I’m slowly shutting down my Facebook account, although in a minor way. I’m just switching to my professional page and letting the personal one die, in terms of updating. I’ll keep the news feeds of family and some friends, people I like to hear from, but mostly it’ll be just me. I’ll post what I want but I won’t have to read which of my friends became friends with someone else, or comments from their idiot friends on something they’ve posted, or an obvious hoax that makes me roll my eyes.
Politics too. I’m a big fan of America, like to learn about all of it, geography to government to politics to flora and fauna. I’m amazed at the home of my birth, and its history. Which is far from perfect but still fascinating and a noble effort. Good try, Founders! We’re hanging in there.
But this particular presidential election, as weird and novel as it is, leaves me cold. Just can’t get excited, don’t really care what anyone thinks, pretty sure I know how it turns out, etc. Can’t avoid that going forward, as much as I try. It’s not that I don’t think people should refrain from expressing their opinions (I wish they would, because it makes no difference and turns social media into soapboxes). I just am not interested.
And then there’s the bigotry. That irritates and embarrasses me a lot.
I had relatives who were wonderful to me and many other people, and were just vile racists. I am certainly not alone. So I’m used to the strange contradiction; people are complicated and have odd, often hateful ideas when they can be really nice and sometimes smart people.
I’m talking about religious bigotry, and specifically Christian bigotry. I don’t have a dog in this hunt; it’s the majority religion (if dwindling) in this country, and is easily fair game. The Simpsons do (or used to do) this beautifully; they satirized everything, including religion, but they incorporated it into the mainstream and never got nasty. Ned Flanders seemed awfully silly, saying grace in the drive-through lane at McDonald’s, but he was a good and decent man who tried very hard to be the best person he could be. And so on. Rev. Lovejoy was a tad bit cynical and jaded, but I’ve known plenty of ministers like that. It was a fine jab in the ribs to religion, as well as to pretty much everything else.
The person who objects to a mosque being built in their neighborhood, or assumes all Muslims are terrorists in training, are morons but they’re consistent in their bigotry. The ones I speak of are not.
The ones I speak of, in fact, would be horrified and outraged about the above reaction. And yet they could simply replace the faith system – turn it from an obviously Christian meme, for example, to one focusing on Islam (they pray 5 times a day! And face a particular direction! How stupid and primitive is that!) – and they’d be just as horrified.
And object, of course, and point toward the Duck people or Mike Huckabee or whomever, as if they represent any significant fraction of American Christianity.
Anyway. I don’t want to give it any more words. I love these people, the way I would love a racist uncle. I’d just try to avoid him as much as possible so I didn’t end up feeling too negative, so that’s part of it right there. I don’t want to think bad things about these people, who can’t seem to control themselves.
And I’m tired of messing with Facebook, trying to hide certain posts and still stay in touch. I’ve tried pointing out the inherent bigotry and the multiple straw men, and I just don’t have the energy anymore. Hate the ones you’re going to hate, I guess. Go to a Trump rally; it’s none of my business.
But don’t pretend it’s intellectual analysis. It’s bigotry. No time for it, sorry.