...either don't pick it up or don't complain when it bites you.
This post comes fresh on the heels of me being defriended by someone because what I post oftentimes is offensive to his religious sensibilities. I'm not pissed off at him or anything like that, I just think that being offended is completely useless. In stating my opinions, I'm not going to waste my time sanitizing what I think/feel/say/do/believe in order to make others comfortable with the content (or me for my methods), although I will say that he never asked me to censor or filter myself - in fact he made a point of being anti-censorship, which I respect and appreciate. I'm simply making the point. I have no ill will or hard feelings. This isn't the first time someone has taken me off their friends list for similar reasons, it won't be the last, and that's perfectly fine - I expect it from time to time.
I mention this because I want to remind everyone that I accept that I'm hardly everyone's cup of tea and that I know I can be hard to take at times, but on matters of politics or religion, feel free to question me and why I post the things I post if you're provoked in some way or wish to get a better understanding of why I'm making the points I make - I have no problem being held up to scrutiny, and my beliefs and values are strong enough that they can take a good bashing as well. Perhaps you may learn something from me and I from you, therefore it would be a worthwhile endeavor. Or, just defriend me and be done with the entire matter. That is the easiest thing to do after all, and you don't have to bother with learning or teaching anyone anything from hearing them out or giving your own insight. It's easier to surround yourself with people who agree with you - just ask Fox News. Either way, I'm going to say whatever the motherfuck I want to say and no one has to like it - but I'm going to say it just the same. I welcome all opinions, whether I agree with them or not is inconsequential. I guess I just don't understand the point of having faith in anything if it cannot be challenged now and then to measure it's strength. Not everyone wishes to learn anything deeper than face value, a fact I have a hard time reconciling because I simply don't understand that and don't think I ever will.
Part of the explanation he gave said this:
"I really like you as a person, but a lot of what you put out there really offends me... and I would never dream of asking you to censor yourself, or filter anything. I think that is wrong.
I just don't want to keep coming across material that makes me feel like I am an idiot for having a religion. I would never question anyone's beliefs... and as a christian, I'm pretty fucking proud of that.
I feel that if I was at a party surrounded by all of the people you joke on my religion with... you would deny me.
So that's why I can't read you anymore... I don't want to think bad of someone I know to be a very intelligent, and loving person."
In response, I offered:
I appreciate and respect you taking the time to write this, I really do. I don't think any less of you, I want you to know that - but if you think I would deny you in the scenario you suggest simply because I have views that differ from yours, then I'm confident that you don't really know me at all. The fact that you don't ask me to explain certain specifics - as many of my friends do - so that you can understand where I am coming from indicates that you're not invested in trying to know me. I'm fine with that, everyone has their choice to make and I am quite aware that I'm not everyone's cup of tea.
I don't feel the least bit slighted and I would hope that you don't either, and as I'm willing to agree to disagree on most matters, know that this is something I've had to experience more than this one time.
In particular, I appreciate your stance on censorship and assuming the responsibility for yourself to unfriend me rather than suggest I be someone I'm not. That is something I wished more people were on board with. It's not my responsibility to make anyone comfortable with me or what I have to say/think/feel/believe/do any more than it is yours or anyone's for that matter.
If ever you wish to question me on anything that you find offensive, feel free to do so. I won't mind at all. If not, that is perfectly fine as well. We're adults, and it's not like we're BFFs or something - you don't owe me anything and I don't owe you anything either - I just wanted you to know that I appreciate and respect you taking this time to explain your decision.
I should have added two other points, but I'll do that here and now because I think that both are important. First, if someone holding something questionable up to you that scrutinizes your beliefs or values and you're left feeling like an idiot, then there are a few things going on here. Feeling that you are an idiot has nothing to do with anyone else - that's soemthing exclusive to the one with those feelings. It effectively reduces that belief system and set of values to mere fashion if that's what you're left with. I say fashion because at this point, you've really made something you profess to be so important really trivial and disposable. If your faith is really strong enough to merit being worth having, then certainly nothing I or anyone else says is going to shake it beyond repair - and even if it did, it would have nothing to do with anything but the person and their faith. Shouldn't something that frail and yet so serious merit closer evaluative inspection?
Second, I do question people's beliefs and welcome others questioning mine. There's no better way to learn a person or teach yourself to them. I WANT my friends to judge me, who better to measure me by my own standards so that if I'm falling short, I can get an honest reminder of it and tighten up my game. It doesn't offend me if someone tells me something I take strong issue against, it's just that I don't happen to like it is all.
... I suppose I posted this mainly because I learned something valuable here and felt it important enough to pass along.