This evening, I'm leading a class and small group discussion at PPC, as I do every first Wednesday of the month. This month, though, the topic is Homosexuality, the Bible and Gay Marriage. It's going to be an interesting discussion.
My perspective is inclusive, but I know some folks in my congregation still struggle with that. Which is why it's better to talk about it than to preach about it, as I see it.
As my small but connected church always does, we pitched up an invite to the event on Facebook, which was distributed to the broader community.
And that brought out the trolls. Ah, the trolls.
"Reginald" and "Salvatorre" had interesting things to say, the most polite of which had to do with my being their "rent-boy" and their primary source for cocaine. Unfortunately, many of their other comments were...well...not exactly phrased in church language.
My first assumption when alerted to some untoward comments by a church member was that this was from the right fringe, but the trollery seemed unlike that of fundamentalist critters I've encountered. I know what that looks like, and while there's much talk of hellfire and heresy and sin, it generally doesn't involve quite so much creative profanity. Some of the crazier ones, maybe, but generally, there's a consistent theme.
Instead, the comments seemed vaguely adolescent, and to work from the presumption that the intentionally neutral title of the event indicated an anti-gay bias. A faint whiff of unreflective atheism hung about the first of the comments, so my gut was that this was just some teen mischief-maker.
Still, one can never tell with trolls. The dank vapors in their basements do odd things to their minds, particularly if they've been in said basement for the last forty years.
So we scrubbed our FB Group of the unpleasantness and blocked the faux users.
Ah well. Far easier than clearing graffiti from a wall or eggs from a window, I suppose.