Work stress has been giving me a major case of writer’s block. Until I’m on the other side of this I need to put my focus elsewhere. It has been making me psycholgically and physically sick. Updates on this at a later date..
Recently I found a distraction in the form of a Facebook post.
I’m sure many of you will agree that FB is a soul-sucking virtual space where authenticity and humanity go to die, but I had previously been swacked in the head with a reailty that people expect you to pay attention to their posts and if you don’t they genuinely believe you don’t care.
So? Who needs those kinds of relationships anyway, right? Well, if it weren’t nearly every person; if I could actually maintain friendships the old-fashion way (like direct one-on-one contact)…In this way I wouldn’t mind “Mak[ing] America Great Again.”
So now I’m back to checking every couple days instead of every couple weeks, but I do so with great resentment. But, back to point of this post…
In college I was part of a non-denominational Christian group on campus. Not being a party person I never understood the appeal of group-think, but due to multiple complex factors that resulted in my not liking nor trusting myself I’d find myself for the next 15 years “conforming my mind” to not my own thoughts, instincts and values but to those of my spiritual peers and authorites, which I believed at the time to be God’s voice and will.
I would experience bitterness and resentment over people telling me how to lead my life, how to think and feel, however at the time I believed these were sinful thoughts and feelings and I allowed other voices to squelch my own. I allowed other people to emotional and spiritual abuse me for the sake of “love. ”
I mention this because one of my friends from the group appears to be going through a divorce and the other friends from our college group are being nasty towards him.
I remember when I was in college he was always an odd one. I never quite “got” him but did always appreciate him because of his oddity. Initially, when FB got popular I had friended everone on the group but had unfriended them after my deconversion because of their dogmatic thinking and bigotry.
Unfriended all but the guy currently going through a divorce and one of my previous roomates. She is still very strong in her religious beliefs but I have watched her over the years respond in thoughtful and respectful ways with those she disagrees with and with those who are being assholes to her. You just don’t see common decency online anymore. She’s special.
When my guy friend had posted something about how devastating it was to go through his divorce there were a lot of comments, but not once did I see any of his supposed friends respond with a “I’m so sorry you are going through this – I got your back.” What I saw were comments that they were praying for his marriage and what he needs to do to make that happen.
And it made me think, what if staying married is not what’s right for him? The thought never seemed to cross their minds as an option. Not only that, but they pre-emptively argued why their opinions were right (God wants this and God wants that).
Whether they were meaning to or not they shamed him and made assumptions of all the things he must be doing wrong. It got me thinking about the lack of boundaries our brand of Christians have and I desperately wanted to tell them what he decides to do is really none of their fucking business. I remember hating all that “accountability” shit.
His response to his Christian “friends” was that the way Christians were responding to him in this very difficult time in his life were making him doubt his Christian beliefs, and rightly so. His world is falling apart, I’m sure not solely from the result of losing the woman he loves but also I think realizing that what he believed about prayer and doing all the “right” things is failing him.
He has shared some articles that his Christian friends have described as “disgusting.” One of the articles questioned monagamy. How the majority of people can’t maintain a entirely monagamous relationship for the rest of their adult lives and so society must examine the whole concept. Thought-provoking.
After posting the article the comments were so brutal that I ended up having to jump in and defend him. I told him he was brave, it was great that he was allowing for different perspectives, that he needed to make friends with people who will be there for him during this difficult transition, and to that relationships require trust, communication and shared values.
That is when my college roommate jumped in and chastised the Christians in the group for attacking him and bringing him down.To which one particular woman exposed her Trump-esque like sense of “speaking it like it is” and tried to jusify her ability to act like an asshole out of “love.”
Which made me realize how much of an asshole I previously was as a Christian. It’s not like I was ever combative but I thought my way (the Christian way) was the only way of doing or thinking about things. I used tp silently judge others all the time, even Christians, the ones who I thought were not “True Christians” in my mind.
My interactions with others all either revolved around trying to evangelize to or “edify” them. These behaviors now are quite unloving, from my current perspective. It is now quite shocking that complete strangers will tell others that they know better that than the person knows themselves. It’s as if those who don’t participate in the group-think are treated like insolent children.
I find the lack of boundaries, if nothing else, “disgusting.” The fact that for a couple decades I allowed for this in my life is appalling and I know I can never get that time back.
Random fact: I took a Harry Potter quiz and I’m a Hufflepuff
That’s all for now.