I recently decided to hide a Facebook friend instead of de-Facing her altogether. I barely remember her from high school and don’t dislike her, but I couldn’t stand to read anymore of her hyper-religious posts. She identifies as an extremely conservative Christian and clearly believes “homosexuality” is a sin and these are the end times…yeah. I’m not sure where she stands on evolution, but I get the feeling that she would call Darwin a heretic.
I have de-Faced others. One was a Facebook games friend who, I discovered upon checking out his profile, belonged to a group called “England for the English.” Nice! Another was someone I attended high school with, and frankly, he was always a bit of an ass. During a discussion about Facebook friends, someone suggested I just un-friend him if I thought he was such a jackass, and so I did, simple as that. He’s tried to re- friend me since then. Why? I haven’t a clue. I can’t imagine being that desperate for friend numbers.
It was so much easier when you would move to another city or state and it took some effort on your part to stay connected to those people you deemed important. In some cases, it’s great to reconnect to childhood friends, but they, unfortunately, seem to be followed by fringe acquaintances that creep, oh so subtly, into your daily life, spewing utter nonsense and half baked truisms all over your news feed, leaving you to wonder why you accepted their friend requests in the first place.
Well, I should have gone with my first instinct to just un-friend her and be done with the matter after she revealed herself to be a kooky anti-feminist (posting rebukes of feminism from men on YouTube to my post of a link to a Byron Hurt article on why he is a male feminist), homophobe, and possible religious zealot.
Months after I began hiding her, I posted a link to a blog post explaining why black people should support marriage equality. Now, I was raised as a Christian and as an adult am not religious. I do believe in God, so what she said next got my blood pressure up. The Hidden One, as I began to think of her, posted a comment stating that she was a Christian and therefore totally disagreed with gay marriage. She then proceeded to post another rambling comment about God’s omniscience and omnipresence. She explained that God knows if you’re acting on your homosexuality and having those pesky homosexual thoughts and urges, and that the Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin, and on and on.
I asked myself, is God really Tolkein’s Sauron, sitting on high in Mordor with an all-seeing eye rimmed in flame? If He is, she likes it that way, and I was beginning to feel like I had been taking crazy pills. As I mentioned before, this wasn’t the first time she’d commented on one of my “liberal” posts. I had responded to her anti-feminist comments by saying that I thought men talking about the evils of feminism was akin to white men saying racism/sexism doesn’t exist. She then commented with a typo-laden “sentence” that was indecipherable. Normally, I am more than willing to engage in a civil dialogue but in this particular instance it was clear that she had no intention of having a conversation. She only wanted to tell me I was wrong, this was why, and I had better change my mind. She probably mentioned something about me needing to be born-again and burning in hell if I wasn’t but I didn’t get that far.
I couldn’t read the rest of the comment; I was so angry. I deleted both her posts, immediately un-friended her, and changed my status to put any other nutjobs I may have accepted friend requests from, in the interest of being nice, on notice. My status now read, “Lydia Holt cannot abide homophobia disguised as Christianity. You can un-friend me now, or I can un-friend you after you try to preach at me, your choice.” If I hadn’t been so livid, I might have had the presence of mind to change my status before un-friending her to make it crystal clear why I could no longer call her my friend, even on Facebook.
I haven’t monitored my number of friends to see if it’s changed but was happily surprised that a few friends that I know to be conservative and/or Christians “liked” my status. I like to think that if Jesus were around today, he’d be marching with our gay brothers, sisters, those in between, and their allies, sporting a “Marriage is so gay” t-shirt.
For another perspective on homosexuality and the black church see: A Gospel Singer Slims Down and Comes Out