Facebook Question???

I have been on Facebook for about two years.  I joined in 2007 while I was in Oklahoma because all the 12 year olds in the dorm told me it was the latest thing.  I signed up.  Friended them all.  And there you have it.

It’s 2010.

I have 559 friends.  That’s a lot.  I have friends  who have a lot less friends.  I have friends with a lot more.  My friends come from a variety of different times in my life.  I have friends from high school.  I have friends from my undergrad school, my master’s school, and my MFA school.  I have friends I have worked with before and a lot of my friends who currently are co-workers at the restaurant.

Most of them I remember.  Some I don’t think I’d recognize if they walked up to me and shook my hand.

When you have 559 friends it’s impossible for them all to think, and believe the things that you do.  I expect that, and respect that.  I do have to admit that most of them either keep quiet about their politics, religious stuff, or they are at least a little to the left.

However, I went to a Southern Baptist undergrad school.  MANY of my friends from that time in my life are conservative.  Many are devout “bible believing” Christians.  Some have seen the light and have moved on.  MANY of my friends from that time period are gay.  We all new that about each other then, but when you are in a conservative situation, you keep those kind of things to yourself.

So I check out Facebook most nights when I get home.  I see what people are up to, I see who’s friended who, and I see what their days are about.  Most of them are the innocuous things like “Love the olympics opening ceremony (there were about 50 variations on that theme tonight) or “my husband made me the best dinner ever”.

But then there are people (like me) who use it for personal updates but also for political updates.  I will tell people all about the cupcakes Adam made me this week, or the beautiful snow in the park by our house.

BUT.

I also spend a lot of time on gay issues.  I post videos, surveys, photos, articles etc.

This week I posted:

An article about a protest by a performance Artist.

Top 10 reasons to oppose gay marriage.

A video of a lesbian couple trying to get a marriage license in NYC.

An article about a gay state trooper who died.

An article about banning the dictionary.

Or one of my favorites lately.  I posted this picture.

I’m not shy about my liberalism.  And I’m not shy about engaging others when I think they are using lies to make their points.  I’m actually friends with a woman in California I’ve never met because we were allies on a mutual friends page when the rhetoric turned to how bad Obama’s Presidency is.  During the Superbowl ad debate about the Pro-Life commercial I had a friend refer to the opponents of the ad as Pro-Abortion.  It took about three minutes to set her straight that I’d never met a person who was Pro-Abortion.  Lot of people who were Pro-Choice.  But never Pro-Abortion.  Every time I get heated I tell myself that I wont’ do it again.  And three minutes later someone says something that pisses me off and I respond.  Adam says it’s my own little protest platform.  I do know that I have a conservative friend from college who has changed his stance on gay marriage after we sparred a few times and I continuously talked about Adam.  I respect him and his beliefs even more now.

As all of you know.  The set up is always long for my point.

So.

A girl from college that I don’t remember, friended me about a year ago.  I had to look her up in a year book to even figure out who she is.  No big deal, there are lots of people from those days that remember me that I don’t remember.  I’m sure there are people that say the same about me.

Here’s the problem.

She’s Tea Party, religous, conservative, conspiracy theory, Obama not born in this country, bat shit crazy.

She organized the volunteers of the tea party march in Washington.  She’s always posting this and that about her beliefs.  It’s her right, same as it’s mine.

So I’m her friend and every day I actually check out the stuff she posts because to tell you the truth she and her movement scare the shit out of me.

These are things she posted today.

She joined a group that supports GOP Vote

She became a fan of The Family Research Council

And she works for Freedom Works.

Now I’m the first to realize everyone has a right to their beliefs.  I may not agree with you, but you have your right.  But these fucking people are crazy.  Sarah Palin is not the second coming.  The country has not become a socialist nation.  Obama was not born in fucking Kenya.  No one is threatening your second amendment rights.  No one is forcing you to do or be anything you don’t want to be.  It’s fucking America.  Sometimes things are right leaning.  Sometimes they are left leaning.  Eventually things will swing the other way and everyone gets a chance to play.  It’s what keeps our democracy working.

So here’s the deal.  I’ve never engaged her.  I firmly believe that these people can’t be engaged.  Based on what I’ve seen of the tea party gatherings they can’t and won’t listen to the arguments.  But I don’t know if I can continue to be passive with her.  The Family Research Council preaches vehemently against gays.  Freedom Works is a front for racists and bigots who think the country would be better off with a real revolution.  GOP Vote.  Just as crazy.  What I do think I should do is message her and let her know that I have no real reason to be her friend.  I can’t be friends with anyone who uses a public platform to spread the word that my life is less than others.  That my relationship with my partner is not as valued as hers is with her husband.  That gay men and women have always served in the military, will always serve in the military, it’s just they’d like to do so without lying about it.  I know it sounds little two-faced, but nothing I say on Facebook imposes my life on them.  Yes I’m gay.  But my being gay doesn’t effect their life.  Their need to preach hate effects my life.  It’s people like them that cause gay teens to kill themselves.  It’s people like them that cause gays to be beaten and killed.  It’s people like them stop me from planning my wedding with Adam.  (I haven’t asked yet).

I don’t want to engage her on this.  I don’t think it will do any good.  But I also don’t think I should just unfriend her, I think that’s taking the easy way out.

So do any of you people out there having any suggestions as to how I can say this without calling her names, which I hate when the right does?

Give me some pointers.

It’s now 5:38 so forgive any typos, grammar etc. issues.

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3 thoughts on “Facebook Question???

  1. Sarah February 13, 2010 / 10:26

    This is what I might say to her:

    I was wondering, why did you friend me? What was it about our time at school together that made you want to reconnect with me? Did you have a particularly positive memory of me? Would you be willing to share it with me? Maybe these questions seem strange to you so let me explain why I am asking them.

    See, I have read your page and I presume you have checked out mine. You have very definite political views. I’ve noticed the many groups that you have joined and I am wondering how you can simultaneously claim virtual friendship with me, a gay man, and membership in organizations that actively work to limit the rights of one of your friends.

    As you may have noted, I have not been an active commentator on your page. I do read it as I have always had an interest in politics and opposing viewpoints. You never know what you might learn, right? So I keep my ears and mind open to the opinions of others. I find I am more responsive and willing to engage in a political conversation when the participants are rational in their speech and demeanor and reasonable and critical in their arguments. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing but a comprehensive understanding of a subject is illuminating, don’t you agree?

    Do you feel there would be room on you page for my opinions? I can offer much insight into what life is like for a gay person living in America and since you friended me I figure you would care about the difficulties I have encountered as I have tried to just live my life, make a living and have a relationship with someone I love. Are you interested in any of that? It is possible that some of your views may change but that is the risk we all take. I’ve always found that when we are willing to open our ears and minds to what others have to say that often our hearts open up in the process.

    Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Java February 14, 2010 / 13:49

    Sarah says a lot of good stuff. Personally, I’d probably just unfriend her (or whatever the term is).

    Most of my Facebook friends are gay men I’ve “met” through the blogs. I have one friend from high school who is super-religious. She pretty much never comments on my page, and I don’t comment on hers, though we have been close friends for years.

    You, however, are not on my Facebook friends list. We must fix that, don’t you think?

  3. Sarah February 15, 2010 / 10:17

    Oh, I’m all for unfriending this person. I just think it’s worth letting her know a few things:

    1. She initiated the friendship but has been behaving in an unfriendly manner.

    2. That Maddog is a thoughtful and curious person and would like to give discourse with her a chance if she were willing to be challenged. I read a great line the other day a top an essay about anti-intellectualism. “What would it take to change your mind?” The author uses it as a time-saving crap-cutter. If the answer is, “Nothing,” you aren’t dealing with a person unwilling to engage in intellectual discourse.

    3. That Maddog is a way better person than she currently is.

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