I learned an important lesson recently. And that is not to let anyone attack the things you value without setting it straight immediately. Below is an email I sent to a former friend (name's have been changed to protect those I value):
"Since you have been a friend of mine for so long, you at least deserve an explanation about why I'm pissed. The proverbial straw that broke the camels back was your insult of Sam a couple months back. While you have always been respectful to me, at least to my face, you have demeaned virtually all the people I hold dear. And that is something I should I have never allowed.

"From something as simple as a movie review, you found a way to (first) insult another one of my friends. Sam's insults were a reaction to yours. If this were an isolated experience I would certainly be more supportive, especially considering the stress you were under, but its not. I don't think I have single friend left that you haven't insulted in some form or fashion, even if you don't remember doing so.
Besides labeling Sam a closed-minded liberal (he is neither), you have insulted Brian by refusing to go camping with us because he's gay. As if his character was somehow compromised by his gayness. In an argument with Sandra, you called her naive. If you think Sam questioned your intelligence, what does calling Sandra naive mean? I laughed about it at the time, but in hindsight, I don't think its very funny. In fact I'm disappointed with myself for not doing something about it at the time. You've claimed all of my philosophy club friends are 'elitist' for believing that our education system is seriously flawed and has tons of room for improvement. As I agree 100% with them, I can only assume that title applies to me as well. I nearly told you to go "f" yourself after that incident. And to top it off, you insulted Isaac by refusing to go to Todd's wedding after Isaac offered to pay your way. Yet oddly enough your main beef with Isaac and Todd was that they were too cheap to buy you any gifts or (as I believe you said) pay for your way to the wedding. I can understand being broke, but to tell me you were unhappy with them for being cheap and not wanting to make an effort to go because of that, yet then turn down a gift from them too go, smacks of hypocrisy.

"Beyond the insults, lately you cast everything I say or do in the worst light. I feel like I have to watch everything I say around you or else I might offend. Its not
something I enjoy. I don't have this feeling with any of my other friends. After my trip home last January, you immediately assumed I had the worst intentions when we were unable to hook up. And then, with our argument over Sam, you say I was playing favorites because you think I apologized for your behavior when I did not. How quickly you forget I was defending/explaining your statement about moral/political movies just a few days earlier. You jumped to conclusions about my motives and never asked if your impressions or judgments were correct. In all our years of arguments, it's rare if ever that you try to understand my point of view.
I've put more effort into maintaining a friendship with you than any other friend. Why? Because I believed there was still some value in maintaining a relationship, even if it was limited to just a gaming buddy.

"Perhaps I've become less tolerant lately, but you've shown a pattern of behavior that pains me down to my soul. Insulting my friends and treating me as if I'm guilty until proven innocent is not something I can stand. I have spent so many years as your friend that this was not an easy realization to accept, but the facts are what they are and I cannot ignore them. You may not agree with everything I have said, or even remember saying them, but that doesn't change the effective result. And
that is a disappointment so deep, I'm not sure it can ever be fixed.

"For better or worse, I decided to wait to tell you this until after your wedding and after you recovered from your surgery. I had to say my piece or say nothing at all. "
Coming to this conclusion was by no means easy emotionally, but necessary intellectually. I had been friends with him since junior high and had spent a great deal of time playing games, talking politics, and just hanging out. Yet, I could not escape the fact that his behavior was unjust. The insults listed above are insults because they were untrue. Yet he felt he was entitled to his opinion without consequences. Therefore he could say anything he wanted. Well, when you attack people and things that are of value to me, then you attack me. What and who I value is a large part of who I am. I cannot sit back and say nothing while my friends are unjustly insulted.

At least I have gained a much deeper understanding and appreciation of justice due to this unfortunate loss of a friend.

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