Lately, I've been thinking about the whole idea of blogging and internet actions with others in general and it made me think of some recent unpleasant experiences on FaceBook.
A few months back, I was cleaning up some stuff and I came across my 6th grade yearbook. Unlike the people I went to middle and high school with who I wouldn't want to have anything to do with even if I could remember their names, I actually liked the kids I went to elementary school with, this school in particular. I went to 1st grade at one school, then I think 2nd through 4th at another, and 5th and 6th grade at the last one. I thought it might be interesting to see if I could find some of the kids from the last school on FaceBook. Big mistake.
One of them turned out to be a hard core right winger, which would have been hard enough to deal with, but she was a Jesus freak too. She posted something in her status about people having a Merry CHRIST-mas and about the reason for the season (which, as I've mentioned before, isn't what people think it is) and so on. I replied back that while I didn't agree with the religious part of the celebration, I could get behind the rest of the good things about it she mentioned. This initiated a back and forth that involved some of her friends, one of whom posted a comment about how God had put this "challenge" in front of her and that this person would be praying for her to which I replied to her friend that she should save her prayers for all the starving children, the women who are being abused, etc, etc, all the things that her great savior Jesus hadn't gotten around to taking care of yet (and, yes, that's how I put it) to which her friend replied and I quote "MAY GOD BLESS YOU !!!!!!!!" which, of course, is the Christian way of saying F.U. Basically, it was clear that she and her friends considered anyone who wasn't Christian Un-American and that they needed to be "saved", etc.etc., so I unfriended and blocked her.
Before that, there was another woman who I knew back then who put up a status post saying that we needed to get God (specifically Christ) back in this country. I commented that I didn't realize he had left and wondered if she was saying that Jews, Buddhists, and other non-Christians should NOT be in this country and pointed out that we don't live in a theocracy. She responded by saying that wasn't what she was saying at all. But it became obvious through my back and forth with her that it was EXACTLY what she meant. She's one of these people who believes that if you don't accept Christ as your savior, you're not getting into Heaven, one of these people who believe a man who spends his life raping little boys would be allowed into Heaven if he accepted Christ on his deathbed and asked forgiveness while a man who lived a pure life, went out of his way to do good, never even had an impure thought, but didn't accept the divinity of Christ would go to Hell. Needless to say, she got the "unfriend and block" treatment as well.
It goes on (although without the drama, so far). There's a guy who I remember liked wearing an AC/DC "Highway to Hell" T-shirt who, according to his profile, is a Baptist. There's another guy who joined one of the "Causes" on FaceBook, this one intending to keep the phrase "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance. I've had to resist the urge to point out to him that those words were only added in the 50s at the height of the "Red Scare" as a way to distinguish us from the "godless Communists", that it's ridiculous for a democracy to have a "Loyalty Oath" at all (it's something they have in dictatorships and other repressive regimes), and that again, this is not a theocracy.
The ultimate irony is that, based on the pages listed in her profile and the FaceBook groups she belongs to, the one person from back then who seems to share my political and possibly my religious views is the one person from back then who REALLY didn't like me. Of course, the reason she didn't like me is really silly. I won't go into it here, but if anyone is interested, I'd be willing to share. I tried to be the bigger person, sent her a message on FaceBook, said that I had never really had a problem with HER and that it was a long, long time ago and I thought it would be nice to be able to talk to somebody from back then who hadn't turned into a right wing, ultra-religious individual. Never heard back from her. I've thought about trying again. The thing is, in the e-mail, I told her if she wasn't interested, that she didn't have to write back and I wouldn't bother her again, but , of course, without a response from her, I don't know if she read it at all, so maybe I should.
Bottom line, if you're thinking that it might be fun to look up someone on FaceBook who you haven't been in contact with for awhile, remember the words of Dr. Zaius, "You may not like what you find."