Election season. The time when the majority of Facebook users decide to vocalize their political views, participate in endless arguments, ruffle the feathers of friends, family, and foes, and altogether go a little nuts! I know. I’ve gotten caught up in the madness myself. Many times.
But over the past few months, I’ve begun to reign in my comments. As I’ve watched the whole Hillary vs. Trump debate grow hotter and hotter, I’ve seen a lot of nastiness and un-Christian behavior emerge. I’ve also become increasingly tired of all the articles the Hillary supporters, Trump supporters, independents, and abstainers are posting. As I scroll through my feed each day, I see yet another post with nasty nicknames and unflattering photos, or another article about Hillary’s lies about emails, or Trump’s non-payment of taxes, and even though some of these accusations are probably true, I want to scream, “ENOUGH!!” No more name calling, no more accusations, no more articles, and no more unproductive arguments, because the reality is…
… no one, other than your own friends who already share your opinions, are listening.
That’s right! Only your like minded buddies are listening. Everybody else is too busy coming up with their own names to call, accusations to hurl, articles to prove their opinion right, and arguments to one up the other side. And the reality is that no one’s opinion is going to be changed by your arguments. Your words are going out into the great void, and all your talk (and mine) is nothing more than venting.
My boys were involved in government policy debate for many years, and I can’t tell you how many times I cringed at their arguments. The first year of debate for my youngest son I couldn’t even stay in the room for the entire debate because I was cringing at almost everything he said. But I am cringing even more at what I am seeing from adult Christians on Facebook. And I want to tell them, what I often told my kids after tournaments. You were rude. You spoke in an unkind manner. You need to change your tone. You need to be respectful. And you must develop arguments that are logical and well reasoned. And do not ever, EVER, use ad hominem arguments!
I know it’s difficult. Everyone is riled up over this election, possibly more than any election during our lifetime. We have strong opinions and we want to convince others we are right because so much is at stake. But the way to do that is not by being nasty or bombarding people with posts. We need to calm down. Chill. God’s going to do what he’s going to do in this election and nothing we say or do is going to change that. I think a better use of our time would be in prayer, asking God, not for our favorite candidate to win, but rather that we will be accepting of the candidate He has chosen to win, because His plans are always better than ours.
It is great to have convictions. It is great to have passion. It is great to be involved in political campaigns. And it is a blessing to have the freedom to vocalize our beliefs, but we need to use that freedom wisely, not annoyingly or rudely. Somehow the world will go on living if Hillary is elected. And we will survive, I’m sure, if Trump ends up in the White House. It’s scary, but the Lord’s got this.