Just because we can
The Internet gives us absolute freedom of expression. It is pure democracy. Anyone can publish unchecked thoughts and images on popular social media platforms. More are being developed. You could become famous if your stuff goes viral. But the pitfalls are historic. Henry David Thoreau nailed it in 1854: “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate” (Walden).
Everyone has a megaphone, “but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). The tongue and its digital extensions still spew venom. Democracy is all about having robust and civil dialogue about competing views. But trashing another’s reputation, belittling someone’s appearance, or lashing out in anonymity are sins. So, “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies” (Psalm 34:13). There is no cause that is furthered through slander. There is no grievance that justifies defaming someone’s good name.
Be careful what you post. It will be out there a very long time. Someone will find it and believe it. You will have a follower. Speech is not regulated in a free society under the assumption that people can control it themselves. The guiding principles are rooted in God’s Word. Sure, we can say anything we want. But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
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