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Thursday, August 19, 2010

I should have known. . .

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." --Kahlil Gibran

I thought long and hard about writing this post, but I felt that I needed a place to vent some of the emotions I've been feeling over the past two days.

You see, I caused a veritable shitstorm on my Facebook with an old friend, that can now no longer be counted among my friends.  I don't want to go into too much detail, but I'm sure that I'll probably spill a good part of the details before all of this is over.

You see, I should have known it was going to happen. I quoted a favorite artist of mine as my status one day. My quote was poking fun at the furor over the Muslim community center that's going to be built a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. Here's the quote that started it all:

"I don't think the anti-mosque people get how far 2 blocks feels in NYC. As in: I never go to that Starbucks because it's two blocks away" --Jonathan Coulton

I posted it because I thought it was funny, and points out something that a lot of people are missing.  The community center (because it's not a mosque in reality, but a community center with an area for prayer) is two blocks away, and cannot actually be seen from Ground Zero. Check this link for a map and walking distance breakdown.

Well, my friend made what I felt to be a hate-mongering (and fairly crude) statement comparing the Islam to the KKK.

So I made a comment back.

And he unleashed the hell of his fury on me.

Which in turn riled up my husband, who joined the fray.

And it went downhill from there.

The whole incident has gone on for two days, with him also bringing the "debate" on to his Facebook as well.

We've stopped responding, which I know in his mind means he's won, but in our minds just means that we've decided to stop the childish back and forth.

It breaks my heart though.  And it's caused me to really look at myself and some of the things that I've gone through and think.  In the interest of ADD, I'll just make a list:

  • I think one of the reasons that I have such a hard time with "church" is because of "church people."
  • "Church people" ARE NOT the same as Christians!
  • You can't spew hate and truly love the people you're maligning.  No matter how much you say it's the "sin" you hate.
  • There are just some people that can't debate.  They can only argue.
  • I think I'm more tolerant because I've had the pleasure to meet and become friends with people of various backgrounds.
  • I don't think being tolerant is at odds with the Gospel.
  • Most "church people" would think I'm going to hell if they really knew what I thought.
I think the hardest lesson I've learned from this is:

Sometimes you just outgrow people.

And sadly, in this world of Facebook, blogs, Twitter and the like, it's hard to leave these people behind.


Stoodert said...

That sucks. I hate letting stupid arguments get in the way of my friendships, although maybe it's for the best?

Sounds like your (ex) friend just flew off the handle & couldn't separate his feelings from his sense of humor. Glad you stood up to him.

Stephanie said...

I am not a very religious person, but I am clear on one thing. Christians are under direct orders not to judge. Period. This whole furor over the Muslim Center saddens me.

And that quote IS funny. A block in NYC is a very different thing that a block in my small-town neighborhood.

Unknown said...

I just can't believe there's this huge blow up over something so trivial. But really, it wasn't so much his opinion that I was so opposed to but, how he approached the topic and the simple fact that he attacked my wife. Homie don't play that shit(hehe I had to say it)!

If this were an adult conversation, where idea/opinions were shared and seen for their individual merit then we wouldn't have had an issue. Perhaps I've said too much.

Witless Exposition said...

I'm glad you guys thought it was funny, too. The whole incident also kinda made me doubt my sense of humor a bit. "Was that really funny, or insensitive?"

Just not used to these kinds of reactions, so it all threw me for a loop.

Jamie Council said...

Hun, I watched the whole thing explode on your FB page and thought:
1. The quote was hilarious!!
2. I am always sad when Muslims are lumped in with the crazy Islamic extremists.
3. It's so sad when people you believed were friends suddenly are no longer your friends.

I woudn't worry so much about "church people" because most of those kind doubt even think I'm Christian at all and refuse to belive Jesus was a Jew...just let them stay in the dark. They aren't worth the trouble. ;)

Witless Exposition said...

I'm glad someone else "there" for all of this is on my side!

I hate lumping of groups of any kind (even groups I don't like, that's why I made sure to talk about "church people" instead of Christians).

Vindication is nice. Even if it's from my unsaved-and-going-to-Hell-with-me friends. :)

Tabitha Wells said...

That quote was hilarious, but it also hit on a very valid point.

It is really sad to see the way people get caught up in 'church' lifestyles, where the way they are living actually contradicts the whole concept of being a Christian.

I've run into issues with that with friends, and people who I thought might be potential good friends. I actually had a fairly recent issue of that, which thankfully managed to be kept to private messages, but completely infuriated me and led to the cutting out of this fellow from my life.

I think the hardest part is that people who think like that ACTUALLY BELIEVE they are helping. They truly feel that they are doing the world good. And it's heartbreaking really, because if anything, they end up alienating more people towards 'faith' (and I use the term loosly because it isn't just Christianity this happens with), rather than convincing people that it's something worth looking into.

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