When it comes to online reading, I spend more time on reader comments, than on the articles that spark them.
I don’t know why I do it. Most who take the time to write tend towards extremism with a penchant for know-it-all-ism and name-calling. The hateful drivel people dare to put down still shocks me, in spite of the frequency with which I come across it.
So today I am intrigued by a headline on Linked In: “Why I Support Civil Marriage For Same-Sex Couples” by Meg Whitman, CEO at Hewlett-Packard. I go ahead a read a well-thought out, diplomatically worded statement on Ms. Whitman’s personal change of heart vis-a-vis gay marriage (she’s now in favor).
Whether LinkedIn is the appropriate forum for such a discussion is debatable (though nothing to get all up in arms about, in my opinion).
Fast forward to the comments section. There is a near endless list of (fully-identified) individuals responding from their professional profiles, blaming her change of heart on Satan, sharing biblical quotes, positing that procreation is what makes a marriage valid (Yikes! Tell that to all the infertile couples and DINKS* out there– and there are many), accusing her and Obama’s crazy left wing agenda of destroying America and so on.
*DINK= Double Income No Kids
Many go beyond simply voicing their difference of opinion and encourage HP’s board of directors to fire her, encourage people to complain to LinkedIn, vow to throw out their HP equipment and to boycott the company. Harsh.
Meanwhile, children are working in slave-like conditions on cocoa plantations, workers in garment factories are working (and dying) in unsafe, inhumane conditions, women and men are raped, abused and exploited daily and toxins are being spewed out into God’s green earth…are these same people responding as passionately? Are they investing their consumer dollars in only ethically made goods? Are they boycotting conventional chocolate bars? Are they starting the crusade against date-rape? Writing Apple about the working conditions in their factories? Demanding their state legal system protect values of fairness, justice, compassion in all spheres of life? Just wondering.
I’ll admit that I’ve not read the Bible cover to cover, so maybe someone can fill me in: what would Jesus do? Judge people based on a book penned by human beings and vehemently oppose all those who lend their support to a love that allegedly falls outside the boundaries of said text? Whether its authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit or not– the Bible’s gone through a human filter over the years (quite a few, actually).
Would he campaign against human trafficking? Protest animal abuse in factory farming? Put an end to systematic injustice? Personally, I think he would, and I know quite a few kind hearted inspiring Christians who talk the talk and walk the walk, as best they can and in all aspects of life.
I don’t intend to offend, only to open a line of questioning: why stand up for God’s word and your belief in the Bible in this respect (against same-sex marriage) but remain silent on so many other pressing issues?
It’s a cultural element of mainstream Christianity that I’m just not grasping (and I single this religion out as, in my society, it’s been the most common justification for opposing same-sex marriage).
Any thoughts on what keeps people’s moral compass (and bible quoting) so focused on this one issue and far away from others?