To the Bridesmaid Who Unfriended Me for My Beliefs
I cried when you unfriended me. Not just once.
I believed you when you said you were about love and tolerance.
Did I just foolishly ass-u-me this one?
I’ve always known we were on opposite ends of the belief spectrum. This never bothered me.
I thought we agreed that what it means to love people is that we tolerate them for their whole personhood—for their humanity, for the mere fact that their existence on this planet as a human being makes them equal and worthy of respect—despite differences. And I thought our friendship was so, so much more than this.
I never thought you, of all people, would shun anyone based on their personal beliefs or differing opinions. You seem to be the most tolerant person I know. You show support for an endless array of people and lifestyles and opinions—including the most alternative and provocative—that I (still) can’t wrap my head around why I'm a sudden exception to this.
It’s been weeks, and I still can’t figure it out.
I can’t understand how one day, without warning, you un-friended me after I examined a situation from a different angle then you. You, of all people, shut me down, refused to let me speak, didn’t give me a chance to explain my views or beliefs or articulate an argument! You wouldn’t even have a friendly (or heated) debate—you just cut me out of your life. This is not who you are—or at least not who you claim to be.
Or maybe I was wrong about something. Maybe I was wrong about the base strength of our friendship. Maybe I was wrong about the presumed equality of our friendship.
I've never thought to intentionally limit my friends based on their race, beliefs, lifestyle, etc. I always thought you were the same way.
You’ve been my friend, my confidante, my bridesmaid, my honorary sister, my partner in work and crime and adventure. We were mutual fans of good fiction… and poetry. (Remember how I got you hooked?) Remember how you gave me tours of your cities… the Louisville red dress-capades (eek!) and the drinks donated to us by a mystery stranger in New York? How we made Lana our soundrack? Also, you were right about the excess eyeshadow. I always loved the way we could just pick up from anywhere we’d left off and dive deep into conversations of life and love and meaning. I’ve loved your sweet family like my own—I visited them when I couldn’t see you. And then there was Nora, sweet Nora. My one regret in our friendship is that I wasn’t closer, didn’t know how to support you better through the new adventure of her tiny, wondrous life. I am sorry for this. Know that you’re someone I’ve looked up to in awe and admiration as a strong, intelligent woman, talented writer, and beautiful mother.
In other words, my opinion of you hasn’t changed.
I still think you’re a rare gem; blessed with brains and empathy and drive. I love and respect you for your energy, your fire and fight. I don't agree with you on some things, but I don’t see that as a barrier to friendship—even if you do.
At the same time, I won’t back down or apologize for my beliefs. I will continue to live authentically, true to myself and my values.
I won't be silent amid false accusations, false narratives, merciless human tragedy and denials of reality that destroy lives. I still believe there are some lines, in stone, defined by the God of the universe. He is the perfected balance of both Truth and Love, which we unfortunately limited humans never seem to get quite right. I will remain on His side—or try—it’s hard when He doesn’t match up with any particular political party. And to be fair and transparent, I'll probably never get the Truth and Love balance perfectly right. It’s tricky, and I’m a rather silly and flawed human mope. I'm still part reckless, rebel idiot. I still drink wine straight from the bottle (it’s just much less in volume and frequency because… kids).
So, old friend, if you choose to withdraw your friendship, I know better than to try to stop you or change your mind. I don’t like or understand this decision, but I respect you. I will not force an unwanted friendship on you.
Know that I’m deeply saddened by your decision, but I hold no grudge against you. My friendship is a forever-open door.