Monday, August 31, 2020

Losing Friends Over Trump and Religion


  Three to four years after my deconversion, I am still losing friends. Some people talk of Civil War coming to America, the divides happening are reminiscent of that time.My realization that deconversion is influencing my life heavy where long lasting friendships are ending, has not been easy.  Some authors have written and talked about how politics is dividing the country, entire families, and life long relationships. This is true.

 I realize the people I was around outside of my UU community and those in the arts locally as they clung so strongly to Republicanism, Christianity and Trump were toxic for me. Some can say  "Can't you be civil, can't you agree to disagree?" 

How do you compromise with people who don't support basic humans rights, and defend police violence?  How do you compromise with people who support a wannabe dictator that is openly destroying the United States? How do you compromise with people who support evil authoritarianism? How about the racism when they defend police who have murdered people or tell you it's okay for Trump to round up protesters without a trial or constitutional legal rights?


I know everyone has learning curves, I had my own. The fundamentalists impacted me to believe some very wrong things, however in my case, those beliefs were examined with time and growth and were changed.  I hate that I was a part of fundamentalism at all. My regrets are huge. I still protested war and kept some liberal values, but one of the main reasons to leave was the evil.  I could not abide by a religion that had no compassion for others.

What is scary is they support things like the destruction of Social Security, which impact my life and survival.  I still remember that one old friend who told me to go off social security and shouted, "Social Security is a slave system!" Most likely she is a Trump supporter. After I went no contact I realized how abusive this was.

How can a friendship survive if your friend supports evil? Some are people I care about but how do you abide by that?  I mentioned the friend holding parties during Covid19 even during more severe lock-down times, but she's ghosted me over my Facebook posts. Some friendships I left, others left me. With several I tried to have discussions, I don't require that my friends match my religion or politics, but there's a point where things break down. They think I don't respect their beliefs and are hurt on their end, but I can't. How could I lie? Some casual friendships and acquaintances can survive hard lines like this but ones where you thought there was a meeting of the minds won't. Conservative Christianity destroys friendships because there is the requirement you stay a Christian else the friendship ends for many.

These friends also knew I was not a blind supporter of the DNC. I wrote about my reluctant vote for Biden on here. Even with that history trying to reach out to them was like a brick-wall. Maybe I am too outspoken. Maybe this is the price of being too politically active? This has been somewhat lessened due to health but I protested Trump for years and was vocal on many venues.

Maybe I am too autistic to understand neurotypical minds and this is why I failed to make any headway. There's times I have regretting being so outspoken as friends drop by the wayside but it is who I am. Some neurotypicals never break the rule of discussing religion and politics. Maybe I made too many mistakes. In my heart of hearts, I have a lot of pain about not being able to be "me" with a lot of people as it is. I have my husband and other close friends online but most of the social world feels like a minefield. My thoughts about how autism made me vulnerable to abuse grew intense. I worried about being too weak but at the same time, realized how people were reacting to a person in such an extreme body with a monotone voice.

With a few of these friendships, I didn't even openly discuss my deconversion for some time dreading the outcome. I suppose it showed around the edges. I think I alerted one, when I started talking about climate change not realizing she didn't believe in it. Aspies probably are too blunt for our own good so mistakes were made. Maybe friendships will end naturally with time and change. I know I changed with the no contact, I stopped being the same person. Maybe it was no one's fault that things went the way they did.

I wonder if this is how people in Germany of the 1930s felt when they realized Adolf Hitler was a bad guy and realizing their family and friends were going for him. Trump is following the Hitler game plan using conservative and authoritarian churches and religions to carry things out. My Uber-Republican family went full Trumpster outside of the gay cousin's family and his brother.  Since my contact lasted longer with those cousins though it is now ended, I saw that on Facebook too.

I am not a coward and stand up for what I believe, but it does cost you when it comes to relationships. Maybe this is a price that grows difficult at times.  There are people in my life who share my values, my husband, my UU church members and others, I do think about more ways to change and better my life in seeking out people who hold my values and one of those values, obviously is EMPATHY. If someone's politics are such, they believe I should go to the gutter, since I am disabled, what does this say? If pandemic is not enough to get someone out of a stupor, what will?

I had more layers unpeeled lately, realizing how conservative and right wing of a town I was moved to in high school, so much so that 90% of my classmates are Trumpsters and evangelical.  I am friends with some on Facebook. I don't fight with them and haven't separated from them over these matters unless they post directly racist memes, but that's only because these are more casual Facebook relationships.  The extremity of the religious posts and others, has only increased. My high school was so extreme, they had Republican rallies, seems illegal, but it happened. One high school teacher had the classroom walls plastered with Reagan and Bush campaign posters.

What is there to say the divide is happening. America seems to have gone crazy and Trump is a cult leader that's stolen too many friends.

8 comments:

  1. The anti-social security cultists are annoying. Had it not been for my father in law's social security, my mother in law would have been SOL. The "church" she attended is very, very wealthy, but helping "widows indeed" is more talk than action. Their funds instead go for palaces and those pretty fish-head hats - something real pagan about that.

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    1. Yeah all there let the church's and private organizations help, is a load of crap? So someone is going to dish out 1,000 bucks for someone's rent or thousands of dollars in medicine? What is worse is the conservative Baby Boomers about to go on Social Security or already on it, who are POOR even, voting for Trump. I ask how can people be so stupid? Yeah your MIL would have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle. I never saw any of these help a widow. One IFB rented a room once to a homeless guy but most homeless would be out of luck.

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  2. So about a month after you wrote this post, I stopped talking to one of my best friends. It just about broke my heart. The issue was racism. She was under the impression that most of the BLM protests were violent. I corrected her. She believed some crap she read on Facebook that houses were being set on fire by protesters in Oregon, and POC were knocking on doors, according people, demanding reparations for slavery. I looked for six hours on the net, couldn't find that anywhere but social media. I told her that and I told her the fires she saw were most likely the ones that burned in several states, two Canadian provinces and part of Mexico, and don't drink the kool-aid.

    Then she started about black people destroying property in the protests. I told her I thought they had a right to be angry,and went thru an abbreviated version of black history in America from slave ships to neck-kneeling. I told her, they're being harassed for doing everyday ordinary stuff like jogging and birdwatching. She acknowledged that sometimes a very few cops "weren't acting right", but I shouldn't trash all cops. I reminded her that at my job (before I got laid off due to Covid, I had paid for all the cops' orders when they came in since 2009, when a cop who had been special in my life died. I certainly wasn't trashing cops. And then she went on about black people had slaves, and they sold their own. I never called her racist, I told her she lacked compassion and had no clue. Of course, I'm sure she knew that I meant she was racist. Believe me when I tell you, considering how indignant I was, I was quite diplomatic with her, yet she told me I was abusive and controlling. I shared the texts with some folks I know who are mental health professionals, and they introduced me to the concept of DARVO and how DARVO is gaslighting, etc. I was devastated, but after things cooled down for a few weeks, I tried to talk to her again, make nice and maybe carve out a space where she would listen to me, but she doubled down. I guess I should have known. When she was a young born again Christian, she used to be homophobic. When she disavowed that, I thought that meant she could see that all prejudice is wrong and hurtful. I guess I was giving her too much credit.

    So now I don't talk to her, just like I stopped talking to her in our 20's. It hurts alot worse this time...her husband talked sense into her last time, but it took 18 years. Now, for all I know, he's just as racist as she is. And I don't have another 18 years to wait for her to get a clue. I saw a meme on the internet: "When political views cause the suffering of another human being,they are no longer political views, they are moral choices." That is where I am. It sounds like its where you are. I know firsthand it's tough. I applaud you.

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    1. Religion and politics has wiped many people clean away. When people support things that directly HARM me and others [those moral choices you mention in that meme Claudia] yeah too I got to that point and had to walk. Even on Facebook, I unfriended this one guy in my old town who was against minimum wage, he is rich and has absolutely no empathy, why bother? I'm investing time in someone who doesn't even have basic decency.

      I have had the same arguments with one friend, she used to be a liberal but as she got into Fox news and she is surrounded by all these born again Christians working on her, she's turned conservative and we got in arguments about BLM and she keeps saying black people are violent blah blah....looters...blah blah, and I remember saying once on the phone what about the cops that keep killing people? We even got into a shouting match. I have tried talking to her.

      Sometimes I feel like I get through to her, but then she "snaps" back to the programming. This week I got emails about Biden is a communist, I said back to her "I wish!" and how China is taking over. China is in better shape then this place and while they are totalitarian at least in some ways they protect their people and take care of them better than this place does and I told her that. She even told me feminism was bad, and I said I said the same thing when I was fundie, but explained to her how that was a misdirection, and even wrote that I was worried all those born again Christians were going to convert her in.

      The "I don't care, go starve in the gutter" politics of Republicans really piss me off. Some of these friends I have know how poor I am, how sick I am.
      I still remember a conversation with one conservative friend of 11 years that ended some months ago where I and husband were at a dinner with her, and I don't remember how it came up, but we were saying how hard it was not to have medical insurance and how husband had noneand I was disabled via my lack of it. She knew I struggled my whole life, but clung to the Republican party no matter what. I just didn't understand. Religion broke us apart too. I told her I was still willing to be friends in the last letter but she never talked to me again. I try to back down, be nice, and in some cases people bring up the taboo subjects. Maybe I am too autistic, to get through some of this stuff or hide my emotions but due to activism and other things I am involved in, hiding politics was near impossible. I also could not sit there and abide by it. yeah like you, mine seemed to listen and like they were finally thinking about things and then would double back or snap back.

      I talk about it a little but even with the abusive family I went no contact with, their politics were horrendous and they would say things directly harmful to me like there should be no disability or other social safety nets! I think I got a clue that people who want me dead in the streets due to being disabled or not able to obtain medicine really ARE NOT MY FRIENDS. I allowed too much too, listening to that "reach across the aisle" crap and let people have their freedom of beliefs, but some beliefs are harmful and evil. continuing....

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    2. With POC, I feel like racism has gotten worse. The racist people tell me things like black people are going to take over, or they burned all the cities. the hatred towards poverty is even worse with them. [they are all on welfare because they are lazy--heard that one millions of times, and I am usually keep my own mouth shut about having needed welfare]

      Obviously if a close friend was a cop and you honored them at a funeral you are not a cop hater. These types didn't care about all the cops who died at the Capitol. I still remember the pictures of the young cop being smushed in the door and read about one probably with traumatic brain injuries from being beaten by the mob, committing suicide. Sorry for your loss too by the way. They call claim they support law and order but that is a joke. I had to unfriend everyone I saw who supported that insurrection, and I will be frank it was a LOT of people. One local woman I was acquaintances with I unfriended her for posting something that Trump was still president. I tried talking to some of these folks until I was blue in the fact. You probably saw the article where I posted about having to unfriend multiple old classmates who were against masks and telling them I knew people who got Covid.

      When you find out sometimes who people really are it can be scary. This is almost a revisit to when I found out I was surrounded by narcissists and had to walk. Some guy on reddit wrote that we have vastly underestimated the numbers of socipaths in American society and I agreed with him.

      I'm being ghosted by the Lutheran group of people where I used to go to a book club and more when I was still a Christian. One my husband told me never really was a friend. Yeah it hurt. I get the feeling this is over political viewpoints too.
      When it's a close friend it can be very hard. I even got in some political arguments with the exmillionaire friend who was my "best friend" for years. she didn't seem to care about Trump or what he was doing. Well sitting on millions maybe she couldn't be bothered. She never supported any of my political endeavors.

      Yeah they probably are both racist. I know I had bad stuff I posted on here, fundie inspiried screeds against feminism, an article with an "All Lives Matter" kind of BS though I was against racism, because I was surrounded by fundies, filling my head with garbage. I do believe there are people who can learn and change, but a bad sign of this NOT HAPPENING is when you have friends you can't even talk to. They shut you down. It's scary too when they have no empathy for your situation or don't if people are being hurt. My social life has been decimated. I have my UU contacts and husband, I have lost so many friends.

      Problem is, I don't regret ending the friendships not at all or with the ones that were ended from the other side, I could not silent myself.

      A few people I am still in dialogue with.....but I realize in at least two cases I am too far away and they have the fundie Christian and Republican chorus in their ears.

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  3. Peep, I can't imagine losing lots of friends this way as you have. Losing one again after all these years has about broken my heart, and "heartbroken" is not a word I use lightly, so I feel for you. My friend lost her mother a few years back, and had a hard time with it. She needed a mother figure and remembered my mother fondly from when we were young, so she still talks to my mother, and I don't interfere with that.

    But I can't talk with her myself, because every time I think of her I think of how she on one hand said, "It's all about how you treat other people, how much love and grace you show others," and then turned around and said,"Black people, looting, rioting, etc. And maybe sometimes some of the police don't act the right ways, and Jacob Blake being shot in the back 7 times in front of his children was wrong, and the cops shouldn't have done that. But! He had just raped and robbed a woman and he had a rap sheet a mile long! And when I was young a black girl bullied me, I don't ask for reparations!" She really said those things, and more! I quit talking to her in disgust before I had a chance to respond to alot of these things. I went round and round in my head about them until it dawned on me to respond to all her foolishness in my diary app, that she would never see.

    About how Jacob Blake had actually allegedly raped and robbed that woman weeks before, that case was pending, and he was shot and paralyzed in front of his kids that day for violating a restraining order. About how that woman he allegedly raped and robbed would nine chances out of ten never have the dignity of a trial because the police had paralyzed Jacob Blake and even if he was physically able to appear, all the sympathy would be on his side. Sure enough, last November, his charges were reduced when he pleaded down to two charges of disorderly conduct. His "mile-long rap sheet" amounted to an incident in 2015 where he pulled a gun in a bar, left the bar and was pulled over later by an officer responding to the bar incident. Those charges were dismissed due to age of case and witness issues. Meanwhile, the cop that shot him had in seven years on the force earned 16 commendations, true enough. And had also been investigated by Internal Affairs FIVE times in his seven years on the force, including three times for collisions in his police vehicle. Most cops don't get investigated by IAD once in their career, let alone five times! But people like my friend, they don't want to hear this. And they would rather talk about what Ben Carson said about Margaret Sanger and Morgan Freeman's anthology on racism than confront their own racism when their own words convict them, dead to rights. And when you quote their words back to them to confront their racism and hypocrisy, you are controlling and abusive! But they want to be friends with you, the idea of not being friends with you fills them with sadness and crying emojis, even as they continue saying the racist things you have told them are going to end the friendship. It is amazing! I don't know how folks who have had multiple relationships end this way stand it. I've had two, the other being my BPD/NPD half-sister and it's all I could take!

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  4. And, btw, Peep, I give you big props for publicly disavowing some of your past viewpoints. Most people don't have nearly that much courage!

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  5. Claudia, it's been hard losing so many friends. Even with the two college era ex-friends [army and millionaire ones] if they had simply tried or showed any respect or care, I would not have walked away. I think realizing I meant so little to both was the hardest thing to face and [with the family too].

    Yeah it can break a person's heart. I even miss some the uber religious ones, I would have stayed friends but I guess Jesus doesn't care about authenticity or friendship, he sure is bad for it, that's for sure. I did lose some friends due to death and simply living too far away too long.
    I am glad you are understanding of the friend who talks to your mother, makes sense if she is seeking a mother figure.

    Yeah where is her love and grace for black people. Yeah I see contradiction in her words too. I wish people questioned more of what they read and examined. Yes I remember the Jacob Blake case, poor man being shot in front of his children, there was another black man, I can't remember his name where he was shot right in front of his fiance in the car, these cases are increasing in number. Oh sure, I heard the George Floyd had a huge rap sheet stuff too from one friend and saw some of the others write on Facebook "he got what he deserved". I was so sickened. Some I talked to wouldn't back down. I try to avoid the subject with one or two but there's a point where you have to be done especially as the racist stuff worsens and you start wondering if your friend has any empathy. Thanks regarding me disavowing some of my past viewpoints. I know I have some old articles on here, where I wrote updates to changed views. I was in the most alt right small town in America, I was in fact talking about this to UUs today and about my time in evangelicalism. The place is run by Qanons if that tells you how bad it is. [mayor and at least two city council members I know of] Some people can educate themselves and changed. I was brought up around severe racism too. Some relatives would use every slur you can think of. Trump brought the pointy hats out of the closet so now you do see more overt racism. Anyhow thanks Claudia I appreciate it. :)

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