Why debating religion online is completely pointless
Social media is an effective tool to discuss new ideas, debate trending topics, and share personal achievements, however, there are topics that are somewhat universally taboo. In the past, most avoided discussing politics, religion/atheism, personal wealth, and/or relationships. As we moved from an economy that was hell bent on keeping up with the Jones’s, many broke households shifted their time and energy from buying stuff they didn’t need, to building their superficial persona online. Simply liking/retweeting celebrity posts and popular brands wasn’t enough to stand out, opinions became the new virtual currency.
Religion has become one of the top trending topics of 2015. From Pope Francis arrival to the United States & Cuba, to the Charlie Hebdo shooting; from Televangelists being exposed, to the ongoing propaganda with “experts” making connections between ISIS and the Muslim faith. The topic of religion online is usually hosted by bible loving, “Jesus smiling/curing all/answering all prayers” meme posting, diabetic, obese, George W Bush loving blobs on the extreme right, to the fedora wearing, “god doesn’t exist” shirt wearing, flying spaghetti monster following, trying too hard to be edgy as fuck, God Delusion reading adults with acne, who probably don’t get laid on the extreme left. Everyone else seems to be scattered between those two points, with many playing it safe, avoiding such topics by scrolling passed.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to avoid the topic of religion online. Whether you have a friend who discovered God watching a heartwarming YouTube video that made them become an outspoken devout follower, or you have a friend with lots of time on their hands, recently discovered Zeitgeist and decided to share memes every 5 minutes about religion being bullshit. No matter how much many of us want to unfollow extremists on either side, reality comes back and bites us in the butt with the news pumping out stories 24/7 on this very topic. Fear and misinformation has divided many and has led to unnecessary arguments between friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances.
With the recent attacks in Paris, many are verbalizing their affiliation and/or lack of affiliation to various religious organizations. Whether it is posting a meme showing support for victims (i.e. #PrayforParis), or expressing one’s opinions by claiming religion is the main reason for all of the suffering in the world, most participants are really hunting for ‘Likes’ instead of doing anything productive. As conversations intensify neither side will budge or show weakness, they only ruin social media for everyone else. When you can cut the tension between the closest of friends with a butter knife it becomes easier for influential entities to create division in all other aspects of life. Something that was once deemed private and personal is being displayed online, whored out if you may, and has led individuals to judge one another without truly understanding each other.
If you find yourself only recycling memes spreading hate it might be time to log off. The journey of life is complicated enough already without having to discuss what happens after we die. Lets all try to put our petty differences aside and learn to live side by side in peace.