When A Public Figure Doesn’t Agree with you. Oh the Horror!
I’ve been trying to place my frustrations from watching what happens to people when they disagree with a Christian Celebrity – or really any kind of Christian public figure. It’s amazing how crazy people get when they come across something this “celebrity” believes that they disagree with.
I been saddened today as I’ve watched some well known bloggers post opinions about the Refugee Crisis. The responses they have gotten have been so … well… odd… and maddening… and poke me in the eye what in the world is wrong with people?!?
Sure, there are some people calmly saying “I disagree with you because ____.” Cool, I’m good with that. Feel free to disagree. Seriously.
But there are a lot of people who are absolutely losing their brains as if they can’t believe that someone who has influenced them so much could hold such a God-awful, ridiculous, stupid, embarrassing” opinion. The statement often goes like this… “I loved everything you’ve ever written but now…
“… I will stop following you…”
“… I will not come to that conference you are speaking at…”
“… I am ashamed and embarrassed…”
“… my heart is broken…”
(I know, I know, I shouldn’t read the comments. I’m really the one to blame here.)
All the sudden, the public figure doesn’t live up to the image that they have created they are in their mind.
And everything comes crumbling down.
This happens a lot of times with pastors as well. We love a church or pastor until we come up against something they say that we do not agree with.
Again, everything comes crumbling down.
It makes me realize possibly two things are happening here:
1) When we have “relationships” that are not rooted in actual relationship – we get into big problems. I can disagree with someone I know, even something I am very passionate about, and we can usually just figure it out. But, when I disagree with a public figure (who somehow in my mind is some kind of unconnected friend), I cannot handle it because its not rooted in relationship. It’s a faux-relationship. I have talked with a number of “famous Christians” who are freaked about by the number of people who think they are best friends with them, most of whom they have never met. This is the kind of thing that reminds me that being “famous” is just not worth it. I think Christian celebrity is the one of the weirdest things ever and I do not envy anyone who somehow finds themselves as one.
2) We are more committed to our ideology than relationship. When push comes to shove, we are more loyal to our beliefs than we are to the people who hold them. We love the people who think like us, more than we love the actual people.
I do not think we should be shocked when we find out that any kind of public figure does not hold all the same beliefs as we do.
I actually believe it is okay to stop following someone, leave a church, etc if there are major points of philosophical disagreement. It’s the “being shocked” part that really confuses me.
But here’s my point – if you find yourself disagreeing with someone you admire / idolize to the point of being shocked and appalled, you should probably ask yourself why you are having such a strong reaction.
May I suggest that maybe you’ve created this person into an idol and what you really love is that this person thinks like you more than you love the actual person?