I’ve been thinking a bit about what it means to ‘offend’ someone, particularly if that someone is a friend of yours whose beliefs you happen to strongly disagree with. I am not one to shy away from a heated argument (har har, understatement) on an issue that I care passionately about. But I do sometimes have this nagging worry that my anger will frighten off people that I consider to be good friends, and good people, who happen to have some unfortunate beliefs.
But the more I think about it, the more I believe this needs to be put in perspective.
The Bible says that unbelievers will burn in Hell for eternity.
… Wait, rewind, what?
Suddenly, calling someone a poopyhead doesn’t seem like such an offensive crime. I have friends who worship a God who would condemn me to ever-lasting suffering. Not just believe in Him, but worship him as some kind of superior moral being.
(Of course, most of my friends are the ‘cut and paste the good bits and leave out the vast majority of the rest’ sort of Christians, which makes them much nicer people but perhaps less theologically cohesive. I do still hold them responsible for the contents of the Holy Book that they choose to follow, though.)
While my friends hold those beliefs, I’m sorry, but I’m just going to stop fucking worrying about ‘offending’ them. If people don’t think the very idea of hell is the most offensive thing possible, then surely nothing that I can say will bother them, anyway.