I love the internet.
I love the internet because it allows you to connect with people, from all over the world, who believe the same way as you. I love the internet because you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. I love the fact that there is a light veneer of anonymity on the internet. I can present myself as some polished and wise and mature young woman who is ready to take on the world, not a shy and awkward girl with messy hair. I can say whatever I want on the internet without fear of repercussions.
We all know that I loathe the “don’t judge” mentality, because it gives the impression that sin doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter and we should all just stand by and let sin happen, regardless of the consequences. I will always feel this way, I can promise that. But, especially in the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing a rather radical paradigm shift.
In a previous post I said, ” …to continue fighting now, not out of love, but out of hatred, is folly!” That post was about how a battle to shut down an anti-Christian page had just turned into a crapstorm of hatred from both sides, and we needed to back off. I’d say that a lot of the fighting we do on the internet (including people who fight alongside me on the Catholic Memes page) has become more hate-based than love based, especially on the hot-button topics of homosexuality and abortion.
I’ve noticed that we have stopped distinguishing between the sin and the sinner. Both are roundly condemned, and nobody ever speaks a word of forgiveness or hope. Brothers and sisters, our only purpose in life is to get ourselves and those around us to heaven. Screaming on the internet that every woman who has an abortion is a murderer might be true (she killed her child, yes, that’s murder) but it’s not helpful for her soul. Whining that every homosexual is depraved might be true (ok, no, it’s not- they are human beings trying to fill the human need for love with another human, instead of with God) but saying won’t get them to heaven. I have forgotten that every human being, no matter their sin, is loved and unique and deserves respect simply because they were made in the image and likeness of God.
Some people don’t want to hear that. They want to yell that homosexuality, abortion, contraception, etc. are all the worst sins ever. They feel holy when they talk like that. I’ve been there. But abortion is usually a choice made by a woman who first made a terrible mistake and then made the wrong choice- she’s not some slut who has an abortion for the sheer joy of killing something, like many well-meaning internet commenters would like us to believe. Abortion hurts women, and post-abortive women are far more likely to be depressed and suicidal than the rest of the population, and we aren’t helping them heal and be forgiven when we call them murderers and tell them they are going to hell; they might be bound there, sure, but they at least deserve the chance to be healed. The best thing for these poor women would be for them to know God, know his forgiveness for the sin of abortion, and then be reunited with their babies in heaven.
Homosexuality is no worse and no better than any other form of fornication. And when we realize where all that kind of sin comes from (again, a desire that God placed in every soul to love and be loved) we shouldn’t feel anger, we should feel compassion. I won’t go too deeply into the homosexuality topic, because, while browsing the interwebs, I found an AMAZING post about what an actual person with homosexual tendencies thinks of the horrific arguments that we used on her and people (yes, PEOPLE) like her. So go read that, and prepare to have your world rocked a bit.
Back to the no-judging bit. I’m just going to amend that- don’t tolerate sin, but don’t tell people they are going to hell. You don’t know that. Tell them, instead, that there is mercy and forgiveness and love, everything they ever wanted, and they aren’t going to find it in sex or in drugs or in parties or in anything but God. No matter what sin your brother struggles with, he is just like you in that he deeply craves love and may be looking for it in all the wrong places. So why not show him that love? Open his eyes to the everlasting, life-changing, soul-filling love of God. If you don’t, who will?
Love to all!