I used to love red

This has become pretty ubiquitous on Facebook.

By: Justine Johnson

I’ve always loved the color red. As far back as I can recall, it was my absolute favorite color of the rainbow. I look moderately good in red clothing, I received a gazillion red things for graduation gifts from my wonderful aunties, and I now attend a college where red is one of the school colors. I’ve always loved the color red.

Until today.

I’m not here to pick sides on the gay marriage debate. If you don’t know my views on the matter, I am not planning on explaining them to you here. The clearest I will get about this is that I am sick and tired of seeing red pictures with pink lines across them.

I would just like to direct you to Blimey Cow, who posted a video called “You Are Not An Activist.” Summarized, it talks about how ‘liking’ a Facebook page or buying a t-shirt does not make you an activist. What makes you an activist is going out and actually trying to fix the problem. To quote Jordan Taylor, the speaker in the video: “Get off your high-fructose-corn syrup-butt and do something about it.”

I’m going to be blunt: I actually hope that some people are offended by what I say in this article. Maybe then they will hop off of their internet high horses, change their profile pictures back to those of smiling faces or ridiculously cute puppies, and go have a discussion with a friend about what they can do—together—to change the way that things are.

I’ve heard people say, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” Could we please retire that terminology today? True, we need to love the sinner…but that means everyone on this earth, not just people we don’t share the same theology with. How about we stop arguing about whether or not homosexuality is right, legal or Biblical, and start talking about ways that we can connect with those who are different than us?

I am attending a liberal arts school, where we are encouraged to question, examine and learn about our beliefs as well as other people’s viewpoints. The cool thing about figuring out what you believe is that you aren’t required to agree with your best friend, your Theology professor or even your parents. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you should be respecting someone with opposing beliefs because they are a creature made by a loving God; you should not base your respect on how strong their argument is or how many times they post Bible verses about loving people on their Facebook walls.

And guess what? There isn’t going to be a simple solution to this issue. People are going to continue to hurt and be treated unfairly. It’s called living in a world that is not perfect. We will never be able to heal every hurt, but we can encourage our fellow human beings and build each other up in love. Heck, they don’t even have to love Jesus to be loved by us. What a novel concept.

Just because you speak out on the Internet does not mean that you are an activist. All that establishes is that you know how to read and you can click a mouse without physical discomfort. Congratulations.

Cardboard Magazine will have an exclusive feature on Blimey Cow in the upcoming launch issue, available this spring.


2 thoughts on “I used to love red

  1. Cara says:

    Amen and well said!

  2. Kay Johnson says:

    I support the good intentions of the Human Rights Campaign — spreading the red equal square on FB did no harm and maybe did some good for the equal marriage campaign. Individuals do what they can when they can — everyone will not be an “activist”.

    I’m not much of a trend joiner, nor am I daily on Facebook, so my smiling face still resides on my page. But I have no problem with those who joined the campaign.

    But I applaud your article for its concern that we need to live our beliefs, that we need to regularly re-examine our judgment of others, and that we need to try to practice what we preach.

    (And I still like the color red.)

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