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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Social Networking, Vaccines, Religion, Politics, Essential Oils, and Other Hot Topics: Just Me Speaking My Mind


Oh sure, everyone is nicey nice and plays fair - Until the topic of whether or not you vaccinate your child, religion, politics and other hot button topics pop up. Suddenly, the insults begin to fly! It is just something I have to do. If I don't address this subject, the stress is just too much! Please excuse me as I speak my mind about social networking and hot topics.

If you know me, you know where I stand on all of these issues. Even if you don't know me,  you know our family has made the decision to homeschool, which is a topic in and of itself that I'll leave for another time and blog post as it holds a myriad of controversy that isn't the intent of this post.

The purpose of this blog post is not to convince you to change your way of thinking over to mine. After all, I have lived long enough to realize that sometimes I'm wrong and need to recalculate my thinking. So, I will not argue with you. I will most likely ponder all legitimate options before coming to my own conclusion through prayer and research.

This blog post has to do with a festering sore spot that needs to be put down into words:

Yesterday, I watched a perfectly innocent post spiral downhill quickly. The post was not mine, nor did I comment or even click "like" on it, to my remembrance. The post was a warning to others who might be thinking about using a particular weight loss product. A friend posted it on Facebook. Another friend, who recently signed on to sell said product immediately commented. It was apparent in her comment that the original post was personally offensive to her.

On the same day, I did dare to comment on a stream regarding vaccinating your child.  And, I did so without any intent on looking back at the comment retorts to follow, because I know it's a hot-button topic.

This morning when I logged on, I saw a post from another friend about how the Presbyterians are taking Israel out of the Bible and rewriting it.

UGH!  ***GET READY, BECAUSE HERE IS WHERE MY RANT BEGINS***

First of all, let's take the topic of Presbyterians rewriting the Bible - It bothers me when I see "Presbyterian" in a headline that is then followed by some drastic stance against traditional biblical teachings. The reason it bothers me is because usually the group involved is Presbyterian USA - NOT - Presbyterians as a whole. Now, I am neither Presbyterian nor Presbyterian USA, but it sends shivers up and down my spine when I see people begin to attack all Presbyterians in general simply because of a headline that should have specified it was, in fact, not Presbyterians in general, but rather, Presbyterian USA. Mostly, I wish people would read the articles that others post before they comment. But, if they are going to go only by the headline - I wish the headlines would be more accurate and not such click bate.

Second, let's tackle the issue of religion while I'm on it. If you want to see a firestorm of angry comments, just post something you believe in with all of your heart. Let's take Christmas trees, tithing, or marriage, for instance. And, don't even start a controversy about how to discipline a child tying it into a scripture. If you are not firm what you believe, it's enough to make you want to run far, far away from anyone who believes in any form of doctrine from any form of religion. Why is it that if you happen to believe the teachings of Fundamental Christianity that you are attacked for being hateful, judgmental, spank your kids, submit to your husband, backward living and disdained as phobic? Are we not free in America to believe in any religion we choose? Why is it, then, that everyone is tolerant and respectful of everyone else's beliefs UNLESS you are a fundamentalist Christian, or for that matter - Muslim or even atheist? Then, all of a sudden, it's call out the lynch squad and it's ok to call this person hateful, or even a backward, uneducated, downtrodden fool?

Thirdly, let's tackle the subject of alternative medicine, essential oils, chiropractic care, and GULP! Vaccines!  When you watch the comment threads on any vaccine comment, you get two groups: One who believes in all medical science all the way, and one who believes that vaccines are no good. Where is the middle ground? And, better question - Why, if you believe in medical science, do you see the need to pound your scientific research and medical training down onto a non-vaxer's head as if this person has done no scientific research for him or herself. Not every non-vaxer chooses to not vaccinate based upon Jenny McCarthy's claims, and not every non-vaxer only quotes from the one scientific article of evidence that is accepted as scientific fact, which was by some Dr. in Europe that had his license revoked. Many non-vaxers actually have a library full of their own research that is probably just as, or more, scientifically true as any medical journal, but is debunked by doctors and nursing schools as foolish simply because it's a different line of thought. One thinks health can only be had by medical science, while the other thinks medical science sometimes does more harm than good. Again - Where is the middle ground of tolerance and respect? Not to mention those how choose not to vaccinate because of true religious issues. Why, if you say you do not vaccinate, or you selectively vaccinate, are you suddenly assumed to be a moron or swayed by a blog or movie star's opinion, but if you are medically trained, you are suddenly god and know what is best, throwing out any other form of treatment as bunk? Haven't both sides had a history of both success and failure?

Lastly, let's talk about politics. This one never ceases to amaze me how opinionated people are, attaching strong emotions to an individual who will very likely get into office and denounce every campaign promise ever made, or live a lifestyle with at least one questionable moral element. Why do we get so angry and so defensive about this? Again, where is the middle ground? And, is it really worth losing a friend, a true friend - Or, even a social networking friend - Over something that is constantly changing? Both democrats and republicans have a history of successes and failures. Add in libertarians, constitutionists, and any other party or individual who tries to lead, change, or uphold America's Constitution, and it's enough to break up families. Why?

And, this doesn't even cover the parenting sites and their comment streams. You try to tell someone they are messing up their kid, or doing it wrong. Just try it! Mention that you agree or disagree with co-sleeping, attachment parenting, nursing v. bottle feeding, natural birth v. medicated or c-section, and it continues on and on and on and on and on. The truth is we are all in the parenting thing without a user manual, and every kid and every family has to figure out what is best for them. Why is it so difficult for us to respect that? Why is it a personal assault when someone does it differently. We don't have to convince them to change to do it our way. Unless the parenting choices are causing the child real harm, we only need to respect each other.

Is it possible for us to all get along? Yes, by all means, if you see someone headed for danger - Alert them, warm them, throw them a line. But, just because someone does something differently than you doesn't mean they are headed for danger or messing up their kids. What happened to speaking the truth in LOVE?

What happened to Love your neighbor as yourself? (Not, accept and embrace everything about them, but love them and give them respect that they are not a moron, idiot, low-life, imbecile, or fool who is not capable of making their own choices!

Is it possible to have discussions, share opinions, agree to disagree and not go around blocking, defriending, angrily spewing out vile with every turn or comment that looks as if it doesn't line up with your way of thinking?  Sadly, I know the answer. I also know both sides of the arguments on every topic I brought up. If you knew my stance on hot topics, you might be surprised. The best I can do is to live my life the best way I can and through the eyes of how I understand what my God desires. If you have a different opinion, that's fine. But, please don't call me stupid for the choices I have made. Because I don't make my choices lightly without regard to consequences, and I rarely make a decision based upon a flippant, passing trend.

I respect you, whatever conclusions you have arrived at in your life. If you disagree with the choices I or your friends have come to, I can only hope you will return the same level of respect.

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