I’ve mentioned, here and on other blogs, that I keep a Facebook account as a way to “loosely” stay in touch with family. I’ve also mentioned that I think one of the reasons for Facebook’s success is its ability to provide the “feel” of real social interaction without the messy “physical” components of real interaction with living people – such as getting off your ass and actually going where those people are.
But, if you’ll recall, I’m not actually a big fan social interaction. While, on an emotional level, I may have the same “communal” urges as other humans (we are “social creatures” after all), I have no desire whatsoever, intellectually, to get off my ass and actually go where those people are – and even less of a desire for any of them to come to me.
So, with all that in mind, you can understand why I deal with going on Facebook the same way I treat any trip out into the real world: In and out as quickly as possible, taking every conceivable precaution against inciting the potentially violent sociopath I see behind every face into thinking that they’ve finally found the “one” person whose death, at their hands, would magically transform their living nightmare in Heaven on Earth.
Another part of that strategy has been to have as little connection as possible between my blogging world and my Facebook world. But there have been occasions where I allowed my being in a good mood (relatively at least) to get the better of me, resulting in my posting a link on Facebook that I regretted later. Well I just made another one of those mistakes.
I was so impressed with the Why I Am an Atheist post at the Barking In The Dark blog that I not only reblogged it here, but posted the link to it on Facebook as well. Oh good grief, WTF did I do that for?!?! Take a look at this response:
Bishop J. wrote: “That is a very sad commentary to human kind. because of this kind of thinking millions of unborn babies are murdered, grown men can sleep with little boys, and women are used like objects as people sit at home safe from the world looking at xxxx picture an imagining themselves with some who is not there. Sexual acting out causes our own mind to war against itself, yet many think themselves brilliant spouting what appears to be wisdom. it is only mental masturbation, and why not they do it physically as often as they can with world wide access. Please Lord let our people think instead of hiding in the DARK!!! Nothing but Love can heal the fractured heart/mind. Grace, Mercy, and Peace to the readers.”
“Bishop J.” is my nephew, and “Bishop” is not the name my sister gave him when he was born. Of course, I guess it’s better than the “Prince Khalifa” he used to try to get people to call him. I really don’t want to go into our history here, but I will say that his being only a couple of years younger than I am has played a big role in our having a very long, very troubled, and very competitive relationship – a big part of which stems from the starkly different paths we’ve taken in our efforts to deal with the addiction issues we both share. While I’ve chosen more of an “Ivory Tower” approach to dealing with my issues and sharing what I’ve learned, he has chosen the much more “Hands On” approach of becoming a minister of sorts (how “legitimate” I don’t know and don’t really care) with his own little “flock” he’s trying to lead down what he sees as the path to salvation.
At this point I must say that I have not been feeling well lately. As a matter of fact, I haven’t felt well for quite some time. When I’m not feeling well, I tend to nap a lot. And I had just awakened from one of those naps, still feeling very sick, when I saw BJ’s little note. So I think you can understand why, after having otherwise positive responses to the post before I went to sleep, waking up to such an assault was just a bit aggravating. But I kept my cool, and simply responded with:
The poem that I linked to ends with: “In this matter Barking in the Dark in no way wishes to diminish anyone else’s belief system. I am merely stating my own.” Yet despite the eloquence and decency of the poem’s words, it has been answered with an attack proving true the part that says: “Instead the temple priests, Who figured out the game, Co-opted all that well-placed fear, And misplaced it in “His” name.” Sad. So very sad.
And how do you think he responded? Well guess no more my friends, because here it is:
Bishop J. wrote: “I said this kind thinking results in social indecency.”
Now I know that I haven’t given you nearly enough background information for you to understand why I had such a severe reaction to his words, but trust me, I have my reasons. I even drafted a nice little statement to explain exactly how I felt. But I decided not to post it because… well, because past experience has taught me that posting it there, in a forum composed primarily of people far more like him than like me, would not only fail to accomplish what I intended but likely bring on a barrage of vitriol from others as well.
But that was on Facebook. On this blog, I say whatever the hell I want. And my past experience here, amongst people who have proven themselves to be far more open-minded, tells me that I can speak my mind. Here is what I would have said there, but did not:
Social indecency?!?! Did you even read the poem I linked to? Or did you just see an opportunity for a fanatical grandstand? You can spout all the “Grace, Mercy, and Peace” crap you want, but never forget that I KNOW the violent sociopath hiding behind the mask. Today you only sling mud and scandal in the faces of those who dare to disagree. Tomorrow you’ll resort to violence as your kind always does. The only question that remains is what form your violence will take. Will you hack off the heads of nonbelievers like the Taliban? How about burning us at the stake for being possessed by demons? In the end you’ll be spiriting your little cult off to some “Jonestown” for yet another great religious atrocity, leaving the rest of us to clean up the mess – as usual!
Now it would be totally unfair of me to classify every member of my family as dangerous lunatics. But, if you’ve read any other the others posts where I’ve talked about my relationship with them, you’ll understand that there are “issues” between myself and many of them that justifies my “keeping them at arms length” attitude.
Which is why, far beyond my own problems with addiction, this song has always had a very special meaning to me:
And speaking of noise pollution, I’m off on another of those “walks” to do a little shopping. As much as I hate the idea of contending with all those cars driven by people who don’t seem to give a crap about pedestrians, I’m simply not in the mood to ask anyone in my family for a ride…
I want ice water.
Read more from the My Life volume