The Beef Between The Arena of Life Church and Amarillo Reddit Users
So looking around Amarillo's subreddit page can give you some insight into what is going on around our city. Having 10.5k followers means that if every follower were to be a Amarillo citizen, about 5 percent of Amarillo's population would belong to the subreddit. It acts as almost a "pseudo-news source" allowing anyone to talk about their experiences, thoughts or opinions on Amarillo, its citizens, its institutions, or just things going on around town. Overall, its a pretty great place online to connect with your fellow Amarillo residents. But it can also be the place for people to vent their frustrations about Amarillo things too.
Recently, some beef has been brewing on Amarillo's subreddit page between users and The Arena of Life Church lately. 3 months ago reddit user marblerye69 made a post labeled "Report churches like the Arena of Life Church to the IRS". In this post the user criticized what the church preached, claiming that it was "fanning the flames of division, bigotry, and political violence." and complains about the pastors expression of strong political opinions on Facebook. The post then ends urging for users to report this church to the IRS, removing its tax-exempt status. The post itself received 67 upvotes and 106 comments, a modest amount of interaction for a online post on such a small community. But the comments quickly devolved into a political cesspit, with many individuals getting into it with each other.
Later two other posts appeared on the subreddit, sharing a similar message of reporting the church to the IRS and sharing photos of local political signs at the church's front lawn. Similar to the last post, the comments became a battleground for commenters, some agreeing with the claims made in these post while others made arguments for the church's right to endorse candidates, such as reddit user Distinctlackofasshat, responding to the one of the post's saying, "You are attempting to use third party government to harrass someone who you don't agree with."
As you can tell, even when talking about local politics online things can get pretty heated. And when you throw religion into the mix of conversation, things can get pretty heated. Regardless of political affiliation or religious beliefs, we can all agree that when discussed online, online conversations can quickly turn into battlegrounds, with no compromise in mind.
So what's the solution for all of this? Midterm elections start on November 8th. Save your arguments and opinions, and take them to the polling booth, where they will be the most effective and will be valued the most.