Social media, religion, and politics–otherwise known as oil, vinegar, and water. These three things do not mix well.
Rarely do people attempt to combine the last three, but the first three have become common acquaintances. I typically cannot access any of my social media networks without encountering some shared story or article relating to this or that religious or political issue.
Of course, these issues need to be discussed, but social media just typically does not provide the greatest medium for discussion on these important topics. Too often, those conversations devolve into personal attacks, and should they somehow rise above such skirmishes, I often find that, in reading through various online exchanges that people constantly talk past one another.
Whether such ignorance is intentional or not, we need to try and rise above the confusion, step into the other person’s shoes, and grasp why he or she thinks the way that he or she does. America’s leaders, political and otherwise, seem to constantly allow themselves to become entangled in this shallow rhetoric and, ultimately, neither engage the ideas nor the people who hold them.
One recent example can be readily observed in the recent scandal with Planned Parenthood. The language used between those who support and the institution and those who oppose it has been sharply divisive.
As a Christian, I do consider this issue to be an extraordinarily important one for our nation. Yet, our culture generates divisions and just keeps dividing, dividing, dividing. Are pro-lifers really extremists who want to destroy women and oppose the poor receiving adequate healthcare? Of course not. There has been a lot of passion surrounding the abortion issue.
If you happen to be reading this and call yourself pro-choice, have you tried to understand that the passion stems from a concern that abortion is murder? If you’re reading this from a pro-life standpoint, have you ever considered the social ramifications for women in untimely pregnancies?
We all could help serve our communities, our nation, and our world a little better if we would all be just a little more willing to step outside of our boxes and lay hold of the issues as our “opponents” perceive them. Then, we might communicate in terms that help us understand one another. Without such an effort, we will just keep dividing, dividing, dividing.