Social Question

augustlan's avatar

Atheists: Would you have commented on this Facebook situation? Theists: What are your thoughts on the comment I did make?

Asked by augustlan (47732points) October 24th, 2011

One of my good friend’s sisters (whom I know and like) posted this picture on Facebook, which implies that atheists are immoral and weak. I don’t think she meant to be hurtful, and of course, she is free to post whatever she likes, but still.

I debated long and hard before responding to it, but in the end, I felt I couldn’t let it go unchallenged. I commented, “I don’t begrudge you your faith, <her name here>, but this is pretty offensive to atheists (like me). I still love ya’, though!”

I thought I was nice enough about it, but I knew I might be opening a can of worms, and that some discussion might result from it. I wasn’t itching for a fight or anything. Just trying to be informative, I guess. I looked at it as a learning opportunity, in case she (or those viewing it) hadn’t thought of it that way.

I was surprised to see that not only did she not reply to my comment, she deleted it. The picture, though, that’s still there, along with several comments that support the view it expresses.

Atheists: What would you have done, and why?
Theists: Am I the offensive one, here? How could I have handled this better?

PLEASE: Don’t let this devolve into an atheist vs theist fight. That’s not what I’m looking for. Thanks!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

184 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

“I thought I was nice enough about it, but I knew I might be opening a can of worms, and that some discussion might result from it. I wasn’t itching for a fight or anything. Just trying to be informative, I guess. I looked at it as a learning opportunity, in case she (or those viewing it) hadn’t thought of it that way.”

I completely agree, 100%. I think your reply was just right. Personally, I’d be pissed that she deleted it when you were trying to be friendly and informative, but that’s me. I would take that very personally.

flo's avatar

No, you were not offensive. Your friend seems threatened by your post otherwise why wouldn’t she let others see how “wrong” you are?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@augustlan I think you replied far nicer than I would have. I am fairly sure that if/when this pic shows up in my feed, my response will be “shame on you.” So, kudos. I don’t think you could have been more polite or less combative.

HungryGuy's avatar

As long as it doesn’t name names, it’s not a personal attack (you should know that better than anyone, Augie :-p It’s just a political statement. Political statements are meant to incite heated debate.

And your reply was more polite and diplomatic than anything I could have come up with :-p

You’re even. Fugghedaboudit…

rebbel's avatar

Since I am usually a careful person I would only have added ”....but this could be seen as is pretty offensive to atheists (like me). I still love ya’, though!””
The message as a whole I think is pretty neutral and to the point.
It is not by chance a theist appreciation Facebook fan page where they do not allow opposing opinions?

downtide's avatar

I would have been far less polite than you. I’d have left a snippy response on my own wall and I’d have blocked her.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@downtide same here. Truthfully.

boxer3's avatar

Is she a highschool kid sister or a grown adult?

augustlan's avatar

These are all adults, in their 40s. I think what bugs me the most about it is that she deleted my comment, and didn’t even acknowledge it in any way.

In hindsight, perhaps I should have sent her a private message about it, rather than leaving a public comment. Still, I did feel that the people viewing the pic should get that message, too.

Edit: @rebbel I like your idea, and that probably would have been better.

chyna's avatar

I find those kind of posts way too “in your face” and I ignore them. My sister in law posts them all the time. I think your answer was fine. She can’t expect to post something so public and not be challenged.

boxer3's avatar

@augustlan , Oh wow. For some reason I looked at the picture and instantly thought that said sister was in highschool. I know there are no implications of that but it was just a weird instinct I got.

Honestly I’m probably more agnostic than anything, but if I’d seen that on my own I’d probably have just thought,hmm so and so is very religious these days, and that it was kind of a corny picture, I wouldn’ have taken offense. That being said your comment did let me see how that coud be offensive, and I don’t think you were rude.

Ultimately if I were the sister I would have left the comment there if nothing else and maybe said: Sorry if I offended you aug, that was not the intent of my post, the intent was X Y Z, and I don’t mean to downplay anybody elses views- just expressing how I feel about God…...

meh,you could either send her a message and ask if you offended her, and try to have a discussion about it or leave it be, and it will most likely get swept under the rug.

amujinx's avatar

The irony of this is that she claimed that living without god causes one to be weak, yet she wasn’t strong enough to allow someone of a different view to voice their opinion.

Blackberry's avatar

I would be pissed, and a part of me would want to reply again with something worse, but I would probably just drop it. You should give me her name….....:P

rebbel's avatar

@augustlan Thank you.
@chyna‘s remark “She can’t expect to post something so public and not be challenged.” is spot on too, though.

sinscriven's avatar

I think you came off as nothing but sweet, even if you disagreed.

I don’t think I could have been anywhere near as gentle. That kind of cowardly move of trashing your legitimate comment in the middle of her christian circlejerk is a pretty harsh display of disrespect towards you and your beliefs.

She is weak. She has no true conviction. Otherwise her faith shouldn’t be shaken at the slightest gust.

marinelife's avatar

Well, I admire you for challenging her. Still, it is her page, and she is free to delete or hide your post from it.

Apparently, she only wants reinforcing views.

PhiNotPi's avatar

“Without god, our would would be… (lists off a bunch of bad things).” The world already is like that. Sorry, but I just had to point that out.

I would have completely ignored that post. I tend to think something like “You’re wrong, but it is a waste of time to argue my point, so I will let you be.”

tinyfaery's avatar

Is this person really you’re friend or a facebook friend? If a real friend, I would have been a little less polite than you, but still G rated. If I was in your situation, I would pm this friend and let her know, again, I was offended and double offended that she deleted it. If she ignored me, I’d pm again and yet again reiterate how I felt and tell her if she has so little respect for me so as not to even respond to my feelings then I would no longer see her as a friend.

If she is someone you know casually. Psshh! I wouldn’t hold back and I’d let it all out there for her to delete again. Then block. Who needs that shit?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

In the last two days I’ve seen a picture floating around my newsfeed, making fun of Christianity, and although I think it is funny and I perceive it to be “true,” it’s very offensive. Which is why I would not share it on my own page. However, if I opted to post it, and then offended people that I know.. who said they were offended… and I just ignored them, I would expect to have fewer friends by the end of it.
I’m angry for you, honestly. I think that might be obvious, since this is my third response to this. I’m stewing.

augustlan's avatar

She’s a person I know in real life, but I don’t see her often. Only when she’s in town, visiting her sister (my good friend). I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, because I don’t want to upset her sis/my friend unnecessarily.

But, yeah, I do feel rather dismissed by her at this point. Grrr.

bkcunningham's avatar

I honestly don’t want to sound nasty or get flamed, but why would you feel compelled to “challenge” something on someone’s FB page? Is it really that offensive to you?

As a neutral party and with all due respect, I don’t know you or the other person, but she seems to have taken the higher road by just politely deleting your post. Perhaps she simply didn’t want it to be a discussion post; rather just something that made her feel good.

Not everyone who doesn’t have God in their lives is an atheist. IMHO, to think it is directed entirely at atheists is a little presumptuous.

tinyfaery's avatar

I agree with @ANef_is_Enuf. I’d at least tell her how I feel. You can be nice about it.

augustlan's avatar

@bkcunningham If a friend of mine posted that “being homosexual makes one weak”, or “being black makes one weak”, or “being a computer expert makes one weak”, I would feel compelled to challenge those statements, as well. Would you?

chyna's avatar

Well maybe not the “being a computer expert” one. :-)

wundayatta's avatar

What is the point of challenging her? It’s a silly little thing. It is designed to be a little provocative, but mostly it’s for people of the faith who like to have a little fun. They think it’s cute I’m sure.

She’s 40? The only thing that will change her mind is some life event. No one else will be able to take away her community. She’s too entrenched.

I would let something like that go, unless I just wanted to fight. But I don’t think I would fight with a relative. Some anonymous person on the internet I might go a few rounds with, but not someone I might have to see. Religion and politics are not subjects one discusses around the dinner table unless you are sure everyone shares the same view.

Unless you want to destroy the family. Or if the family loves a good brawl.

bkcunningham's avatar

But she didn’t post those things, @augustlan. She posted “a day without God.” Not “Being an atheist…” Plus, she didn’t send it to you, personally. You looked at “her” FB page.

And to be honest with you and to answer your question, no. I wouldn’t comment on someone’s FB page anything that could cause a ruckus or be seen as confrontational or mean spirited or contrary. Number one, I don’t have a FB page (I do use my husband’s though to see pictures of family). And number 2, I absolutely despise when people get all up in arms and fight on FB.

If someone I knew sent me something like your above examples, something directed to me personally; if it was a good friend, I’d call them and ask what the heck is going on.

Joker94's avatar

Ehh, I think you acted reasonably. I dunno if it was directed at atheists, but I could see how it would be taken offensively by one.

Berserker's avatar

If it wasn’t someone I knew, I prolly wouldn’t have bothered writing anything. But yeah that does seem quite offending, even if it’s all cute and colorful.
On a case where I would decide to reply…I think you handled it pretty good. You let it be known that you found it offending while remaining polite. Completely legit. I like to think I would have said something similar.
While @bkcunningham makes a point about her posting it on her page, FB is a community, and people are pretty much expected to post back and forth on each other’s walls. You expressed what you felt about it, no biggie. That she deleted everything is kinda ass though. But yeah, it is her page. :/

augustlan's avatar

Even though she posted it on her page, it shows up in my feed (and all of her other friends’ feeds, too). I didn’t go looking at her page for it, it was there, on my page. Just to be clear.

I honestly wasn’t trying to stir up trouble for or with her, just trying to point out that things like that are offensive to those who ‘don’t have god in their lives’, be they atheists or not.

And, @bkcunningham do you really not understand the similarity of my examples to what she actually did post? I think you’re being a bit disingenuous.

@wundayatta I guess I do feel the need to challenge things that people say or post, if it’s offensive. Friend, relative or stranger. I’m far less likely to engage in a discussion with a stranger, though, because I’m more personally invested in the relationships I have with friends and family. This particular person falls somewhere between the ‘stranger’ and the ‘friend’ part of the spectrum, so it’s a little tricky for me.

Aethelflaed's avatar

“So… if you have such a low opinion of those who don’t have God (meaning atheists, such as myself, and non-Abrahamic religious followers like Hindus and Wiccans), why do you want me as your friend? Or do you?”

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@bkcunningham I think a slight change of the wording speaks volumes. Suppose it said “with god” instead of “without god.” Would you expect the believers on Facebook to be offended? Or just “meh, semantics.”

Michael_Huntington's avatar

To be honest, I would’ve been an asshole. I would point out that the removal of the Judeo-Christian deity would have no influence on the English weekday names because they were rooted from Germanic mythology.
EDIT: Not to start a flame war, but to educate her.

bkcunningham's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf, I don’t really think my issue is so much what the woman posted. I mean, we could sit here all night and make up various scenerios where someone or some group is going to be insulted.

Berserker's avatar

@Michael_Huntington Troo dat. Remember Mr. Wednesday in American Gods? That’s totally Odin from Norse myth. Or rather, Wotan. :D
...sorry. Cool observation though. :)

@augustlan Oh yeah, troo dat, again. The stuff does appear in feeds…sorta forgot about that, even if I go on FB everyday lol.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@bkcunningham maybe we’ve misunderstood each other, but that was kind of my point. I almost got the impression that you felt like the message was being misread or that there was no reason to be offended in the first place.

bkcunningham's avatar

FB is an inclusive group that is made up of people you friend and invite to be able to see your wall, photos, etc. and vice-versa. I think you have to go into with that knowledge. Not all of us agree on everything. If someone on my husband’s friends or family list posted something that is really, really offensive (even if it isn’t racial, social or politically nature), I’d just ignore it. If it is something that bothered me so badly I had to say something to them, I’d call them on the phone.

If I don’t know them well enough to have their number, they aren’t on the list of FB friends.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Perhaps someone has noted this here already… but I would have commented that the days of the week are named for Roman gods… there’s some irony in that.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@bkcunningham But, it’s important to realize that there is a reason the old adage says you shouldn’t talk about politics and religion with friends. I know that I have friends who don’t agree with me on every political point, and part of the reason we’re able to stay friends and bond over the things we do is that we don’t discuss political and religious things. I know that posting something on FB means that people will disagree with me, so I don’t post those things, because really, are my views on immigration/role of government/God/abortion/etc really so important that I’m willing to loose friends over one single FB post? Usually, no.

phaedryx's avatar

A comic:

Far too often I get pulled into arguments online. My wife made me promise I’d ignore everything on facebook related to religion and politics. So my advice would be to ignore it.

(I don’t think your comment was out of line, however. I’m a theist.)

Berserker's avatar

@phaedryx Lol cool comic. :)

dappled_leaves's avatar

Having read the responses (jeez, usually I do that before replying at all), I have two other things to offer… First, I agree that she probably deleted your comment because she only wants affirming comments, but there is a chance she was afraid of flack from like-minded friends who care more than you do about what ends up on her wall.

Second, I actually lost a “friend” over a similar situation. In that case, I expressed disinterest in some anti-evolution material she had given me – it needn’t have turned into anything more than that, but I realized that her response to my comment indicated a deeper lack of feeling for me. And that, in fact, we had not truly been friends for a very long time, though neither of us had been inclined to admit it.

everephebe's avatar

With gods you have:

Sun’s day, for the star worshipers.
Moon’s day, for the lunatics lunar worshipers.
Tiw’s Day, for this dude. Meh.
Odin’s day, you know for that guy with one guy.
Thor’s day, for the guy with the big ass hammer.
Frigg’s day, some Norse goddess
Saturn’s Day, no not the planet the agricultural deity.

Seven deities equals one week.
Pick your pagan deity!

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I can’t stop laughing at “Thirstday”. I keep imagining people carrying poland spring bottles and looking miserable all day.

jellyfish3232's avatar

That’s a clever picture. As a theist, I think that the comment that you did post was perfectly appropriate, and by deleting it she showed that she didn’t respect your opinions.

CWOTUS's avatar

I have a fair number of devout Christian friends, and I simply ignore all of that. They’re proselytizing a point of view, and they’re welcome to do that. As long as it doesn’t end up on my wall, I don’t respond to it and I don’t challenge it. I just ignore it completely.

When they post those things they don’t intend to be offensive to atheists; by their lights they hope that you will “see the light” and “be saved” and all of that. In their minds they’re doing you a great thing – and doing what their religion directs them to do, as well. They don’t want a debate, and they simply cannot see that this is “offensive” to anyone. (And to me it isn’t “offensive”, anyway; it’s just their point of view.)

If you can simply let it go completely without challenge then you’ll save yourself a lot of grief, I think. (And untold prayers, as well.)

When they start to come to me with this stuff instead of making it “their sign”, “their wall”, “their bumper stickers”, and especially if they try to promote it via the schools and town hall, then I have an issue with it.

SuperMouse's avatar

I think your response was perfectly appropriate. Personally I have a very diverse group of friends on Facebook and if I posted
something like that—which for
the record I wouldn’t because it
seems so incredibly arrogant
to me—I would expect the inevitable eye rolls and comments.

Blackberry's avatar

@phaedryx The sad part is, I’ve actually done that…..multiple times, too.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t blame you for reacting, but honestly, I think I would have just laughed. I think it’s pretty corny and dumb, and the crayon lettering style suits it perfectly. People who rely on puns to prove a point really aren’t drawing on very deep resources.

Out of kindness, I would have refrained from pointing out to her (as @everephebe just did) that the names of the days—in English, at least—all honor pagan gods. One of the late-in-life lessons that I am really trying to master is that I am not responsible for correcting what I perceive as the ignorance of others. At least, not all of it.

bkcunningham's avatar

@augustlan, you can change your privacy settings so her posts don’t show up on your wall.

I was stating an opinion, which is what you asked for by posting the question and then asking me what I thought about a made up scenerio. Calling me disingenuous for answering your question? LOL Like I said, FB is by private invitation only. If you don’t like her comments or her religion, unfriend her. She’ll never know unless she tries to post on your wall.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. When you see that and what you get from it, you can feel somewhat what spiritual, or theist, as you say, feel here. I don’t think that is near as a direct slam as equating if you believe in any entity over man, you are a nut job, a basket case, or have a mind equal to a 5yr old who believes in fairies, unicorns, the tooth fairy, and Santa Clause all rolled into one.

That pic could be read in several ways. I think I would have explained my intent even if someone who was offended took a less than genteel stance on trying to rebuke it. If I thought there was nothing inherently wrong with it, I could stand up boldly and defend it. She is not the creator of it, so, the true intent of who created it is not known.

Would I feel I should not have posted something like that? We have freedom of speech, if I were not singling out a person or directing it specifically towards atheist by saying, ”Atheist, this in for you”, etc I can’t see restricting ones speech. There is a lot of language used on FB I don’t care to be accosted with, but I can’t expect them to change for me. If I find it that repugnant, I can just de-friend them.

If someone made such a reference about Christians, I could post tit-for-tat comments on my wall, but then I would be showing them as more correct and not handling it close to the way Jesus would. I would more than likely use the private message to ask them to explain, or civilly rebuke them.

Aethelwine's avatar

I agree with everything @bkcunningham has said here. Especially this quote- And to be honest with you and to answer your question, no. I wouldn’t comment on someone’s FB page anything that could cause a ruckus or be seen as confrontational or mean spirited or contrary.

I have seen numerous posts by friends that I don’t agree with, and many posts that could be considered offensive. If they are terribly offensive, I just delete the post from my feed. If the friend continues to post things that are offensive, I remove them as a friend.

I think most people enjoy Facebook as a safe haven to share their feelings and look for support. I think your friend deleted your post because she wasn’t looking for a debate or argument.

I’ve removed a comment from someone after I liked a link and this person got all Debbie Downer on me. If I want someone to bitch at me, I come here. :P

Seek's avatar

I’m with @Michael_Huntington and @everephebe

And boo hoo for her if she “wasn’t looking for an argument”. Go ahead and claim that anyone who doesn’t follow your deity is weak, “sinful” and “mourning”, and try to claim that you’re the one that needs support.

Screw that. It’s a blatant insult to people who do not subscribe to her fairy tale. She doesn’t get to whine that someone disagrees with her.

The only other way to read it is to assume that she’s talking about what she would be like without her magical skydaddy hanging over her shoulder. Which is to say, sinful, miserable, and weak.

So, y’know. She’s either insulting us (non-whatever deity she worships) or she’s insulting herself.

Which do you think is more likely?

bkcunningham's avatar

Let’s not forget what @augustlan asked of us when answering: “PLEASE: Don’t let this devolve into an atheist vs theist fight. That’s not what I’m looking for. Thanks!”

Seek's avatar

@bkcunningham Let’s not forget she also specifically asked what I would have said and why.

filmfann's avatar

Well, you can spend some time reconsidering your answer while you are BURNING BURNING BURNING in the eternal flames of Hell!!!!

ETpro's avatar

Her actions seem to lie within the list of criticisms she levels at atheists. Seems to me by deleting your honest and mild response, she is only further proving her own hipocrisy.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Screw that. It’s a blatant insult to people who do not subscribe to her fairy tale. She doesn’t get to whine that someone disagrees with her.

She wasn’t whining, she deleted Auggie’s post. She didn’t want an argument. That’s what we get to do on Facebook. Ignore the shit we don’t like.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Getting into any discussion about religion is always chancy – but I agree that the posting invited a response from those of us who are not ‘believers’. Too many times we find that ‘believers’ equal hypocritical actions.

mrrich724's avatar

I think that not everything is like Fluther, and that sometimes people (especially those who frequent sites like Fluther) don’t realize their opinion is not only unwanted, but unwelcome.

I am not an athiest, but I’m not particularly very strong in my faith, just to throw that out there.

Sometimes people (like her) need those types of encouragement to keep her going, and here people come raining on her parade! So I can see why she would delete it and not the posts supporting her sentiment. It’s a support thing, it’s something that makes her happy. I don’t think the message is saying “Athiests are weak” as much as it may say “I can’t picture a life without God, and God is my strength.”

Just as you are free to go post your statement, she is free to delete it, especially on her facebook page.

As a theist, yes, I think you were the offensive one. Not because of your challenge to her faith, but because of your need to make your statement even though it was (obviously in this case) unwelcome.

I don’t mean for this to sound mean, but sometimes people (in general) just need to know when to zip it and move on, b/c unlike on Fluther, not everyone cares about how you feel on a particular subject nor is their statement an invite for you to interject.

Think about it in real life . . . If there were a little gathering of people supporting each other in faith, and you just walk up and say “I’m offended by this, and I don’t agree with you.” While you have the right, you aren’t being effective, rather more likely you will be perceived as obnoxious, and the “faith group” might think “if it bothers you walk away, no one’s forcing you to be here, leave us alone to our devices.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Don’t think I’d have a friend like that in the first place. They certainly wouldn’t be my friend afterwards. What an idiot.

Seek's avatar


Think in real life that there is a little gathering of people gathered in “faith”, and they are broadcasting their message via bullhorn to everyone in a 3 block radius.

I think other people have a right to tell them to knock it off.

There is an option to make your posts visible to only a chosen group of people. You make the post public, you want everyone to see it.

To clarify, I sometimes make political posts on Facebook. I do make them public. But, if anyone wants to argue my post, I’ll gladly accept the feedback and continue the discussion. That’s why I posted it in the first place! The link made me think, and I share it hoping it will make other people think as well.

Posting something that is obviously debatable, then running away from discussion is, frankly, weak and annoying.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@mrrich724 I thought the whole point of the FB wall was that it was a communal experience, that it wasn’t just you saying things and then people not responding, that half the point of posting something on your wall/status update is to have people comment and start a discussion of sorts.

mrrich724's avatar

I’ve been on Facebook since ‘03, when it was only available to college kids, and I have a little different of a viewpoint of what facebook is for.

It is a community experience, but I think it is a VERY different one than Fluther, where people invite eachother to talk about differing opinions.

You will see similar on Facebook (similar to Fluther), but you will also see the people who are just there to look for support from their friends (what facebook IMO was intended for, to hook up with people you find things in common with), and sometimes they just aren’t interested in the other, a different side of facebook. Unlike the people (like @augustlan who has 30k+ lurve) on fluther who enjoy the debate, and banter, and everything else you get, believe it or not there are others who aren’t interested in that. This is that case. She didn’t rebut, she didn’t counter the claim, she simply deleted it b/c she wasn’t interested.

@Seek_Kolinahr I think you are exaggerating when you say “via bullhorn.” She isn’t making anyone read her post who isn’t interested in reading it. And regardless, I simply don’t understand the whole logic of telling someone to knock it off anyway. I think the fact that someone can say something and another person can say knock it off is a beautiful thing. It’s freedom in pure form. But when I lived on a college campus and the nuts were out in full force telling people that we’re all going to hell for masturbating etc. I just walked away, it wasn’t worth my time! And I truly didn’t understand why people let themselves get so riled up that they HAD to stop and start arguing with the person. If you don’t like it, just keep walking, it makes me wonder how people like that live if they let something like that affect their day and consume their time and energy. Now if that person was on a bullhorn in your living room, or in the middle of your lecture hall, that’s another story.

Bottom line is, there are people like us who love the back and forth that a setting like Fluther provides, and there are those who don’t like it. Yea, the people like us have the freedom to interject just because we like to hear ourselves talk, but is it always really the best thing to do? I personally don’t think so. Sometimes it’s best to conserve your energy for the things that matter.

If everyone just HAD to comment on the trivial b/c they were offended by it, people would just be arguing all day because there will ALWAYS be someone who’s offended by something.

tranquilsea's avatar

<sigh> I guess you learned a couple of things about her today. Some people just don’t want anyone to rock their boat.

She should have sent you a private message explaining her reasoning behind deleting your comment.

I thought your comment was politely disagreeing with her very offensive picture.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@mrrich724 Yeah, I guess I’m just thinking, if someone posted that on their actual dorm whiteboard, they’ve have been vandalized within a couple hours. Support is much easier to get when you’re making it easy for people to give; most people keep their whiteboards clean of really controversial things for that reason. If you want your FB wall to be support only (and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that), then don’t make posts that stir the pot and then get mad when you aren’t the only stirrer. Keep it to cute things your kids/pets did, what your weekend plans are, food and drink, quotes from your favorite movies, etc – things that you can say at a party with people you don’t know terribly intimately. Or, limit the post to only the people you know will enjoy it. But I really don’t think you get to voice your own opinion, and then not give others the room to voice theirs.

mrrich724's avatar

On a whole seperate note,

I think this would be a very different conversation (even from my perspective) if the image said something challenging or offensive along the lines of “like those Godless Atheists.” As a Christian, I can totally see how the meaning behind the image is simply contrasting her life as a believer full of faith, to one where she pictures herself without faith. I think it only has to do with the atheist when the atheist reads it and decides to take offense.

In the Christian setting I grew up in, people constantly talked about being faithless and Godless, but they did so in a tone of someone who knows God but chooses to go the other route, which is very different from Atheism, and rarely in my lifetime of catholic schooling and Church two days a week did anyone really talk about Atheists specifically, or attack their beliefs. So from a Christian perspective, it’s not offensive, at least the intention isn’t there, and I can all but guarantee that whoever made that image, and the girl who posted it were expressing sentiment in their gratitude for their faith, not a sentiment against Atheists.

jerv's avatar


I have run into a similar situation regarding politics with a fellow Flutherite (whom I consider a friend as well), but with one difference; they actually have enough respect for me to allow my comment to stand with many rebuttals.

See, friends are supposed to respect each others opinions, even those that they disagree with. If she doesn’t respect your stance (or, in this case, blatantly disrespects it) then you should really ask yourself what type of friend she is.

I feel that you were quite courteous, moreso than I would be under those circumstances, and that if someone showed me that sort of disrespect then that would affect any and all future dealings with them.

Judi's avatar

It is something I might have put on my wall 5–10 years ago. As I have matured in my faith (and believe it or not, fluther has helped me do that) I have become more sensitive to how the things I say and do, and the “flags” I choose to wave reflect on my faith. I may not have been as sensitive 5 years ago to how an atheist might hear the words I speak (or post.)
I hope you can not take it to personally. It’s just where she is on her journey and she probably has a blind spot where she doesn’t see how this could be offensive.

CaptainHarley's avatar

From the standpoint of a “theist,” I would think that your friend posted that as an affimation of her faith. Her response to you, however, left a great deal to be desired.

zensky's avatar

There are so many political and atheistic/theistic views out there – in public, on line – I just don’t even notice them unless they are targetting me.

ETpro's avatar

@CaptainHarley One can affirm their own faith easily without resorting to smearing all those who hold different beliefs.

tranquilsea's avatar

Facebook is a public forum. I’m am much more conservative there than I am here (and I’m pretty darn conservative here). I know, as should everyone posting on Facebook, that anything I plaster on my wall is seen by all the people who have access to my wall. You should expect that the more controversial something is the more likely it is that someone will not agree.

I’m quite opinionated in real life. But I’ve learned that not everyone wants my opinions nor should they. I’ll share them with the people I know who appreciate them or ask for them. It is unfair for me to take a stand on something in public and then expect that only the people who agree with me will respond.

everephebe's avatar

[ <-begins to secretly worship @zensky to see if he notices]

zensky's avatar

He doesn’t.

zensky's avatar

Jesus Christ.

Rarebear's avatar

I would have posted a link to Christopher Hitchens’ rewriting of the 10 Commandments.

everephebe's avatar

^^That was a perfect comeback.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@mrrich724 I have a real problem with the kind of attitude towards atheists by Christians that you describe. To my ears, it sounds like the “real” atheists are ruining the image that Christians have constructed for themselves about what an atheist should be. Well, of course if Christians define atheists in a way that is not realistic, then attack that vision of what they think athists should be, using words like “weak”, then actual atheists will be offended.

So from a Christian perspective, it’s not offensive… Well, sorry, but Christians do not get to decide whether the people they are verbally abusing are offended. Consider how Christians feel when the opposite occurs!

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

I would have deleted her from my friends.

Nimis's avatar

I probably would have just blocked her.
Not because I was offended as an atheist though.

To be offended, I’d have to take it seriously first.
How do you take anything seriously in that font?
The font is worse than Comic Sans.

Heck, I’d probably block someone just for using Comic Sans.

martianspringtime's avatar

I don’t think you were offensive at all. You were very polite and fair. Just because someone has the right to post what they like doesn’t mean they should expect everyone to agree with them. Your comment wasn’t aggressive enough to be considered ‘giving an unwanted opinion’ in my opinion.
If they had posted something like a prayer or something exclusively relevant to their beliefs, it might be different. But what they posted brings you into it.

I don’t know if I’d have replied – partially because I don’t go on facebook much – but I wouldn’t have refrained from leaving a comment. If I posted something saying ‘Life with God is a waste of life!’ or something like that, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that someone religious commented defending themselves.

prasad's avatar

I would have stayed inert; I would have ignored it. Though this seems in line when I say I believe in God, but I would not have bothered (if I were atheist).

Everyone is independent. Anyone can live upto their wish. Unless that person offends or attacks me, I will not take notice of it.

I don’t think the picture is offensive, personally. But, I agree to @augustlan ‘s second point, she deleted the response. It’s okay if she deleted if she prefers so, but she should have left a message, at least, privately.

To soothe @augustlan, I would say, let it be, it’s her wall after all.Don’t let that thing bother you, or trouble you in any way. You have your wall to put on your thoughts!...if it makes sense.

ratboy's avatar

@everephebe, thanks for the etymology of friggin’.

DominicX's avatar

I don’t think you were offensive, but I also don’t think it was necessary to comment, at least, I wouldn’t have. Unless it’s outright offensive, I’m not gonna comment (and I don’t really find that picture to be offensive). Sure I disagree with the logic of it, but I don’t need to comment it. Now if someone posted something blatantly against atheists or homosexuals or some other “group” that I identify with, then yeah, I’d probably speak up about it.

jerv's avatar

@CaptainHarley That is pretty much how I took the beginning of it too. It was the response (comment deletion) that I feel turned it from innocent affirmation to deliberate disrespect.

@ETpro It is possible, but many choose to not take the high road. That kind of ruins it for all of the good people that share the same religious/political ideals.

@Nimis Isn’t it ironic that that pro-God message was written in a font whose mere existence implies that there is no God? Comic Sans… bleh :P

@DominicX Some people have different thresholds of what is/isn’t offensive. Personally, I was offended by that picture, and feel that it was rather blatant. I guess it’s all in teh eye of the beholder.

augustlan's avatar

Thanks for all of your responses. I want to add, for full disclosure, that I do post controversial things on my own Facebook account, all the time. My support of gay marriage is very well known there, for example. I’ve had several people leave comments when they don’t agree with my stance, and I’m totally fine with that. I know that’s a ‘risk’ I’m taking. I’ve never, ever been disrespectful in those situations (at least, I certainly hope not).

I suppose I’m a bit of an idealist, and stuff like this just really bothers me, even if it’s not aimed at a ‘group’ I’m a part of. Sure, I could have walked away from the post, but I wanted her to see it from my perspective, as someone she knows and likes. I’m pretty sure she was completely unaware that I’m an atheist, and I hoped it would make her think about who else she may be inadvertently offending, you know? In retrospect, I think I should have sent her a private message about it. If I had, perhaps we’d have had a real conversation about it. Oh, well. What’s done is done.

syz's avatar

As I see it, there are two issues here.

The first is that she posted the link in the first place – it’s her right to hold her own views, and her right to make them public (even if they are offensive).

But the second (and real) issue is that she censored your perfectly polite response. What she’s saying is that it’s ok for her to express her view, but it’s not ok for you to express your view.

Now, I suspect – nay, I know that you’re a nicer person than I. But in my own little world, that means that she’s now fair game. I would be posting all kinds of witty, funny, and insightful atheist oriented links on her page.

Buttonstc's avatar

As a Theist, I find it offensive and would definitely tell her so both in a comment and in person.

I would probably post something along the lines of: “Do you have any idea how offensive and judgemental this is? As a fellow believer, let me drop you a clue here.

What you just posted is one of the primary reason why many folks assume that all believers are this way. This reeks of an air of superiority. The word gospel means “good news” not harsh judgement.

Is there any scenario under which Jesus would have put this on His Facebook page ?”

And I would scout around for a few appropriate Bible verses which speak to this issue.

At least it would give her pause before deleting it. After all, they would be Bible verses. Quite a little conflict for her there :)

Perhaps she really did not have an idea how obnoxious and ridiculous that thing was. But there would not be any doubt about it after my comments.

A supercilious jerk is a supercilious jerk, regardless of whether they call themselves a Theist or an atheist. It cuts both ways.

But in reality, it’s highly unlikely I would have seen it at all. My Facebook page basically just sits there mouldering from disuse.

And I think your comment was fine, Auggie, and quite tactful.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m really surprised by the amount of people who found it offensive for the friend to delete @augustlan‘s comment. Yes, this showed up in @augustlan‘s feed and she had every right to comment on it, but the friend has every right to delete something someone else posts on her own wall.

Blackberry's avatar


But the second (and real) issue is that she censored your perfectly polite response. What she’s saying is that it’s ok for her to express her view, but it’s not ok for you to express your view.” – Syz

It’s the principle. It’s cowardice.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Blackberry Sure it is. I completely agree. But it’s still her right to have what she wants on her own wall. It’s Facebook.

Blackberry's avatar

@jonsblond Yeah, I guess. :/

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t think anyone is saying she doesn’t have the right to do it. That doesn’t change the fact that it is a lousy way to treat a friend, especially when that friend was being generally polite.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I have done considerable thinking about this topic over the years. I have concluded that it would be best of those christians who are insecure in their faith and who feel the need to bolster it by attacking the beliefs of others should stay out of public discourse as frequently as possible. We often find these same people trying to increase their faith by being what the rest of us call “zealots,” attempting to proselytize everyone within ear-shot.

The mature christian understands that our first priority is to love God with all our heart, our second is to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. Part of this is being mature enough that we do not feel the need to proselytize, but rather illustrate the love of God by example. We tend to tolerate the actions of the zealots because they are, although annoying, relatively innocuous, and because in the USA there is still freedom of speech. The zealots, as christiands, need to come to an understanding that people respond far better to a quiet example than they do to a verbal brow-beating, and that the kindest thing they can do is shut up and just BE.

Aethelwine's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I’ve seen too many people get hurt over things like this because they take Facebook too seriously. If the friend has a habit of posting things that are controversial for the purpose of a debate, then deleted @augustlan‘s post, then that would be hurtful and a lousy way to treat a friend. From what I’ve gathered here, it doesn’t look like the friend posted this to her wall to start a debate. She just liked what she saw and posted it to her wall. She was the one who most likely felt hurt (edit: well, maybe not hurt, but she didn’t post it to argue). That’s why she deleted @augustlan‘s post. not everyone likes to debate. for many people, facebook is not like fluther. no need to be offended if someone doesn’t want to argue on facebook

Judi's avatar

Preach it brother @CaptainHarley!

CaptainHarley's avatar

LOL @Judi

[ Gets off his soapbox ] : ))

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@jonsblond I don’t even see why it has to be a “debate.” I think the only thing that makes it seem like it is a debate is the subject matter. If I post something, and it upsets someone that I know and consider to be a friend, and they let on that I’ve upset them… then I feel like I should at least acknowledge their feelings. Even if I think they’re totally coming at me out of left field, the very least that I can do is send a private message saying “you know, I’m really sorry to hear that you feel that way, my intention was not to offend you. Take care.”

I would expect the same from someone that considers me to be a friend. I just think that when you hurt someone you’re supposed to care about, whether or not it was intentional, and no matter how small you perceive it to be, you should at least acknowledge their feelings. You don’t have to agree or disagree, you don’t have to debate, but you can at least say “I hear you.”

That’s not an internet rule or Facebook culture or Fluther culture, that’s common courtesy, imho.

jca's avatar

I would not have even commented on it. I have friends in my FB who are very religious (I am not particularly religious, although I do believe in God) and they post things all the time about God and Praise Jesus and stuff like that. I usually ignore it, as I consider it their right, as it’s their FB wall. To each his own, I feel. Some people on my FB post stuff that’s pro-Republican, and I am not a Republican, but I consider that their right. I don’t waste my time commenting on it, I just keep scrolling.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I would go with a little bit of pownagio.

jerv's avatar

@jca It is one thing to praise Jesus, but bashing non-believers like that is different. I mean, you know the difference between, “Jesus is great!”, and “Jews suck!”, right? One is a statement of love, the other one of hate.

@jonsblond True, people have the right to be rude and insensitive.

@CaptainHarley Why can’t more Christians be like you?

Nimis's avatar

@Buttonstc I agree with everything you wrote. (Lurve.)
But I can’t stop laughing at the idea of Jesus on Facebook.
WWJP What Would Jesus Post? Ha.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Nimis WWJP.. lol. I almost spit out my coffee.

jca's avatar

@jerv: If it were a pm to me, that would be one thing. If the person writes that without God, you’re weak or whatever, ok that’s their opinion. If someone wants to think I’m weak, let them.

Blackberry's avatar

@Nimis “Follow me, my son…”

“Anything you ask, my lord and savior! I’ll follow you til the ends of the earth!”

“No, I mean follow me on Twitter…. @Jesusisbackmofos”

Aethelwine's avatar

@jerv haha. I’m not advocating being rude and insensitive. My entire point is that I think it’s silly to be upset because a post was deleted from Facebook. People here at Fluther preach about not getting upset if a comment gets removed. Don’t take it personal. ;)

Kardamom's avatar

People are free to post whatever kinds of stuff they want on their own FB page. I have a cousin who regularly posts all sorts of political and religious nonsense, most of which is pretty offensive. I love my cousin and I believe that she’s a pretty naive person, but I would prefer to keep peace within my family (even though other family members talk about her ridiculous posts amongst ourselves) so I refrain from making any comments to her about her posts. Most of the replies to her posts are from her friends that agree with her. Even though most of my relatives vehemently disagree with her posts, no one says a word.

It would be completely different if she said any of that crap to our faces, because then it would be personal, rather than just her being naive and foolish.

I think you might have been better off, talking to her in person about this subject, because she probably didn’t mean to offend you, but is probably to naive to even consider that a posting like that could even be offensive. Sometimes when you call people out in public on FB, even though they might deserve to be called out, it humiliates and embarrasses them to the point that all they can see or believe is that you attacked them rather than getting the message that her post was offensive to a lot of people. It made her look stupid (in public) for not realizing that.

My cousin is very stupid, but she also has a good heart and doesn’t mean to offend. She just doesn’t know any better and if I were to call her out on FB, it would damage our family dynamic.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Perhaps because God hasn’t had them walk the same paths.

Buttonstc's avatar


Cute. I like that.


You hit the nail on the head and that’s precisely why I said that.

That WWJD thing is so overused that, for all intents and purposes, it has lost any meaning.

But the zealot-types are constantly exhorting others of their ilk to be more like Jesus.

Well, he showed by example that his predominant attitude was of one compassion.

He didn’t come at people the way that crayon poster depicts. As others have pointed out already, there’s a BIG difference between rejoicing about God in your wall posts and passing judgement on those who don’t share your faith. The clear implication is that it’s impossible for them to have any kind of ethical, joyous, or satisfying life (or even one day) because they are “without God”.

Whether it’s intended or not, it’s just plain harsh. It’s certainly not going to make anyone want to know more about God or your faith. Obviously the effect is the total opposite of that. So what purpose is served ?

Perhaps she saw it somewhere and reflexively posted it to her wall without giving it a second thought. She should have given it considerable thought.

That poem (or whatever it is) is snooty and arrogant and just downright rude and obnoxious. Period.

XD's avatar

Sorry for not reading all of the above. I’ll just say (and I’m sure you know) that people who don’t fluther tend to take challenges a lot more personally, which is not always easy to remember.

I think this is one of those situations where it doesn’t really matter whether you said or didn’t say anything. But, you chose to say something, which is fine, and she chose to delete it, which is fine. If anything, she’ll still think about your comment and either change her thinking or reinforce her thinking. It doesn’t much matter.

My own sister who just the week before denied being a control freak while coming down on me for talking about her deleted one of my comments on one of her pictures. Whatever. It’s her wall, etc. Maybe I won’t waste my time commenting in the future.

If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Nimis It might look something like this.

amujinx's avatar

@poisonedantidote That would be a great response, but the question would be would the friend just get offended or understand that she did the same thing? Someone who would post the initial picture without thinking would probably just get offended I think. @augustlan obviously was trying to avoid offending with the comment she used that was deleted.

keobooks's avatar

I would have been a smartass and said “I totally agree with this. All praise be to Zeus!”

OpryLeigh's avatar

I believe in God but I would have, most definitely, rolled my eyes at that post. I feel that things like that actually make us believers look bad. Despite the fact that, with the colours and the font, it is designed to look cute it is really passive agressive and the pretty colours don’t hide the preachy and self righteous tones. What I think is even worse is that she deleted your comment. Passive agressive, preachy, self righteous and closed minded. I think you were nice about it whilst pointing out to her that she is actually accusing her friends that don’t share her beliefs of being sinful when, more than likely, they aren’t. That’s not very christian if you ask me

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have to add, after reading everyone elses post that, the reason I would have just rolled my eyes at such a post is because, ultimately, @jonsblond is right. Your friend had every right to post this on her page if it was something that she felt she could relate to. Regardless of the fact that I would think she was very self righteous for posting it I wouldn’t have commented because she can post what she wants on her page.

I am currently trying to hold my tongue with a Facebook friend who is very judgemental and preachy when it comes to parenting. She has one baby (1 year old) boy and this makes her an expert on motherhood and she slags other parent’s decisions off on Facebook. It all got a bit much for me when she posted something particularly nasty about people that have had an abortion and I told her that, regardless of her beliefs, it was a really insensitive post as, chances are, at least one of her 200 odd friends would have had an abortion and could be feeling really shit about it already without seeing such a hateful post appear on their newsfeed. To her credit she acknowledged my comment and didn’t delete it, she also said that she didn’t want to lose my friendship over our different opinion. That is the only time I have felt the need to comment to someone’s “offensive” opinion on FB but, I still can’t deny @jonsblond‘s point here.

Prosb's avatar

I would have commented on a post like that, even if it was family, or my friend’s family.
I don’t want them to come across as a close-minded person unless that’s what they were going for, because that’s the picture those words paint. As a few others have mentioned as well, when you add a picture, it very clearly shows the option to not spam every person you know with it. While it may be her wall, it gets shown to everyone either way, at her discretion. Facebook is very public these days, and if you don’t want certain kinds of posts about a picture of yours, I’d recommend not posting it at all.

mrrich724's avatar

@dappled_leaves I don’t think there’s an intention to paint them as anything. . . The only thing I know about atheism is they don’t believe in God. . . That’s it! Why is that it? Because everyone is free to believe what they want to, and I think a majority of Christians could care less about what atheists or anyone believes. To each his own!

LIke @CaptainHarley mentioned earlier, it was simply an affirmation of her beliefs. To a Christian, there is no life without God, or a life full of sin . . . so what? That’s her belief. The poster didn’t go around posting that on Atheist’s walls, in an Atheist form, nor did she mention anything about atheists. However, atheists saw it and decided to take offense due to their lack of understanding of her faith, and of what the statement meant to her.

If the girl didn’t post things because just because someone would get offended, well Facebook would have a HELL OF A LOT less posts on the web!!!

And she deleted it. . . so WHAT?! Honestly, do you (everyone on here) get offended when you post something and a moderator takes it away and all that is left is “response not helpful.” I don’t see people up in arms here when there is a line in a post that says “response not helpful” . . .

To put it in Fluther terms, Facebook doesn’t have a General Section and a Social Section, so we as Facebook users are our own moderators, and decide whether something is General or Social. At the end of the day, SHE DECIDED “RESPONSE NOT HELPFUL.”

That’s truly it!!!!

I have almost 500 facebook friends. Sometimes I see political, or religious or social comments on there from FRIENDS, and I’m like “OMG WTF R U STUPID.” Sometimes I even am offended! But guess what, it’s Facebook . . . I get over it. Sometimes I post rebuttals because I’m in the jack ass mood, and they get completely ignored, and even deleted. I don’t immediately unfriend someone because of it! In fact, I could care less, it’s just their passive way of saying “I really don’t want to get into this with you.” Most of the time, I just move on, because I have better things to do with my day than question their friendship based on their lack of desire to exchange words with me on a particular subject.

Who here is SO important, that when they post something it MUST, I SAY MUST receive a response, or they are defriending people?! Really!

Maybe, because the girl completely didn’t mean anything against atheists by her post, and maybe because that is so obvious to her and her friends, she deleted it b/c she doesn’t want to have to spend time explaining to other friends (some maybe facebook stalkers), “oh that’s my atheist friend, who didn’t get my post,” and go through the whole explanation process . . .

You can be friends with people with other beliefs! You can also be friends with people who aren’t interested in arguing, debating, or even going back and forth about something! And if you can’t, maybe you should limit your friendship to Flutherites and not facebookians, b/c guess what . . . it’s gonna happen on facebook! I think most of facebook is general section stuff, unlike Fluther, where I’d say more leans to the social section type posts. . .

Facebook wasn’t set up as a debate club, it was truly set up as a way to find friends and hook up and have a good time . . . Leave Fluther on Fluther, and Leave FB on FB, and if you can’t do that, don’t get pissed when someone else isn’t interesting in having a Fluther type encounter on Facebook.

tranquilsea's avatar

She has the right to remove the content in the way she did and @augustlan has a right to be a little taken aback because of it.

I’m just saying that if she was in the middle of a crowd of people and told everyone about this picture and @augustlan said what she said in her post and this lady turned to her and told her to be quiet people would be a little shocked.

BUT the great Internet has given us all the ability to hide behind our computer screens and that can make some us a little more brave than we are in real life. I like real life because most people remember to put their filters on.

mrrich724's avatar

@tranquilsea I agree, I like real life more too, and this is one of the reasons. And I mean no offense, but I think some people should spend more time with real life interactions (I truly don’t mean anyone in specific in this post), and they would get the concept more.

Either that, or they do get the concept, that’s how they really are in real life, and most people probably find them to abrasive to want in friendly social settings.

I know a guy like this. I don’t mind (being the fluther person I am) getting into it with him at all, and at the end of the day we hug it out, regardless of the resolution. But he doesn’t know that when we’re shooting pool, or sitting at a restaurant, nobody wants to hear it! So everyone ends up talking over him, and his fiance ends up rolling her eyes, and eventually being embarrassed.

augustlan's avatar

Just to clear some things up:

I have tons of religious friends and family members on Facebook, who routinely post positive messages having to do with God, Christianity, and prayer. I’m totally fine with that, and would never say anything negative about their posts. When people ask for prayers for so-and-so’s health, for instance, I would never say “I don’t pray, so no.” Instead, I say something like “Positive thoughts coming your way!” or, “You are in my thoughts.”

I was offended by this particular post because it was negatively depicting all people who don’t belong to her ‘group’. It would be like me posting “A day without Fluther makes one a bad person” or something. I expect that would be highly offensive to my many friends who are not here, you know? I’m not outraged, or angry (well, maybe a little). Mostly, just offended. My intent wasn’t to debate her, it was just to inform her, in as nice a way as I knew how, that it was offensive to many people. (Again, in retrospect, I think this would have been better handled by sending her a private message.)

I’m not terribly offended that she removed my reply, but I am disappointed by the fact that she didn’t even acknowledge my feelings, even privately. She just pretended it never happened, and completely dismissed me, basically. Of course, she absolutely has the right to remove things from her own posts (and even the right to ignore my feelings). It just disappoints me, that’s all.

Buttonstc's avatar


I totally get what you’re saying. What she posted was definitely hostile towards anyone not believing in God. There is no mistake about that of reading into it.

But I’m curious about something. You mention having quite a number of believers as friends. Did none of them think to tell her this?

Or would she have removed their comments as well so you wouldn’t necessarily know if that occured or not ?

I’m just curious.

augustlan's avatar

@Buttonstc We don’t have any Facebook friends in common, except her sister (my real-life good friend) and their other sister. Of the comments I saw, all were in support of what she posted. And it got 7 or 8 “likes” and 2 “shares”, as well. I’m glad to say that her sisters were not among the “likers” or the “sharers”. If anyone else did comment on it being offensive, she has deleted those comments along with mine.

CWOTUS's avatar


But she didn’t say anything about you or anyone else being “a bad person”, did she? (We’re all “sinners” in her mythology, so that’s not particularly aimed at anyone.) By her lights, her god and her religion are the only way to salvation (whatever that is), and by not exhorting you and others to join her she would be committing a terrible sin of omission, by not extending that strong “invitation”. It’s not at all a hostile thing. (She probably saw your post as somewhat hostile, in fact.)

You two are never going to agree on religion. You could probably agree (if the friendship hasn’t been ruptured) that you have good feelings for each other in this temporal life, but in her mind she is “thinking to ‘the next life’ beyond this one”, and won’t likely be dissuaded from that. Her exhortations to join her, while they may be annoying to you, are her attempts to gain converts (and maybe to convince herself, too, but it would be impolite to mention that, also).

So, not “offensive”, but “annoying”. The best you can do is ignore it.

Seek's avatar

I will say this -

As a former believer, I went through a point in my deconversion where I frantically tracked down everyone I could think of that I had offended during my Fundie years and apologised to them. Some didn’t even remember the instance, and most others brushed it off as a “making stupid choices is part of growing up” thing.

But it still kills me that I know I ruined a lot of potentially really good friendships and offended a lot of really good people because I, say, told a friend I didn’t yet know was gay that I could never respect a gay person because they were living a life opposed to God’s will.

jerv's avatar

@CWOTUS We may all be sinners, but apparently those without Jesus are weak ones. There is a big difference between, “X will make you stronger”, and “Without X, you are weak”.

But the bigger issue is not whether the statement is offensive; it’s the not caring that she did offend someone. Hurting peoples feelings and then disregarding the pain you cause others is a dick move.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Probably, I would’ve ignored it or blocked it. I doubt she’s worth wasting any energy on at all.
I doubt at her age she will open her mind empathetically to anyone that doesn’t share her opinions.

jca's avatar

I don’t see why people are continuing to argue about this. It’s the woman’s FB wall, she puts what she wants, she obviously is not in for the debate, and we all don’t have to have friends in our FB who agree with everything we feel. To each his own. Like others have said, FB is not Fluther.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@jca Because Facebook doesn’t have just the one culture that everyone agrees upon; it’s far too big. Each person has their own view on what they want on their wall and what shouldn’t probably be on other’s walls, and it varies quite a lot.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m going to have to agree with @jca I use Fluther in a very different manner than I use FB. I have a very limited number of “friends” on FB, mostly my relatives and a few close friends that live far away, and that’s it. Only one of my relatives seems to post crazy religious and political stuff, and I just ignore those posts.

On Fluther, people are coming on here to get information and opinions and different perspectives, so people have to expect that if they say something controversial, they’re going to get an earful. On FB, I think people are just exposing their likes and dislikes, their beliefs and their preferences. Mostly they’re hoping that like minded “friends” will agree with them. I don’t think most people are looking for a discussion or a debate. And no matter how stupid or wrong I think my cousin is, it’s not worth ruining our family dynamic by debating her in public on FB. However if she brought up some of these topics to my face, I would probably try to calmly let her know how I feel (sometimes that’s offended, horrified and even disgusted and scared).

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Why does everyone keep talking about debate? No one is debating.
If someone posted a picture a blatantly pornographic picture to their wall, for all of their friends and family’s viewing… would you think nothing of it? I’m sure no one would compare it to a debate if you said “hey, I don’t think that’s appropriate.” There is no debate, @augustlan was just trying to point out that the picture her friend posted could be taken badly. Not that it was her intention, or that she was wrong, or that believing in god is wrong and not believing in god is right… just that her picture could be very offensive to certain people.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m sorta getting the feeling that some people on this thread see FB as a place where you can just say whatever and no one gets to disagree; that if my aunt says something really homophobic, I have to just be like “well, it’s her FB, so it’s ok”, and not have a problem with the part where she’s just said she sees me (me! her beloved niece!) as less than. I mean, my actual aunt wouldn’t do that, just an example, but still. If someone’s posting that stuff on their FB, maybe they don’t want disagreement or debate, but then maybe I don’t want them in my life. I was always under the impression that if you didn’t want people to disagree with you, the best and only place to share it was your personal diary.

smilingheart1's avatar

@augustlan, I think it is stupid to post these insensitive little bits of fluff as was on her FB. She probably did it in a thoughtless way. However, the Christian community, I honestly believe, as ambassadors of the Good News of the Kingdom of God should take very seriously and respectfully the Message. Her cartoon was more like a “bless me exclusitivity.” I am sorry to hear of such cheap representation.

That little ditty isn’t even worthy of anyone’s “days of the week panties.!”

jca's avatar

@Aethelflaed: I think that writing something homophobic, saying “I hate you because you’re….” is somewhat different than saying “without God, you’re weak.” Saying if you lack this, you are this way is not the same as saying I hate you because of what you are. If someone thinks I’m weak because I lack God, so be it. For me, with FB, if someone says something I don’t agree with, (and again, they’re not haters), it’s ok, it’s their opinion. Would I not be FB friends with someone for saying that without God, I’m weak? It’s not that serious.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@jca So what about less obviously homophobic posts? Like if someone posts “Went to a gay zombie costume party. Pretty glad I was dressed up as a zombie, because otherwise, with all those gay guys there, I would have been a little scared for my safety”, with the implication that gay men are rapists of straight people? Or if someone posts “Look at this Psychology Today blog post proving that men and women can’t be just friends – it’s what I’ve been saying all along, and now you all have proof”, with the implication that I can pretty much never have any friends as a bisexual person (and that the lesbian friends lesbians get when they come out, and the gay male friends gay men get when they come out – those are real friendships, you’re just biding time till you do it with each other)?

There are ways to validate yourself and your views without simultaneously invalidating someone else. And if you can’t find a way to validate yourself without invalidating someone else, then there’s a problem.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Aethelflaed I’m sorta getting the feeling that some people on this thread see FB as a place where you can just say whatever and no one gets to disagree

Some people do feel this way. Some people don’t handle disagreement or conflict well, so the easiest way around it is to ignore it. You can’t always do that out in the real world, but at FB you can. Is this the best way to handle the situation? No. But that’s how it is for some. Also, many people do use FB as a sort of diary of their life that they share with like minded individuals. People can disagree all they want, but don’t be offended if the comment is ignored or removed. If someone says something offensive to another in person, that’s different, but we’re talking about Facebook. We all have our reasons for using Facebook, and not everyone has the same reason. If you don’t like what I have to say, you’re free to remove me from your friend list.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@jonsblond I don’t disagree with what you’re saying. I delete stuff from my Facebook all the time, hell, usually just because I don’t like my wall to be cluttered.
But, life goes beyond Facebook. We’re talking about a friend that isn’t just someone you chat with online occasionally and have never met, this is someone that you know in person. And if what they’ve posted insinuates that what they believe is that you are less of a person, for whatever reason, then that holds some bearing on your relationship outside of Facebook. So, sure they have a right to remove it… but to not even acknowledge what you said is.. I don’t know, not something I would expect from a friend.
Hey, you hurt my feelings, but it was only online.. so, we’ll pretend it didn’t happen. I’m not sure I understand that aspect of it. Deleting someone from Facebook is fine if you’re not going to see them all of the time. I don’t see how it is different if someone you know says something offensive online, or in person.. there is still a human being behind that screen, and what happens online with the people we know still affects our interactions in the real world.

Aethelwine's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Personally, I don’t take anything too seriously on Facebook. I would not comment on something I found offensive. I just roll my eyes. If I had a problem with it, I would talk to that person directly, either by phone or private message. I don’t know how close @augustlan is with her friend’s sister. Maybe they don’t see each other that often, that’s why the friend didn’t acknowledge her? I have no idea

Just a little personal story, not quite sure if it’s relevant. My husband created his fb account when he started his podcast a few years back. He liked to post silly, sometimes offensive comments. He enjoys shocking people with his words because he thinks people get too bent out of shape over silly things. It’s just for his entertainment and those who enjoy that sort of thing. My mother wanted to be his fb friend. She gets offended very easily. He warned her she might not like what he posts. She didn’t take the warning and I had to hear from my sister how upset she was about some of the things he says. In this case, yes it’s just the internet. Should my husband watch what he says because it might offend my mom? She doesn’t have to be fb friends with him. She still loves him irl as a son-in-law.

jerv's avatar

@jonsblond Just out of curiosity, do you think a response along the lines of, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings, I just feel that God makes life so much better!” would have been better? Or how about just leaving the comment there and ignoring it? That second option is ambiguous enough to not be nearly as offensive, disrespectful, or rude. As @ANef_is_Enuf points out, it is a bit different when it’s someone you actually know as opposed to, say, an entertainer who has a lot of followers.

As for your husband’s FB page, she was warned, so I put that on her.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@jonsblond yeah, I’m sorry, I still disagree. I feel like those are two different things. As @jerv said, it’s different for a friend on a personal page to post something that reflects that their personal beliefs are that you are a lesser person because of your beliefs, and an entertainer’s page who is notorious for posting offensive material. But, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.
Again, I don’t think she didn’t have the right to remove the comment, but I do think she should have at least acknowledged @augustlan‘s feelings. I just feel like, online or offline, that is what a friend would do.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Should my husband watch what he says because it might offend my mom?

This question is interesting to me, because I dated a guy for a long time who would do the same thing – say offensive things as jokes (even though he claimed not to mean them), because he hated political correctness. Eventually, it stopped mattering to me why he made the jokes. I just couldn’t stand to hear it. So, my answer to him was “please watch what you say, because it offends me”, but equally, there was a long period when that was not my answer.

bkcunningham's avatar

When I read a few of the posts, I thought how they could have been directed at @augustlan for her comment on the woman’s FB. It is one of those “shoe on the other foot” things I saw. Just something to think about guys.

For instance: And boo hoo for her if she “wasn’t looking for an argument”.

It’s a blatant insult to people who do not subscribe to her fairy tale. She doesn’t get to whine that someone disagrees with her.

I don’t think anyone is saying she doesn’t have the right to do it. That doesn’t change the fact that it is a lousy way to treat a friend, especially when that friend was being generally polite.

There are ways to validate yourself and your views without simultaneously invalidating someone else. And if you can’t find a way to validate yourself without invalidating someone else, then there’s a problem.

But the bigger issue is not whether the statement is offensive; it’s the not caring that she did offend someone. Hurting peoples feelings and then disregarding the pain you cause others is a dick move.

I like real life because most people remember to put their filters on.

flo's avatar

I don’t think whoever came up with the thing realizes that words are not necessarily bad. “Thirst” for knowledge, “tears” of joy, ...

augustlan's avatar

I’m not sure how saying “This is pretty offensive to atheists (like me)” would hurt her feelings. I could be wrong about that, though.

bkcunningham's avatar

I guess that is my point, @augustlan. I don’t think for a second that you would hurt someone’s feelings deliberately. But, you never know what may have been going on in her life that made her post that silly little cartoonish saying. Maybe a closer friend gave it to her and she wanted to validate her friend by sharing. Who knows?

It wasn’t directed at atheists. The “weak” was a play on words. The first thing I thought of when I saw the word “weak” wasn’t weak as in character. I thought about the song we learned in Sunday School. Yes, Jesus Loves Me….We are weak, but He is strong.

I know that probably sounds stupid to you. But I just pictured her posting this little innocent thing that she thought would brighten someone’s day, or to brighten her day and then you pointed out how she was “offensive.” Sometimes words take on different meanings to people.

Like “offensive” may have struck her in a way that she felt protrayed her in a bad light and she didn’t need that at the moment and dismissed your post so she wouldn’t have to see it everytime someone commented or “liked” her post. The same way the word “weak” was picked up on by so many here and they found it offensive. Words mean different things to different people and sometimes at differnet times in our lives.

Words are very powerful and can offend and hurt in both directions and hit nerves with people in places none of us may be aware. I would have let it drop. Or if it offened me that much, I’d have PMed her and asked if I could tell her something personal and discussed how it offended me.

That is just me. I don’t think there is a right or wrong. Just my opinion.

Aethelwine's avatar

@jerv We don’t know why the friend removed the post and didn’t acknowledge @augustlan‘s feelings. I just don’t automatically assume the worst and think she did it with the intention of trying to be hurtful to @augustlan. Just giving a different point of view here since most of the replies were basically saying how terrible this friend was to @augustlan. I guess we could all sit here and agree and make the same points. :/ (I’m the last person who would ever do or say anything that would hurt the feelings of someone I cared about.)

@dappled_leaves Yeah. My story about my husband wasn’t relevant here I guess. I just thought of it when I read this question and thought I’d throw it out. Your story and my story are two completely different things. My husband does a comedy podcast. He’s not an insensitive asshole irl. My husband created his fb account at first to advertise his podcast and get listeners. My mom didn’t understand this and thought he joined facebook like everyone else in our family (to share photos and info with family). So no, he shouldn’t have to watch what he says on his fb wall because it might upset my mom.

augustlan's avatar

@jonsblond Yeah, knowing her, I’m sure she didn’t mean to offend me in the first place, or to hurt my feelings by ignoring/deleting my comment. I don’t think she’s a terrible person or anything… she’s actually very nice. Just like I know that your hubby is a good guy, IRL. :D

CaptainHarley's avatar

Ha ha, @jerv, very funny, it is to laugh. Verily, my body is wracked with hysterical laughter. : P

augustlan's avatar

Just out of curiosity, for those of you who wouldn’t have said anything: If the situation were reversed, that is if one of your friends found something you posted offensive, would you want to know? Or would you rather your friend not mention it to you?

Speaking only for myself here, but I would want them to bring it to my attention. I do think doing it privately would be the way to go, but I’d definitely want to know if I was inadvertently offending someone.

CaptainHarley's avatar


As would I. Sometimes giving offense is unavoidable, but I hate giving offense needlessly.

Hibernate's avatar

Don’t be deceived by her with having a weak spot. It’s her right not to accept “challenges” like this. You are a very nice person but when someone reads someone else’s comments can’t know if they were made in a real or sarcastic manner.

I think she’s weak not because she deleted all the posts that are not on the same line like hers. She’s because because she posts something and when someone doesn’t agree with her she won’t debate on it. What’s the point on that picture? Only to deceive others into thinking all your friends are theists. I might be wrong but whatever. IT’S MY RIGHT ! I know she doesn’t like debate because of this.
1 Timothy 1 4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies which promote speculations rather than the divine training that is in faith;

She sees that “speculation” means not accepting your comment :P

You should leave her a reply were you should state that verse and “remember” one thing from a fellow believer. She’s entitles into not accepting them but SHE SHOULD NOT GENERATE them. ^^

bkcunningham's avatar

I’d want to know if I offended one of my friends.

Like I said, I use my husband’s FB. Once, some of us were commenting back and forth on some photos from a 4-wheeler fundraiser run his family had participated in. I thought it was hilarious and was really enjoying the back and forth. Is was full of sexual innuendo and, to me, was hillarious. His grown niece, who is 29, and whom I love, came into the conversation and said, “Okay, “adults,” don’t forget their are children who can see this,” or something along those lines. By children she meant two of our nieces who have FB pages and their friends.

Some of us shut-up and apologized with one parting shot. Some kept going a little over the line. She told everyone she was serious. I thought, “Uh-oh. Here we go.” But nope. It stopped and that was the end of it.

I’m glad she reeled us in.

Aethelwine's avatar

@augustlan If I inadvertently offended someone I care about, sure, I’d like to know. I wouldn’t want to be called out on it publicly though. I think a private conversation would be best.

When I say I wouldn’t have said anything, it’s because I don’t find that many things offensive. I don’t have the power to fix stupid. If someone personally attacks me or says something about my family, that’s different (and I would say something) because it’s personal and not some random comment about a group of people. (hope that makes sense) For example, I’m an atheist leaning agnostic. I wasn’t offended by what your friend posted. If my friend had told me to my face that she thought I was weak because I didn’t believe, then I would be slightly offended, but in the end I would just think she’s allowed to believe whatever she wants. I know I’m not weak, that’s all that matters, but I would certainly reevaluate our relationship.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t know about anyone else but I have gone back and forth on this question. My initial reaction was that the woman who posted that “cutesy” picture and then deleted @augustlan‘s comment about it is self righteous and judgemental (and a little passive aggressive) but after reasding everyone’s post on this subject, I seem to be agreeing with everyone. Yes the message she posted is self righteous and irritating (I think offensive is too strong a word here, at least, in my opinion) but she also has every right to do what the hell she wants on her Facebook page whether her friends agree with it or not. I also agree with others that say she may have just posted it because it makes her and her Christian friends feel good without even thinking about her friends that don’t share her belief. This doesn’t mean she meant to offend or berate anyone though. We all know how to “unfriend” someone if we are genuinly offended by what they put on their page. Yeah, I’m totally on the fence now!!! I do think that, unless the friend adjusted her FB settings to stop people posting on her wall, that @augustlan had every right to comment though.

tinyfaery's avatar

Anyone can post what they like. They can also expect to be called out on it, just like any social situation.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@tinyfaery I love how most of us have written essays on their feelings about this and you have summed it all up with just two sentences! Talk about cutting to the chase!

flo's avatar

I second that @tinyfaery‘s last post.

Thammuz's avatar

I would’ve gone in full counter-troll mode, honestly (and you all know me well enough to know that i can do that well). That’s why i don’t use facebook.

Carol's avatar

As a practicing athiest myself, I’m surprised that you’d be offended. I always assume that those who hold religious beliefs find my views offensive since the mere existence of my thoughts seems to discount theirs. Truely, I don’t need their respect in this department. Isn’t resorting to name calling a sign of fear or threat of some kind?

Thammuz's avatar

@Carol I think that’s the problem with facebook. People treat it like it’s the internet, acting like it’s anonymous, when it’s actually people you know.

Respect isn’t a big deal when you don’t actually have to associate with a person, but when a person you have to associate with routinely is acting like a dick, for whatever reason, without provocation and straight to your face, then it’s time to draw the line.

Personally, in her shoes, i would’ve counter trolled not because i am offended by someone disagreeing with me, but because this person is probably very civil and amicable when she’s around, then she turns around and pulls this shit, which makes her a duplicitous little shit. it’s not the disagreeing, it’s the hypocrisy of acting one way IRL and another online.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I wish people would stop getting so worked up over things like this. There are Atheists who post insensitive things about religious people that are meant to be humourous, too.

It is her profile and she can delete whatever she wants on it. You may not have been trying to start a fight, but still. What you chose to write there could have easily lead to one if she had not removed it. It wasn’t nice what you said, even if the poster she posted that is meant to be humourous is insensitive to Atheists.

If you really felt it was absolutely necessary for you to say something, it would have been better if you sent her that message privately and explained your reasoning instead of posting it on her photo publicly criticizing her in front of all of her family and friends on Facebook. That can be quite embarrassing and saying “I still love you” doesn’t change that the comment was still rude.

I wish religious people and Atheists would all stop squabbling and finally learn to get along instead of taking offence for pointless things that don’t really matter in the long run. I mean, it’s not like all religious people are innocent and it’s not like all Atheists are innocent. There are several insensitive posters that are meant to be humourous to their intended audiences on both sides, so it’s not like one side is more innocent than the other.

Being offended over posters that are meant to be humourous, no matter which side they support, is silly and not worth it, no matter how you identify yourself religiously…or not religiously. As if words like the one on the poster you mentioned are ever going to change the truth.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll one day laugh at how silly this whole situation is.

Thammuz's avatar

@AnonymousGirl It wasn’t nice what you said, even if the poster she posted that is meant to be humourous is insensitive to Atheists.

I’m sorry, are you fucking kidding? So it is “not nice” to call out somoene who is being an intolerant prick? No shit! Too bad being an intolerant prick is even worse, huh?

Whether something is “meant to be humorous” or not, if you said something i disagree with, guess what? i’m going to voice my disagreement. Loudly, if possible.

Compare to this situation: instead of posting that picture she posted this picture: theyìre both “jokes” (though i find this one funnier, because at least there is a half decent punchline, sue me) and they’re both insensitive and discriminatory on top of being blatant flame-bait. Now whose side would you be on? Hers? Yeah right.

But it’s only a joke! It’s not like posting a clearly racist minstrel joke means that she is also a racist, otherwise she wouldn’t find it fucking funny enough to post it, is it? And the same goes for the “joke” in her actual post.

I do find images like this and this amusing, but i have christian friends on my facebook and i am a decent enough person not to fucking post them there. Why? Because i respect them, and openly ridiculing their beliefs in a common forum is not exactly a show of respect. Especially in the case of the first picture (the one that is closer in character ot the case at hand, BTW) where through their particular position i also attack their character by implying they’re delusional and stupid, which i don’t actually believe, because if i did i wouldn’t have them on my bloody facebook in the first place, would I?

What pisses me off even more is that your bullshit argument stems, incredibly, from the position i hate the most, which is the sanctimonious variation of “can’t we all get along?”, aka “well it’s not like [offended party] has never done that!”. Way to conflate two people in two groups without batting an eye. We’re not talking about atheists and theists here, we’re talking about two people. Person A has acted like a dickwad and person B has greivances about it. Over what is entirely irrelevant, the disrespectful nature of the joke is the only thing that needs to be assessed from the picture, were the parties reversed it would still be a dick move.

And before you point this out, yes, i do realize that the question is worded so that it specifically asks of atheists and theists, but that is completely incidental on the theme of the joke and doesn’t change anything from the problem itself, like i already demonstrated at the beginnning of this post.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^I may not support everything there, but there was some iron in that. ^^

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I was thinking the exact same thing. GA @Thammuz.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Still pointless to comment on. You’re a bit too touchy for my tastes, @Thammuz. Decent people don’t brag about being decent, now, do they? And I find it silly to be offended by all three of the images you showed me. They are just images on a web! They don’t offend me at all. They are JUST WORDS. There’s no point in being as offended as you are over WORDS. You’re acting like the person who inspired this whole thread committed a crime. May I ask you… how is it any better to be talking behind her back on here? Over one poster that had NOTHING to do with you at all? She probably does not even know you.

Even if you did post images like the ones you did, how would that be any of my business if it was on your FACEBOOK account? As it so happens, I do have a friend on Facebook who DOES post SEVERAL anti-religious posters making jokes about religion. Instead of just one, she has posted several. When I didn’t want to see them, you know what I did? I HID her from my news feed. I have done the very same thing when people posted Bible verses and criticized people who don’t believe in God on Facebook and I got tired of seeing that. I usually end up unhiding them because I miss seeing their posts after a while.

And you know what? Yes, it would be rude of me to jump in and say “Your posts offends blah blah blah, but I still love you anyway.” You know why? Because I KNOW these people aren’t trying to be offensive to ANYONE. I KNOW those posters are meant humorously. If I decide to go through with it and post something like that anyway, then yes, it IS rude. And it’s worse. Because it would be turning the whole situation into something that I know full well that it is NOT.

Besides, who am I to say what would offend who? I DO happen to not follow any Gods and I AM NOT offended by that poster. It’s funny to me and it’s even more funny to me that people get offended over something so stupid. As for the anti-religious posters you posted, I also find it funny when people get offended by those as well. Just WHAT is the POINT? They are JUST words. If they are meant as a joke in the first place, it’s not the best idea to take offence to them.

No matter what you’re trying to imply or what you try to say in an attempt to discredit me, I AM NOT holding double standards. I think both sides have people who take things WAY too seriously.

If only more people knew how to laugh at themselves instead of taking offence to every little thing they disagree with, especially when it was said with the intent to be humourous…

Thammuz's avatar

@AnonymousGirl Decent people don’t brag about being decent, now, do they?
Which is precisely what you just did, enunciating how your course of action is better than mine, so you’re not exactly in the position to criticise, but let’s not lose focus here.

And I find it silly to be offended by all three of the images you showed me. They are just images on a web!

See my previous comments about why i don’t use facebook. Yes, they are “just images on the web”. That’s not the point. The point is the people on your facebook, as opposed to the pictures, are not “just people on the web” which i couldn’t care less about offending, they’re actual people in your fucking life.

If i went to my university course with a t-shirt saying “you, yes, you, if you believe in god you’re a fucking moron!” and somoene took offense to that, what could i say? “dude, it’s just a joke, relax”? Maybe. It doesn’t look like a joke at all from the way it is worded, which is something i was going to bring up in the previous post as well, but that’s beside the point.

But if someone voiced their offense i would say something. I would not ignore them or dismiss them. Like it or not, facebook is not the internet. It isn’t anonymous and saying something has consequences, because it comes from people you actually have a relationship with IRL.

Compare this to the real life equivalent: I’m going to phone up all my firends and tell them a joke. Let’s use the same joke i posted before about black people, which is a legitimate joke, instead of just an inflammatory picture. Now, i don’t have black friends, living in a 99% white country of xenophobes, but if i had, and one of them told me, predictably: “dude, what the fuck? That’s offensive!” (or something along those lines) i would not hang up on him and pretend that never fucking happend, which is precisely what she did. If she defended herself, or simply stated that she was just joking, and not pretend like her shit doesn’t smell and act like common riff-raff isn’t worthy of her precious time, it would have been a complete non issue.

Which brings me to the next point: I KNOW these people aren’t trying to be offensive to ANYONE. I KNOW those posters are meant humorously.

Good for you, you have such good friends on your facebook. What you think you know about your situation is entirely irrelevant to this discussion. To evaluate whether they’re taking those pictures seriously or not you’ve taken into account other factors that are relevant and exclusive to your relationship with these people, which @augustlan also took into account, because we all do, and her evaluation was “This person is not joking, or if she is, she should state it, because it doesn’t look like it.”

Whether you like it or not, people are going to get offended over pretty much anything. I’m not one to be polite about it (but i’m Italian, nobody here is, but we don’t care and go on with our day), the point is that it is their fucking prerogative to be offended by the shit you say. What do I know, maybe that nigger joke is something my hypothetical black friend was bullied with in grade school, who am I to judge his offense? The problem is that in a relationship, which i want to stress isn’t put on hold whenever you log onto your facebook, you are accountable to that kind of shit, and if you care you apologise. You don’t need to retract your statement, or pretend you didn’t find the joke funny, you just need to state that you didn’t mean to offend. It’s not hard and, precisely because it isn’t, it’s all the more offensive when people just ignore this or even worse flat out kick you on your ass. It indicates that you give so little of a fuck that you won’t even spare two seconds to ensure that you’re just joking, to reassure the person.

No matter what you’re trying to imply or what you try to say in an attempt to discredit me,
Who said i’m trying to discredit you? And what do you think you are doing by accusing me of it?

If only more people knew how to laugh at themselves instead of taking offence to every little thing they disagree with, especially when it was said with the intent to be humourous…
You’re the kind of person that laughs at 50 cent’s Twitter, aren’t you?

how is it any better to be talking behind her back on here?
It may not be better, but it is quite different in terms of outcome. I don’t know her and don’t care about her in particular. I’m just analysing the situation, devoid of any interest for the parties in question, which is why this is different from denigrating somoene to their (methaphorical) face in a public forum. We’re not bickering on her wall, she will probably never know of this thread, and not a single fuck will be given, that’s how this is different from being jusdged and offended by someone you know in a common forum.

Aethelwine's avatar

@AnonymousGirl I agree with everything you’ve said here. Just wanted to back you up!

augustlan's avatar

I’m so surprised this is still going. I’m way over it. :D

tranquilsea's avatar

@augustlan lol I thought you were

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
amujinx's avatar

@AnonymousGirl I’m sorry, but being considerate enough to not post something that might offend a friend or even an acquaintance does not make someone a liar or a hypocrite. Being honest is, for the most part, a good trait to have; but when you are honest to the point of offense, even on the internet, the good may outweigh the bad. Personally, I didn’t take offense to the picture, but if I posted something on my facebook that offended one of my friends (and trust me I have), I expect to get called out for it.

Just yesterday in fact, I posted a comment on an acquaintance’s picture of his Christmas tree. This acquaintance happens to be gay, and his tree is silver with pink lights. However, his name is very similar to a very close friend of mine, who happens to live in Calgary. I only glanced at the name, thought it was my friend in Calgary, and posted, “a flaming tree for a Flames fan” (the Flames being the Calgary hockey team). I didn’t notice until the acquaintance posted in response to my quip of my mistake. I immediately apologized, explained my mistake and took down my post. He then PMed me telling me he wasn’t offended and thought it was funny, and we had a little chat after that.

That’s the difference between what happened with @augustlan and her friend though (glad to hear it’s no longer an issue by the way @augustlan). He and I talked through the incident to avoid any hurt feelings because we know each other. In @augustlan‘s case, there was no communication. While I think the discussion of offense might have been better suited to private messages, just ignoring a comment that says “you offended me” is not showing the poster of the offensive material to be a good friend. Just because you think someone is being “touchy” about something that doesn’t offend you doesn’t make the other person wrong, either.

Thammuz's avatar

@amujinx Precisely my point. GA.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I like how my response got removed as a personal attack when @Thammuz is the one who started the attacking and I simply defended myself because he felt the need to twist my words around into something I did not even mean and continued a pointless argument, changing what I meant around to come up on top and win his needless argument. I did not come here to argue, but I have since learned that @Thammuz likes to argue and instigate fights. He says so on his profile. Well, now that I’ve learned this, I won’t bother anymore. Defending myself to @Thammuz is like talking to a wall, because he will find a way to twist my words around even more. There’s no point. My words seem already way too twisted to the point that no one seems to want to realize what I actually said, but is instead believing @Thammuz’ misrepresentation of them. If this post gets removed as a personal attack, it seems only fair that his personal attacks get removed, too… because he attacked me first and instigated a pointless fight… on purpose, if his profile is to be trusted. Unfortunately, I fell for the bait.

@Thammuz, in the feature, please do not start these pointless arguments with me… and if you do, please do not twist my words around for your own entertainment in the future! I do not appreciate it. I don’t feel like I should have to defend my every word, especially when they are being so badly represented by someone who loves to argue and start fights.

Thammuz's avatar

@AnonymousGirl Liking to argue =/= making up reasons to argue. I argue if there is a casus belli, otherwise i go look somewhere else, you gave me plenty of reasons to argue with you, so i picked up the glove.

Don’t think i did not mean every single word i said, if it’s not sincere it’s not fun.

Furthermore, attacking one’s argument is not the same as attacking one’s character. The latter i did not do once in my posts. Read them back and quote my attacks to you personally and not to your asinine argument, if you think otherwise.

Also, speaking of twisting words, on my profile it clearly states that i like to argue, but it never stated, go check the cached versions on google if you don’t believe me, that i like to instigate fights.

filmfann's avatar

@Thammuz and @AnonymousGirl Why don’t you guys get a room?

AnonymousWoman's avatar



I was honestly frightened of opening this post again (which is the real reason I said I was finished here, basically, so I would have an excuse not to come back), but @Thammuz said something to convince me to come back here and read what you said.

I decided to come back because we are getting along now and I feel better about this now.

@augustlan may be relieved that this is over. ;)

I also wanted to add that I don’t completely agree with my original post anymore. I’ve talked with @augustlan in PMs about this and something she said stuck with me, about how she didn’t feel like the person was joking around. And, well, it’s true, now that I think about it.

I used to consider myself a Christian, and there are certain Christian habits I wasn’t as familiar with anymore… due to being so out of touch with Christianity.

I said what I did because there is an Atheist I know who I really respect who posts many posters that are meant humourously, even though she means them…

But in this case, it’s probably true that the original poster was serious and didn’t mean to be humourous… like @augustlan suggested.

What likely is true is that the person who posted it feels that she is weak without God… and those who agreed with her may feel the same way about themselves.

I used to buy that BS, too. Strangely enough, the more and more I shed my former beliefs, the stronger I feel. Part of what kept me a Christian for so long was fear of eternal torment. I was scared to leave because I was scared if I did, I would suffer in Hell forever.

Anyway :)

The main problem I had with what you were saying to me, @Thammuz, is that I felt like you weren’t acknowledging the part where I agreed that if she said something, it would be best to say it privately. I didn’t actually say that she should never say anything about it… and if it came across that way, my mistake. ^_^ Hopefully that makes sense now… I shouldn’t have been so defensive before. This could have been solved so easily if I hadn’t been.

whitecarnations's avatar

I would have told her. Honey, the calendar was made because of astronomy.

keobooks's avatar

I just wanted to say that I’m not an atheist at all. I go to church and while I’m not very religious, I have always been spiritual and believed in God.

But I HATE those stupid little God feel-good quotes. I have to work really hard not to heckle them. My brain automatically thinks of little puns and jokes to make about them as soon as I see them and I know that 99% of the people who post them don’t have a sense of humor like mine on those things.

But for the most part, I know those people are well meaning and kind. So I bite my tongue. I ignore their cutesy little vomit about god and they ignore my left wing liberal from outer space vomit.

I think the only time I cry foul is I try to keep my vomit down to once or twice a month. I have a few friends who put 3 – 4 passive aggressive cutesy god vomits up every day. I try to be original with my liberal vomit (except posting anything and everything George Takei puts up that makes me chuckle) but the cutesy god folk all seem to post the exact same crap up all at the exact same time even when they don’t know each other.

But just like I usually grin and bear it at the Thanksgiving table, I usually just ignore the crap. There have been 1 or 2 people I just plain removed from my feeds though.

Thammuz's avatar

@whitecarnations Actually they were called that because the Romans understood all religions as theirs with different names.

The days were dedicated to the sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn (the gods, not the celestial objects, though in their mind they were one and the same) and when they came in contact with the norse pantheon they interpreted their representations and associated their gods with the norse ones. Then they transalted their calendar and started using it in the lands they conquered with the appropriate names and here’s what happend:

Sun’s day = Sunday

Moon’s day = Monday

Mars’ day (God of war) = Tyr’s day = Tuesday

Mercury’s day (Messenger of the gods, erroneusly associated with Odin because of the eight-legged warhorse, associated with speed, lacking the context of the Edda) = Wotan’s day = Wednesday

Jupiter’s day (Father of the gods and god of thunder, associated with thor because of the obvious shared area of interest) = Thor’s day = Thursday

Venus’ day (Goddess of beauty and love, associated with the only goddess whose cult was widespread enough to come to the attention of the romans, Frigg) = Frigg’s day = Friday

Saturn’s day remained the same because, well, it was their empire, wasn’t it?


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