Respectful Dialogue

Social media is a terrible place to host a conversation, especially on topics that people disagree passionately upon. Abortion is obviously one of those topics. If you are going to host a social media site like Passion Life does and you are going to interact with an audience in any way, in a comment section or in the comment section of a website, you are going to deal with a fair amount of pushback and criticism. I am advocating today for a thoughtful, measured, respectful conversation through social media or through the comments section of the Passion Life website. The reason I am doing this is because today I spent just a little time on Facebook and Instagram combing through the comments section.

Let me assure you, there is nothing on this planet that you can be called that I have not been called now on social media because I am a pro-life person who posts online and that’s understandable. I understand that most of these nameless and faceless individuals feel the freedom to talk disdainfully or disgracefully because they are hiding behind the anonymity of an online persona. They would not treat me that way if we were sitting in a restaurant having a cup of coffee together. I understand that about them. They are probably not horrible people.
They are people who are just kind of using the anonymity of social media to be a little bit nasty and trying to score points. We are all prone to do that.

So I am advocating for a healthy, logical, reasoned and measured conversation on social media. If you make comments on the Passion Life social media, 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be me personally who responds to you. We do not have nameless, famous, faceless people from Passion Life who respond to our social media. We do not hire anyone to do our responses for social media. The truth is we do not like social media all that much, but we also realize that social media is a presence that a ministry or a corporation has to maintain in order to lift some sort of profile of visibility within the community.

If you can’t engage people through your social media outlets that is a reflection of an inability to host a legitimate conversation. We want to host a conversation. We know that people are going to disagree with us. My prayer is that you will always be treated with dignity and respect. If you engage us on social media, I will tell you that I have had a couple of social media interactions where I was called a name or criticized for something and when I returned and engaged in a dignified way, the people that I was writing to engaged me in a respectful and dignified way.

I don’t think that we’re going to win very many conversations through our social media interactions, but I think that it’s worth hosting a place where people can learn, where they can ask legitimate questions. If you feel that we as pro-lifers don’t dignify women the way you think women should be dignified, let’s have a conversation about that. You may be surprised to find that we very much consider ourselves to be both pro-life and pro-women. Ask us how that works. We would love to share our thoughts with you, and we would love to hear your thoughts.

There is no one from whom I cannot learn in this conversation. I am a learner. We are all non-experts to some degree, and I would love to engage with you on social media about some of these difficult topics and conversations. Engage with us on all of Passion Life’s social media and, of course, at passionlife.org. You can sign up for our newsletter there where you’ll be able to figure out how to get in contact with us more personally. We look forward to having a conversation with you.