At times we here at Millennial Star compose posts or publish guest posts that provoke firestorms of controversy.
The most exceptional post of this sort was published during the attempt by some to coerce the Church to ordain women. I think the title was “OW: Thanks for Nothing!” For myself, I was disappointed to learn that the author was using a pseudonym, unwilling to put their own name to the biting commentary they asked us to publish.
Others are willing to put their name to biting commentary. If you don’t know which posts might fit into that category, I’m not going to bother pointing them out. The commentary tends to devolve to “How could you be so wrong!?!” versus “I/He/She was obviously right!!!”
Social media and the internet provide us an unprecedented opportunity to advocate for our particular worldview. As we become enveloped in our micro-universe, we can lose track of the fact that reasonable people might disagree with us. As we drift further and further into our isolation from respectful dialogue, we begin to denigrate those who are so ignorant and hurtful as to not think like we do.
There is no ideology whose adherents are immune from falling into this sort of bubble universe.
It is easy for the conservative Christian to presume that all advocacy for LGBTQIA individuals is hateful and destructive.
Similarly, it is easy for the non-heteronormal aka non-cis-gender individual to presume that all conservative religionists are similarly hateful and destructive.
Whatever our point of reference, it can become tempting to do whatever it might take to strip individuals of their hateful and destructive behaviors or thoughts. And this is the point when we start “lovingly” doing hateful and destructive things to the persons we claim are so hateful and destructive.
This is emotional abuse. And it can be accomplished by all walks of people.
This past weekend I had the privilege of conversing with a man who, though born to parents who had married in the temple, did not consider himself a Christian as a youth. Yet there came a time when this man felt called to embrace Christ. He described that opening his heart to Christ clarified how much the man had sinned, yet at the same time the man knew that Christ loved him and embraced him.
This love did not ignore error.
This honesty did not preclude hope.
True Christian love both embraces the one who errs while refusing to ignore the harm that has been done.
To consider one recent situation, true Christian love of pedophile priests would have affirmed that Christ could love even such sinners, yet promptly and permanently removed such priests from the opportunity to harm others.
True Christian love of victims would have affirmed that Christ could love even such befouled innocents, and promptly gathered such innocents into safety and healing.
If we are not guided by the love and honesty of Christ, then we might inadvertently be abusive, all unknowing, cushioned in our bubble universe.
Thus writes an old woman who has better things to do that immerse herself in the echo chamber of the internet. I now return you to whatever channel you enjoy.