Coming out and staying out are often the catalysts for many a dropped friendship and occasionally, an attack from the extreme crazy Chrispy-fried Christian.
Recently, I was attacked on Facebook by an old school friend from way back when. The prompt for the attack was when I posted on Facebook that I was believed that those who were still attacking Barack Obama on his legitimacy as president based upon his 'suspicious' birth certificate were racists. I got a lot of responses from the Conservative right-wing crazies that I know and I expected this, however, one woman whom I knew from 2nd to 8th grade (and she was no peach back then, either) took it way too far. She perused my profile and learned that not only do I support gay rights, but that I'm also *gasps* an evil atheist!!!!
She proceeded to attack me and my husband, wishing us to be sterile so that we do not reproduce more of our kind, she called me a lesbian atheist who shouldn't be teaching children (I am a teacher - special ed). She wished me dead and that she could be the one to take me out of this world, she expressed gladness that I will burn in hell, and she accused me of being anti-military (wtf?).
Even worse, my own twin sister cozied up with this wing nut and when I gave her the ultimatum, her or me, well, she chose the person who wanted me dead. Ouch! I 'unfriended' my twin and was subsequently 'unfriended' by two of my nieces and one of my other sisters.
This has caused a deep schism between those family members and friends who support me and those family members and friends who support her.
Fortunately, I learned a lot from this. My value in the eyes of those who do support me. This is what made the bad part of this ordeal worth it!
My children (all grown) made amazing and wonderful statements about me and expressed what true unconditional love is all about - something that many Christians don't know shit about! My daughter, a Christian, took them all to task in my defense. My husband and some friends also came out in my defense and made wonderful statements about me.
It's amazing what such trials can teach us about human nature.
Yeah, I pointed that out to her, but of course, because I'm atheist, I'm always wrong. Thus, we have become estranged.
I'm sorry that happened. If it's any consolation, you are not alone in having a judgemental, vicious sibling. I have decided you can know too much about those who you know only mildly and family. It's hard to be so non controversial that you offend no one. When I was on FB, I ended up taking about the weather and my (then) new rug shampooer a lot. It still didn't save me from nasty remarks about my life. One day it occurred to me, if I had to be so careful I could only talk about the weather and house cleaning, maybe I didn't have that great of connection with these people after all. Since FB doesn't seem to have any plans on protecting my privacy, I left it.
Even just talking about vacuuming can go wrong with FB advertisers. Even though my profile was marked atheist, I kept getting ads for Sarah Palin and extreme Christian Right stuff. So only Christians vacuum?
I don't know about your situation with your sibling, but even before I became an atheist, my sister was vicious and cruel. She once offered me up as a sacrificial lamb to her best friend when rumors of her friend's affair with a co-worker began circulating around our mutual workplace. She told her friend that I had to be the one who was telling everyone about the affair.
This led to a threatening phone call to me from the best friend. When I confronted my twin on why she told her buddy that I was the one who was spreading the rumor, she defended her actions by stating that since I was the only one who knew besides her and her friend, it had to be me (as if that were true). Not only that, but she owed her friend her loyalty because that's what friends do (What about loyalty between sisters?!?).
Funny thing is, the best friend is just as stupid as my sister. Had she been using her brain, she'd have realized that the ONLY way I could have known about her affair was if my twin told me about it, so who was spreading the rumor? Could it have been my sister? I think so!
The stories about my sister's cruelty go on and on. She's called me a 'ni**er lover' when I hung out with my black friends at school, she's chided me and my children on our hair and our clothes on many occasions, and she has always given preferential treatment to her friends over me. She has spoken down to me and treated me as beneath her since I can remember.
Of course, this treatment was perpetuated by my mother who referred to her openly as the prettier one, the smarter one, the more responsible one, etc.
Ironically, I'm the only one among my siblings and family members with a college degree. I'm also the only one who is atheist, who supports gay rights, and who will question things rather than blindly accepting whatever I've been taught.
If your experiences with your sibling has been anything like mine, I feel for you.
As far as I'm concerned, to hell with all of them. I'm better off without them. I have my husband of 29 years, my 3 children, and my good friends. I have a good life in spite of my family's treatment of me and even without them, I'm a happy, well-adjusted person.
Harsh lesson indeed, but now you know who your friends are :)