If you say something regarding something that someone passionately believes in then you run the risk of upsetting them. There are people rioting and even people dying because of alleged slanderous or libelous rhetoric. There are political parties with supporters of every degree of sincerity about how they feel things ought to be. Don’t bother to mention politics or religion on any social network group. Social Justice, equality, tolerance and intolerance, free speech and a plethora of other seditious subjects are all over the media, social and mainstream. And I would like to promise that my blog will remain free of inflammatory proselytizing. Early in the Roadwalker Blog’s postings I went out and spoke my beliefs, as if to get them out of the way. So what am I doing scattering two-dollar words out and hinting at current events?
I want to confess. I have not only been in distribution of unkind words, I have reacted badly to their reception too. I am saying that I understand how sometimes just the wrong words can get someone’s knickers in a knot to the point where they want to be violent. I remember decades ago, and with my weird memory I can still hear the spoken words. I must have been in the fifth grade. I had a few friends and I was very much into Star Wars. Back then it wasn’t all that cool to like it as much as I did. While most kids listened to disco music I went home and played my John Williams soundtrack. I lived and breathed Star Wars. And one day one of the kids I hung out with discovered a way to infuriate me. They laughed at my reaction as I charged at them trying to undo what they said. They just repeated the same two words and enraged me more. The two words they spoke: “Star Bores”.
How could they? How could anyone disrespect the greatest thing that I had ever seen? Of course I took it personally. I loved Star Wars so much I had prayed it would win best picture. Saying that movie’s name incorrectly and implying that it was anything less than perfect was unimaginable. It couldn’t be allowed.
It sounds pretty trivial now. Thank God I eventually got over that.
When I worked with juvenile offenders at the boy’s placement facility I saw something similar. Boys would take their neighborhoods so seriously that they felt compelled to fight someone just for a simple insult. You could precede the name of their street with the word “boom”, (as if you were blowing it up or shooting it) and that was enough to get a death threat.
The boy's 'hoods were how they defined themselves. Now I’m getting closer to current events. Now I am running the risk of stating my opinion. I understand that there are some people who are hungry for power and will use others to feed that hunger by stoking hate and violence. I understand that there are a billion or so people who practice their religion peacefully and are brought down by a few radical splinters. And I understand that there will always be people on the outside who use crises like this to further their own agenda.
I seem to claim to be understanding quite a lot today. I don’t really. I don’t have a solution at least. In fact I just want to state my view and move on and drink my coffee. One of the things I claimed to at least have a slight understanding of is how it feels to have your beliefs attacked. And I really just wish that the attackers here, the propagators of the inflammatory communication, would just sit on it. Oh yes, we have free speech and God bless America for not stopping this at their level. But who could say they didn’t know what the reaction would be to things like this? Is this doing anybody any good besides the few power-hungry leaders of splinter factions?
Yes, I’m a rather conservative Christian who takes John 14:6 literally. But I don’t think that means that Christ Followers should be doing things that lead to stirring up hate and violence.
There, I did it. I got up on my soapbox again. I try to stay off it, really. And it’s mostly as a courtesy to others. But lately it’s just what I’m thinking about. Sometimes I want to blog just what I'm thinking about. Rest assured, I have only one other blog in mind about the presidential race and I won't post it next week and it will be somewhat flippant. Unless I start thinking about anything serious, next week will be a cheerful blog, long overdue. Now,I’ll just kick that soapbox under the deck now and finish my coffee.