Tuesday, June 9, 2015
All A Twitter
I do have a Twitter account. I post and respond on it daily (except during Lent). As per usual, I debate, I clarify, I provide information, I offer whimsey and poetry, I challenge, and sometimes (okay, here I'm sometimes wrong) I agitate and provoke a little.
Lately, though, I've gotten into disputes because of what other people post.
I don't like swearing - especially f-bombs. And I don't like calling people names, especially when those names are the more colorful variety, such as a recent one calling President Obama the son of an unmarried woman. (When the strong names are factual - like calling abortionists "murderers" - then I sometimes let that slide. Heck, I've been known to do that myself!)
Attack the issues and positions, not the person is my usual rule.
If something shows up from another tweeter that's offensive, I try to comment, asking the person to consider taking it down. I know I've done that if I post something that I realize later may have crossed the line.
Sometimes the tweeters refuse, but discuss in a respectful way why they used that term or why they won't take it down. Okay, as long as it is not a frequent thing, I will usually let it go. I don't object to debate or to respectful disagreements.
Sometimes, though, they are flip, aggressive, and insulting in their responses.
I then block or unfollow them.
I have been accused of not being forgiving, or of being judgmental or oversensitive, or of cutting them off in a way Jesus wouldn't, and so on. You know what: I don't care. I don't want to see things suddenly appearing on my feed that I find offensive. Just the same way I will change the channel if something offensive comes on the television or radio; I don't want or need to have such things shoved in my face, certainly not on something as ephemeral as social media.
As for Jesus, he did drive out the money lenders. He did wither that fig tree. He did preach about casting out people who were inappropriate.
Moreover, the people who persist in posting offensive tweets are being insensitive to the feelings and sensibilities of others - and they are closing off discussion with the people they attack, and with the people who prefer more civilized Christian discourse.
Why should I feel guilty because they are being rude?
I'm willing to engage in such civil discourse, and would gladly reopen ties to people currently blocked or unfollowed due to their actions.
But they need to change their behavior, not me.
Pax et bonum