Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh Dear – did I do something else?

I have a long standing friend in Australia – who I actually worked with once. In fact when I was a Director in a bank I got him a job there.
We have know each other for many years and correspond irregularly. He is a Search Consultant and I have occasionally spoken to him since I have been in Vienna about various things.
He has the habit of sending out snippets of things to his email mailing list and occasionally sends out pieces from Murdoch newspapers in Australia – usually the Daily Telegraph – about the perceived numerous faults of the Labor government.
The Daily Telegraph in Australia to my mind is one of the worst examples of Murdoch publishing trash - and is up there with Fox in America. There is simply no attempt at balance or dispassionate analysis. It is blathering right wing nonsense.
So I sent back what I thought was a humorous reply suggesting that if I read anything like that I would have to wash my eyes out with soap and boil my iPad in Rosewater. I accused him of peddling right wing trash. It was my usual response which – usually – gets a laugh.
I received an unexpected stinging response from a very offended correspondent who proclaimed his lack of political bias and his deep offence at my remarks. He provided me with his long list of regular reading. He also said that he had taken me off his mailing list. He asked what I personally read to keep myself informed of world and political developments.
I naturally apologized profusely for my gaffe and pointed out that my remarks were my usual attempts at humor but were obviously too heavy handed.
My apologies were accepted and the request for my reading list repeated. I sent this and did not hear from him again.
I noted today that I had been ‘un-friended’ by him in Facebook. The only way you notice this – by the way – is that the person is no longer one of your friends.  You get no message.
Oh Dear – did I do something else?  
I revisited my ‘reading list’ email and there it is. Down the bottom I had put that I am a member of Australian Atheists. When I saw this I remembered that my friend is a very devout Christian and this would have offended him deeply. Hence the Facebook plug pulling.   
But is this not an overreaction?
I mean I am happy to have Christians as friends. There are even Christians who read my Blog. Well – only two that I know of – my Brother and his wife – and they have to it do sometimes it with their sunglasses on and their hands over their ears.
(My Sister-in-Law has said that sometimes she has read the Blog and said to my Brother ‘Don’t read the Blog today!’)
Aren’t Christians supposed to turn the other check or something like that. I mean to ‘un-friend’ someone just because they are an Atheist is a bit tough. It is not as though I am a bad person and am unkind to Cats – or kick small children – or don’t drink Calvados.
I am feeling quite unloved by this and think that my friend should look into his soul and search for the goodness that is there so that he can reach out to me again through Facebook.
On the other hand - Fuck him!
To cheer myself up I have put up some special wallpaper just for the day. 


  1. As you sum up things so nicely: "On the other hand - Fuck him!" After reading you, I wonder at times whether, one of these days, there might not be a minor problem of "readjustment" (please excuse this engineering term) in the context of your inevitable reinsertion into the healthy Down Under climate. Austrian winters probably favor the growth of nasty fungi (which will normally be detected and destroyed by astute Aussie customs officers). I would imagine that the hardest challenge of all will be the rekindling of your former warm banking contacts.

  2. Your friend's unfriending you has nothing to do with him being Christian. He would react the same if the situation were vice versa, him being the Atheist and you the Christian.

  3. Funny you should write this, I have recently defriended (or is it unfriended) my fundamentalist friends on Facebook - on doctor's orders!

  4. If anything he should be trying to friend you harder. Trying to change your heathen ways and open your eyes to the power of the lord! There is still time for redemption! And on another point even homeless people won't use the dailytele as a blanket - too little substance and smells like bullshit.

  5. What's wrong with Calvados?

    Maybe he's just gone a bit short-term crazy.
    Or not enough fibre in his diet.

  6. lovin the wallpaper badger!
    a shame this guy reacted in such a way. did he lose his sense of humour? or maybe he doesn't have one?! anyway, i say its his loss!

  7. William: Of those contacts he was the last remaining. I have lost all contact with the colleagues from that former life.

    Merisi: He is possibly just a Curmudgeon

    Maalie: I am not sure why you had fundamentalist 'friends'

    lenny: You are right; He is a wimp Christian.

    freefalling: Nothing at all. It is nectar from the Gods!

    angiv: The wallpaper was just for a day. I don't want to send everyone blind

  8. I think most Christians are scared of atheists and think that atheists are devout (active) enemies. I have lotza friends from all walks of afterlife persuasion and simply enjoy them, hug them as often as needed, kinda like watering your favorite plant.

  9. Don't say that Christians believe one thing when you don't actually know what we believe. We all make mistakes, and you can't just tell people that Christians hate Atheists when that's not true. We might not like their beliefs, but that doesn't mean we don't like the person.

  10. esbboston: I think Christians are scared of a lot of things. The last thing they need to be scared of is Atheists.

    e: I have no idea what Christians believe except for the invisible man who hides in the sky. I have no idea if my friend hates me or not. I just know that he 'unfriended' me for his own reasons.