The joy of Facebook politics and religion is inspiring me today!
The joy of FB is the way a crazy, hard, complex amalgamations of ethics, faith in God, political policy and more are converted into something so simplistic that a cute meme can somehow clear it up for everyone.
I promise that I am not picking on anyone here, except maybe one or two atheist friends who I comment on later… but just the mass inundation on my home section of refugee memes from both sides of the conversation.
How about this: when I let someone into my home it is a complex decision involving my sense of hospitality, availability, resources, ethics, faith, wisdom, intelligence (I mean that in the military sense as well as the IQ sense) and so much more!
Some people I let into my house. Some people I don’t. Some people I give a key.
Those aren’t because I am a bad Christian (thanks, atheist friends for telling me in memes what makes for a bad or good Christian – try to remember that you think Christians are fools, deluded or worse, so trying to use your meme logic will fail on us in any case)… but because allowing someone into my house is a complex decision.
What will actually serve that person best? Helping often creates long term problems for people… How will they interpret my helping them? To what degree should I help? Am I creating yet another dependent culture on me? (ok, that one is admittedly a culture question – not just about someone coming into my house) Also, what will serve my family best?
In real life, there are often competing goals that sometimes don’t play well together.
Are you desperate and in need? That will certainly play a role in me letting you in. Of course, especially as a Christian, but just as a believer in truly objective right and wrong, I hate to see any human suffer.
I do imagine myself like the man to the right. If those are his children, I can fathom doing whatever it took to find safety for them. Is there a way to offer them that within this complex problem? I hope so. I also know there there are thousands of dads like that all over the world not getting the attention he is. How many can be helped? One more than now, is all I can think of. I know that Compassion International, for example, has one more child you can help right now, if you are more than just about posting memes about how governments should help and are willing to do something with your own money right now.
(back to the refugees, I know there are Christians by the droves already trying to help, as they are refugees all over the world already… this isn’t a new problem… and since we are part of a Body, I am a part of that. I am hoping they know what they are doing to help these people in ways that help.
Are my resources limited? That will play a role too. How long can I help before I have doomed you and everyone I let into the house?
Is there someone out there that I know wants to kill me and has been known to disguise themselves as you? Not your fault, but it may mean more hesitation on my part to let you in.
I am not trying to relate directly letting someone into my home to letting certain refugees into the US or not… in fact, my point is that making that call must be at least hundreds of times more complex than me and my house.
Which is hundreds of times too complex to be simplified in a meme. I do not think we do anyone justice by all racing to post something this week and then move on to the meme flood of the week next week.
I look forward to the day when people can remember that life is actually complex and that rarely is it valuable to summarize your opponents’ views into something that can be posted in a little picture with some words on it.
Or at least, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are making a compelling point that way.