Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Facebook Faux Pas

A Facebook friend of mine posted the following yesterday, and I've got to address it...

I have met some great people in my life time and met some great people on here also BUT that said i probably will lose some friends over this BUT PLEASE everyone has there own believes and there is a place for everything but PLease quit posting GOD quoates and all the pics of jesus on my face book please he has his place in church not knocking on my door at home or all over my facebook page please and thank you if you feel u need to delete me by all means do so.... ty very much
Dude, you're missing several serious points here. I would be remiss if I didn't call you on them. You may choose to unfriend me as a result, but if that's how it has to be, then that's how it has to be. Considering that I play my faith pretty close to the belt, I'm reasonably confident that you weren't hinting that it was me that offended you with all of my religious dogma. So please, don't think of my words as a knee-jerk reaction to your post. I've given my rebuttal some serious consideration. with that said, here goes...

-In my specific case, I have a (relatively) small circle of facebook friends. The overwhelming majority of my friends, you included, asked ME to be their friend. You are in this group. With this in mind, why should I be the one to censor my words, when others asked to join my circle of friends?

-In America, we have freedom of speech. This is a right that we hold very dear. Somewhere along the line, some idiot got it into their mind that he had the right to not be offended. This was the birth of the politically correct movement. Believing that you have the right to not be offended is a mistaken belief. I have freedom of speech. I do not have the right to never be offended. These rights are mutually exclusive. Either we all sensor what we say, thus minimizing the likelihood of offending others, or we say what we mean and occasionally piss others off. I, for one, choose the latter.

-One critical aspect you're missing on your diatribe is the likelihood that you're mistaking how Facebook posting works. While I COULD post something directly to your wall, I usually don't. Generally speaking, when I have something to say, I post to MY wall, and every one of my friends can choose whether or not to read what I've written, or look at the pictures I post. To use a loose analogy, my Facebook page is like my house. My friends can drop in and see what's up. If my friend doesn't like what's going on, that friend can leave, but nobody has the right to ask me to cease that behavior in my own house.

-As part of the Christian faith, followers of Christ are asked, nay commanded, to spread the word of Jesus to the world. Never discussing God is violating a pillar of Christianity. Even restricting this talk to within the walls of the Church, as you requested, is a violation of the faith, because if we did that, we would be talking amongst ourselves, which in no way spreads the word. This, in my opinion, is an unreasonable request. Once again, I have the right to say what I wish. You do not have the right to never be offended. You do, however, have the right to walk away from the conversation.

-From an intellectual standpoint, I like to have many differing opinions. This challenges my own belief systems, which serves two purposes. If I'm right, then my own belief system is strengthened as a result of standing up to a challenge. If I'm wrong, then my own belief system is strengthened as a result of learning that there are better ways. This applies to religion, politics, ethics and education. Choosing to shut out anything that doesn't agree with your own belief system is precisely why our government is so incredibly hyper-partisan.

-I will concede that there are a few things about Facebook that drive me nuts... daily requests to join such-and-such a game... people who post every stupid cute picture that comes their way... all of that chicken soup for the soul drivel... but at the end of the day, it's up to ME to choose whether or not to unfriend someone. It's my responsibility to choose whether to tolerate the game requests, pictures and drivel. Asking everyone else to cater to my whims and desires would be passing the buck, combined with self-centered egotism.

Like I said, I'm not trying to be an asshat here. You may not like what I've said, but I felt the need to say it. Now, the choice is yours... take what I said and learn from it, or delete me as a friend. Because the fact is, I'm not going to change my behavior.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I believe that I mentioned my younger daughter turning 16 and getting her license back in September.  Being a self-motivated young lady, and not wanting to drive the boat that the Mrs. and I had purchased for the kids' use, she went out and got a job, and within a couple of months had saved enough money to purchase her own car.

As with any first car, it's an inexpensive used car, and it's got a couple of issues here and there.  Nothing major, just stupid little shit.  I'm not sure how, but the passenger door came out of alignment and wouldn't open, and I arranged a trip to the body shop for a realignment.  (The body shop folks said that the most common cause for this type of problem is wind-related.)

We took the car into the body shop, and I told my kid that she could use the boat while her car is in the shop.  Wouldn't you know it?  She wrecked the boat.  She's fine, and the car's still drivable.  The problem is, I have an arrangement to sell the boat to my older daughter.  The boat WAS a nice car.  Now, it's a mode of transportation for someone who previously had none.  I thought about fixing the damage, but for that price, I might just as well give the car away, because the repair would cost almost as much as I'm charging the kid for the car.

So, what I'm going to do is cut the price of the car in half.  This way my older daughter still has a car to drive, she's still getting a reasonable deal on the price, and I'm done with the headache.  Meanwhile, my younger daughter is getting off relatively easy.  Her car is still undamaged, and the only financial consequence of her accident is the higher insurance bill.  That pain may last longer, but it won't be felt for until renewal time, and that pain isn't the same as having to come up with a large chunk of change all at once.