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I have this friend who seriously hates religion. He posts aggressive memes about it literally every day. When the bomb news first broke his comment was "Which religion is it now?" And naturally now he's posting about how this is yet another piece of evidence that extremist Islam is lethal and religion needs to be gotten rid of. Apart from his obviously making prejudiced conclusions, because the only thing he does know about those men is their country of origin, he never makes any mention of violence not based on religion, such as school shootings or drone attacks. And this is a super progressive man who emigrated to the US so he can live his life out of the closet and in peace.

But the worst part is I can't just say "Fuck him" and be done with it because he's one of the most important people in my life. We were very close friends and I used to be desperately in love with him for over a decade. He gave me the most intense happiness I've known in my life. Thanks to him I experienced things I'd thought only happened in books. I've kept him in a special place in my mind ever since I first met him, when we were 14, even though we haven't seen each other for 10 years now. So what he says hurts me because I want him to be smarter, I want him to be fairer, I can't stand that he holds such elementary prejudice and is seemingly unable to see the inconsistency and hypocrisy of his thinking. I'm so reluctant to let go of that one illusion of perfection I've been holding on to for so long.


And something else. I feel if we could maintain a relationship outside social media - if we were on the same continent and met from time to time - this wouldn't bother me as much. I have a lot of friends with whom I hold completely opposite political opinions and we maintain close, cordial relationships. I hate that social media has been such a letdown with its promise to keep your important relationships going and delivering a shattered, distorted versions instead.

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