I tend to use Facebook as a sort of miniature blog. I might post a two-sentence comment about how my day is going, or a link to a news story that I think is interesting. I might share a home-made cartoon that someone else posted, if I think it’s cute and/or pithy. Discussions and comments are sometimes posted in reply.
My Facebook friends are a heterogeneous lot. Some are people I used to work with at the music magazines. Some are music industry professionals whom I may or may not ever have met. Some are people I went to high school with. One is a second cousin I’ve never met.
Here’s the problem: Some of the cartoons I re-post are aggressive take-downs of religion — and some of my FB friends in the music industry are inclined to be religious. In response to the cartoon and the snarky comments from people who agree with me, these individuals may be offended. They may offer comments of their own in defense of religion.
The surest way to get me to slice you to ribbons is to try to defend religion in my presence. If you try it, I’m not going to give you even an inch of slack. I’m going to explain to you not only the precise manner in which you’re wrong, but just how thoroughly wrong you are, complete with chapter and verse. The chapter and verse might include, for example, Matthew 22, a parable in which God forces a complete stranger to come to a wedding and then throws him in the dungeon for not wearing his best clothes. This is in the kinder, gentler New Testament, which Christian apologists assure us cancels out the divine excesses of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament God is unabashedly a psychotic mass murderer, and also an egomaniac with a burning inferiority complex like a hemorrhoid the size of Neptune. But I digress.
The problem is, I like hanging out on Facebook. It’s an important part of my pathetically inadequate social life. But I don’t enjoy having people try to defend religion in my presence. It raises my blood pressure. My residual anger addles my brain when I then go in the other room and try to play the piano.
If you try to defend religion, you’re a schmuck and a patsy. You’re delusional. You’re probably dangerous — and without even realizing the danger you’re subjecting yourself and others to. And please don’t try to convince me I’m wrong about this, because I’m not wrong. If you feel the need to offer a different opinion, kindly do us both a favor. Go sit on a sharp stick.