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How I Got Flagged by Facebook for Hate Speech
August 26, 2020

Some algorithms just can't take a joke.

WARNING: Sensitive religious material ahead.

I am not a Christian. I was loosely raised as one, and I do have Christian friends. That's not the sensitive material.

Before I get into this, though, I have to start out with the fact that I consider my Christian friends good people. They have solid moral compasses. They try to live their lives lawfully. They maintain good relationships with the people around them. They raise decent children that will (hopefully) become adults that advance the common good. Some worship privately, while others stand on the street corner and publicly proclaim their faith. In my opinion, either/both are okay! After you read what I'm typing out, know that I still believe everything in this paragraph.

I have a problem with Christianity, and that's where I might lose you.

If you're not Christian, you may be thinking, "ONE problem, there's only ONE?!" If you are Christian, you may be thinking, "how DARE you?!" You may be thinking neither of those things, I don't know, I'm not you. I promise I'm not trying to project, but please keep reading, I swear I have a point.

My one problem with Christianity is segregation. Christianity builds a strong divide between those who believe in Jesus Christ and those who don't. It's hard-coded in the Bible. Believers get eternal life, non-believers get to die and spend eternity in the absence of the presence of God. Punishment for the non-believer ranges from condemnation (John 3:18) to death (2 Chronicles 15:12-13, Luke 19:27). On top of all that, there's a number of statements detailing how you shouldn't hang out with non-Christians, do business with non-Christians, or ... you know ... let them live (Remember that line from 2 Chronicles?). From an outsider's perspective, these bits of the Bible can be seen as a little chilling. "Believe in our God & Jesus Christ, or else."

At this point I feel like I have to clarify that an overwhelming majority of Christians aren't basing their lives on these statements. I'm not trying to promote that Christianity is establishing a modern-day Inquisition, nor are they creating Christian-only areas where the infidel isn't allowed entry. I don't think that Christians as a whole are out to slaughter non-believers.

I do think that the segregation inherent in the Bible leads to exceptionalism -- where not only are non-believers a separate class, but they are all destined to be somehow inferior to their Christian brothers and sisters.

This has been pointed repeatedly in my social media feed of all places. People post about how public servants don't deserve to be in office if they can't swear on a Bible. Other posts about how the world is falling apart explicity because people don't have Jesus in their heart, as if Christians are somehow less fallible individuals. The most fun conversations to be had are when non-Christianity is expressed as a negative, how someone becomes less of a person because they don't pray the right way.

I said earlier that I have Christian friends. I also have Jewish ones, Atheist ones, Agnostic ones, Muslim ones, maybe a Pastafarian or two. For the most part people are good, no matter their belief system. One day, one of these exceptionalist, divisive posts came across my feed and something triggered me. I had to stand up for the other guy. Especially since, technically, I am the other guy.

The post said: "It's time to Remove ANYONE from Office who can not take the Oath of Office on the Bible and swear allegiance to our flag and follow the laws of the Constitution of the United States."

My response was: "Yeah! We should throw out those dirty atheists, jews, and muslims, am i right?"

Aaaaaaaand I got flagged for hate speech.

Thanks, Facebook algorithm. At least I wasn't suspended.

Yet.

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