Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Open Letter to an Old Friend

You were my friend; one of the first and best I ever had.  Now, you are a stranger; a person so far removed from what I thought you were and yet still wrapped in a cocoon that resembles the old you.

On the surface, you are sweet, kind, caring, and never antagonistic; underneath there is a current of bigotry, oppressiveness, and unjustified arrogance - a deep, dark current to which you are oblivious.  Perhaps it is all in my head; perhaps I am just projecting some deep-seated anger onto you, but I am fairly certain that is not the case.

I am sure that within your current circles, you are the epitome of compassion, goodness, and the subject of much praise.  In any group, there are those that shine; those that are the ideal of what they long to be.  But when the charter for the group is built on a misguided sense of truth, when concepts of fairness and justice are no longer viewed with an open mind and heart, but instead viewed through a clouded lens where evil ideas and acts are contorted to look good, when rational thought and evidence are abandoned for unproven, ancient rhetoric; is it desirable to be among the elite of such a group?

You have traded reason and rationality for blind faith.  If it only affected you alone, that would be sad enough, but you propagate your dangerous, prejudiced, ignorant views onto your friends, your family, and let it influence your decisions about the leaders that you elect; thus affecting us all.  You swim in the blindness of your intellectual dishonesty while those around you drown in the wake of your ignorance.  You fail to understand the harm that is caused and you seem not to care; it is a conflicting image to see someone so compassionate and simultaneously so emotionally disconnected from the negative impact of their efforts.

It is difficult to be a friend to such a person.  I imagine that is somewhat akin, though to a lesser degree, to being a close relative of Hitler, bin Laden, or McVeigh; that conflict of loving the person, but despising what they think and do.  What you believe is harmful to others, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, etc., it all causes harm in the end.  Anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-science - my exact opposite.

As you know, I have chosen to end the friendship.  Not because of what you believe, but because of your total unwillingness to examine what you believe in any open and honest way; your lack of acceptance of the fact that you could be wrong, your total blindness to the potential harm, your absolute certainty of your own mental perfection, but mainly because I can't stand to see you like this; tarnishing the memories of the better person that I once knew.  I have tried to stay the course, but you have been more than reluctant to engage in forthright conversation.  I have done all that I know to do.

I may have formally severed the contact, but I cannot sever the feelings; I will always have you in the back of my mind and be hoping that someday a glimmer of light will shine in that dark and dusty head of yours and you will realize that all of my bitching and moaning was because I cared - about you and all of those that your actions affected.  And I hold out a little hope; however irrational it may be, that you will change, at least a little; enough to listen to reason.  Until that day, I wish you well, but know that I will be working against the implementation of your beliefs at every possible turn.

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