I’m Offending You? That’s Okay. You Offend Me, Too.03.16.09
I have a friend who is a Mormon. He doesn’t drink alcohol or coffee. He doesn’t swear. He goes to church on Sundays. In those terms, we are complete opposites.
He and I are in an interesting position at the moment. We’re currently forced to be around each other nearly 24/7, with other guys who are very similar to me in those aforementioned terms. We swear. We drink. Usually a lot of the former when we have a lot of the latter.
Recently we were all in a particularly vulgar mood and, while we found it hysterical, our Mormon friend did not. Finally, after hours of us reliving the same crass inside joke he asked us to please not swear so much around him anymore. It was wearing on him. He really found it very offensive.
To be honest, the joke is offensive. But it’s not the first time that something hilarious has bothered people. Nor will it be the last. And it truly was tear-inducingly funny. To us at least.
Now, this same guy who finds us offensive and has asked us to not replay that specific joke in front of him is also, unsurprisingly, a staunch supporter of Prop 8. He believes that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. A sinful and wrong lifestyle choice, at that. He truly thinks that gay marriage, if legalized, would infringe upon his religious beliefs.
I am deeply offended by his stance on this.
Now, for me, I tend to avoid talking to him about these issues because we both know that we stand on polar opposite sides of the debate. But it’s still there. And while I am not always a vulgar, crass jokester – and neither are the rest of us in the group – I also don’t want to feel like I’m being judged for my humor when it does come out. I feel like because he believes things that I find offensive, and I say things that he finds offensive, those two should offset. We should accept each other as being who we are and not try to impede upon their beliefs.
He voted Yes on Prop 8. I say the word “fuck” a lot.
Granted, I would like to change his mind on his belief that homosexuals are sub-standard American citizens much like he probably would like to change my mindset that swearing is funny not evil. But if we have to agree to disagree, like my blog states, then so be it. And if that’s the case, I think that, in this situation, I shouldn’t have to censor myself.
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