Wow. I joined Facebook in 2009, and in that time, became FB friends with three of my former pastors’ wives. I wasn’t very close to the first one who left, so I wasn’t all that surprised when she defriended me.
The second one left after I disagreed with her about politics. She posted a comment on something I’d written, and I disagreed and told her so. She got completely irrational and was using a lot of exclamation points by the end of our conversation, and a few days later, I noticed that her name had disappeared from my friends list.
Your number of friends is listed right on your front page, so if you knew how many friends you had, you can’t help but notice when the number gets smaller. If it’s someone you talk to on Facebook quite a bit, you remember them and just have to check the list to see who’s missing. If someone leaves that I haven’t spoken to in a long time, I don’t worry about it too much. But I knew I’d pissed off my former pastor’s wife, so I naturally noticed that she’d gone.
Yesterday, my list got one person smaller. I looked at my list and noticed that the people I care about the most and could remember in about ten minutes were still present and accounted for. But this morning, I remembered I hadn’t seen a post by someone who posts quite a bit, so I went to her page to see if I’d missed an illness or something.
You guessed it. The button said, “Add Friend.”
This was the third and final former pastor’s wife.
Now, I know better than most that Christians are just people, and they’re all human, but this one was shocking because when last I’d spoken to her [and not that long ago] we’d been fine. I knew we disagreed on politics, but we just didn’t go there. We had enough other stuff to keep in touch about, so I just figured I’d avoid commenting on her completely batshit crazy political posts, and she would continue to ignore my occasionally obnoxious, but amazingly fact-based ones [don’t even start. I never post anything I haven’t double checked to be true].
Here’s what gets me, though. I’m a liberal, and such a minority in my group of family and friends that I think I’m beginning to understand how the one biracial kid in my school must have felt being outnumbered and hated by virtually everyone around him. In fact, I’ve let it affect what I post on Facebook, because as much as they’ll deny it, conservatives [and especially conservative Christians] are positively venomous when they disagree with you.
They also assume that you can’t possibly be a good person or a Christian if you’re liberal. Now, I’m not a Christian anymore, but I became a liberal WAY before I deconverted. One may very well have led to the other, because in order to be a liberal, you have to be willing to admit you’re wrong. Once I realized that so many things I’d been told and believed about politics were blatantly false, [and since those things were told to me by my religious leaders…that led me to question Christianity, too] I just couldn’t do it anymore.
Oddly, I’m actually more considerate and genuinely care about the people around me WAY more than I did before, but very few Christians will even admit the possibility that what I say is true.
So this final pastor’s wife de-friending me shouldn’t surprise me, because I’ve known on an intellectual level that she was extremely judgmental and very likely disagreed with me about politics on a very deep level. I suppose I should be happy she just defriended me instead of yelling at me before she left, but on an emotional level, I’m pissed. And I’m pissed because I’m also hurt.
I guess on some level I really really want to be wrong. I want to believe that everyone can rise above hatred and prejudice and love each other in spite of our differences. I keep hoping that we’re moving forward instead of backward, and every time some dumbass state passes a new law aimed at subjugating women, or the GLBT community, or some other historically marginalized group of people in ‘God’s’ name, I just sit here flabbergasted as people on FB applaud and scream craziness about taking over the country for God. And with the same breath, they condemn Muslim theocracies for being evil…seriously? Talk about the pot and kettle.
All the evidence seems to be pointing to religion being the instigator of all this evil, and that goes against everything I want to believe. There’s a part of me that wishes I’d just stayed asleep, uninformed, and brainwashed. Because now, I’m stuck in the middle of a bunch of maniacs who would probably like to beat the hell out of me [or at least get me to shut the fuck up] and I’ve never felt so unspeakably lonely in my life.
How can one person ever make a difference when they’re so outnumbered and considered less than intelligent for disagreeing? And the damnedest thing is, I’m not wrong, and I’m not stupid. But my voice is being systematically chipped away at. I can’t even count the number of things I don’t post because I’m actually afraid someone is going to start yelling at me. Or calling me on the phone to beg me to stop talking about what I believe in.
How is it possible that the people who say they love me want me to lie about who I am? And if I say something they don’t like, they de-friend me? Is that what love looks like? Seriously? How can anyone love their opinions more than they love a fellow human being?
Right now, I pretty much hate everyone. Thanks for nothing.