In 1971, the musical group The Pretenders informed us that there was a “thin line between love and hate”. This in fact, has been also confirmed by scientists. After an interesting experience in the blogsphere the other day, I am now wanting to know… is there also a thin line between offense and amusement?
It all started when my only-know online friend (OKOF), Angela, (OKOF’s are an extension of our old imaginary playmates except OKOFs actually exist and have real lives somewhere in the real world), sent a message about a particularly irritating blog on which those of us in the OKOF group may want to comment. I went for it.
The blog was by a Christian gentleman who treated his Christian family to a Christian meal at the very “Christian” Chik-fil-A on the “eat chicken fat to prevent gay marriage” day. (OK, they really didn’t call it that…) He took time to note there was a sole protester outside of said restaurant with a sign that pointed out all the other things the Old Testament prohibits that the Chicken-fat-A people had no problem indulging in. (Is it just me, but does anyone else wish the Chik-fil-A hypocrisy really extended to them offering a fried shrimp menu item? But no. That would make them OBVIOUS.)
Anyway, he went on and on about this poor lone protester…calling him “angry” but dignified (“Let me tip my hat to the way you presented yourself.”), and arguing the points that were posted on his sign. Apparently, from the blogger’s point of view, it was not misinterpretations of the OLD Testament that mattered…. it is only the misinterpretations of the NEW Testament that count. (Apparently, none of his Leviticus and Sodom and Gomorrah quoting brethren got the “NO OT” memo.) He was indignant that the protester would have any irritation of him, as a good man, standing up against the horrible censorship that Chik-fil-A was undergoing.
So, the blogger went on to pontificate how he wanted to talk nurturingly to this protester, and the blog comment people thought it would be “Christian” to take the guy out food and/or water…and all agreed how wonderful they all were. I guess the fact that the guy was a) not homeless, b) not looking to be converted and c) likely to be offended by Chik-fil-A purchases did not seem to take steam out of their self congratulation.
The blog seemed to welcome comment and “discussion”, and by the time I read it…I was ready. I was very polite, succinct…and direct. I did point out the failings of the blog commentary in living up to Christ principles, the second commandment in particular. Then I hit “enter”.
I was then informed that my post was “under review by the moderator”. This translated into “your post is never to see the light of day…ever”. I then looked under their terms and conditions and noticed that they deemed it acceptable to decline any posts they felt were…argumentative. Ahhh. Gotcha. Discuss…but don’t…ARGUE.
My head was reeling. The offense of being censored by someone who was patting himself on the back for being the chicken eating marauder against censorship was almost too much for me to bear.
Just when the injustice of it all peaked in my head…I found the thin line. I perused the rest of the blog. The blogger, Joe Dallas, bills himself as a foremost sexual sin recovery expert. He is particularly well versed in gay sexuality, and his photo is very attractive with a slight hair tussle and a come hither smolder. It is obvious from the other content on the site that the man does a LOT of talking about sex. Sex, sex, sex… oh, and presumably how to avoid it.
I then got this visual image from his family’s point of view. Out on the town to eat dinner with Dad. Dad, who has let everyone know what a driven hedonistic slut he has been. The conversation lags as Dad…dear old, hot, studly Dad…gazes longingly out the Chik-fil-A window at the sole protester…the cute guy with the bible quote sign. Dear Dad, wanting nothing but to take the protester under his fold, put his arm around him…and lovingly explain it all.
I laughed. Yes…I found that line…and I crossed it. It was not the Pretender’s thin line of “love and hate, it was another pretender’s thin line of “offense and amusement”…. and I had made it over to the other side.