I dropped my second Facebook friend yesterday. I often have to pare down the follow list on Twitter because of follow limits, but Facebook sets the bar higher, so I'm not there yet with them. That means that if I drop a Facebook friend, something happened - and considering this is only the second time I've done it in 2 years, well, maybe I'm lucky.
Oh, this person wasn't harassing me or anything. In fact, I hated to do it and I don't feel happy about it at all. Seems the problem is that many of this persons friends objected to materials they posted on their wall, and told them so. They got extremely angry, and have posted several acidic posts basically saying that if you don't like it, too bad, this is me. Well, this week it turned downright toxic. And I've been patient, but when I saw the post that said "just drop me if you have a problem with what I say because I probably didn't ask for you to be my friend anyway" I said "fine!" and unfriended. Folks, over the past week I've had to deal with two professionals that died (one was serving on a committee with me), office politics taking a nasty turn, a tense committee meeting with dissenting opinions that wasn't altogether pretty, the garage door breaking, and the usual calls and emails from people that think our laws are stupid and we're too tough with our standards. I simply don't have the time or energy to deal with a parasite that throw fits for everybody to agree with them "or else." After the offline issues at my door, "or else" looked pretty darn good that time.
I try to be patient and tolerant with people. I know everybody isn't going to agree with everything I say, and that's ok. The truth is, I'm a moderate, and we don't tend to be inflamed firestarters that want to set the world ablaze by writing all the wrongs under the sun. Our world isn't black and white and we aren't consistent. My radio is set on BBN and Cold's "13 Ways to Bleed Onstage" has been in my CD player this week. I have absolutely no problem living in the shades of grey that make up the world and I don't feel I need to justify my beliefs or likes to anybody. I don't have all the answers and that's ok too. I, like other moderates, am accused of being a conformist when the truth is that we are the most radical non-conformists under the sun because we are square pegs and we refuse to be pounded into the round holes that make the left and the right comfortable. They can't figure us out, and I think that's why we irritate the hell out of them.
Last week was a great case in point. I got lambasted by some because I said I thought it was really silly to get inflamed over Truitt Cathy's support of traditional marriage when there's so much crime and violence in our society. Let's quit fighting, I said, and focus on coming down harder on people who abuse animals and children.
I was called a hypocrite. "You want to punish those that hurt animals, but you eat meat!" (Thanks to my cousin for pointing out that the Bible says some animals are ok to eat and others aren't).
I was told to quit being a whimp. "You're a Christian and it's high time we took a firm stand on something!"
I was called judgemental. "You're straight!" Ok, duh. I've been married for 14 years. Yea, I like men. I've never had THAT said to me like it's a problem. But also "You're judgemental!"
And best of all - "it's symbolic of standing up for something. You don't get that?"
Oh, I get it. I'm Lutheran. We're all about symbols. Read my books and you'll see how into symbolism I am. But I guess my perspective on this goes to a bigger picture than symbols. For example, last week:
1. A guy that shot and killed a high school classmate was released from prision. He admitted to being involved in her death, but his conviction was downgraded from a death penalty case to time served and he's on the street again; and
2. I heard two awful stories of parrots being killed by people in brutal and horrific ways. Just because they could and the animals couldn't defend themselves.
I'm sorry folks, but I fail to see how buying a chicken sandwich on August 1 saved the institution of marriage, which has been around since the dawn of humanity. I think the 50% plus divorse rate in this country shows a lacadasical attitude that will undermine it much more - and it's surviving that. Plus, the world is going to hell anyway. Are you really surprised? This isn't the only social injustice under the sun. I mean, take a look around.
But according to the right and the left, I don't get it. Whatever. The truth is that I do have fire in me, but I suppose my view of what's important is different. And if that makes me bad, oh well. Call me what you will but the truth is, I have other places to channel my energy. Like my two books in progress right now.
Still, I do believe everybody has a right to their opinion, and I have no problem with people expressing it. In fact, sometimes I do seek those on "the other side" in an attempt to broaden my horizons and to get greater understanding. I find it interesting and I do like to learn. I am a writer, after all, and people do interest me. I love to hear their stories and what they think. But when it becomes "my way or the highway," well, I CAN drive 55 and I will, right on outta there.
In closing, I'll say that Jesus himself said He came for the sinners that need healing, and we ALL need healing in some way, shape or form. Everybody's got problems (as a moderate, I have absolutely no problem admitting that I do). He welcomes us all, and that's a good thing for everybody. I say let's try, at least, to show the love He commanded by having respect for others' opinions - whether we agree with them or not. If the dissention is too sharp, you can do like I did on Facebook and just go away. You don't have to win every battle.
And if you read this entry despite my facious disclaimer above and are offended, here's a video share for you.
That's all today. Happy Friday to you.