Sometimes I feel like people have their brains stuck in the mud.

I had a conversation with a friend who placed the blame of the fall of Rome squarely on the shoulders of homosexuals. When I explained to her how that was historically inaccurate, she then leaped into an accusation of how the repeal of DOMA will upset the human eco-system.

Before someone asks, she did not offer an explanation, perhaps because she felt it was self-explanatory.

Her mother is of the same sort of insanity, her mother says that the reason women are dressed so "sexual" these days is because gay men sexualize us.

Let that sink in folks. Women are showing skin...because gay men...

They leave me without words. I had to actually close my eyes and count so I wouldn't start yelling at my childhood friend.

I'm at this weird point in my life where I have maintained a small handful of friendships for over two decades and feel that if I lose them I will lose sight of who I was. I didn't feel very friendly during that conversation though. In fact if it had been with someone other than a friend of 25 years I would have gone for the jugular. It felt dishonest to be quiet about it. It felt...dangerous?

I feel like maybe I should have gone off, I should have told her how offensively ignorant I found her nonsense, how insane it is to spout off things for which there is no scientific evidence, how just because her religion is ancient doesn't make it right by default!

But I'm a coward, and this conversation happened a week ago and it has taken me this long to write about it here. Because I'm embarrassed by this I feel like it should be out in the open. 

Is it enough to tell someone you disagree? Or is it my moral responsibility to explain reality?

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Comment by archaeopteryx on July 9, 2013 at 11:30pm

My personal observation, Brian - not evidentially based, totally anecdotal - is that if my belief system is in opposition to yours, for me to agree with you, or even to entertain what you have to say, is to reject my own belief system, and admit that I have been duped, which of course, I am reluctant to do.

This is why it's so difficult to openly discuss our beliefs with others of differing belief systems.

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 28, 2013 at 11:54am

Rome fell because it tried to control more territory than it was capable of controlling.

Rather than direct confrontation, the result of which is that each combatant clings even more tightly to their convictions, my approach is usually to ask leading questions, that if your opponent answers them truthfully, will cause them to question their own beliefs, rather than feeling attacked.

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