Saturday, January 31, 2015

Unsocial Media

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and some of his followers think that when gay people share photos on Facebook, it is persecuting their religion.

Maybe they don't understand that on Facebook, you choose the people you are friends with and the pages you follow. If Tony Perkins is seeing photos of gay people on his Facebook feed, he must be friends with them or following their pages. His recommended reaction to seeing photos of gay people on Facebook is to say, "I don't want this on my Facebook page, I don't want this, I don't want to see this, look, do whatever you want to do but don't involve me in that," and of course pray for whoever posted the photo because he considers them his "enemies." 

I'm an atheist, in case anyone forgot or didn't know. I just took a quick scroll down my Facebook feed and counted nine posts from Christians posting about Christian things. Sometimes, when I see Christian things, I scroll by them. Sometimes, I click on them to get a better idea of the perspectives of people who are not like me. I don't report them to Facebook or ask them to stop posting Christian things because by doing so they are, "involving me in that." Unless they are demanding that atheists should be burned at the stake or something, they have not made themselves my enemies simply by posting about their own beliefs any more than people who post pictures of hot dogs are my enemies because I don't like to eat hot dogs. 

I also have friends on Facebook of various races and genders. They post pictures of themselves all the time and despite my seeing many of these pictures, I'm still a white female. 

Every now and then, I do come across a post on Facebook that's persecutory in nature. If someone, for example, is making posts that encourage denying equal rights to other human beings simply because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, I'd most likely choose to no longer be friends with or follow that person on social media. I may even choose to say something, but by doing that, I am making the conscious choice to involve myself. 

It's time for Tony Perkins to learn how to play well with others. If his religion demands he not look at pictures of gay people, he shouldn't be looking at pictures of gay people instead of demanding that the entire Internet be run on his own personal terms of service. Maybe he could set up his own parental controls since he's evidently not grown-up enough to keep his online behaviors in accordance with the teachings of whatever religion he has chosen to practice.