I deleted some people from my friends list on Facebook recently. It wasn’t for any single post they made, but a combination of things. At first I was hesitant to delete them. Why is that? Surely I don’t still play the numbers game I did when Facebook first became popular. But I decided I would rather have just a handful of good people on my friends list, than 300 that I can’t relate to.
I don’t bash people for their posts. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and I try to respect that. But these people went too far for me. It started with posts degrading poor people. Apparently all they need is a job and world will be a better place. And also we have no responsibility to help others. I guess they just want the hungry, sick and homeless to disappear so they don’t have to be bothered with them. Of course these posts came right after their boasts about being Christian.
Next came the posts about immigrants. Everyone not a citizen should be sent back to their countries immediately. I certainly hope they would consider doing this in an orderly, compassionate manner, but it didn’t sound that way. The tone said they wanted everyone shackled and leaving on the next empty boat. Hopefully we can at least give them food on their journey. Truth is, I have family and best friends that are not citizens of this country, and you would have to go through me to make them leave.
It wasn’t the words or actions of these posts that got to me though. It was the lack of compassion behind them. Everyone that knows me can you tell I’m a big ol’ liberal, but more than that I care about people. Yes people. It’s very easy to not put a face with statistics and broad statements, but everyone needs to realize that actions/words like this hurt real people — old/young, male/female, adult/child. Jesus said “what you have done for the least of these, you have done for me.” Have we forgotten the core teachings of Christianity?
The posts that made my decision easier were related to the Duck Dynasty debate. Now I could care less what this guy thinks of me. I’ve never watched the show and never will. But I do take offense when my so-called friends say his rights were being violated, and don’t have a right to an opinion. And when they stated we need more people like him, it was delete time. God help us, we don’t need more people with this kind of hate and bigotry.
So here is my new standard. I come from a place of love and respect. I treat people, all people, with love and respect. And anyone that wants to call me friend must do the same. Having known me in grammar school, or worked with me 20 years ago, does not give anyone the right to call me friend on Facebook. Sharing my values and standards is a start. I’ve been around prejudice and bigotry for 49 years, and I think that’s long enough.