An old friend of mine passed away today. We were once very close and have kept in touch through FB. As is bound to happen, I found out what happened over FB. We have a lot of mutual friends and his passing was a shocking and saddening thing for all of us.
Many people posted their condolences on his wall and offered thoughts and prayers to his family. My friend and I had the same beliefs, but some of our mutual friends have different beliefs. One in particular, John, often posts negative things on FB against those with my belief, which I mostly ignore. We have had some healthy debates in the past, but never anything heated. We are well aware that we have opposing viewpoints on many topics, but in my mind, this has never hindered a civil "friendship."
Until today. He posted something on his wall, linking back to our friend, about the sad events of the day. His original post was in reference to taking some action to help the family that is left behind and many of us posted some ideas of things he could do. Unfortunately, another mutual friend decided to "vent" his frustration that people were offering up comforting words of the religion that both my deceased friend and I share. Saying how the words are meaningless and stupid...they don't help and that those of us who use those words are selfish. John wholeheartedly agreed, and the post quickly turned into a religious debate.
I admit I was angry and should have ignored it. The big problem is that this linked back to our friend's wall, where his family was bound to see it. Considering that my friend, his wife, and children are all of my belief system, I was even angrier that they would see these words and be even more hurt. I decided to say something and replied that today should be a day of remembering the goodness of our mutual friend and that using him, and his death, to spurn this religious debate, especially considering they were posting against his religion was disheartening. I asked that they refrain from posting these hurtful words where they could be seen by his family on his wall.
The response from John and the other guy (who I don't know), was surprising. The other guy "vented" some more about how my religion hurts everyone and how hateful I must be.
And John said I was a hypocrite, because I had "spewed such hate" in the same place myself. He said it was his thread and he had every right to debate whatever he wanted.
Instead of getting into it, I decided to defriend John. I'm ok with that decision. I did leave my comment on his post and have been able to view it on our mutual friend's wall...John also did not remove it, but the debate raged on pretty much all day. Others sided with me, while one other woman (also someone I don't know), sided with John and the other guy.
I'm honestly very saddened that our friend's wife and teenage children will see this.
So, here are the questions:
1. Was it hypocritical of me to stick up for my friend and his family in the manner that I chose to do it?
2. Should I have let it go considering how ramped up all of our emotions are today?
3. I still don't like that this thread is there. I know there is nothing I can do to remove it, but should I offer an apology for it's existence and my part in it to his family? I have no idea what to even say to them about this.