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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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5 comments

  1. I don’t agree with Mormons a lot, but you should know that you misunderstand their position on prop 8. See this video made from a Mormon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI-GjWY-WlA


  2. I don’t misunderstand their position at all. I’m well aware of what Proposition 8 means and what it stands for and the way that those in favor of it can sugarcoat the issues to make it seem like they’re in favor of equality and fairness when they’ve actually voted discrimination into the state’s constitution.

    That video is the kind of crap that ignorant people can watch and feel okay – good, even – about their vote for Prop 8. The big piece of information left out is that there is a separation between a civil marriage and a religious marriage and that the whole concept isn’t a God-given contract that has been around for millennia. It was created by the Church, not by God. And there have been countless different forms of families and marriages over the course of human history.

    I have it right. And while I know that I can’t say this about every single living Mormon, I can say that’s what the Church promotes and advocates.


  3. Can’t you guys just “agree to disagree?” …sorry.

    What the fuck is a mormon doing on a rock tour if he’s offended?


  4. Still be my friend after this comment, ok? :)

    I’d consider myself pretty non-judgmental. I have a thought about everything, but love every person the same.

    Anyways, your friend’s moral request and your dislike for it is much like me walking into my apartment (in college) and daily seeing the profile of my roommate openly banging his girlfriend on the living room couch. Offensive to me? Yep. Intrusive to his rights for me to say so? Yep. It’s his apartment too. But does it make it okay? Not so much. When he says its offensive, if you have respect for him, you’ll oblige.

    The flipside is that your mormon buddy shouldn’t be shoving anti-homosexual talk your way if you don’t ask for it. If you get on the topic, I think its fair game. But nobody should impose their beliefs on you. It’s all about respect. My last girlfriend thought the word “retarded” was offensive cuz she worked with the mentally ill – too bad because that was one of my favorite words! But I toned it down out of respect – and because I didn’t want her upset haha.

    Maybe just some hippie love is in order :) Peace and equality yo.


    • Rich! I didn’t realize it was you! Thanks for commenting.

      I agree that friends need to be respectful to each other and tone down certain things if you ask them to. My buddy doesn’t bring up anti-gay rhetoric to my face and I appreciate it. It’s not in my face in that way. But his views still directly affect my life because I live in California and his beliefs changed our state’s constitution. But, does that really give me free reign to be blasphemous in front of him? Probably not. I just made that argument to show the issue and raise the question of where does that line of respect get drawn? Clearly not when it comes to Prop 8…

      And – dude – always your friend, bro.



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