Perhaps you have heard the latest flap about “sexist hate speech” that has purportedly gone unpunished by the social media giant Facebook. Activists and advertisers are teaming up to pressure Facebook into addressing particularly pages that “celebrate violence against women.” Facebook has resoundingly responded with a cadre of new or improved guidelines to eliminate such appalling rhetoric. While some are crying foul over perceived first amendment trampling, most see the move as desirable and necessary (via CNN online article by Doug Gross, “Under pressure, Facebook targets sexist hate speech”). This is the world, but even the world gets that there are lines in speech that should not be crossed.
Of course, the Christian has a much higher standard when it comes to what speech is appropriate. Well before the line that is crossed by talk that glorifies rape and sexual violence there is the line that is set by Christian courtesy, love, meekness, holiness, and several, similar qualities. Sadly, after over four years of having a Facebook page and seeing on my news feed the comments of “friends” that are mostly Christians, I have seen some lines crossed by those who know better. Let me name some of the worst offenders:
–Chip On-The Shoulder
I am positive that you have other “friends” within your Facebook circle different from the ones I singled out to you. For ourselves, may we choose the needed, endangered qualities of restraint, forethought, kindness, thoughtfulness, and any similar trait embodied in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-24). Facebook feels anonymous, but it is not. Just because we can type it without looking someone in the face as we say it to them does not make it acceptable. Let us dedicate ourselves to using every forum of influence we possess to encourage and assist everyone under the “sound” of our “voice.”