I have some very fundamentalist family and high school acquaintances on Facebook who post both bible verses and evil opinions, and I'm trying to decide what the right thing to do is...these are the options I've formulated so far:
a) un-friend them (but I may be the only atheist/anti-theist any of them knows)
b) watch their posts with the same sport as a good horror movie
c) ignore them and try to be a voice of reason through my own posts
d) public ridicule (jk, jk)
The thing is, if I posted my opinions as liberally as some of these people do, they'd be so incensed that my computer would smell like Nag Champa. So to keep the peace, I usually stay silent. And I don't think that's right. Keep in mind, most of these are the typical I-haven't-seen-you-in-15-years-but-remember-World-Geography-in-10th-grade kind of Facebook friends. I can live without them. But is it right to unfriend because their opinions infuriate me?
How do you guys navigate Facebook world?
I have been having the same problem only the one who is posting such things are my own father. I have considered both un-friending him and/or opening a new page only I feel a lot of guilt about it and do not have other atheist friends. I'm not overly sure what to do about this either. The acceptance of religious fanatacism here has made me extremely uneasy.
It's scary, isn't it? I'm visiting my mother, and yesterday she was watching Good Morning America and they were talking about how positively the legalization of same-sex marriage has helped their local economy...at which point she muted the TV and started screaming, "THEN WHY DON'T WE JUST MAKE PROSTITUTION AND EVERYTHING ELSE IMMORAL LEGAL JUST TO HELP THE ECONOMY!!" Can you believe it? So I show her Leviticus and ask, "Why is nothing else in here still relevant? Why don't we stone people to death who work on the sabbath or not allow those with a defect in sight to take the "bread of God"? She has no answer. And I'm the one who deserves to burn for all eternity.
It's distressing that someone who is almost 60 years old can be so foolish. I just don't understand it. Marginalize them, ridicule them, take their rights away, what's next? Genocide? This brand of fanaticism is what makes me anti-theist. I just think it does more harm than good.
Touche. Thanks for the advice. :)
I know I shouldn't feel guilty about deleting them from my friends. I think it has much more to do with the relationship itself then anything. If it was someone else then it wouldn't be as much of an issue. I've never been close to either of my parents, but have always desired to have a closer one with my father. It feels more like I would be giving up that relationship which is hard when I don't have a lot of other people. Its not something I want to dwell on too much. I'm sure i'll come to a conclusion. It's just something to think about since it has been bothering me.
If you don't have a connection with these people, which is common on those types of sites, I would say just screw them and unfriend.
As far as I'm concerned, anything online is entertainment, including social networking. I have several fundamentalist people on mine. Then again, they know how I am. If I'm feeling a certain way, I'm not one to "be nice" and hide it. I hate the way people "fake" emotions or thoughts more than anything in the world. I'd say unfriend or ridicule. I pull stuff off of the "religion poisons everything" activity page. I post it. If it offends? Oh well. Don't send me all your "prayer, jesus, god and dogma" bullshit. I'm not ashamed of who I am or what I don't believe, just as they aren't ashamed of what they believe. But to say my pro-science propaganda is offensive and your jesus crap isn't? C'mon now. That's being a hypocrite. Just my opinion on the matter. Straight forward and without B/S. Have a lovely day :)
I have been dealing with the same issue. I have several people from high school (30 years ago) who post religiously (religiously). I can't tell you exactly what it is but I have developed a rough formula for determining how much I can tolerate. The equation balances depth of friendship with religious postings. Like I say, I can't say where the threshold lies but at some point they've crossed the line. I've only unfriended one person but there are several who are on the line. I like reading their "normal" posts, about what's going on in their life. I grit my teeth when they get the urge to tell me how big a part Jesus or God is in their life. I suppose I shouldn't really hesitate to unfriend them, they've thrown up several posts that say they don't care who they offend. I should add that to the equation...whoops, new calculation indicate they're over the line. They're out of here.
I only joined facebook to find my missing cat, and now i don't use it. There was a facebook page for lost pets in my city. I don't like the way facebook looks. It's sort of scattered to me, and has no character. Well, i think i'd unfriend them. There's nothing there to hold on to; you won't change any minds.
You don't have to reply to them unless they really say something inflammatory like the guy who wanted to round up all gay people and put them in camps. Something Like that I couldn't keep silent about. My sister and her husband are both deeply religious and I get prayers and bible verses from them coming across my face book page all the time. I usually just ignore it since they know I'm an atheist and those posts are more for their christian friends than for me.
I do make posts about religion on my facebook page from time to time although they aren't in response to messages I receive from others. I'm an atheist and not ashamed to say it and when something happening in the world strikes my sensibilities I'll post something about it. I was challenged on a post one time by my sister but after taking two shots at me and getting pretty well whipped in the ensuing debate she has left me alone on the subject of religion ever since.
So I guess my recommendation is be who you are. If you feel like posting something with an atheist flavor, go ahead and do it. You're an atheist after all and there's nothing wrong with that. Don't set out to be offensive or confrontational, just post what you really think. Be honest, straightforward and rational. If someone does challenge what you say then respond to it in a lucid and fact based approach. Don't get into name calling and all kinds of accusatory rhetoric, let them do that stuff while you maintain your dignity and composure. If they can't refrain from being insulting then end the discussion and, if you really have to, block them. To paraphrase the cinematic epic "Roadhouse" featuring film legend Patrick Swayze, "Be nice until it's time not to be nice." Then be nice anyway.
Just remember that you won't change any minds no matter what you say or how you say it. The main thing is to be honest.
And if you, or anyone else out there, wants another atheist friend send me a request. Just look up my name, Russell Christian, on facebook. I have the same avatar pic there that I do here.
Sent you an add request, Russell. Thanks! :)
(I've had more drama with my brother misunderstanding or taking offense at things, usually not mine but our cousin's!! But yeah, I do about the same thing... Some things I filter for want of not offending family members. But if others post things, I will comment!!) Ignore the small stuff.
I don't have many FB friends because of this. It is my choice. There is a setting where their posts don't show on your feed, and they don't know it. Most of the people on my FB page are either not religious, or know I'm not. I did put up one VERY Atheist thing I found and NO ONE 'liked' it, lol. Just ignored it, like I didn't put it there. You do not HAVE to subject yourself to bullshit that raises your blood-pressure.