1/03/2011 | Share this article:By Dethblight ~
I was very saddened today. I commented on a facebook photo of one of my old Army buddies, and as a result, I received eleven friend requests from other friends of mine who I had served and gone to war with who happened to be on his friend list but not mine. Needless to say I was very happy and excited to reconnect with these guys. There is a special bond between Infantrymen who have engaged the enemy together and lost dear friends which nothing else I have seen or experienced can compare to. If you've watched Band of Brothers, you can get some small taste of what I'm talking about.
Image by vpickering via FlickrOne of these, who we'll call 'D', was one of my better friends back then, and I was especially excited to have found him again. However, upon opening his profile, I was immediately accosted by his most recent post. He had started the post by declaring that it was a sad day because "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) had been repealed. This was shocking enough, but the comments on this post between him and others on his friend list were even more revealing. The gist of said comments was that homosexuality is WRONG because the Bible says so, and then he went on to spew the typical bullshit surrounding DADT such as morale, unit cohesion, etc. etc.
I must admit that I was momentarily torn. Should I ignore this hate speech masquerading as concern for soldier's lives, or should I confront him on this after not having seen or heard from him in a few years? Or knowing that his mindset would cause fights and bitterness in years to come, should I just remove him from my friend list and forget I ever found him? I thought about it for all of thirty seconds, but despite a lack of retribution from an almighty, I am a man of principle and integrity, so I wrote him this email:
"I'm not trying to start a fight here, but it would be dishonorable and spineless to de-friend you 30 seconds after I accepted without at least telling you why. I saw your post about DADT and I just can't abide by that. I am a humanist in the strictest sense of the word, and I firmly believe that if we are to make progress as a species, there is absolutely no room for prejudice and intolerance of any kind; be it against gays, muslims, or whatever. I hope that someday you will feel the same. Meanwhile however, I wish you and yours all the best, and no ill will whatsoever. Best wishes, Chris."
At which point I removed him from my friend list, lest my fond memories of him become further tainted by future hate-speak and religious-babble. I hope that my letter will make him re-examine his mindless hatred and ill-conceived notions of what's wrong, but I am not holding out much hope.