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How to lose a friend in 10 minutes

Submitted by Geoffrey Bara on October 18, 2012 – 2:40 pmNo Comment

The upcoming Presidential election is easily the most important one I will have ever lived through.  For the first time ever, we have a sitting President who supports same-sex marriage, and every reason to believe that should he become re-elected, that it will become a reality in the United States.

I’ve never been terribly good at censoring or filtering myself in general, but on issues of this grave importance, I find it completely impossible.  It seems that what I am good at these days is alienating members of my family and people who considered themselves my friends.

It seems to be socially acceptable today to tell me that any marriage I would seek to enter is wrong, because the Bible and God say so.  However, to reply to these people that their religious beliefs are wrong seems to be offensive to a higher degree.  I think that’s ridiculously unfair and evidence of a preposterous double standard.  Religion is just another social construction like any other moral framework, and as such it is just as deserving of criticism as any other.  Moreover, we live in a country that is meant to enjoy separation of Church and state.  That being said, it really shouldn’t matter what religious beliefs one subscribes to, as religion should have nothing whatsoever to do with statecraft in specific or politics in general.  I would never tell someone what religion to practice or not to practice, but I reject the idea that theology is somehow beyond reproof.

These people who I am now severing ties with have the nerve to say it’s my fault; that it’s my intolerance of their beliefs that makes it impossible to be friends.  Doesn’t it make more sense that what makes it impossible for us to be friends is that I can’t respect someone who sees me as a second class citizen?  How valid could these friendships ever have been?  Not very, in my opinion.  If I am guilty of being intolerant of something, then I suppose it would be the blatant disregard for my civil rights.

Because that’s what this is.  This is a civil rights struggle.  We will all be found on either the right or wrong side of history on this issue in the years to come, and I have the comfort of knowing that history will agree with me.  I regret that some people are so enmired in antiquated faiths that they can’t see the bigger issue of human rights; I do not regret dismissing these people from my life.  I regret that at the moment I seem to be unreasonable to some people; I do not regret my words or my actions.  I’ve never been the sort of person who found it necessary for everyone to be in agreement with me for me to feel secure with my decisions, and I refuse to keep silent at this time solely for the purpose of maintaining what are essentially acquaintanceships with people I knew from high school.  It’s significantly more difficult when the person I am disagreeing with is family, but the fault doesn’t lie with me on this one.  Sometimes people are just wrong, and sometimes they need to be told.


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