Withdrawing from a Friend

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~Thomas Jefferson

The United States is full of divisive shit these days – white cops shooting/killing black people; racists shooting up churches, school shootings, and the start of the 2016 election season just to name a few.

In response to the posts about this stuff and the back and forth that goes on, a lot of people have posted the above quote in a call for civility or for us to understand each other. I guess the idea is that just because we have differences of opinion, that doesn’t mean we can’t like each.

Sometimes I think that’s true. I have friends who are conservatives who will always be my friend. I have friends who are of different religious bearings than I am. We will still be friends.

But sometimes it cannot be true. Sometimes you realize you don’t really know someone until they splash some hateful and/or ignorant shit all over their Facebook page. Sometimes you don’t know how illogical and stupid someone really is until you see their tweets. Sometimes it’s not until you’ve seen them engaged in a discussion thread that you see just how hypocritical they are.

Because I can tolerate a difference of opinion, especially one that is well-reasoned. What I cannot and will not ever tolerate is hypocrisy, hate, bigotry, ignorance, or a lack of attempt to understand where the other side is coming from. To me, those things are not merely differences of opinion. They are fundamental defects of character with which I have no desire to associate.

And for the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone else would want to associate with them either.