Behaving Badly

I post Imagehonestly what I think about.  I make no apologies for the things I consider.  I’m entitled to think about what I want, and to post those ideas for the consideration of my readers.  People read some of my posts, and most reply graciously, even if they disagree with me.  That is fair, and not a problem for me.  I find it deplorable however, that some people read my posts and respond with nasty, venomous comments, cursing me because I rocked their perceptions of reality.  I usually don’t approve these vitriolic, hateful statements because I don’t want to respond in kind, and don’t really want to grace their bad behavior with an audience.

What I don’t understand, is why people feel that rules of good behavior are somehow suspended because they are responding on the internet.  The person in particular gave an amorphous Hebrew name so he could not be identified,  and went on to criticize Rabbinic Judaism, my motives, and intentions.  While he quoted scriptures, out of context, he apparently forgot about the scriptures that admonish us to admonish in love.  I wonder if he even knows how to do it.  I genuinely feel bad for the guy because not only is he deluded, but he will probably have the horrible things he wished on me come back on himself.  

Bitterness is a horrible thing, and I have found that if you want to convince someone of the rightness of your view, cursing them is not the way to do it.  He claimed to be speaking for Yeshua, but I never saw Yeshua spoke as he did.  The Yeshua I have known and walked with does not behave as this guy did.  If he wanted to disagree with me, he could have done it with kindness.  He could have been a decent human being.  I would not have taken offense.  

So why do people feel they can behave badly if its on the internet?  Is it the sense of anonymity the internet affords us?  Is it because we don’t perceive there are human beings with feelings we are communicating with?  Or is it that, deep down, some people really don’t care about others?

The reality is, people hide behind religion to justify bad behavior.  They feel like they have a free pass to act badly for a heavenly cause, which their cause is believed to be.  When God hates the same people you do, and hates the same things you hate, you have created an idol of your own views.  Submission to the will of God means you can’t always be right, and you have to recognize God loves the people you don’t.  It means you might possibly be wrong.  If that is possible, you can’t curse others and still claim to be loving God.  This is the problem with fanaticism.  It’s not restricted to religious people.  There are political fanatics, and sports fanatics, and fanatics about almost anything.  I don’t like when people blame fanaticism on religion.  Religion is how we express faith in God.  The problem comes when people want to kill each other for the love of God.  I can’t imagine anything that would bother God more.  May God keep us all from such things. 

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9 thoughts on “Behaving Badly

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more! The anonymous shield of the internet is very beguiling, we know they would not act like that if he were face to face with you in a crowd of people… And that’s the deception of the internet. I’m sorry for the unkindness you experienced. Bitterness is a very ugly root. Yeshua warned about bitter roots… They pollute many who will listen. So we don’t listen, not because we don’t care about the person but because we don’t want to drink in the ugliness of the root cause. 🙂

  2. The presumption of anonymity on the web seems to reduce people’s inhibitions. Things they’d never say to your face or even during a phone call, are suddenly fair game. I call such people “attack dogs” because they are responding only with their defensive and angry feelings, not with reason and certainly not with love.

  3. Dr. Schiffman, the verse that comes to mind is, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” Replace Diana with whatever religious celebrity or golden egg laying goose in the religious marketplace that is popular at the moment, and therefore, out of bounds. What you did was throw a few stones in the direction of some idols and their temples, and a couple made contact. It is ridiculous that a person believes they can attack and demonize that which they know nothing about. But you have to admit that the socialization of the Christian world is, “play nice and according to our rules or we will kick you out of the sandbox.” The Jewish world has its own rules and sandboxes, but at least a tradition of argument and debate seen as an important aspect of learning (pilpul.) I see those who communicate via social media, and then delete any comments of questioning or disagreement, as dishonest frauds. If one only desires praise and agreement in comments, then they should have the honesty to express this. Anyhow, for a laugh, here is where I took on a nasty, close-minded commenter, and turned the tables on him: http://endtimechaverim.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/on-false-prophets-and-grandmas-kugel/

  4. Pingback: Shadows of Love

  5. Pingback: Behaving Badly (quote) | Shadows of Love

  6. I think some of the most disruptive and hurtful people are those who “speak for Yeshua.” Because they claim to speak for Yeshua, it supposedly follows that whatever vitriol they may spew forth is absolutely correct and not subject to challenge. Sorry, ANYTHING spoken by any man is subject to challenge. I’m so sorry that you have run afoul of one of these types. I’d like to encourage you, Rabbi, to dwell on the love of the thousands of people out here who love you from the bottoms of their (our) hearts.

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