- “Yeah there are some people in the world that don’t want to have tons of kids or any kids at all. Get over it.”
- “Society cant wrap its head around some not wanting children. Some of us are childless by choice ,design or infertility but yet so called Christians preach fire and brimstone not knowing the circumstances or the person.”
- “STOP breeding!!!”
These are comments from previous blog posts from Internet “trolls.” They visit whenever we get a bit of media attention. A Jeub Family Troll is not a friend of the Jeubs (obviously), but will visit our site, sometimes even disguising himself or herself as sympathetic to our message (family, love, children, Jesus), and post non-topical comments in an attempt to “troll” for skeptic readers.
Some are reading this post now. We’ve gotten to know a few, and they have similarities. Many are estranged from their families, know little of real loving relationships, hate children, or are cynical of Christianity. The anonymity of the Internet (they rarely post their real names or register with valid email addresses) prompts them to post vile comments.
Now, a troll is not necessarily someone with whom we disagree. We welcome disagreement! We are the last to claim we’ve got life all figured out. No, trolls are different. Trolls attempt to lead the conversation away from (not toward) the original thesis. They’re sometimes called Haterz, the term lending more toward pop celebrities. Haterz will watch a 46 minute TV show (like one of ours), cast judgment on the celebrity, then seek out their website to post their judgment. Anonymously, of course.
This is the reason some sites put limitations on comments, requiring moderation before going live. This website doesn’t do that. Sure, I remove profane posts or the snip that is WAY off topic, but I entertain the crass and suspiciously “troll-like” comments. I never delete comments just because I disagree with them. I’m intrigued with their doubts — and “doubts” are exactly what they are — in this wonderful life of family, love, children and Jesus. They may be reacting immaturely, criticizing rather than inquiring, but if you can see through the cynicism and crassness, they are really filled with question.
Mature “trolls” will engage in a conversation. Some trolls have ended in nice online conversation. I believe that those who give our ideas some ample consideration, even if they start hostile, they come around. They may not ascribe to 16 children! But they come around to know our family a bit more, and we get to know them. Sometimes they come full circle. Sometimes Wendy and I learn a few things from them.
I’ve got a few juicy posts lined up that dig deeper into these things. We live a life that is abnormal, true, so naturally people will judge us before really getting to know us. I want to spend some time delving into these judgments, share them with you, and learn together. Please let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you, even from you trolls.
P.S. I kid you not. I got a Facebook message from a friend when I was typing this out. “My wife said some trolls were flaming you on your blog. Don’t let them get you down…You guys are an inspiration.” Heh. I believe that was a Jesus message. You will want to stay tuned these coming days. We’re going to learn and expose a lot.