Facebook shuts down requests for cross emoji after Christians campaign against Pride FlagFacebook has rejected the request of prominent Christian personalities to include a cross reaction emoticon. The request came after the social media magnate added a rainbow reaction emoji in June to celebrate the LGBTQ community.
June is recognized as the Pride Month in places all over the globe. During this month, many countries host marches and festivals to celebrate diversity and inclusion of the LGBTQ community. Pride Month is when all members of the community come out and celebrate their sexuality. As a tradition, U.S. Presidents recognize this month as a special one for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. President Trump may not have recognized this day, but Facebook sure did.
In the second week of June, Facebook introduced a rainbow flag emoji to its lexicon reaction tab. The flag is a symbol of the LGBTQ community. According to the social media giant, the flag was meant to show that Facebook appreciated and celebrated the diversity of the global population. The emoji drew mixed reactions from the Christian and global community.
Several Christians, led by the openly conservative Hikmat Hanna and internet evangelist sensation Joshua Feuerstein. Hanna insinuated that because Facebook put in an emoji for the LGBTQ community, they should have no problem putting up a cross emoji for Christians. Feuerstein, who has a history of opposing gays, propagated Hanna’s idea on the social media site. His campaign gained a lot of attention, getting over 20,000 likes and several thousand shares. Feuerstein argued that it was only ‘fair’ that Christians get an emoji. Additionally, his supporters blasted the site for supporting gays.
Feuerstein’s followers echoed his stance when it came to LGBTQ rights. Feuerstein has always maintained that he did not like gays. In fact, in 2015, he tried albeit unsuccessfully to order a cake that read ‘We do not support gay marriage.' This year his supporters said much of the same thing on social media. When the rainbow flag emoji came out, one even wrote, “You can’t cheat nature. God cannot create people of the same sex to ever fall in love with one another. He can’t.” Another describes using the rainbow flag as making something beautiful into something sinful and despicable.
As a Christian, I definitely prioritize the push for an"eyeroll" button. https://t.co/345zRApbdk
— jenny (@every1terrible) July 5, 2017
Some people supported or at least did not oppose Facebook’s inclusive emoji. One Christian rebutted the claim that the move was sinful. “Perhaps as Christians, we should be more worried about our own sins and learning the word of our lord before passing judgment onto others or worrying about what reactions Facebook has available,” the post read. Others, simply opposed the idea of a crucifix emoji. The emoji would symbolize that Christianity as the ‘true’ religion, the argument stated. There is no true religion, only what each person believes in. Opponents of the proposed emoji even argued that Feuerstein should not complain because no other religion was represented by an emoji on Facebook. If a cross reaction emoji were created, therefore, each religion would want its own symbol developed.
When asked to comment, Facebook stated it had no intention of developing a reaction emoji like the one Feuerstein wanted.