I am not a writer. This is rambling so proceed at risk to your grammar loving sensibilities.
I have been on Twitter today following the MH17 tragedy and a lot of posts offer prayers and support for the victims and then there are the posters who’s only purpose is to fly the atheist flag high and proud. At first I felt offended. A post rumored that there was a catholic nun on board and the poster asked if that knowledge, “tested your faith if you believe in god”. I decided to reply and asked the poster to explain, “how is this a test of faith? Terrorist killed the victims,not god.” Now I don’t think she will respond because most people have the mentality that when they offend a person, it doesn’t matter if they engage them in actual dialogue just as long as they get them pissed off enough to take the bait. I however, don’t think I took the bait more I invited this person to justify her statement with more than just cliches or tropes. As I was replying it dawned on me that maybe all the “atheists” are not what they want those of us with faith to think they are.
Twitter, FB, Blogs, etc. are all geared towards one end-followers. Everyone thinks they have to acquire them using any tactic necessary and instead of being creative, thoughtful, unique and innovative they go for the tired and played out arguments that don’t require their followers to actually put in some time in thought before they reflexively agree. Twitter is one small second after another. A post is competing with a million other posts and if you want clicks and retweets you have to put something up that can be quickly consumed and mindlessly agreed with before a reader flits to another post and forgets all about what they just read.
Just now, the same poster tried to engage me in the sad argument about “who created the terrorist?” I answered that foreign policy did and thanked her for inspiring me. But back to where I was headed.
I think most Twitter bloggers are not atheists. I believe they are hungry to feel important and have used religion to get attention. Its a shame. This girl is very pretty, probably has tons of friends and men probably giver her loads of attention but in a world that allows us to reach out to millions at a time, the need to feel that you have made even a small impact on strangers is seductive. Used to be that most of us were ok in our own social circles and world wide fame was best left to celebrities and held little interest to common folk but now anyone can turn a small ripple into a giant wave so they all want to try. Look, I don’t care how many or if any people see this blog. I’m writing for myself and catholics who care to read this but I know I’m the exception. I can however understand what its like to be a young person with an opportunity to see,”how much what I say matters to more people than me.” Now being YOU and an honest version of yourself would be too risky so most people prop up a facade to protect themselves from being negatively effected by the attention they get. In this case a beautiful woman who might feel that she needs to be validated by strangers online will create a “self” online who will do and say whatever the current trend says she should. All the while this hard core atheist might actually be a quiet, unassuming girl who loves god but knows that to get her needs for validation from others she meets online met she must pretend to be something shes not. Its harmless in a way. No one has to know your name, you can try on different points of view, exercise free speech, rebel against your parents values and do it all while maintaining who you really are in the real world. Its not technically right to manipulate others but the bulk of being manipulated is in personal perception so its only harmful if you allow it to be. I won’t and I don’t.
I know that maybe what I’ve speculated about this Twitter user may not be true. She may be an atheist. But even if everyone were exactly what the claimed to be on social media, would they tell you? And if you believed it then wouldn’t that take all the fun out of the game of viewing, retweeting, and following anyone? Actually, if any of this were actually ourselves online why would it matter what others think in the first place?
God Bless Freedom Of Speech And God Bless The Internet.