Pious Arrogance & Internet Trolls
Recently, a fan of Levi The Poet tagged my Facebook artist page with a comment that read something to the extend of, "Thank God, I found Levi The Poet and Ascend The Hill for free on the Come&Live! website! I've been wanting the albums for a while, but didn't have the funds for them… God is good and he provides!"
The comment beneath that post read, "In the nine hours since you posted this, several thousand children died in terror and agony around the globe despite their parents pleas to the contrary because god can obviously do nothing to stop it, but golly gee he sure can provide you with a free download of some shitty worship music from the internet, on your computer, powered by electricity in a first world country while you sit in an air conditioned room. It is this kind of pious arrogance that compels me to respond to your posts with such fervor. How can you possibly square this truth of reality with a loving and benevolent invisible dictator?"
Although I'm not ignorant to the fact that Facebook, Twitter, and, perhaps especially, YouTube act as the host homes to countless an Internet Troll who has no real online purpose except to attack other persons and opinions, there was something about this response, in particular, that made me angry. I can handle thousands of vulgar, profane and demeaning comments on my Pretty In Pornography video or other content that comes out under the Levi The Poet name. I can handle angry emails and middle finger's and "screw you's" at shows where people are offended by an offensive gospel (or where they simply hate the way I breathe between stanzas).
What was it about this comment, then? In part, it is the fact that a kid who was excited about new music was attacked for no apparent reason other than that a disgruntled someone who happened across his feed is angry at God and needed an outlet.
In part, it is because I cannot help but be interested in whether or not the response was typed with an electricity-powered computer in an air-conditioned room in a first world country, and how its "fervor" is any more tolerable than said "pious arrogance."
In part, it is because I don't understand the presented argument's relevance to a kid who posted about music, and how many children die while we sit around complaining about how many children die?
My point here is not to minimize the fact that children die. My point here is not to argue the existence of the loving and benevolent invisible Father who mourns the death of those children. He speaks for himself and needs no defense of mine.
Since we're getting heated about arrogance and terrorism, then, what about them in the realms of social networking? It is easier to pick fights, gossip and slander one another publicly - globally, even - now, than it has ever been. There are instances in which we can and should take a stand, but there is a difference between conversation and accusation, dialogue and demoralization in the name of conviction. Christians are not exempt from said active or passive aggression in the name of "prayer requests" and "support systems," either.
It is not helpful. It is not edifying. It does nothing for the sake of building one another up in love - love - a concept which both the arrogant pious and the arrogant atheist agree to be a worthy virtue.
Discern your scenario, refrain when you have the opportunity to turn your cheek, and when there is an appropriate time to speak, then let your speech be seasoned with love and relevance to the conversation at hand.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln