This showed up in today’s news:
“Twitter Adds New Ways to Curb Abuse and Hate Speech”
(The New York Times)
CNET’s piece quoted part of this Twitter blog post:
“Progress on addressing online abuse”
(November 15, 2016)
“…The amount of abuse, bullying, and harassment we’ve seen across the Internet has risen sharply over the past few years. These behaviors inhibit people from participating on Twitter, or anywhere….”
The Twitter post includes a link to their “Hateful conduct policy,” and I think both are worth reading. CNET’s article focused on what Twitter was doing. The New York Times followed its editorial policy in their fifth paragraph:
“…Many of Mr. Trump’s supporters also relied on a series of images — some anti-Semitic and others quietly coded as racist — to circulate hate speech on Twitter….”
(The New York Times)
Given the tone of the campaign, I don’t doubt that some folks who voted for Trump expressed themselves that way.
I am sincerely glad that the election is over, and hope that folks on all sides take a deep breath and remember what one candidate said: “Clinton expresses regret for saying ‘half’ of Trump supporters are ‘deplorables’.” (CNN)
“Sometimes I wish I was religious so I could have an excuse for hating people.”
Instead of seething with anger, I did a quick Google search.
The phrase, with exactly those words, showed up about 60 times back then. A bot had posted the earliest example I found on reddit.com, December 28, 2011.
Today I found nine results. Without the quotes, I got roughly 105,000,000 matches.
That’s a lot of folks discussing religion and hate. Some agreed with the “excuse for hating people” quote, some didn’t, and some discussed something completely different.
Last year’s “excuse for hating” quote hadn’t been directed at me, and came from an account that Tweets a lot of platitudes and quotations. Instead of firing back a response, I wrote a post that was like this one, only longer.
I sympathize, a little, with folks who assume that religion and hate are inseparable — or that faith is for the addlepated.
As a teen, I tried listening to ‘Christian’ radio. The steady drip feed of guilt, interspersed with rants against commies and rock music, drove me to an all-rock station.
I learned to love rock and roll, eventually become a Catholic, and that’s another topic.
I haven’t run into quite the same weird mix of Bible trivia, divination, and numerology, since the 1960s. But ‘End Times Bible Prophecies’ are still part of American culture. (August 7, 2016)
I suspect that the strident ‘kill a commie for Christ’ crowd helped make John Lennon’s “Imagine” the best-selling single of his career:
Some Catholics sound and act like their ‘agree with me or be damned’ Protestant counterparts. That’s not, or shouldn’t be, what our faith is about. For two millennia, the Church has been passing along a message of hope and love.
I’m “religious,” in the sense that I take my faith seriously.
But when I noticed myself hating American politicians, British musicians, or anyone else: my job is rooting out that hate, not expressing it.
God doesn’t hate me, or you.
I take God’s love seriously, so I try to love God, love my neighbor, see everybody as my neighbor, and treat others as I’d like to be treated.1 Our Lord said it is important:
“6 ‘Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”
” ‘Teacher, 21 which commandment in the law is the greatest?’
“He said to him, 22 ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
“This is the greatest and the first commandment.
“The second is like it: 23 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
“24 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.’ ”
Making rational decisions is easier when my emotions and reason are in sync, and that’s yet another topic. (Catechism, 1775)
Where was I? Twitter, post-election news, the Beatles. Right.
If I say that I love God, loving my neighbor — all my neighbors — seems reasonable.
And that’s yet again another topic:
- “Satan Didn’t Make Me Do It”
(November 13, 2016)
- “Numbers and Nero”
(November 8, 2016)
- “Sin, Original and Otherwise”
(November 6, 2016li>
- “The Virtue Trap”
(October 23, 2016)
- “Trusting Feelings: Within Reason”
(October 5, 2016)
The principle of reciprocity we call the Golden Rule isn’t, quite, unique to Christianity, and that’s still another topic.