Monday, November 23, 2015

Freedom of expression...

One of my cousins has a son who just started his freshman year of college.  He's a very bright young guy and, much to my delight, doesn't appear to be hyper-religious like a few other people in my family.  This morning, he posted this...

People that share this kind of post:
Stop pls.

I liked this...  It's not something I would post, but I understand the sentiment... I didn't necessarily like the post, but more that yet another family member hasn't gone totally religious.

Another cousin, uncle of the young man who posted the above, wrote:  Ignore the post....its a public medium for expression...the option is to delete or block. "It's not all about you" 

To which I felt compelled to respond:  Isn't A also expressing himself? He could offer the same advice to those who don't like what he puts on Facebook.

I'm sure my cousin, who once used to be fun, but then found Jesus, won't like that I wrote that.  But I think I have a valid point.  The young man was being a smartass, sure; and I'm certain that some people might be offended by his Jesus bashing post.  However, if you're making the point that Facebook is a medium for freedom of expression, perhaps you shouldn't chastise other posters for freely expressing themselves.

I'm not quite an atheist.  I have a spiritual side.  However, I think many religious posts are kind of stupid.  I might not say so directly.  Generally, when I see something I don't like, I do what my cousin suggested and ignore, delete, or block.  However, there is a case that could be made for saying something when someone posts something annoying, offensive, or stupid.  Maybe it will get them to think twice about it.  Or maybe not.  I just think that if you're going to cite the whole "free country" with "free speech" argument, it has to go both ways.

All my cousin's nephew did was ask people to stop sharing stupid religious posts.  You can choose whether or not to honor his request.  You can choose whether or not to read and heed or simply ignore, block, or delete.  You can even choose whether or not to stay friends.  Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if my cousin unfriends me after pointing out his logic fail.  He's become quite macho in his Christian flavored middle age.  Of course, if he unfriends me, I won't be firing his weapon at the next family gathering.  

This particular cousin was pretty wild when he was younger.  He is responsible for giving me my first taste of bourbon and Coke at a family party when I was 15 years old.  I got rip roaring drunk on it and trashed a hotel room by throwing up all over the place.  Many years later, my cousin quit drinking because he had some serious problems with law enforcement owing to his habit of driving while intoxicated.  I'm glad he quit drinking because I think alcohol was ruining his life.  On the other hand, since he quit drinking, he's become a bit of a killjoy.  I mean, he still loves your garden variety adrenaline rush.  He's got a gift for gymnastics and won't hesitate to jump off bridges into water holes or, as I mentioned before, fire his weapons into mountainsides while not being particularly careful with wear he points his gun.  But he's gotten all churchy and preachy and... annoyingly conservative.     

Ah... I see now that my cousin agrees with me.  I have a feeling that my comment may have gone over his head.  His response to me?  "Exactly."  Hmm...

I think I may have to go think about that for awhile.


  1. I personally think Jesus was a pretty cool guy, but not everyone who meets up with him benefits greatly from the experience. i don't really blame Jesus, though. it's kind of like some people meet up with alcohol and have better lives because of it, while either because they choose take it to extremes or because they have chemical addictions, don't benefit so much. Others still stay entirely away from it. (As for me, I plan to benefit from it at least moderately.) i still think there an element of choice, but some people are more easily addicted to the downsides of Jesus and of booze. It's unfortunate, because one can have too much of a good thing.

    1. I have nothing at all against Jesus. I just don't like it when adults tell other adults what they can and can't post online.


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