Monday, April 26, 2010

Soap Box – Where Is the Line?

Warning: this post is not running related

I try not to get too worked up about too many things because it just steals my energy. But, I read something today that got my heart racing. Since I have some readers here whose opinion I really value, I wanted to get your thoughts.

I’m not sure if this is just a Facebook thing, but today one of my supposed “friends” on FB posted the following:

Dear Lord, This year you took my favorite actor, Patrick Swayzie. You took my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett. You took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson. I just wanted to let you know, my favorite president is Barack Obama. Amen.”

Apparently this is some sort of movement going on on FB and maybe elsewhere. I guess these folks think they are clever and funny. Is there no line anymore? Shame on you.

In my humble opinion, even if you are not a fan of President Obama, have some respect and tact. To wish the death of anyone, especially a noble man, father and husband who just happens to be the leader of our nation is outrageous and down right ignorant. Beyond that, have these people thought one step beyond what happens if Obama dies? One word for you: Biden.

I think this bothers me so much because there is a movement behind it. I guess I wished that people were more rational than that.

However, I have to remember that whoever wrote this already has two strikes against them:

  1. They can’t spell “Swayzie” (should be Swayze)
  2. Their favorite actress was Farrah (really? I mean she was beautiful and all that, but favorite actress? What about Tooty from the Facts of Life?)

Thoughts? I’m thinking it’s time to “unfriend” some people.

Did you hear that noise? That was me getting off of my soapbox and back in the bathroom where I belong.

67 comments:

  1. I HATE all of this hating on Obama. I feel like it's just totally crossed the line. I mean there were just as many people that didn't like or agree with Bush but were they saying he should die or be assassinated or any other horrid thing? No. I've started unfriending people because I sick of their smut, ignorant updates.

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  2. I think it's just plain immature and inappropriate! Some people should grow up......

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  3. I totally agree with you. It saddens me that anyone would join that group, let alone people I know.

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  4. I saw this on Facebook too.. it really hit a nerve so I'm glad you posted about it. And good point about Biden! I just noticed one of my FB friends "liked" the group "I hate fat girls that think they're hot." There's so much hateful crap on there.

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  5. I am curious if you would have felt this way if it had been said about President Bush?

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  6. Totally agree w/you. It is HORRIBLE to wish death on anyone. Hate is a bad, bad thing.

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  7. I am not on facebook (I know, I know!!!) so have not heard of these. But have heard of another movement a while back, that wanted to show that Obama should not be president bc he was not born in the US (he was). Might be the same group. These things don't get to me anymore, they are just the reality of our own lives...

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  8. To the anonymous commenter above who is too chicken to post their name: you missed the point of my post completely. It is not about if you are right/left wing, rep/democrat. It's about civility. I would never hope for the death of anyone regardless of political/religious affiliation, etc. Shame on you too.

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  9. There's also a facebook group that is for people praying for the death of the President. I always look at it and hope God thinks to Himself "oh, children, the silly things you say."

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  10. I deleted 3 "friends" who posted this as their status!

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  11. Move over, I'm on that soapbox too. You already know how I feel about this since I commented on your FB status, but I totally find it disgusting.

    Everyone has a difference of opinion. I get that and I respect my friends who don't like him (I'm personally a fan), that is what makes us a democracy, but to wish the death of someone else because you don't agree with them is just plain idiotic!

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  12. Unbelievable that "adults" actually post these kinds of immature comments. That would be an instant delete for me! Hate is never ever right.

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  13. ....and I totally dig Tootie from the facts of life.

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  14. This has been running around Facebook, in various incarnations, for a couple weeks now. Immature and childish. I bet the secret service is taking it pretty seriously, though.

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  15. Thanks Paul, I saw it for the first time today. Yep, not the kind of thing you want to be saying lightly.

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  16. I have no time for this kind of thing going on around FB land. I have had some people I thought were great acquaintances and friends post some really awful things that certainly warranted the unfriend move, it's just not worth reading.

    I read a quote once that went something like "the second people are given a voice without needing a face to back it they become daft arseholes." Sounds about right :)

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  17. It is their opinion... but totally disrespectul. I didn't vote for Obama... but I certainly do not wish ANYONE to die. I would comment back some smart a$$ remakr like:

    “Dear Lord, This year you took my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze. You took my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett. You took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson. I just wanted to let you know, my favorite FRIEND is XXXX. Amen.”

    And fill in the XXXX - when they comment back... ask them how it feels to be wished dead?

    And here I am on my soap box: What kind of person prays to God for someone to die? Seriously... it isn't even funny.

    BTW: Check out my blog for a giveaway. It is Day 1 of the Five Days of Giveaways.

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  18. People are such immature idiots. Especially 'friends' on Facebook!

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  19. I totally agree, people are assholes on Facebook, it's like they feel they have the right to publish whatever you want. <--- if you want to do that, that's fine, but that's what blogs are for! That's also why I'm not on Facebook, I don't want people closest to me to know everything, I'd rather let strangers read my rambling...

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  20. Jesus would totally love all the hate. What good Christians.
    I've seen this before and was equally appalled. I'm a democrat though, so here in Memphis I'm generally ignored lol.

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  21. This was posted on Liz Smith column in wowOwow.com 04/02/2010:
    JUST LIKE you, I receive the damnedest funniest things in e-mail. Here’s one such from lawrenceeisenberg.com. It made me roll on the floor with laughter:

    "Dear Lord – in the past year you have taken away my favorite actor (Patrick Swayze), my favorite actress (Farrah Fawcett), my favorite musician (Michael Jackson) and my favorite pitchman (Billy Mays).

    "Just wanted to let you know my favorite TV and radio personalities are Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin."

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  22. How would this particular person that originated this so called "letter to God" feel if their children / wife / mother or father read something like that about someone wanted the AUTHOR to die. If Obama's two girls read it, I'm sure they would feel horrible. Yes respect the fact he is a devoted father and husband. I wonder if this person even knows who God is...

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  23. OMG. I saw that posted on one of my friend's FB walls and was in shock. I wanted to comment but I didn't want to start an argument. I mean, really?! How low does one go? It's rediculous.

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  24. I think it's absolutely ridiculous! And, no matter how much you dislike someone, wishing them dead is just going too far.

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  25. first of all, i do NOT follow politics b/c i don't like what it does to people. i really believe that ignorance is bliss when it comes to this and i pay no attention. wrong or right as that may be, it's how i choose to live.

    but with that being said, it is terrible to wish someone's death. it's a dark and terrible thing and very immature. i wanted to defriend someone the other day who made a terrible comment about a political group in general. i thought their comment was insensitive, judgemental and immature.

    however, there is an element of politics to this. i know a lot of people who are fired up but it's b/c they are democratic. they don't care that it's a thoughtless and wrong thing to say in general, it's just political for them. these same people have made terrible comments about what they would do or wish if mccain became president.

    you know, it's getting unblissful over here for me...time to scoot!

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  26. I think the best way to look at it is people are dumb and they have no tact. I think i get irritated by something every time I get on facebook. If it weren't for the extra entries I get into giveaways, I would totally cancel my account. ;0)

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  27. I totally agree. People wishing death on the President of the US? Apparently, they think like the terrorists.

    Its rotten and disgraceful. Wishing the President dead is one step away from allowing someone to kill the President, which is one step away from helping them, which is one step away from doing it themselves. Sick people.

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  28. In a country of free speech the line may be well out of reach for most of us.

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  29. OMG that is terrible. Some people should really read their status before posting ;)

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  30. I agree, I cannot believe someone would wish death upon another person. I was very fired up by this on FB. The sad thing is, when something bad happens to people that are followers of that page, they will wonder why. It is called Karma people, you do not wish bad things on others.

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  31. I saw that on a lot of my friends' pages too. I wan't upset they posted it, but I did think wishing death on anyone is a no no

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  32. I saw that on FB too and just think it is so inappropriate. It was my ex-daycare - made me happy we switched!

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  33. There is a line!! We should be able to disagree without compromising civility and our humanity. Unfortunately, that takes courage and thoughtfulness and a level of reason that escapes too many people today. The really bad part is that those same people believe their voice lends something to the debate, when in fact, it's just noise!! I agree with you that it's time to unfriend some people and reduce the noise pollution! Have a good week!

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  34. "How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it? ...How long? Not long. Because no lie can live forever."
    Beth, I think the line is here: it's where we draw it. It's where we say, "No, you can't get away with bad behavior because you think it's okay or safe. I'm calling you on it." It won't always make a difference, and it's not always worth the effort, depending on how spent you are. But it's important to stand up for civility and rationality anyway, as often as you can, as bravely as you can.
    I've disovered a lot of unsavory things about aquaintances through facebook. "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I just don't think it bends on its own.

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  35. Don't worry about a thing--God doesn't listen to "prayers" like that.

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  36. Couldn't agree more. I felt exactly the same when I read it. It's really frustrating. I had a student try to tell this in class and she was shocked that I thought it was inappropriate.. :(

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  37. I feel sorry for those folks that belive in that sort of God...sad really...

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  38. I hate those stupid sayings that people put in their status (or whatever it is called) on FB to try to be all political. They just make themselves sound like idiots.

    I think this is SO inappropriate. And I have heard worse about Obama, in person, from family. Come on... we are one nation! Let's stick together!

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  39. I definitely agree....while I am not a fan of the current administration, in no way, shape or form do I advocate wanting them to DIE. I mean, seriously!? How old are we?

    it's the President of the United States, and like it or not, he is our President, and to wish him that is absolutely atrocious and beyond disrepectful.

    i would unfriend them too.

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  40. I agree totally. I may not agree with Obama politically, but he is still my president and I will support him like I have supported any other president that I have not agreed with. Too sad that people actually will post crap like that.

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  41. you know what....that is absurd!!! I will say I am not an Obama fan, but I certainly would not want his job or the pressures of his life....and since I am n t willing to do the job myself, I sure as hell not going to knock him for doing it. and your right, he is someone's husband, father, friend, son so on and so forth...ooohhhhh I am on my Box now! Good for you for speaking up!

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  42. While I'm not a fan of our President, I do agree with what you're saying. The Office of the President should be respected at all times. But, I'd like to say that there were some similar-type groups against President Bush and I'm sure there would have been some for every president since the founding of our country. Unfortunately, this is what we're teaching our children, that if we don't agree with the person in the office, we don't need to respect the person holding the office. It's a sad state we live in these days.

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  43. One of my friends had that too. My first thought was "oh snap!" Then I felt bad for having thoughts that reflected characters from That's So Raven.
    Dumb but true.

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  44. I really like what SueMac said...I completely agree. I do not approve of our president either, but his position as President should be respected. I don't like his politics, but I do think that he is a good man at heart and that he has a really tough job that I sure don't want to have. How can this person claim to be Christian when they are praying for someone's death? Jesus commands us to love others as He loved us...even if you don't like that person.

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  45. I will go against the common idea here that people posting this are dumb. I don't feel that's the main reason here because I've seen some pretty smart people posting this on FB...I think that the lesson that respect is due to authority even if you don't agree is gone. When I was growing up, if a person was an authority figure, you respected them for the position they held, but that does not seem to exist at all anymore. Teachers are treated like trash, our leaders are targets of tasteless and an inappropriate jokes...the list goes on. It is really sad. The only way to change this is if we take the responsibility to teach our own children that this is unacceptable behavior by modeling the correct behavior even when we don't realize that they are watching us.

    I'm not a supporter of Obama, but he is our President. Because of that position, I respect him even if I don't always agree with what he says and does.

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  46. This shouldn't be matter of right/left, Republican/Democrat.
    I don't care what religion, political affiliation or any group you are from, to wish upon the death of somebody and anybody is just hateful and a person with a good heart and good morals will not have such ugly thoughts.

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  47. AGREED. I constantly see these things being posted and it horrifies me.

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  48. Hate is wrong; to wish death against ANYONE is wrong, it saddens me to see things like this.

    Where is tolerance, where is respect for diversity, what happened to being a good human being?

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  49. sigh sigh sigh... politics... ahhhhhh *runs in opposite direction* ((i'm totally not sighing you BTW...)) :)

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  50. Stupid, mindless, senseless, hateful, uncivilized, oh I could go on and on.
    I really don't know if it is better to totally ignore people who post things like that or try and educate them on morals (and spelling).

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  51. I think this "message" that is going around Fb and text messages is a terrible example of how little we all care about other human beings. It is one thing to disagree with someone'e view point. It is completely another to be (what to me appears to be) making fun of the passing of two other well know people and wishing the death of a third...who just happens to be the president And whether you like him or not we all should be wanting him to do well because he is leading the nation we will in! It's like hoping your mother fails at raising you because she made you eat brussel sprouts...that only hurts you. Duh, people use your heads!

    I am glad I wasn't the only one offended by that message. Thanks for giving the topic a voice!

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  52. I am in the business of saving lives, so to wish death on someone goes against my way of thinking. What bothers me with the President we have right now is that he has openly admitted being a Muslim and what they believe is "death to all Americans".......so I guess the folks on FB are just saying the same thing he's allowed to get away with saying.
    Politics is and always will been a "heated" topic among us all in this country and that's what makes this country great-the FREEDOM to say what we want when we want. At least so far, that seems to be changing on a daily basis since we've gone completely SOFT in this world. We need to forget wishing death on people and get our asses back into what makes this country in the first place. We need to stop asking for someone else to always take care of us. I work hard to pay my bills. I work hard to have a roof, food, clothes. Why should others get that for free? OK, this could go on.........
    Rather interesting post -and- comments!

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  53. I agree with your thoughts on this one. Unfortunately it sums up a lot of the "hater" stuff that seems to pass around as "funny" on the internet these days. As a parent I wonder what sorts of things my kids will need to deal with and how best to prepare them for it.

    On another point, you mentioned unfriending people on facebook. I have soooo thought about doing this too. I'd love to read a post on your thoughts about the "protocol" for doing this. (I am also sure your readers would have some insightful comments on the topic too.)

    Cheers, Paul

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  54. SO with you on this! Grow up people!

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  55. Not much to add, except that I COMPLETELY AGREE. I wish I could real-life unfriend 9/10 of my family. *sigh*

    I think the reason people like this don't think things through is because the evangelical right is taught to STOP thinking at the point at which what they're being told doesn't make sense.

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  56. They also have one for Gov. Christie. I hate Gov. Christie. I hate what he is doing in NJ to children and teachers. But to wish someone death, not okay with me. I believe in a karma rating and posting that is not going to send it in the right direction.

    PS- ANON commentors...really??? You have an opinion...share it with conviction.

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  57. As someone who's actually been paid to write jokes, I know that "going over the line" is not only expected, but considered a goal - if you don't offend someone, you didn't push hard enough - but that "joke" fails as humor. It's just not funny. Why it gets repeated is beyond me.

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  58. One of my friends posted it too and I hold that kind of crap right up there with the anti-gay movement (which also pisses me off even more than the anti-Obama). I did a little survey thing on FB once about whether the schools should air Obama's address to students (our stupid county DID NOT btw...morons) and I said yes and commented that it had nothing to do with who was president but in teaching our kids to respect the office. Some bitch I went to HS with came on and blasted me about Obama not being Christian and hanging out with bad people and pretty much every other urban legand out there. Hello, the poll had nothing to do with political views anyway! I unfriended her ass.

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  59. I agree. That's ridiculous. I haven't seen it on my facebook...yet...and I hope I never do. I would definitely unfriend some people. Wishing the death of anyone is cruel, especially the leader of our nation.

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  60. Wow, oh wow...and to think I usually just come here for poop jokes and running!

    What a terrible thing to write/say/think! I am so glad I haven't seen that posted - otherwise some unfriending would be done!

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  61. Ok, now this has nothing to do with this post, which has nothing to do with running...
    I can't see your "girl power" entry! I get so excited when I see a knew post from you on my little blogger thingy and it makes me SAD when I can't open it up!!!

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  62. Amazing attitudes out there. I wonder what kind of a mental world those people live in. It's sad and it's scary. I truly hope I don't see that on my facebook page.

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  63. when I first read the 'where is the line?' title, i thought it was going to be a post about getting all frazzled up during a race and not seeing/knowing where the finish line was...and i was thinking 'ah! i sooo relate!'
    well, you weren't, but I still wanna say 'ah...I soo relate;-)'

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  64. This is the first post I've ever read from your blog and I like you already. I also immediately went to FB to see if anyone I know had posted that. Thankfully none because I was all kinds of ready to de-friend people.
    I don't understand people who feel that kind of thing is funny. It only makes me feel sad.

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  65. Really? What the hell is wrong with some people? Time to unfriend.

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