We’ve all had or heard of that one Facebook friend who sees their Facebook friendship as so invaluable that they can bend your will. I mean the ones who write things like
“If you don’t support *insert cause here* then unfriend me”.
I’m often left sitting there with a blank expression on my face followed by an ‘okay’ and an unfriending.
Right, let me be honest. That’s only happened once. The unfriending part.
A guy I studied with, who is one of those guys who’s so cool he reminds me of the ‘cool kid’ in American college movies, is the latest to post something like that. It was a short address on how freedom of speech cannot justify speaking against same sex marriage (SSM), refugees, supporting blackface etc.
Now the latter two I get it, and this coming from a white Australian I admire him for understanding why these are issues that can strip a person’s humanity. It was the SSM bit that got me and I sighed.
The one other person I remember deleting for using the line mentioned above had the same issue with people who don’t support SSM. I wasn’t friends with her so removing her didn’t faze me but with this guy it’s different. We were friends in the loose sense of the term at one point. So when I read his post, the cynic in me sighed and started getting ready to unfriend him but the rest of me stopped.
Why? Because I still want to be friends with him. That doesn’t mean I’m going to compromise my faith though. No relationship on this earth is worth me adapting or accommodating my faith to make someone else like me more.
Then I thought about this issue of freedom of expression and let’s be honest, it’s not real freedom. There’s an understanding throughout humanity that unadulterated freedom would create pandemonium. Exhibit A: the internet.
The only true freedom I could think of is our freedom of choice. Regardless of what laws or moral codes exist we always have the freedom to choose whether or not to do something. Each day is us making choices, some for our livelihood (will I sleep now? will I eat now? etc) and other choices are those that affect people (will I kill someone? will I park across three parking bays? etc). From that stems our understanding of right and wrong together with what we’re taught.
Which makes things interesting when someone makes up this definition of right and wrong according to their own experiences and perceptions. Thus what’s right for you may not necessarily be right for me.
My ‘right and wrong’ come from God and my views will change when His do. Which leaves me looking at my friend wondering if he understands why I don’t agree with him on the issue of SSM.
There needs to be a point of understanding rather than the argument that I ‘don’t want everyone to love and be loved’. Of course I do! Have you met Jesus? He is literally the embodiment of love and I strive to be that every day. But how are you defining love? It’s not just a feeling. It’s a sacrifice. It’s the Cross. In a marriage, it’s a reflection of Christ and the Church aka His Bride. If that’s not the definition you believe in then we may not believe in the same love.
It’s a hard battle but when it comes down to it, in the face of unpopularity vs losing my place in heaven to go with the popular view, in the words of Emily Wilson “I choose the sky.”