On the atheism sub-Reddit today, I was told what would happen to me on there:
All that’s going to happen is that we’re going to pick apart your arguments and justifications and remind you that you’re not even close to being a rational individual.
The words were in response to me posting this: Dear Atheists: God Is Glad You Don’t Believe In Him
That got me thinking of, of all things, Donald Trump.
Protests over Donald Trump’s election are continuing.
I am shocked.
People riot because of the possibility of a wall being built. And yet those same people, in their interactions with others, online or in real life, build walls of their own.
I found that criticisms of my post were, often, justified.
I was told more than once that the tone of my post was condescending. While it wasn’t my intent to be condescending, I can see why people thought that, and I’m kicking myself for not being more thorough in making sure my words were ready to be seen by many people.
The impression that I got from the comment I posted above was:
We will not strive to find common ground with you. We consider you to be our enemy, and we will defend ourselves from you.
That might not be what the person intended to say but, like how my post came across as condescending to some, that’s how this person’s comment came across to me.
I ran a gamut of feelings:
Shock. Anger. Regret. Sadness. Acceptance. Then happiness.
Happiness because, re-reading that comment after taking some time away from my computer, I imagined that I was J. Jonah Jameson:
What I’m trying to say with this post is:
How can we fight to stop a physical wall from being built, but eagerly build a mental wall?
I try and treat everyone I talk to online with respect and love — treat them the same way I would try to if they were standing right in front of me.
That’s the reason for my blog’s subtitle: Trying To Be A Light In Dark Places (Matthew 5:14 — 16)
The internet has a deserved reputation for being ruthless…
…and I want my blog to be a place where people don’t have to worry about that: A place where people can just relax.
I hate walls.
Walls should only exist to keep out Titans and the Fire Nation.
As a Catholic, I am called to break down walls wherever I find them:
Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on Earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is “the tranquility of order.” Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.
~Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2304
Which is why the Us vs. Them, wall-building tribalism of the internet can make me feel like Squidward: