Although I blog and Tweet about a lot of things, one thing I don't usually write too much about is religion. I'm Catholic, but not the "I feel guilty about EVERYTHING" type of Catholic. I used to know some people who went to church almost every day, and they were basically the "I'm holier than you, you, and DEFINITELY you" Catholics. They criticized me because I only went to church on Sundays. (But I know that not everyone who attends church every day are the holier-than-thou types.)
I know that religion is a touchy issue for a lot of people, similar to politics. Most people have their own views on those issues, and when they start debating them, it can get complicated. But sometimes someone will say something negative about Catholics or Christians, and I'm not always sure how to respond.
For example, I follow several people on Twitter who are atheists. How do I know they're atheists? Because they Tweet about how they believe that everyone who reads the Bible is ignorant. They criticize anyone who believes in God. On Ash Wednesday, there were WAY too many offensive jokes about Catholics who got the ashes put on their foreheads. They say a lot of things that make me MAD. I know that not all atheists are like that; I've met several atheists who never talked about religion at all.
One of the best things about living in America is the right to free speech. So even if those people's Tweets about religion offend me, they have the right to write them. They have the right to their own beliefs, including the right not to practice any religion.
And I know that Catholics don't have the best reputation, especially in light of the abuse scandal. And I don't agree with all of the Church's perspectives. For example, I don't support its stance against gay marriage; I think that gay people should have the right to get married, and I don't think that straight people should be in a position to withhold that right from them.
But even though I don't support everything that the Church stands for, I am still a practicing Catholic, and I still believe in God. That's why it angers me when people claim that I'm ignorant or stupid for reading the Bible, because I'm NOT. I have the right to practice any religion I want, and that's another great thing about living in America.
Whenever I read a Tweet that offends me, I want to write back to that person and say, "God can see what you're Tweeting!" or "If I had a lightning bolt right now, I'd throw it at you!" But I don't. I know that if I say something to them, it will probably provoke an argument. And I really don't want to fight with people I don't even know. So I figure that it's better just to ignore the Tweets that bother me, or unfollow the people who write them.
I did, however, once write a Tweet that said something like this: I don't go around preaching my religious beliefs to everyone on Twitter. It'd be GREAT not to read any more Tweets that bashed mine.
I don't expect everyone to agree with my religious beliefs, but it'd be nice if they respected my beliefs, just as I respect theirs.
What about you? How do you deal with it when you read something online that offends you?
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