For the first time in my history with facebook, I unfriended someone. Such an odd word "unfriend." Sounds heavy. Sounds icky. Sounds spiteful. Sounds like "you spilled soda on my favorite pair of jeans so I don't like you any more." I've been unfriended before and it usually is for petty reasons. It is my opinion that most people unfriend their friends for inconsequential happenings.
I never thought I'd do it. I'm fairly discriminate in selecting my facebook friends. The people on my friends list are mostly family, coworkers, friends from church or Boise, fellow HBO regulars, and old friends from high school. There are only four people on my list that I've never met or talked to. (One is a writer I admire, one is the spouse of a friend I met via HBO, another is a friend of a friend, and finally a guy who played in a band with one of my best friends.)
I don't request to be added as a friend or accept friend requests without a good reason. There's never any anticipation that some day this friend is going to say something that will make me want to disassociate myself with them. I believe that the people I'm facebook friends with are truly interesting people and I have fond memories of many of them. It would be nice someday to sit in a coffee shop somewhere and catch up with some of these people - many of whom I haven't seen in 10+ years. But since we're scattered across the states, facebook serves as the next best thing. Since I can't kick back and reminisce over a double shot white chocolate mocha with them, I get their status updates. There is a diverse spectrum of beliefs and ideologies represented - some I agree with and some I don't. Regardless of our varied opinions, I appreciate (and am often entertained) by the thoughts and tidbits posted. It is a little glimpse into the humanity of people I have (at some point) shared a fraction of my life.
So why on earth would I willingly choose to end that? The victim was someone I grew up around - a family friend. He is more of my dad's peer, but his son and I used to hang out so he is someone that I respected. That's why his status update caught me off guard.
Let me put something into context first: When I said the views represented in my friends list were diverse, I used that word in the most literal way I know how. Various religious and political stances have a home there. I don't take offense when someone posts something I that opposes my opinions. In most occasions I find it challenging.
But this update was a doozie. First - a command to pray for Obama, followed by a biblical passage where David asks God to kill David's enemies.
I get that there are many people who don't like Obama. It doesn't bother me that people are opposed to Obama's agenda. The freedom to speak out against the president is part of what makes our country unique. Even those who say they hate Obama don't disturb me. I get it. But praying that God kills Obama? Really? That, I don't understand.
When Paul wrote in Romans 13 that we (as Christians) should submit to governing authorities because they have been established by God and that it is necessary not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience... when Paul wrote "If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor"... I don't think this is what Paul had in mind. How is praying for the president's death fit in line with Paul's teaching? It doesn't. And I can't stand by someone who thinks like that.