Yesterday a more religious “friend” sent me a Facebook message image of “Jesus Loves You”. This “friend” knows that I’m not a fan of the religious – what I call nonsense and I’m not sure why she did that.
I’m not very tolerant of that kind of thing. I’m just not – I don’t come knocking on your door, holding science books praising quantum physics and asking for money for test tubes… Nor would I send private messages spouting why you’re invisible friend is a threat to humanity as a whole… I’d blog about it sure, but not private message or text.. It’s like walking up to a urinal next to a guy and asking him if he’s had lunch.. it’s just fucking weird, don’t do that.
I responded to my “friend” that I was unfriending her.
She responded “that’s your right, but I still love you”
But does she?
Love is best described as “giving of yourself completely, expecting nothing in return” – a famous drunk in AA said that a few decades ago. It’s my go to definition of love and I use it to define my relationships more often than not. Am I willing to give my free time, my attention, my money, my apartment or car for that person – regardless of what I get in return… am I willing to give my heart? Not many people meet that measuring stick with me.
If you know your friend is opposed to a certain idea – Jesus, veganism, sex with women, Republican Politicians… all bad, bad things in my eyes… do you shove it in their face? Do you try to convince your gay friend that he just hasn’t had the right pussy? Or that she cares too much for poor people and should be a republican… Or that if you eat a cracker/wafer it’s going to transform into flesh and drinking this wine will become blood…
My best friend Eric is straight… it’s not his fault really, he didn’t get to choose to be straight it just happened. I don’t send him clips from the gay porn or talk to him about the joys of gay sex…. I really have no desire to do that, it would be weird, but I also respect his views on being straight… He’s a great guy and doesn’t have anything against gay people, and he doesn’t go out of his way to try to change me either – he loves me as I am.
My Ma is, I guess what you call, a Christian. She goes to church almost every Sunday, hell maybe every Sunday, probably every Sunday. She has a deep fundamental belief in God. My Uncle Rick, Pa’s brother, and I are both atheists… She doesn’t try to change either of us, she just loves us. And when I go home to visit, I go to church with my Ma, because I love her and it makes her happy… I don’t go to scoff or comment or be rude… I go to partake in being with my family doing what they do. I don’t try to change her into not believing, she wants to believe and is one of the nicest people you could ever meet – why would I want to change that?
So if you truly love someone – do you shove Jesus down their throat… maybe that’s what they teach you, I don’t know. It would seem to me that living by example would do more to bring me to salvation than some forced sermon or pamphlets left on my coffee table or instant message that you know I don’t want.
Love is not just a word you can bandy about… it’s action, it’s giving, it’s unconditional acceptance of who a person is, and respecting their boundaries.
Maybe it’s not, maybe I’ve been wrong for a good long while. Maybe love is forcing your beliefs on others, maybe it’s hurting people, maybe it’s discriminating against the opposite sex or minorities… maybe I’m mistaking love for hate… or maybe, just maybe, you’re the one confusing the two.