… I got some constructive and very interesting feedback on my Hate Mail post.
My favorite was this tweet.
— Franciscan Poet (@FranciscanPoet) July 6, 2014
I recommended when we encounter anger and hatred online we should pray – pray for the person lashing out and pray for the anger in our own lives.
Franciscan Poet suggests we also stop and take a profound look at our words and reexamine them, especially if the predominant reaction they elicit is negative and hostile.
I am guilty of combativeness. My patience is short with willful and deliberate ignorance and I can express this exasperation with biting sarcasm. It’s a fault I constantly work to correct and have been failing at lately.
But yes, if the majority of folks are reacting poorly to something I said or wrote I’m not being persecuted. I’m probably just being an asshat and apologies are in order.
Of course we should always be unwavering while speaking the truth and never compromise our faith, but we should also be careful to not intentionally rile up people just to advance our own cause. We should all take responsibility for our words and our part in the discussion, as Franciscan Poet rightly suggests.
If you get a chance, check out Leah Libresco’s post on Getting Suckered Punch.
Because we’re saying bad things about the other team, it feels like we must be advancing our own side…
Just getting drawn into a sterile argument (as dogpiles and flamewars tend to be) is shifting from God’s arena to the crude arms and cramped ground of the prince of this world. The only people who hear us in our own echo chamber are us, the only people who will learn or be changed by the experience are us. So, what serves us better?
Now here’s a fluffy kitten.