Bashing. The new international sport. Tweet bashing is an actual term in current use! In fact, bashing has become so popular that some are pretending to bash, just to get more attention! Think I’m kidding? see how many #bashing have nothing to do with bashing. Pseudobashing?
Apparently, I am completely out of touch with current events. I woke up with a start the other day when several bashing related issues piled on top of each other in my consciousness.
The first thing I noticed was the confederate flag. Yes, it has been linked in the media to at least one horrific current event. Using their same logic, we will find ourselves bashing the American flag as well, since it too has been the backdrop for extremists and criminal acts, and at a much greater frequency.
Then I started picking up on the whole wild animal killing thing. Yes, the irresponsible disrespect shown by some recently for the remaining wildlife diversity on our planet is shocking and disappointing. It does indeed say something about our culture when we place so little value on the creation around us. However, this is beginning to expand to include all hunting, which is very narrow-minded. In addition, what does it say about us when these stories get far more attention than, say, the fact that close to 1 in 5 children in this country are malnourished.
Last Friday, I posted something on Facebook asking for prayers for the firefighters across California. There are close to 2000 of them battling a growing monster less than one hour from where I’m sitting right now. Thousands of people being evacuated. How naive I was. While there were only supportive comments to my post, I became aware of a nationwide focus on bashing California! Criticizing the government for poor management, categorizing Californians as loose, liberal, wasteful, pot-growing, evil, immoral, the list is long…. that deserve to burn, and this even from christian sources! Did you know that there are whole sites and phone apps designed to facilitate “drought shaming”? Yes, it is a term. Applies to people making judgments, often misinformed, about water abuse and posting them online.
What’s with all of this hate! It’s so popular. It’s also exhausting. And dangerous.
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. -Proverbs 10:12 NIV.
Do we as Christians, or even as responsible citizens, have a responsibility to act against wrong in the world around us? Certainly. Generating so much hate against whole states, races, cultures, or other groups because of a few instances, admittedly sometimes terrible instances, of evil… which is the greater sin?
I fear that we are allowing ourselves to spread hate and bash others with such willingness and to such extremes that we are creating our own destructive wildfires, raging out of control, threatening to devour everything in their path, even us. These wildfires are far more real and destructive than the physical ones putting my adopted state at risk.
I challenge us this week. When faced with a bashing issue in the real, or in social media, rather than jumping on the hate bandwagon, find a way to make a loving comment. Find something to support, someone to care for. That’s how we bash the bash.