Rant: A Certain “Missionary Position” Facebook Meme Is Not Funny

Over on Facebook, there is a cruel meme going around referring to the missionary (or missionary-leaning) man who was recently shot dead with arrows by member(s) of an isolated indigenous island tribe off the coast of India. While I do indeed agree that his actions were not thought out and that he had no right to barge into the territory of a protected tribe of people who were innocently minding their own business as they went about their lives, I find it in very poor taste to mock his death.  Posting a picture of a man with arrows in his back with the accompanying description “Missionary Position” is tasteless mockery, yet it has been reposted by people who know better.  Doing this only adds ammunition to the ongoing polarization between us and those who mock so many other kinds of lives lost, lives who most, if not all, of my friends over on Facebook say they value, be they those of trans people, gays and lesbians, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans, Black people, other peoples of color, and so on.

I’m not a Christian, but I know many wonderful Christians, including those who would not sanction this recently deceased man’s ignorant behavior, even though, in his own mind, I think it was actually well-meaning. (Please consider that possibility, and think of “forgiving our trespasses,” as part of a worthwhile Christian prayer goes.) Problematic evangelicals who do support what this man did and seek “justice” against the tribe will only martyr the man and themselves in their cause, drawing justification from being antagonized by anyone mocking his death. Do you like being antagonized? I suspect not. Let’s try and step away from such a protracted, pointless fight by not stooping to the same low level of those we deeply don’t agree with and perhaps don’t even like. Burning Pagans back in ancient times didn’t somehow get made better by burning Protestants, Jews, or Catholics, or whoever else.

I don’t find actual, real-life violence against another person funny, certainly not when it leads to death, no matter how much I may not like the individual. And this dead individual has been duly labeled by others as acting from a place of hubris and arrogance, among other negative adjectives. Yes, and be that as it may, I have no doubt he had positive qualities as a human being, another member of the human race like the rest of us. Let the judgments of him and his harsh fate be enough, then leave the matter be. He has a surviving family, I’m sure.

Let’s please consider not mocking the death of any other human, even if the incident occurred from an act of self defense. I love humanity as much as whole segments of it frustrate and anger me, as I know it does for so many others, including those reading this. I will not intentionally, consciously laugh at the killing of another. Let’s not participate in dehumanization, please. Others who anger us already do far too much of that. We know and can do better.

4 thoughts on “Rant: A Certain “Missionary Position” Facebook Meme Is Not Funny

  1. Thank you for sharing this story. As you know, I don’t keep up with the news because of the in-your-face type of coverage. Your voice of reason is so welcome in this not-thinking-before-we-speak environment we seem to be living in. At the very least, we should think of who is listening when we do speak. Young people who are so embedded in social media often don’t have the mature compass needed to navigate it. I like to use the Hypocratic Oath in my words or actions. Above all else “do no harm”. We never know for sure what anyone is thinking that makes them act the way they do and from where I stand, the media is probably the last place you will get the whole story without embellishment or agenda-minded views. If people would only take a moment to step into the other person’s shoes, they might find they really have nothing to say at all. We are all humans after all, prone to all the mistakes humans are known to make and will be making for generations to come. Let’s all provide an example to those impressionable minds while they are still learning. Since Christianity has been referred to in this blog, I will put my two cents in and say “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.” –Milan Kundera

    It is so easy to mock that with which we disagree, or which we fear. It insidiously makes those who do it feel stronger and assert their righteousness. It seems to me that mockery belittles the mockers as much as the mocked.

    I think mockery is different from parody or humor, though many people do not appreciate the difference. And certainly no person’s death, no matter who they are or what they stand for, calls for parody, humor, or mockery.

    Liked by 1 person

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