I had to un-friend someone on Facebook today. Then I had to block him. I don’t like having to do stuff like that, but there’s no room for ignorance and hatred in my life, and it all started because this person became a born-again Christian.
I have nothing against Christians, born-again or otherwise. If it makes you happy, brings you comfort, or helps you make sense of the world, then bully for you. Just don’t try to force your religion on me or anyone else (obviously), and we’ll get along fine. So when this friend started posting frequent updates mentioning “Praise Jesus” or whatever, I kind of smiled and didn’t think about them too much. I usually look at religiosity like that as a sort of hobby – some people are into things like knitting, and post lots of updates about their knitting projects, and some people are into their church, and that’s what their updates are usually about. Fine, whatever.
Then today, this dude posts this long diatribe about the “two evils” that are currently vying to “destroy our society.” Can you guess what the two big, scary evils were? I bet you can. They were: Islam, and “the homosexual agenda.” I don’t like to think about it in detail, because it just makes me want to pour some bleach in my ear to wash my brain, but basically the premise was: “Islam is not just a religion, it’s a movement to destroy the world, and also, gays = gross and why are they everywhere in our faces with their icky gayness?”
News flash, religious and non-religious people alike: it’s not OK to hate on a whole group of people because their religion is different from yours, or their sexuality is different from yours, any more than it’s OK to hate on a group of people because their skin color/race/sex/job/hobbies/political affiliation/whatever is different than yours. Why is this so hard for you to understand?
By the way, it is very hard for me to write about this in a calm manner, without using profanity, and that’s why I un-friended and blocked that former friend on Facebook. I have enough stress in my life without dealing with that sort of ignorant, obnoxious hate-mongering. It’s useless to try to argue with a person like that, because he’s made up his mind, and isn’t thinking rationally anyway. I guess that’s the negative side of religion – when it makes people become irrational. I’m not religious now, but I was raised Catholic, and I read plenty of the New Testament growing up. I’m pretty sure Jesus’s whole thing was “love one another,” and he was the guy who was always respecting the folks who didn’t get any respect (prostitutes, lepers, beggars). Why can’t some of these people who claim to love Jesus so much practice what he preached?