With all the hyperbolic whining about “Fake News” from both conservative and liberal alike, I had the opportunity to witness a real-world example of Fake News and see just how pervasive it’s effect had on witless people.
There was a post going around on twitter advocating pedophilia and the inclusion of pedophilia as a part of the protected status of the LGBTQ community that had gained the attention of a "Christian" personality on facebook. The later shared this post, therefore making it viral. Though it was not the post that I have below, it was something similar to it, or at least in the same spirit.
When you do some digging on the original twitter poster however, the user had less than 5 followers, and only two or three posts. It was the solitary post that was picked up by this Christian blogger to be “exposed.” Subsequently the Christian poster garners the attention of the most dank memes on the internet, gaining thousands of shares and likes for this call to action.
Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the initial twitter post and the poster’s account were fabricated. For one it seems odd that there would be an advocate for pedophilia on twitter with little notoriety or following suddenly being discovered. (Search engines use algorithms to find content based on relevancy, which includes the amount of times someone’s page has been accessed. This is why my twitter account of 150+ follower fame will be passed up when someone google searches “Author” when there are hundreds more with 10,000+ followers.). Also, the fact that the post was engineered to spark moral outrage was made so transparently clear, seems fitting for Christian advocacy groups everywhere, which constantly are mining information for the link between being gay and committing acts of sexual deviancy. And, lastly, Facebook can only share links and pictures. Facebook, as of yet, does not allow the embedding of twitter posts that you can interact with. So anyone can produce a screen shot of something like Twitter and have people take it as the genuine article, despite going through all the effort in my case to make the poster seem legitimate.
The use of moral outrage to polarize and divide has become so commonplace that seeing this in action was almost banal. The fact of the matter is, however, that this “Christian Advocate” (who could be a fake account as well) successfully polarized both Christians and non-Christians, did not advance the gospel of Jesus Christ, and advanced a precedent that is not true of any LGBTQ community. While there is a historical period of Hellenism (a zeitgeist of Greek thought advanced by Alexander the Great prior to the rule of the Roman Empire) that practiced and advocated pedophilia and homosexuality as a virtue, advances in common sense across all cultures and countries have uniformly decried it and outlawed it, despite Roy Moore’s most recent attempts to make “Underage Sex Great Again.”
What I think made my nose curl at this stench so intensely I can reiterate here. While I am a Christian, and while I think that Homosexuality is a sin (just like watching porn and being straight is a sin), I also believe that members of the LGBTQ community are human beings deserving of respect and dignity. And while I do not accept what they preach, their narratives should not be persecuted, if not singled out, simply because they conform to values different than ours. (I don’t ever recall a time when Hindus couldn’t be married because their values and ideals strayed from the Judeo-Christian norms.)
Lastly, I think that it’s silly that we (especially Christians) are not more equipped to discern what is useful for building up and what is not. Given to how much we read, cite, and source, yet cannot do this outside of the bible with accuracy or conviction is confounding. Fake News is a real threat, and there is so much opportunity to be kind and loving to everyone affected by it.
Happy Saturday Everyone!