Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Once hidden

I am addicted to social media. I don't think I need an intervention, yet, but I may be getting close. Most mornings when I get up out of bed, I make my coffee, which in itself is an irreplaceable ritual, then head for the computer. I force myself to check email first, just in case there is something of importance I have to face, then on to my guilty pleasure, Facebook. I get such pleasure scanning what my Facebook "friends" are thinking about, looking at the New York Times headlines, checking out what the folks at NPR are discussing, trying to pay attention to the Dalai Lama's words of wisdom for the day. It makes me happy. I guess it makes me feel more connected in this disconnected world we live in.
Yup, even the  Dalai Lama's on Facebook
I find Facebook to be a fairly peaceful place. Usually my "friends" are supportive, they share a kind word and give each other encouragement, but yesterday I had to actually hide one of my "friends".  Has this happened to you? So this guy was a neighbor, and our kids hung out together when they were little. I've always known our political and religious backgrounds were different, but that really shouldn't be an issue on Facebook. We can all agree to be adults and get along, right? Well, for the last few weeks he's been posting stuff that has been really getting under my skin. Intolerant stuff. And more specifically, intolerant stuff in the name of Christianity. So, this has been going on, and I am becoming more and more agitated. Apparently, I was alone in my agitation, because all his "friends" were agreeing with him, and adding even more aggressive, intolerant spew to the mix, all in the name of Jesus Christ.

If you're Christian, are you Christ-like?
I just couldn't take it anymore. Every time he posted something, I would actually write a response, pointing out his un-Christianlike behavior, but then I'd quickly delete it. Why do I care what this guy has to say anyways?! In my mind I gave him 3 chances. He blew the first chance with a post that said; To do list: pray, vote & buy more ammo. Really, I thought? Is that what Jesus would do? I became incensed! This guy was making me crazy! Ok, just ignore it, he gets 2 more chances. A few days later he posts that he "hates liars". What? This is the same guy who cheated on his wife, and broke up their marriage a few years back. His "friends" all commented on how liars are disgusting pigs, and liars should go straight to Hell. I guess he and his "friends" have pretty short memories.  Again, I became enraged! Why is this guy getting to me like this? The third chance was used up with a comment that was something about how he was seriously irritated that the mall was making room for Muslims to put down their prayer rugs so that they can pray, and ended with a "WTF!?". Oh, and if it were Christians trying to pray, they would immediately be barred! Poor Christians! Yet again, his "friends" added to his rant with even more brainiac statements. Trying to be patient, I gave him another chance before his third chance was used up. I really was trying! When he posted something about God, in His absolute wisdom, not giving him a girl child, because there were some teen boys that he was going to beat down, I turned the other cheek. Although, I was being driven completely insane, I let it slide, no contrary comment left by me, don't ask me why.

But finally, enough was enough, and with much trepidation, I hit the hide button. I couldn't help but think that this guy's intolerance has made me intolerant! Now I can't help but question myself. Have I become just as intolerant as these crazy people? I mean, what would you have done?


  1. There's a huuuuuuuuge difference between intolerant and choosing not to deal with ignorance (in the name of the father, son and holy ghost...oops spirit!)

    Apparently hypocrisy is OK in some Christians' minds.

  2. thanks, gsc. too bad there's not a hide button in real life. this whole thing has left me pretty unsettled.

  3. I once asked the question - If I hate a bigot, does that make me one? Several people weighed in (of course) but I think the overall sentiment among the true thinkers in the bunch was that bigotry is well defined. It doesn't involve sweeping generalizations based on race, religion, or some other fear-based philosophy. I think the same could be said of your situation. So, if you disengage yourself from one person based on the information they've given you - that would be fine. If that person happens to have red hair and you become intolerant of all redheads, then you might be in trouble (of course, you and he would then be big friends:) I've hidden, with great glee, more than one of these insensitive hypocrites.

  4. ah susan, that makes so much sense! it was mostly the sweeping statements that this guy was making that was absolutely driving me mad! thanks for helping me put things in perspective. i'm beginning to feel a little bit better about this ordeal. in the future, i'll strive to hide with glee!