I am agnostic and I do understand religion but I find it rather irritating if anyone I follow blogs/tweets/post about Christianity almost all the time. I could have tried being politically correct by saying “about religion” instead of “about Christianity” but I don’t find my Buddhist or Muslim friends rave about Buddha or Allah all the time. In fact, they hardly mention a thing about their God(s).
Being someone who takes pride for being impartial to almost any situation, I asked myself if I would irritate or offend someone if I only post about something I really love.
If I post of nothing but running, I will probably offend a group of people who absolutely hate running/exercise.
If I post of nothing but my gf, I will probably irritate a significant amount of people who dislike romance and those who are single.
If I post of nothing but gadgets, I will probably offend all the neo-Luddites. But then again, a neo-Luddite wouldn’t be on Facebook.
Also, if I only post about one particular thing, I’ll just bore every damn person to death.
What if I put myself in a Christian’s shoes? I love God. I love Jesus. I love to share about my experiences with Christ. I love to share little snippets about the bible. I love to pass thoughts about Christianity to people who follow me. Maybe if I post about Christianity more often, I might convince more people, especially my loved ones to convert to Christianity. After all, heaven is only open to those who believe in God, Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and repent for their sins. Sharing is caring.
But wait. Assuming that Wikipedia is right; 18.3% of Singaporeans are Christians and 17% are non-religious, which leaves 64.7% who follow other religions. If I have 500 friends on Facebook, I risk offending 324 friends (64.7%) and irritating 85 of them (17%). Why would I want to irritate and offend more than 80% of my friends?
Some might tell me that if I don’t like it, I should just unfriend/unfollow the person on Facebook/Twitter or just stop reading the blog. Sure, I can do that but I follow or befriend someone online because I am either a friend in real life or I am interested in the ongoings of his/her life. As mundane as it sounds, I want to know what they eat, where are they going, what are they doing and what views they have. There’s no simple way for me to filter things especially when they say things like:
“This chicken rice is delicious, I thank God for the food.”
“Made a trip up Mt. Kinabalu. God showed me the way.”
The Buddhist will thank the effort and cycle of life for the chicken rice and good karma for his safe climb.
The Muslim will thank Allah for the chicken rice and safe climb.
The non-religious will thank the chef for the chicken rice and his own legs for the climb.
There are reasons why any considerate person will refrain from talking about religion when amongst friends with mixed beliefs in the real world.
One problem is that every religious slanted update/post will have statements that will offend the other religions because it isn’t true in their beliefs! Having someone who blabs nothing but religious statements online is like having a friend physically in the same room with you, talking about his religious thoughts. I can try to ignore some of your religious thoughts or try to be accepting but it’s hard when everything said is about it. So do I be nice and sit in the same room and ignore you or do you be nice by restraining your religious thoughts?
I want to be your friend but for the 23rd time, that damn chicken rice didn’t come from your God.
P.S.: Of course this post has the potential to offend with the seemingly un-religious thoughts but if you read it as I intended, only a small group should feel offended.