I enjoy politics a lot, and I enjoy social media. But I’m growing increasingly tired of the combination of the two — particularly the way comment on the issues of the day so quickly devolves to personal attacks and mockery.
The latest case in point is the memes and some linked-to articles about Kim Davis, the Kentucky County clerk who who is refusing to perform marriages (for anyone) because of her opposition to gay marriage. She’s clearly on the wrong side of the law, which the courts will deal with in due time, and it’s fine to say that. If I were in her position, I would not be taking the same action. (And if she were asking for my advice, I’d suggest she resign.)
But do we really need to be personally attacking her?
Three examples I’ve seen just today:
1. Attacking her for being a hypocrite because of her multiple marriages. The fact is that she has been an active Christian for only four years — so she shouldn’t be held to standards she violated before then.
2. Alleging that she’s doing what she’s doing because she wants fame and/or money. There’s no evidence of that.
3. Making fun of her hair. Really? In her religious tradition, women don’t cut their hair. Making fun of it is in the same league as ridiculing Jewish men for wearing yarmulkes or Muslim women for wearing headscarves. Definitely not cool.
All of us, including people who do things we disagree with, are God’s children and should be treated as such — even when we’re discussing politics. (It’s hard sometimes, especially with people like Donald Trump.) We can disagree with others, even strongly, without mocking them. At least that’s what the Golden Rule tells me.
Photo by Marc-Anthony Macon/CC BY 2.0