Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
When Chic-fil-a decided to be more Openly Bigoted a few years ago, one of my very close friends, a woman who had stayed at my house when she was fighting with her idiot boyfriend, and who had invited me to her wedding before she and her idiot fiance broke up, a woman who introduced me to her best friends: a lesbian couple who lived in the South End, wrote a long post about how she was devoting her free time to protest in favor of Chic-fil-a's freedom to be homophobic.
Because she was my friend, and someone I'd always viewed as an ally, I refrained from being sarcastic, and asked her how she could reconcile the way that company was treating at least four people she cared about (the fourth being the guy I dated through most of our friendship), and she sent this long disconnected Jesus tirade about how Christians were being persecuted for blah blah blah, false dichotomy, metaphorical bible quote taken literally, etc. So I defriended her, and sent her a very brief e-mail telling her that I was disappointed that she valued a fictional version of a two thousand year old dead guy more than her living friends. I didn't hear from her again until the Boston Marathon bombing, where I sent her a reply of "I am unaffected." and presumed, correctly, that I wouldn't hear from her again.
Today, in the midst of all the rainbow memes, and wedding pictures, I scanned through my friends' posts and was pleasantly surprised to not find a single argument. Like, REALLY surprised. So it was with much disappointment that I found a solitary post, made by the woman I almost married twenty years ago talking about how "love won when Jesus died on the cross" which is...ASTOUNDING. You'd think that if you were going to be Jesus-y, you'd go with "love won when Jesus rose again" or "love won when...." actually there's not a lot of love in the New Testament, once the whole "let's kill the protagonist" angle starts up.
She went on to talk about how difficult it was going to be to teach her children about checks and balances when "there aren't in any in the new America". And how this wasn't about marriage equality rights, this was about states' rights.
Huh, where have I heard that recently?
As I've been doing more and more often recently, I wrote a long, calm, point about why I disagreed with her status, and then, instead of posting it, I erased it and defriended her.
I know there is a sentiment among many of my friends that you shouldn't be silent, and that you should fight through your feelings and argue with people about their ignorance and/or bigotry, but that's not for me. I've long grown tired of trying to use logical thinking when talking to a bunch of metaphor-comprehensionally impaired bigots who belong to really judgmental book club, which is #notallChristians but #yesallliteralists. How can I hope to compete logically with someone who, if he existed, has been dead for so long that he wouldn't even know that calendaric time has started flowing in the opposite order.
Also, when I get frustrated with people laying down irrelevant platitudes that they didn't even come up with themselves, but overheard on their news show of choice, I tend to say very specifically hurtful things that I can't take back like "I feel really bad for your children, what with them being homeschooled by a prejudiced idiot." or "I don't think someone who majored in violin at a glorified musical academy is really qualified to be discussing constitutional law." or "As the person who helped finance the abortion you got when you cheated on me, I think you are woefully unqualified to be talking about morality and so-called-family values." but that's not going to solve anything.
I'm fairly meticulous with who I am Facebook friends with. I don't expect everyone I talk to agree with me on what kind of poets I respect, or whether the last episode of Lost proved that the show was super racist, but if I see that you've made a post about Barack Obama where you use any pejorative term that dehumanizes him (I'll disagree with you about "stupid", but I won't be mad about it. I understand "disappointing", and any synonym for "liar" is acceptable what with him being a politician and all) or if you want to defend the use of racist imagery or using the law to impose your religion on people, or tell me how woman aren't qualified to (insert anything here...actually anything), then I don't give a shit that we used to go to Middle School together, or that we both really like X-Men comics, I'm done communicating with you.
------I don't want anything from this post. It's not here as a dramatic "if you do X, you better defriend me now!!!111!1!1!" statement. I'm happy to do the work of defriending myself if I see repeated ignorant bullshit. It's mainly that I'm sad that someone I used to be really close to, someone who, granted, has always been from a really weird family, a family who, after they moved west somehow found Jesus in every corner of their house, and at the grocery store, and on their toast, has finally pushed me to the point where I just can't communicate with her anymore
--------for those of you who've been around since The Insafemode Journal days, Yes, this is the same woman who called me at work to let me know that she had a half-brother who turned up. She was letting me know because her mother had given him up for adoption and "My mother would never have agreed to meet him, if he hadn't mentioned that he wanted to share with her the gospel of Christ. So maybe if you accept Jesus, you can get in touch with your birth parents." She was unimpressed when I let her know that if I wanted to get in touch with my birth parents, I just had to fill out paperwork with the agency that oversaw the adoption, as I was a ward of the state of Connecticut, not Jesus. And when I informed her that, in fact, my family abandoned Christianity specifically because my former-altar-boy father was told by The Catholic Diocese that he wasn't fit to be a parent, she started to talk about my family's shortcomings. I hung up on her, not just because I thought she was being an insensitive, unChristian ass, but because I was also in the middle of a nine hour shift waiting tables.
--------we now return you to your regularly scheduled series of posts about how annoying people are in retail environments