As anyone involved with Facebook for any amount of time knows, the social media site has become increasingly polarized on topics of politics and religion in recent years.
Early on, Facebook seemed to be particularly proficient at allowing users to portray unrealistically rosy views of their lives – wonderful spouses/significant others, above-average children, superior pets, etc.
But beginning with the 2008 presidential campaign, things seemed to take a rather vitriolic turn. Of course, it’s relatively easy to ignore those who still want to debate whether the current president of the United States was born in a foreign nation or is a non-Christian.
What’s become increasingly prevalent, at least from what I’ve seen, are inane postings related to religion. I’m not referring to all religious posts, because I’m of the belief that the Bible or various other holy books are filled with words that can prove helpful during difficult times, even for those who may not be particularly devout.
One doesn’t have to agree with another’s post to understand that a bit of faith-based prose can be well intended.
No, what I’m referring to are the all-or-nothing chain memes being shared on Facebook, similar to that above, with such wording as “You have a friend request. Jesus (Son of God) wants to be your friend. Confirm?” (There’s a helpful picture of Jesus included, in case the name “Jesus” or the words “Son of God” in parenthesis didn’t make it clear that the individual sending the meme was talking about Jesus of New Testament fame rather than, say, a Latino baseball player.)
The implication being that if you aren’t willing to “confirm” your “friendship” with Jesus, you’ve turned your back on God and, therefore, your chance at eternal salvation.
What I find particularly distasteful is a meme which shows an image of Jesus with the words, “I will bless anyone who types amen”.
Now I’m no expert in canon law but this would appear to border on the sacrilegious or, at a minimum, the ridiculously superstitious.
I don’t pretend to know the ways of God, but I’ve got a feeling that He’s going to bless those with a good heart who do good in the world, whether or not they type “amen” on a silly social media site.
Who comes up with this foolishness? Can there really be those so devoid of reasoning skills that they believe that it betters their chances at redemption to devise such tripe?
And, just so we’re clear, I’m not interested in a debate on the merits of social media evangelism. I have my faith and you’re welcome to yours, or not, whatever the case may be. But don’t insult my intelligence by telling me that the path to Heaven can be widened by a few “likes” on Facebook.