I get it.
I dug too hard. I posted too much. I was too inflammatory. I was offensive.
What I’m alluding to is that I’ve lost some friends coming out of the atheist closet. Luckily, the people that have mattered the most in my life are all still here and accounted for, but I’ve lost lots of friends. Not just ones I’ve not kept in touch with well and acquaintances I’ve always wished I’d been able to get to know more, but a handful of people that have meant a good deal to me over the years.
What I’m referring to is *GASP* being unfriended on Facebook.
It is, admittedly, the lamest form of “friendship” to lose, but there is a small amount of bite there nonetheless.
As a person that’s spent much of his life caring about what people think of him and trying to “win” people by being funny, I’m a bit more sensitive to it than others may be. So, while you may scoff at the idea (and I wouldn’t blame you if you did), it’s something that causes a bit of reflection on my part for both my actions, whether justified or not, and their action of just….deleting me virtually.
As someone with predominantly Christian friends, I too grow tired of the amount of posts contrary to what I believe. The bible verses. The shared pics of Jesus as public proof you love and support him. The prayer requests. The videos of popular sermons or “hip” young believers.
What do I do when I see those? I simply scroll on past. I wouldn’t unfriend you because of what you believe, unless you think skim milk is actually milk. That’s unforgivable.
So, when I consider you as a person having unfriended me, I take it personally as my beliefs or opinions being so against yours that the parts of me you do like or enjoy don’t outweigh the parts you don’t. The old PRO v CON.
Long ago I stopped posting much about religion because I too was worn out from the back and forth and was ready to carry on with my life, but I can’t possibly convey in words how beneficial being so open and “in your face” about it as I was.
It led me to meet some wonderful new friends on both sides of belief. It helped people struggling with severe doubt themselves and it absolutely helped me clarify my own thoughts much more profoundly than had I chose to struggle alone internally and kept my thoughts to myself.
So, I get it. I was a stain on your news feed of happy. I was that pimple on the eyelid that wouldn’t go away. I was a hemorrhoid that no amount of Preparation H could alleviate. I was the reminder that a sane lifelong believer could have legitimate reasons for doubt.
The cognitive dissonance must have been truly annoying.
But I was honest and open and generally without fear which I hope is something that, if nothing else, has earned at least a modicum of your respect.
For those small handful of people that cared enough to address me directly about your dislike for my posts, being open to discussion and appreciating our history enough to give it to me straight, I can’t thank you enough.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Easter plans I need to firm up.