What do you do when someone drops an absolute clanger into a conversation?
You know what I mean: You're stuffing potato salad down your gullet across the Christmas dinner table and somewhere between cracker-pulling and dessert your Grandad casually mentioned that he doesn't like black people... or perhaps you're verbally bitch-slapping the Howard Government and you're just getting into your stride when someone pipes up from the corner "uh but gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married" and... what do you do?
Public lynching is all well and good if it's a stranger but what happens if it's someone you know spewing what you think is absolutely balls?
I say this because the other day someone I know off-handedly mentioned that he doesn't necessarily believe in evolution. Doesn't. Necessarily. Believe. In. Evolution. Uh huh.
Okay so it's not like he said that he once killed a man and perhaps I should have seen this coming from someone with a copy of The Case for Christ on his bookshelf but still... how do you come back to that? Do you give them a copy of Origin of the Species or just a stern talking to?
I know that religious people do, you know exist and I realise that not everyone hearts Clarence Darrow but I expect to hear these things coming out of the mouth of one of the weirdos who come to my house bearing pamphlets, not anyone of my generation and certainly not my boss.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me. I still remember my sense of shocked disbelief when my best friend sided with the government over the Tampa issue.
Blame it on a private school upbringing or my own egocentrism but I sort of tend to assume that all the people I like have a left-leaning sensibility and... sort of agree with me on all the important points.
Clearly they don't. There are, for example, probably people I know who think that the union of Shorty-Mc-Short-Stuff and Tooth-Faced-Bint is a beautiful thing. Okay, so there isn't but if there was I could, in theory, accept this.
But there are limits. And I'm drawing a line in the sand right now and saying that not believing in evolution is overstepping the freaking line. To summarise: people are nutbars. Even the sane-looking ones. I could have just left this entry at that and been done with it.