One-Hundred Things Everyone Can Agree On

March 11, 2013

Wow, it seems I just keep stepping in it these days.100-things

Lately, I’ve touched a few topics that have been near and dear to my heart.  And quite by accident, I’ve really set some people off.  There have been wild debates sparked over the last few weeks when I tried to explain how I put my wife’s interests ahead of my own, how I don’t believe women should be subject to the minutia of rules set up to maintain modesty, and over my expanded definition of spiritual abuse.

I am not going to rehash those topics any time soon.  I’ve said my piece, and plenty of people have said their’s.

Instead, I’d like to give just a couple of thoughts on what it means to disagree with other Christians in the online space.

And, for the first time ever, I am setting out, very purposefully, to not spark disagreement.  No, instead, in a gesture of goodwill and universal unity, I am going to give my very first list of one-hundred things that everyone – no matter their race, gender, nationality, religion or orientation – can agree on.

Preaching to the Blog Choir

I want you to take a look at the list of blogs that you have bookmarked.

How many of them do you find yourself always nodding in agreement with?  How many of them make you regularly want to punch your computer in the face?

If blogs are like churches, then I think most people like to fill their blog readers with bloggers who are saying things they already think.  Most of us like to be in the choir and have sermons preached to us that reinforce what we already believe.

Why not find a couple of bloggers who aren’t in your repertoire of “kindred spirits” and just keep them close at hand?  You never know, they might say something you find yourself surprised to agree with.

I Don’t Know You, But I Hate You

I have never shunned people who disagreed with me on the blog, and the last couple of weeks have been no different.  I did my best to engage and above all, be friendly. I make no secret that I my thinking is shaped by the dissenters.

And I cannot tell you how thankful I am for all of the messages of support I received via email and social media too.  Last week, I had the biggest outpouring of support, to balance one of the hottest flame wars I have ever been a part of.

There were moments where I got heated too.  But I want to caution myself at the same time that I encourage you to take this caution: why do we feel so free to blast strangers on the internet?  Do we think a 700 word blog can really encompass a person’s heart?  Would we speak to each other the same way in person?  My guess is no.

Unique and Special Snowflakes

People say that we’re all a bunch of special and unique “snowflakes.”

Maybe you think that’s a bunch of fluffy weak-mindedness, but let’s go with that for a minute.  If we are all so unique and special, and no one else is exactly like us…

then no one is going to be exactly like us.  

We’re going to have to learn to live with a bunch of other completely unique snowflakes who don’t look, act or think like we do.

Maybe the sign of Christian maturity isn’t when everyone agrees, but when everyone disagrees and still shows each other love and respect.

One-Hundred Indisputable Things

And now, what you’ve been waiting for:

To counteract all the disagreement I have caused as of late, I offer to you my definitive list of one-hundred things that everyone can agree on.  If you disagree with me about any of these things, I can unequivocally and for all time say that you are wrong.

Here it is:

Kittens, Candy Canes, Cap’n Crunch, Rubik’s Cubes, Ferns, Fern Gully, Bob Evans’ Restaurants, Fluorescent Lights, Flowers, Flying, Frisbees, Puppies, Parking Lots, Piglets, Petting Zoos, Public Restrooms, Popcorn, Taylor Swift, Trees, The right way to eat a Reese’s, Roller Coasters, Disney World, Christmas Presents, Daylight Savings Time, Eric from high school, Buses, Band-Aids, Beaches, Whatever the last Die Hard movie was, Taxes, Truth, Tea Time, Dance Dance Revolution, Underwear, Pavlov’s Gun, Rainbows, Popsicles, Musicals, Magicians, Mark Wahlberg, Whales, Windmills, Water Skiing, Wristwatches, Mattresses, Runcible Spoons, Dr. Seuss, Starfish, Fish Sticks, Matchsticks, Matchstick Men, Nicolas Cage, Louisiana, The Moon, Money, Mayonnaise, My Mother, Hospitals, Hats, Hula Hoops, Hairdryers, Haircuts, Hot Tubs, Harleys, Hairpieces, The Celebrity Apprentice, Bacon, Punctuation, Pepto Bismol, Parties, Scissors, Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti Westerns, Scuba Diving, Clouds, Corduroy, Capri Pants, Kazoos, Carnivals, Corn Dogs, Quotation Marks, Quilts, Weddings, Waldorf Salad, Donuts, Days of the Week, Unicorns, Umbrellas, Umbrella by Rihanna, Glasses, Go Karts, Golfing, Romance, Red Lights, Radio, Birthdays, Locker Rooms, Lock Combinations, Loch Ness, Babies and Barfing.

Go ahead, I dare you to disagree with me on any of those things.

Or you can offer your real thoughts on how Christians should disagree online.

14 responses to One-Hundred Things Everyone Can Agree On

  1. Well, you know I was one of those in your corner, “Like, nuh uh! I know she didn’t!” in my Jersey girl accent… Ok, not quite, but close. I almost did a blog post of my own titled “How do you know you’re a big shot blogger?” but I wound up doing a Jillian Michaels ab workout instead. I think you handled yourself with aplomb and grace. I like your suggestion of having blogs of various stripes in our feeds. I do, including some of your detractors because I get bored reading only what I agree with. Where’s the challenge? What’s to learn?

  2. Hmm. I understand the motivation behind adding some variety to one’s list of blogs, but here’s my predicament–

    My parents are conservative Republican evangelicals. My sisters (and now brother-in-law) are conservative Republican evangelicals. Most of my coworkers (at least it *feels* like most of them–I’ve never really taken a poll) are conservative Republicans (can’t tell their religious leanings because no one talks about that stuff at work, thankfully.) I live in a state that is so red that the Obama campaign didn’t even stick a toe inside of it last year.

    So, while I can appreciate your sentiment about reading blogs that you disagree with, truth be told, as a moderate, NPR-listening, latte-sipping, non-evangelical type person, I kind of already get “the opposing side” on a daily basis. I get it in my Facebook feed. I get it from the dudes in the doctors’ lounge that leave the TV on Fox News all the time. I get it from the well-meaning relatives that send me crazy e-mail forwards. I get it from that one guy at work that tapes up paranoid-sounding articles from the Blaze or whatever to the bathroom wall and thinks he’s being cute.

    To be perfectly honest, I’m kind of getting “opposing side” fatigue. I don’t feel like I need to find out what “the opposing side” thinks because I’m getting the opposing opinion shoved in my face on a daily basis. And I can’t really say what I think of it because I don’t want to ruffle the feathers of anyone at work, and I certainly don’t want to cause a big stink with anyone that I might be having Thanksgiving dinner with in the future.

    So, yes, I’ve mostly been reading blogs that express opinions that I mostly agree with. It’s largely because it’s been reassuring to find out that I’m 1) not alone and 2) not less of a Christian for thinking the way I do.

    I do worry about becoming too insular in my blog reading, but I’ve yet to find a sort-of- conservative-leaning blog that isn’t bat***t crazy. To be honest, yours is the only one I’ve come across so far that sort of fits that description :). If anyone knows of any others, I’m open to suggestions.

    • Hurrah! Can’t add anything to your reply but I’ve been there and also been getting the overload are should I say overkill that you mention. Wonder if they will grow silent when they get to heaven? If not, what shall we do?

  3. I assume this is a list of things we love and hate… Cause as soon as I saw Nic Cage I felt hate bubble up in my heart.

    • Yeah….I was thinking the same thing. We all agree on Nicolas Cage as long as what you think about him is that he’s an awful (and kinda creepy) actor.

    • What, you mean you didn’t love him in “Face/Off”?! That was a piece of dramatic GOLD right there!

  4. Abby, I get what you are saying, but I would suggest to you that just because you hear arguments from the other side, doesn’t mean you are hearing anything which is constructive and which leads to a good dialog which builds up both parties. For example, I hear both of these from my conservative friends:
    1. Obama is trying to destroy our nation
    2. I disagree with Obama’s policies, and here’s why I think am convinced a conservative approach would be more beneficial (insert salient bullet points here)

    I love talking with people with whom I disagree but whose opinions are presented in ways which fall into the second category. I feel I learn a lot from listening to those various perspectives. Sadly, they make up the minority.

  5. I love a “friendly” debate on line. At the very least I learn where the other person is coming from and that they aren’t just Stupid. Hopefully they realize that the reasons I believe what I believe are just as well thought out.

    Except for …that guy…. we all know one of those.

  6. Getting two or three of us to agree on anything is a real task. And just because we agree doesn’t mean that we are right! 😀

  7. Okay, I’m wrong about 79% of the time, and this apparently validates that. 😉

  8. I think we can all agree that my comments are the awesomest. You’re welcome.

    I like “How many of them do you find yourself always nodding in agreement with?” I try to seek out blogs were I can at least understand where they’re coming from. Your blog does that. Plus the fact that you read and respond to comments are even better! It’s a conversation.. you know.. like in real life.

    We might not agree but we use similar language and often land in the same time zone. That’s saying a lot.