AntiSocial Media

If you live in the UK, you will know the sad story of Charlie Gard, a little 11 month old baby who had a life limiting disease, and how his mum and dad had been through the court system, trying everything in their power to save him. His life maintaining tubes and medical paraphernalia were recommended to be removed to allow the little boy die ‘with dignity’. His parents were distraught, and were been faced with a situation which at the end of the day is the life and death of their only son, and one which no parent should ever have to face. This whole situation was played out in the media court of worldwide public opinion, which made it worse. I even saw a USA newspaper report which blamed the UK NHS and the government for Charlie’s death. In my opinion, that is one country which has no room to talk about health care and politics.


As if this heartache wasn’t bad enough, thousands of mindless people took to ‘social’ media to question the medical staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and their care for Charlie. Death threats were even made on so called ‘social’ media against the very people who cared night and day to keep this little soul alive while a court case raged around him. All the medical opinion was that his condition was irreversible and his life support should be removed, but these ‘not so wise guys’ who make Facebook and Twitter (there are other social media sites) their weapon of choice, think they know better. No qualifications or medical experience. No connection to the family. No heart. Just anger at a hospital who do what they can to improve the health of children when they can, and are distressed when they get too close to their tiny charges, and the unthinkable happens. Then there was the American doctor who raised false hope by claiming his revolutionary experimental treatment  could turn Charlie’s situation around. It took him months to come to London to see the baby for himself and view the case notes, and it was too late to prove anything. That speaks volumes. Heartless? Do I hear a cash register ringing in my ears? The Pope and Donald Trump also offered ‘any help they could give’, but that went silent as well.


If there was ever a case for believing our society has reached the tipping point of understanding true compassion, this is it. These thousands of mindless trolls represent the kind of society we belong to, and I am ashamed that I am seen as a part of it. This is only one part of an obviously broken community, country, and world. I believe the only thing that will help is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will sort out the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the chaff, the good from the evil. Only then will we rest in the assurance that the death of this little boy has been defeated, and our literally ‘God-less’ society has been set straight.


Like a dog that returns to its vomit, a fool does the same foolish things again and again. Proverbs 26:11


Strong words from Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. His writings are preserved for us and we do well to take heed of his thoughts. As I read these words, I couldn’t help but think about Facebook, some posted thoughts, and more significantly, the comments posted in response.


We have all been there. We saw the words from a ‘friend’ and they sounded extreme. Could have been politics, religion, or a recent news item, but we are drawn into the mistake of putting our own ‘correction’ to the ‘foolishness’ expressed by the original person. Of course we are not alone, because others have seen the words and want to express their own views, and it can get messy! Sometimes we even return to our own foolish words and repeat them, or even over-emphasise them to the effect that they sound even more out of order, and just plain daft! Been there? Know someone who has done this? We are not alone.


Solomon compares the fool going over the same wrong things repeatedly, to the dog returning to its vomit. The big difference is that the dog can’t help it, and we can! But true to our base nature, we defend our errors again and again, and to others it all looks and sounds so petty, false, plain wrong, and very unconvincing. Yes, Solomon was a wise man!