Dear Facebook friends,
I know this is an election year, but I’m trying very hard to keep my politics off my Facebook page, just as I try to keep my religion to myself. I’m going to make an exception this one time.
I am a Christian. At least, I try to be. To me that means that I try to treat others the way I would want to be treated (The Golden Rule) and that I’m against violence, following the example set for me by Jesus, upon whom Christianity is based. I object to being told that if you’re a Christian you have to hate this or that group of people. That isn’t the Christianity I believe in, and I’m grateful that our constitution attempts to protect us from religious hatred. I don’t believe that there is only one vision of God. I think different denominations and different faiths all see a side of God that the rest of us don’t see, but that it might be just as true and real. Someday we will have the whole and correct picture.
I also object to being told that just because I know science is real I should be an atheist. I don’t think you can tell a person what to believe. Scientific knowledge doesn’t preclude faith. People either believe or they don’t. That’s why it’s a belief, not a fact.
So here’s where politics comes in. I’m seeing some nasty stuff about both candidates for President, and occasionally about candidates for other offices. I find that upsetting. It’s even more upsetting when I see support for a candidate who is openly derisive toward other people because of their race, ethnic background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Or when I see support for a candidate who condones violence and puts forward historical and current-day dictators as role models.
I have five grandchildren. Before the next President’s term is over, all of them will be old enough to have heard or seen the next President speak in public, on TV or radio. I will not vote for a candidate who I believe is a poor example of how we should treat each other as human beings, even if that candidate could otherwise better my life. That’s my bottom line.
I support your right to believe what you believe and support any candidate, political party or platform you like, and I will still care about you and value you as a friend. If you keep promoting this candidate, however, I will unfollow you, because seeing this stuff upsets me. (If I unfollow you, we can still remain friends. Facebook has that as an option.) I care about all of my Facebook friends and want you to be happy. That’s what friends do.
I believe our diversity is what makes this country strong. We are all part of this diversity. We can only work together as a country if we treat each other with kindness and don’t encourage violence.
That’s all I have to say. I hope you will understand.