Going back to the topic of friends on facebook, apparently fb crawled my history of posts to usenet, as one of my friend suggestions was a fellow participant in a political newsgroup I used to post to in the early-mid aughts, despite the fact he lives in the UK and we have no friends in common. Whenever he posts his opinion on anything (typically from a conservative Catholic angle,) reliably, this secular liberal friend of his rejoins him with the expected opposite view, and of course I would never even see her statuses on my newsfeed if it weren't for him giving his obligatory counterpoint. It's this ongoing antagonistic pas de deux, and yet the format of fb insures that they'll never discuss anything to the depth necessary to reach any sort of mutual understanding. I'm reminded of this Goya painting: I don't doubt atheists can feel put-upon in this society, but I wonder if these atheists know what it feels like to read an article unrelated to the topic of religion in a news magazine and see a broadside against their beliefs gratuitously inserted, or to watch a movie that turns out to be bait-and-switch propaganda piece mocking their beliefs. At least part of the reason why this is the case has to do with differences in the forms of expression of atheist and Christian beliefs. When Sally expresses her Christian beliefs, it typically takes the form of expressing her Christian beliefs proper, but when Tommy expresses his atheist beliefs, it typically takes the form of expressing why he thinks Sally's beliefs are stupid/insane/harmful. Again, this is just generally speaking, but there is a strong tendency for atheist views to be explicitly antagonistic. It's one of the great mysteries of SF. Incidentally, I never have the opportunity to discuss religion or politics in real life, so the internetz is my only outlet for this kind of stuff.