’t hold my beliefs, etc.

    Why do white non-Christians hate Christians so much? China is chock-a-block with agnostics and atheists on every corner. But those that aren’t members of the CPA don’t seem to care much about Christians at all.

    I don’t seem to see alot of hatred among Latinos or blacks or recent immigrants from Africa either.

    • #87
  28. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    What I wrote to an old, liberal, (black) friend after a long and frustrating conversation in which she asks me whether I’ve read Baldwin (yes) and how many Black friends do I have (84 and 1/2) and whether I consider myself to be a beneficiary of White Supremacy. Despite her degrees from Ivy League universities, she declares herself to be “exhausted” by battling racism and sexism. She loves Charles Blow, Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. She thinks Clarence Thomas is nuts and Thomas Sowell has “identity issues.” She thinks I am a white supremacist, though she does me the honor of considering me an unconscious white supremacist rather than the white-sheet-and-hood kind.

    [Snipped because I’m cheap, but the whole thing is brilliant.]

    Friend, since you obviously consider that you are less privileged and powerful than I am—that I occupy some other, elevated American plane as a result of my white skin—there’s not much point in having this conversation. You have my sympathy, since that’s what you seem to want, for your misfortune. I’ll even pity downtrodden Toni Morrison, and weep for the pathos of poor Charles Blow. But I’ll save my arguments for those, whether black or white, who know themselves to be my equals (or even, dare I say it, my superiors?) in wit and wisdom.”

    So, down to 84?

    • #88
  29. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    I’m a little late coming to this.

    If I follow you correctly, your main concern isn’t her political opinions per se, but that you’re concerned about what her political bitterness is doing to her — to her relationships, maybe even to her faith in God.

    Maybe that concern is really what she needs to see (of course very carefully, because you absolutely don’t want to come across as condescending). Maybe what she really needs to see is sincerity, and it’s hard to convey that on FB, though I don’t know if you know her well enough to have a face-to-face conversation, but if so perhaps what would be most helpful is to say something like “I know it really, really concerns you that so many Christians support the president on some of these issues — I know it strikes you as hypocritical and wrong. Would you be willing to talk about it a little? I’m not asking you to agree with me, just to see how a committed Christian can sincerely believe these things. Maybe we can find some common ground, and maybe we can respect each other a little more.”

    If she’s open to some discussion, I’d go for underlying issuses more than contemporary talking points: abortion, not Planned Parenthood, for instance. I wouldn’t try to logically convince her so much as to try to reach her heart, just a little.

    • #89
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I don’t know if this applies to the person quoted in the OP but I need to post it somewhere and don’t feel like writing a separate article for it.  So here it is.

    • #90
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