Yesterday I posted my official list of lies that would end a conversation. I almost immediately received a reply, via Facebook, from one of the people who'd repeated some of the lies that so infuriate me (not, as she suspected, the wacko I'd referred to in the post, but that's neither here nor there.) She essentially said we all have our own beliefs and she believes me to be ignorant for not recognizing her truths, and took me to task for "bashing" people who hold the kinds of beliefs included in yesterday's list.
Unfortunately, in this case, "let's agree to disagree" is not an acceptable option, and I told her so. As I tried to explain to her, we can't just say "you have your truth and I have mine" and call it good. If a person says the Sun revolves around the Earth, or the sky is not blue but pink with purple polka-dots, we don't agree to disagree. And those things aren't even offensive. When someone says things about another person which are patently, demonstrably untrue and refuses to accept any evidence to the contrary, that's wrong. I told her, "What if I accused you of something horrible and then, when you gave me every bit of proof in the world that this was untrue, I said, 'Well, you can think what you like, but I trust what I read in my Bible, so you are a X, Y, or Z.' You would have every right to say I was ignorant, and if you had any power over me you would be right to call my ignorance dangerous. When people who can vote hold opinions which are simply not factual (i.e. Hillary Clinton wants to make peace with Iran, or President Obama is anti-white) these beliefs are not only inaccurate, but dangerously so, and if it's offensive to say so, then we find ourselves in a situation where people with dangerous, erroneous beliefs have the power to hurt all of us, and we can't call them on it. Perhaps this makes me guilty of "bashing", but people who are willing to believe demonstrably untrue things, and who provide no evidence for their claims or even feel the need to support those claims with facts, are capable of doing far worse than 'bashing'. Your feelings about Obama are fine; they're feelings. But don't make false statements about him; that's bearing false witness, which is breaking one of the Ten Commandments. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. Please understand that when you write things that are demonstrably untrue, you hurt my feelings, and, by perpetuating lies, you do something a lot worse."
Along those lines, here are the new additions to the list I've received (thanks, Marla!), remembered, or encountered today:
23. All Muslims are radical extremists/ terrorists who wish only for death to America.
24. The Quran says "death to the infidels" which means Americans in code language.
25. People can be "turned" gay or straight.
26. Illegal immigrants come to the U.S. to collect welfare.
27. The American health care system is the best in the world.
28. The Confederate States were the victims of Northern aggression and had a right to have an economy based on slavery.
29. The Founding Fathers were Christians and the U.S. is officially a Christian country.
30. The official language of the United States is English.
I'm still on the look out for more additions to this list of insidious and unsupportable lies, so keep 'em coming!