For some reason, those Facebook Call To Action (FCTA) “poster quotes” that people put up on their Facebook walls bother me. I guess it’s because they are the Bumper Sticker of the Internet Age and represent, to me at least, the dumbing down of humankind.
Sometimes they offer a warning, such as margarine being only one molecule removed from plastic (which is unequivocally false). Other times they dare you to re-post the FCTA on your own wall: “I doubt any of my friends have the courage to put this Stop Animal Cruelty message on their wall”. Does that take courage? Who is for animal cruelty? Posting a “Pro Animal Cruelty” on your wall would take a lot more balls, actually. And other times, there is no actual Call To Action, per se, just some information for you. That is false. Or an “unbelievable” photograph. That is Photoshopped. The thing they all have in common is that, if not outright lies, they give such a sliver of truth they should be considered as such. If you have enough time to post it, you have enough time to verify it on Snopes.
The FCTA making the rounds today is by FCKH8.com. It highlights a quote from last year’s anti-bullying speech gay rights activist and writer Dan Savage gave to a high school that caused some controversy (mostly at Fox News). And just to clarify things right from the start, I am not supporting bullying or hate. Nor am I a Christian. This is just a very misleading, reductionist statement, even if its overall sentiment is of merit.
Firstly, the bible says in quite clear and direct language “don’t own slaves”. At least twice. A fact that this FCTA not only ignores, but outright and knowingly lies about. If he knows about the Epistle of Philemon, he is most likely aware of the more significant Book of Deuteronomy. I’d never heard of either until I did a quick web search five minutes ago.
If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand him over to his master. Let him live among you wherever he likes and in whatever town he chooses. Do not oppress him.
– Deuteronomy 23-15
Secondly, Murder is arguably “the easiest moral question” of all time, not slavery, and that’s in the bible’s Top Ten List of how to live.
Thirdly, the bible was written 1500 years before the Theory of Gravity and claims a guy parted a sea that is a half-kilometer deep using telekinesis. Take it with a grain of salt. Is that one passage, “the shortest book in the New Testament”, the best argument you can make against using The Bible as justification for bullying?
Furthermore, Booker T. Washington was a Christian and it’s fair to say he was not pro-slavery.
I think we humans are capable of making new laws based on our current situations. Just as the US Constitution was written 3 centuries ago by men with single-shot muskets and swords, we don’t require thousand-year-old texts to tell us how to live.