I defriended my cousin on Facebook. My father’s mother’s brother’s son. I feel bad about it, but he had stepped over the virtual line we had drawn by posting another pseudo-political diatribe/comment on my wall.
My cousin’s belief system has little room for fact and he has found that Facebook is the perfect pulpit for his sputem-stained dogma. Please don’t misunderstand, I have tremendous respect and admiration for people of faith – especially, religious faith, faith in aliens, faith in spouses, children, the dollar – that sort of thing. I really don’t think it is any of my business what someone believes that makes them happy or provides them the peace or comfort we all need to get through this life. Shoot, at appropriate times, I even think it might be wonderful when they share their life’s experience in the context of faith. I actually believe a couple things, too.
However, I do have a problem with people who pick fights on my Facebook wall, in front of my virtual friends and family, and lie, misrepresent, subvert and attempt to recruit others into drinking the cult tea of faith-cloaked narcissistic xenophobic ignorance, hatred and racism. It’s perfectly ok to be stupid, but keep it to yourself or share it quietly with people of a similar dementia. And for goodness sakes, don’t publicly embarrass the whole family after we have all spent a lifetime trying to hide our variations of bat shit crazy.
My cousin’s mom and dad were two of the kindest and enlightened people I have known. They were conservative when that label had nothing to do with politics – they were humble, loving and devoted. My cousin’s dad spent his working life as a government social worker – giving up better pay for the service of people. At least on Facebook, my cousin is an arrogant self-righteous sociopath.
I used to meet my cousin’s dad for coffee at Carpenter Brothers’ drug store where we’d talk and laugh about the news and politics. My cousin listens to talk radio, parrots it on Facebook and has no visible sense of humor.
For years, I tried to pretend his rants were a sophisticated, but twisted form of satire. That I could learn about this strange side of America who believes our President is not a citizen; a practicing Muslim, as if that mattered; both a socialist and a fascist; has a goal to bankrupt the country to achieve some unknown goal somehow related to illegal immigration; unregulated greed is better than equal protection; that democracy has been subverted when their candidate loses; that there can be simplistic solutions to solve complicated problems; and success is an indication of your favor with god while kindness, respect and understanding are abominations.
I had turned down his volume as low as Facebook allows, what was I to do, poke him?