In my political soup post the other day I included a link at the bottom to a Time article by Joel Stein called, “How Trolls are Ruining the Internet.” It’s a good read and he mentions all my favorite subjects, free speech, bullying, the red pills, culture, and the alt right.
Many bloggers have been writing about these things as well and the word has spread and now some mainstream writers are having a look at it all. I’m grateful and I find this encouraging, an answer to prayer indeed, because I’ve been blogging about the red pills, internet abuse, and the alt right for a few years now.
I really am an absolutist when it comes to free speech, free thought, BUT, just because you can say it, doesn’t mean you SHOULD say it. I’m a mom, all it takes to kick my maternal instincts into overdrive is watching a bunch of haters attacking a young teen ager on the internet, ugly words, psychological abuse, bullying. Do they know who they are actually harassing? Not always, no, but sometimes people just don’t care. Hatred is ugly to bear witness to.
I don’t have a solution in a secular sense, a policy or a law. I love the freedom of the internet. There’s two sides to every issue, I’ve been labeled a troll and a hater myself. I don’t think you can regulate behavior on the internet, it’s a heart issue, not a legal issue.
However, when it comes to Christians promoting hatred or behaving horribly all bets are off. I have no problem calling that out, wrong, bad, not okay. We are Jesus Christ’s ambassadors in what is often hostile territory and we are called to represent Him to the best of our ability. Heated, sharp words are one thing, everyone looses their temper, but claiming His name out of one side of our mouth, while promoting hatred and abuse out of the other, uh,uh, not okay. We will be held accountable for our words, every one of them, even those said on the internet. If you want biblical proof of that, try reading the instruction manual, it explains everything.
I speak mostly of people like Vox Day and Dalrock, and some of those who comment at those sites. There are many others, too. There are Christians on facebook too, who do not consider their words and the impact they can have on people. When is it okay to say something like, “God thinks you’re human trash?” How about never. Not ever.
We need Christians on the internet to lead the way, to set the tone, and to stand up when they see something ugly being done. I encounter people doing just that all the time and they are like an oasis in a cesspool, set apart, different, representatives of a better way. Encountering them is like a gulp of fresh air or a drink of cool water.
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” -James 3: 9-12