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Thursday, February 5,2015

Love Wins

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  

I recently stopped following a friend’s Facebook posts. It’s so disconcerting to think you know someone, have fun with them in social situations, and then read their Facebook posts and think, who is this person? Life is too short to allow someone else’s myopic vision of the world to interfere with my blood pressure. But my decision to "unfollow" felt like a cop out - a sort of ‘if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem’ scenario. I resist the urge to confront him because, despite the public arena that is Facebook, I feel like it’s “his” page so he has the right to say whatever he wants and I have the right not to read it. It’s a new kind of social dilemma. If we were having a conversation I would offer my thoughts on things, but posts on Facebook are not really an invitation for discussion. I find that people who post political or religious views are not looking for dissenters. Just cheerleaders. It got me thinking about my role in the bigger picture.

Allow me a brief synopsis to add perspective as to why these particular posts were so bothersome. The person is an active religious leader and his recent comments attacked Islam with vitriol unbecoming of anyone, much less a self-proclaimed disciple of Jesus. The first post asserted that there is only one religion in the history of the world that has, for centuries, made any efforts to advance women and children. It was really difficult to keep up with all of the thoughts screaming in my head when I read that. Where would I start? The patriarchy that has created this need to begin with? Primogeniture? The Salem witch trials? But it didn’t end there. A second post the same day referenced an article about how Kenya is dealing with Islamic extremists in their country. Bottom line, Islamic extremists killed a busload of Christians in retribution for an earlier offense against them, and now Kenya is going to implement a 4:1 ratio retribution killing response. Somehow he saw this as justified. Aren’t we all taught in kindergarten that two wrongs don’t make a right? These myopic hypocrisies are so unsettling it seems wrong to keep quiet. So again I ask myself, What is my role? What can I do to bring light where there is so much darkness?

I return to the only thing I’ve ever known for sure: Love. In his book, Love Wins, Rob Bell says, “Love demands freedom. It always has, and it always will. We are free to resist, reject, and rebel against God’s ways for us. We can have all the Hell we want.” For those who can choose love now we can have Heaven on Earth. For those who cannot, they can ‘have all the Hell they want.’ I cannot make this person see what he doesn’t want to see. It is futile for me to get hung up on the notion that this spiritual leader, who in his heart of hearts believes he IS bringing love and light, cannot see that selectively loving others is not enough. All I can do is love. Love him, love me, love everyone.

 

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