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Keyboard Valor: The Epitome of Cowardice
In a perfect world, every man’s handshake would be his seal of character, every word, his badge of honor. While character and honor were once cherished values, our modern-day, post-Christian America has left these morals far behind. A man’s word may still define his character, but this is anything but a compliment for many.
Having recently begun a new Twitter account (with much reluctance), barely a day went by before I began to experience the keyboard trumpeters of disdain. You know them. The ones who brashly accuse every Conservative of being a right-wing fanatic. Those who speak heavily on emotions and never on facts. Such people would never have the courage to insult or accost you to your face, especially not alone. But get them behind a computer, in the comfort of their safe cubby holes where direct confrontation is no threat. Then only will they sound off. Seldom would be these valiant pseudo-warriors risk any skin in the game, but they are always the victors in their own minds.
Keyboard warriors are easily identified by their propensity for name-calling and character assassination. They pride themselves in spouting the latest propaganda, thinking themselves experts on every topic that they “studied” from the latest CNN review.
Their assertions can never be challenged, as this would require reasoning together and a logical discourse that may necessitate an evaluation of actual facts, real science, or an accurate account of history. You know you’re in the presence of fingerboard wonders in the same way a physician presumptively diagnoses a person with borderline personality disorder: they quickly get under your skin. When that happens, what do you do?
The first thing, I suppose, is to quickly identify your unwelcome social media intruders for what they are and realize you do have a choice in how to respond. The easiest solution to the problem is to simply block them. When the remarks are overly crude and vulgar, that may be the appropriate action. But not always. It depends on how good you are at reading between the lines. If you detect a hint of sincerity in the remarks, then perhaps offering a reasonable response, maybe in the form of a question, may cause your assailants to actually think about what they are saying. Do I recommend trying to read between the lines? That’s a tough question. Keep in mind that keyboard valor is likely the only “heroic” act that some people are capable of carrying out. Their attacks may be their only perceived coping mechanism against living in their very small, negative, and unstable world. Having few or no healthy coping skills, these tabloid enthusiasts may perceive no other alternative than to berate an opposing opiner for the satisfaction of a simple victory, however shallow.
Should one choose to challenge the persistent cowardly keyboard antagonist, be certain that you are casting pearls before swine. A simple test is to state an indisputable fact. If a verifiable fact is not received, nothing you say will bring forth an accord. You are wasting your time. Shake off the dust from your feet, and move on to a receptive audience.
I often wonder how many people have come around to the light—and by light, I mean that which is good, true, and of noble character—by means of conveying a good word on a social platform. Are we wasting our time? Or have we actually affected a positive change in the hearts of real truth-seekers? I don’t know. It is beyond man’s talent to rightfully know the heart of any person. Therefore we should be slow to condemn and always eager to yield to benevolence. Might it be that even the most cowardly of our social web may be doing the best they can? What cost to us to let go an insult or effacement of one’s reputation? The crier heralding truth always stands on solid footing. Let suffice us the knowledge that a good word spoken shall be well received by a good discerner of truth, by the noble of heart.
But know this, that when the vulgar keyboard accuser attacks your good reputation, you must certainly be doing something right. Sing out your words of truth! If wisdom is the right application of knowledge, then wisdom is its own vindication, and happy are those who have it and share it. How luminously words of wisdom shine among a dark parody of worldly fools! Folly belongs to every coward who cannot make a stand on the merit of a logical argument based on knowledge.
The true keyboard coward has no name, no face, no reputation; nothing to hold him accountable. With no liability, the tongue unleashed sometimes causes much damage and much pain.
But the greater pain must rest in the bosom of the unrestrained heart. How often have we spoken unthinking or uncaring words, and then eaten those words in our time of testing? When in doubt, it is always better to grace the fool with silence rather than inspire more of his nonsensical babbling. As King Solomon once wrote, “Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:20). In other words, the unbridled babbler is a fool of fools.
In the appointed day, at the appointed time, the wrath of the Lord will be poured out on all those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Meanwhile, every Christian and every good Patriot has a duty to expose all evil works of darkness, and to resist all enemies of God. For in so doing, we serve both the Lord and our fellow man. As we forge ahead, seeking to spread truth on liberal social media platforms, we can expect a barrage of insults, false accusations, and are character defamation. We are given no guarantee of safe haven anywhere on earth. Just as those who died in service to make us free, so we may be called to give our greatest gift. To the keyboard milquetoasts, say what you must, but be certain that a day of reckoning is coming—the truth always wins out in the end!
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