Worried about Returning: Internet Shaming

Our environment is being carefully manipulated and fostered by the enemy
to reduce human connection because that connection is the conduit for us
to express Christ's love.

So earlier in February there was a rash of politicians and celebrities
who had in some time in their past dressed up in 'black face'. Black
face is considered racist because and I quote 'it dehumanizes African

I don't want to debate whether or not black face is racist. I have
always been concerned about the terms 'racist' and 'sexist'. Mostly
because they are very powerful words, that when used accusationally are
really hard to defend against, regardless of what is true.  If you
accuse me of being a sexist, it is hard to defend myself without
reinforcing existing ideas that I'm a sexist.

For example "Hey, You're a sexist!"

me: "no I'm not, I love women, I mean, women are equal in the workplace,
I mean, also at home if that's what they want. Women are great! Some of
my favorite people are women!"

The accusation can easily turn you into a stammering idiot who looks
more guilty than innocent.  Those words as accusations have power, and
always have.  We shouldn't bandy them around as easily as we do.

So in the news early February 2019, several politicians in the SAME WEEK
had to apologize for their youthful experiments with black face.

3 in 1 week!  But it doesn't end there.  The next on the list was a
sweater by Gucci. It resembled black face when worn and so the company
had to remove it from their shelves and apologize.

That wasn't all.  Katie Perry had a shoe she had to recall because it
resembled black face.

February was definitely the month of 'black face in the news'. It seems
like each month there is a new 'reason to be disgraced'. Right or wrong,
I'm not debating that. If people do the crime, they should do the time.

But the issue here isn't actually a legal one. It's a 'court of popular
opinion one.'

Internet Shaming is a very powerful thing.  We teach anti-cyber bullying
in school and yet we engage in it as a nation and a people.

Imagine a small business owner. Trying his best to keep his business
afloat, has a few employees.  He's so busy he isn't paying attention to
the news and doesn't realize that if he wears a certain color shirt to
work that day he's supporting some cause he's unaware of.  As he walks
into his 4 employee building, someone takes a photo of him with their
phone and posts it on Instagram.

"CEO of Small Business wears Homophobic Shirt!"

It is totally feasible that he loses customers over that if it goes wide
enough.  The only real hope that man has is that he's not popular enough
to warrant the pic going viral.

But if he one day ever is popular enough, that photo will resurface. 
So, he strives to build his business, and one day it becomes national,
affluent, he's at the top of the headlines, and then boom here comes
that photo from 15 years prior.  And he's shamed, and asked to step down
from the board of directors.... because really, how many of us believe
him when he says

"it was 15 years ago, and I didn't know what I was doing?"

Am I defending these black facers?  No. I don't even know their story
and I have no reason to defend or promote anyone involved.

I'm simply saying, right now with the way that the U.S. is spiraling out
of control, I feel as if I'm returning to a different country. One that
does not value free speech any longer.  One that could ruin me with the
smallest accidental misstep.  One where the best strategy for survival,
is to remain silent, and fly under the radar, never strive to be too
successful, or to take any form of public office.

It seems to me we've begun to foster and very negative environment.

And it's hard because yeah, we should be ferreting out corruption and
lies and bigotry and racism and sexism.... but in some ways right now
our country feels like it did under the time of McCarthyism.  People are

In June, I get on a plane to return to the U.S.  The land of the free. 
And yet in many ways I feel more free where I live now.

I've said that to myself before and I thought 'it sounds like you're
saying 'I'm more free to be racist and sexist here.' '  I'm not a racist
and I'm not a sexist, so I don' t go around saying such things. But I
know that if I said something innocent that could be misconstrued, I'd
be given the benefit of the doubt here. Why? Because I have deeply
authentic relationships with people who know my heart and would
instantly see something innocently misspoken as just that.

Here's the hope part.  I trust God enough, to love people.  In this
environment in the U.S. I think it would be natural to be suspicious of
people. We'd be less likely to simply say 'hi' to a stranger in the U.S.
because we know it could lead to all kinds of trouble we don't want to
deal with.

The enemy wins the moment we're no longer willing to reach out to
someone new.

We're told to love with the love of Christ.  How many of us apply that
to the people we 'ALREADY KNOW.' ? AS time moves on, the list of people
we know only shrinks if we're unwilling to meet new people, make new

Our environment is being carefully manipulated and fostered by the enemy
to reduce human connection because that connection is the conduit for us
to express Christ's love.

We have to fight against the shaping of that environment by the enemy. 
There are so many things against the fostering of authentic human
connection these days, nearly everything is shaping up this way.  Talk
to a real human stranger? NO WAY! Don't you realize how dangerous that is?

For me, returning to the U.S. I have very real plans and ideas about how
I will foster human connections and relationships. But I'm also very
aware that there are risks in reaching out to people.  I am sad those
risks are greater today than I remember them being in my lifetime.
Thankfully I follow a God who is strong enough to hold me through those