Actually it’s more than a pet peeve. It’s something that has made me filter updates on my Facebook home page. I have even unfriended people because of this.
In my opinion, God does not belong on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. Whatever. Any social media EVER.
It seems like it’s harmless enough. People are moved by what they’ve learnt at church, or they were reading a passage of scripture that really hit home with them and they want to share. While that still rubs me up the wrong way, I can understand that. What I REALLY have a problem with is the daily scriptures that are automatically posted to people’s walls everyday. Or the daily links to “inspirational” sermons.
I had this one friend, let’s call her … Mary (see what I did there?) She is a church goer. She prays and reads the bible. She also posts daily scriptures on Facebook. There are some passages of scripture that are beautiful, regardless of whether you are a believer or not, and I don’t mind seeing these pop up in my feed. But what I DO have a problem with, is the “Can you please pray for me because I’m about to get my nails done and last time it hurt!”
I’m not even joking. Other requests I’ve seen in my time line from various people of various religions have been:
“Please pray for me because I need to have a really big month selling <insert makeup brand here> because I want to win the coffee maker!”
“Please pray for me because I’ve just put my car in for service and I need to get it back before 3 o’clock because I need to go out tonight.”
And my personal favourite, “Please pray for me because my child is currently doing <insert sport here> and I need her to focus so she can win!”
No, people! NO!
I’m not going to waste my prayers on you so your child can come first in whatever so that you can justify being a stage mum! I can’t honestly believe that anyone thinks God would actually answer those prayers? With all the shi-ca-ca that’s going on in the world, how is praying for “big sales so you can get the coffee maker” helpful?
You know what I do give my prayers to? The posts where someone is sick and they need a boost. The posts where someone’s loved one is in a bad way and they need support. When someone is feeling so low they need to feel like there are people out there thinking of them.
Regardless of whether you are a believer or not, there is some power to prayer. For the believers who need the support, knowing that people are praying for you can actually help calm you, regardless of whether these prayers come true or not.
Another thing that bothers me is the sharing of random “Christian thoughts” and the “If you share this it will show how much you love God and he will love you so much in return and you are guaranteed a place in heaven!!!” NO!!! Seriously?? Why on earth would The Almighty care about a like or share on social media? Do these people honestly think “Well I’ve liked this status on Facebook, so it doesn’t matter that I cheat on my taxes and my partner, I’ve still earned salvation! Woo!”
Having said all that though, don’t think for a second that the atheists are going to get away scot free in this post. I’ve had to remove atheist rants from my feed as well. People who are INCENSED that anyone could possibly believe in God at all and just can’t seem to accept the fact that there are different belief systems in the world BECAUSE OH MY GOD (ha!) HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT GOD EXISTS YOU ARE ALL SO STUPID!! And believe me, there is plenty of that.
Here are a few tips about posting about your belief system online so you don’t get blocked or filtered in my timeline.
- Don’t bombard people with things. If you have a favourite scripture, post it! But don’t hammer people with scriptures or preaching on Social Media.
- If you have a favourite post by your favourite Atheist celeb, post it without slamming people who do believe in God. Because honestly, it makes you out to be as big a douche as the Christians you bitch about.
- Don’t ask people to pray for you for trivial matters. If you want honest to goodness prayers, leave it for times that really do warrant it.
- Don’t ruin a beautiful post on science by slamming the “opposing team” i.e. “Look at this beautiful creation, how can you believe we evolved?” or “Look at how this creature adapted to it’s surroundings, how can you believe we were created?”
The topic of religion is fraught with danger. Bringing it up at a dinner party can lose you friends fast. So can slamming people because their belief system is so different to yours. If you want to discuss it, at least try and discuss this without it turning into an all-in brawl. Respect that other people believe differently to you. Listen to what others have to say. Respectfully disagree.
And for the love of all things holy, keep it off Facebook!
Does religion on social media bother you?