The James Website

Blessed be the Snowflakes

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” – Matt. 5:5

I see this image a lot, and I’m guessing it’s one of the most prominent anti-“snowflake” memes circulating among the Right. I don’t know who the young lady in the image is or what she’s worked up about. All I know is that I’m being told this is funny. 

Assuming she is a liberal/progressive/similar-term-of-your-choice, allow me to make an observation: from her point of view, chances are she believes she is “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” (Matt. 5:6), likely in pursuit of the fair treatment of others, a desire born of being “pure in heart” (Matt. 5:8), driven by the desire to be a peacemaker (Matt. 5:9).

This is funny?

For the sake of argument, it is possible she is mistaken or in error in her conclusions, or even mowing others down in her zealousness, but if she is what this meme implies she is, then her conclusions, whether correct or incorrect, are born of a desire to do good — born of a good heart. 

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me.” (Matt: 5:11)

(Of note: “but she’s not saying it on account of Jesus” does not mean “so it’s open season” — If you think it is, you’ve tragically missed the point of the Beatitudes.)

Christians who have aligned themselves with the Right pass memes like this around while somehow being entirely blind to the hypocrisy of doing so. There is never any time, any place, anywhere that it is appropriate or even permissible to mock another person. Period.

To back that up: I detest everything President Drumpf stands for. Everything. I have concluded he is acting as a self-interested authoritarian destroying the very fabric of our Republic and the closest thing to an American antichrist (read: antithetical to all things Christ-like) I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Despite that level of passion I have, I will not mock the man. You will never see me call him names or make fun of his appearance or anything else of the sort here. This is because I believe Trump is a human being created in the image of God and loved by God who, for as long as he draws breath, wakes every day to a new opportunity to change his course and embrace a better way. None are beyond redemption. I do not mock any blessed creation of God’s.

In fact, among my core beliefs are that all people are created in the image of God and thus each individual is blessedly unique, the greatest commands are to love your God and love your neighbor as yourself, and that we should avoid violence and all forms of hatred at all costs. I am, indeed, proudly a tender little snowflake. 

Making it Personal

You may object that I’m possibly mischaracterizing the person in question, and you may even be right. Perhaps you’ve had some nasty experiences where the everyone-loving, all-tolerant liberal has yelled you down, called you names, and refused to hear you out (it’s happened to me, too). That definitely happens, I think especially among younger people who mean to do good, but lack the discipline to temper their passion, as young people tend to do. It also happens among those who, frankly, have deeper, other issues going on. I don’t say that to excuse anything, but rather to emphasize that that’s not the point. 

How we behave should not be decided by how someone treats us. Any parent who’s heard the excuse “but they started it!” knows this well. 

Let me put this another way: Jesus would never “lol” at anyone’s “meltdown”. 

If you do, then by whatever spirit you’re doing so of…it’s not the spirit of God. 

When the President does it…it’s of the spirit of something else

Finding Our Principles Again

I think the real problem at hand here is at least in part media, especially social media. Now, as a techie myself, the last thing I’m prone to do is blame the technology — it’s a thing and it didn’t make you do anything. It’s how we’re using it — and how we’re being used through it to the benefit of media companies — that’s especially problematic. 

Liberalism and conservatism (and various other -isms) are, at the root of things, for most folks a question of mechanics. I believe most people want to contribute to making a better tomorrow. I believe liberals and conservatives (the every-day kind, not the actually-in-power kind) share this goal. They only differ in the how. If we could get back to arguing the mechanics, this would make for far more meaningful dialogue. Let’s talk about the mechanics and effectiveness of socialized medicine vs. the free market making medicine more affordable for everyone. Let’s talk about the right to a living wage vs. the importance of personal, individual responsibility. Let’s talk about ideas, beginning with a common understanding that we all want the same end, but only differ on how best to get there. 

Who’s having a meltdown at the moment has nothing to do with that.

And just because someone else might have started it doesn’t mean it’s right for you to do the same. 

We’re all snowflakes.