Sunday, December 20, 2009

De-friended on Facebook

I was voted off the island today.

I know that not all Christians behave in the way I saw earlier. I know many Christians who defy the stereotypical behavior I am about to present. However, as I stated in a previous post, they do not own the name. I know that in writing this, I am just fueling the stereotype.

But this just has all the makings of a good blog post. :)

Still, I will change the name even though there is no one innocent.

Curtis wrote a Christmas poem this morning and posted it on Facebook. Envision all of the forwarded emails you have gotten from ultra-right friends and relatives (or maybe that you have sent) and you can get a sense of the tone. In it he referenced a smiling president and congressman happy about all of the abortions that would be soon made available.

Below the poem a woman whom I did not know replied. She was actually very gracious and gently reminded him that things are not always so simple and she shared a personal experience. I always appreciate when a contrary opinion is stated politely.

Curtis wrote back (this I can quote because I get follow-ups in my email):

"I don't debate God-
'God overthrows the thrones of those who are disobedient to His law.

My political views are those of the Our Father'. -- St. Avitus of Vienna"

I believe this kind of reply to not only be weak, but rather blasphemous. After internally debating whether to say anything, I decided to remind Curtis that there are many people who hold various differing opinions they believe to be God's. I stated that he had every right to hold and defend his political views; but that I did not believe it is right to use God as a trump card or a lever to end the discussion.

I do not know if the lady was de-friended, but I was immediately ousted. A short time later, I received the following in my Facebook email box:

please don't tell me not to post political or religious views on my site. You accepted my request for friendship- but, I have now retracted that request.
Your posts have been quite controversial over the past several weeks and I have left it as freedom of speech. Keep voting for these liberals and that will be taken away too.
God Bless you and your family-"

Apparently, I have not only been defriended, but blocked too since I can't reply to his email.

Now, of course, I never said anything close to telling him he can't post political or religious views. This is a good example of the digital/analog thinking comparison I had made in an earlier post.

I could dissect all of the ironic elements in his email, but I will leave that to you, dear reader.


Christopher V. Enger (aka fuegote) said...

I'm speechless.

Steve H. said...

Don't even know what to do with that!

BTW, I have noticed a tendency in your posts to regard Christians as "other". Your reference at the beginning of the post seemed to indicate that.

Redlefty said...

That is the hardest type of person for me to feel compassion for. Because I see so much of my former self there. It's maddening to me that I can more quickly forgive a mass murderer than a closed-minded right-winger Christian.

I'm working on it.

Andrew said...

Red- I hear ya. Have you read Farenheit 451? There is this great scene where the protagonist Montag, who has had a damascus road experience of sorts, is completely frustrated with the petiness and blindness of his wife and her friends. His teacher has to remind him that, just yesterday, he thought as they thought.

curmudgeon said...

I have experienced the same reaction to my posts. I know of one friend who left facebook as a result of my posts. However he did not leave before making me aware of his offense to my posts. I am sure a few others have blocked me.

I think this type of coercion is designed to control the behavior of others. You should just be glad you writings weren't contemporary 300 years ago. You might have been executed. 50 years ago you might have been labeled a communist and then ostracized. Free speech is a myth...there is always a consequence to your opinions.

Brook said...

seriously, how do you always have some obscure picture to fit whatever you might be blogging about?!

Redlefty said...


That book is one of my faves.

Wall TVs and rocket cars!

Don said...

I am in a similar position. After leaving Conservative, fundamental Christianity after 59 years, most (95-99%) of my friends on FB are still in the conservative, fundie fold. To appease the wife, who doesn't see things as I do, I try not to be too controversial on FB. There are those whom I feel may think I'm a little strange, I as yet to experience the dreaded "de-friending". Blessings!!

Don said...

Andrew- I would like to invite you to be a friend on FB. Don't have your email address and I'm writing this from work, where they don't allow FB at all. Plus, my Blackberry refuses to let me invite someone whose email address I do not know (sigh). So, when I get home this evening, I shall formally invite you to be a friend. Hope this makes up for your "de-friending"! And, like "Red", alias Michael, I was that "de-friender" just six years ago.

Andrew said...

curmudgeon - Responses like with this "friend" are extreme, but not uncommon. I think people like to believe we are more civilized and tolerant than 50 and 300 years ago, but when I see the anger that can come from people holding contrary views, I realize we are only a hair's breadth away from that previous violence. Give a guy like that unbridled authority and see how long before he is enforcing thoughts with a weapon... for the good of the group.
I am going to need to mull your thoughts about free speech... you are right, our words carry consequences.
I also agree that it is all about control.

Brook- Two words:Google images... though I am in copyright violation up the wazoo.

Don - my wife and I are in similar places in our journey, but she does get antsy sometimes with how much of it I state publicly. See ya on FB.

Tit for Tat said...

Jesus Andrew! Can you blame them. ;)

Merry Christmas.

Bruce said...

Hey but I am your friend now. :)

This is sad. Discouraging.

But.........I totally understand it because I used to think like that.

I defriended all my former Fundy friends. (mostly college friends and family members) Their vitriol to every post/comment/etc that was contrary to their worldview wore me out after awhile.

My wife is still friends with all of them. She can ignore all the s**t. Unfortunately I am not so inclined so it best to just stay away from them.

Anonymous said...

Man alive - I love these kind of stories! Gritty, real, and facebook - delightful!

I have taken a solemn oath - to myself - to be more affront with the people I have as friends on facebook that say religious things I may disagree a polite and kind way...and to not hold my breath anymore. Not trying to cause sh*t - just trying to keep people in the loop of reality.

But like you, I will likely lose a lot of friends - and I really don't care to be honest. I think sometimes, as in your situation, it is better to stand up and speak down these type of people then to not do so. They can get filled with a pseudo-spiritual pride where they use God in quite slanderous essence let's save them the embarrassment.

Andrew said...

Society - Yeah... I am just trying to keep my fellow Christians from blaspheming... it's like a community service. ;)

Speaking of Facebook, I wish they could somehow link the blog/note commentary. I have had some interesting discussions on the Facebook end of these blogs.

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