So recently I decided to take a sight-seeing stroll through the section of the blogosphere dedicated for Christians. I’ve found some very insightful observations and stories, even amongst those who I would generally disagree with.
But I’ve found a few disturbing trends, some of which I showcased in my “Christian Debate Flowchart”, some of which have only hit my mind as I’ve been reading.
First off, and this goes for basically the entire Internet, there is an element of “But that can’t be true, because I know this very specific case that is an argument against it.” Apart from the sheer abuse of logic that goes into this, it also shows a touch of egotism on the part of the writer/speaker. They are so incredibly super important that this one specific case trumps everything else! This happens especially during controversial debates, so that any dissenters must be constantly on the defensive rather than the offensive. Mention that, say, abortion is wrong, and you suddenly have an influx of people that just happen to have dire, life-threatening tales of childbirth that were only solved by a timely abortion (which sounds far too much like that South Park Christmas special for me to take entirely seriously).
Another trend I dislike is the use of “buzz words”. These are words anyone can throw out to immediately throw their opponent off-balance, and again, put them on the defensive. A really big one (as mentioned on the flowchart) is “patriarchalism” (or “misogyny”, if you have trouble pronouncing that one). Female bloggers really like using this phrase, because despite their desire to seem like strong, independent women
who don’t need no man, it
makes them look like victims of some evil man machine, and thus incur sympathy.
This can be used for issues big and small. If you even think the phrase, “head of household”, you suddenly bear a
deep-seated contempt for women. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think that way;
you simply get informed that you “subconsciously” feel that way, because when
the Bible says “Wives be subject to your husbands” you think that’s actually
what it means. (The second half of that verse is always completely ignored in
arguments from both sides, because it makes the actual misogynists uncomfortable,
and makes it harder for females to play the victim.)
Other words have a very political flavor to them. Conservatives and liberals alike seem to prowl the Intertubez, searching for innocent bloggers to devour with their false doctrine and evil agenda to, I guess, take over the world or something. Feminists, meanwhile, are preparing their “Instant Castration Kits” for men and hatching insidious plots to do terrible things like write blogs about their opinions. To sum it up, the entire blogosphere is out to get you. And I thought the Slender Man blogs were getting complicated!
Then, of course, there is the endless debate over Scripture. Of course we are going to debate our interpretations of Scripture. Quoting Jesus is a-okay. But you mention anything said in the Old Testament, and “it doesn’t count because that’s the old covenant”. You mention anything said by the Apostles, and “well it’s not Christ’s words, so we don’t necessarily have to follow it”. And don’t even talk about any of those Councils. They were all old men anyways, so clearly didn’t understand anything about anyone else!
The thing that gets me most, though, is the mere reaction to a dissenting opinion. As Christians, we are meant to show love, and that means to everyone. However, within the blogosphere, I see fellow Christians excoriated for feeling hatred and contempt toward others, simply because they said “this is how I see it”.
This is not how we as Christians should behave. Yes, if we see false doctrine being taught, we should call the person out. But we should do it like we would to a family member, not some stranger on the Internet that clearly has it in for us. Just because some people use false doctrine to take advantage of others doesn’t mean they are all doing it with some hidden agenda. They will know we are Christians by our love, not by our behaving like the rest of the Internet, with less swear words.
XKCD shows us everyone on the Internet ever.