We all have a friend like this: He starts dating somebody new and seems to morph into an entirely different person. He’ll stop hanging out with his friends because he’s spending all of his time with her. He’s not playing poker this weekend because he says he’d rather go antiquing. He used to host the best 4th of July cookout in town and suddenly he’s a vegetarian. Perhaps worst of all – He can’t make it over for the football game on Sunday because he’s found Jesus and now he spends all of his time cramming Him down your throat.

The guy you used to drag out of bars is now the guy that you have to block on Twitter because he posts 20 Bible verses a day. His Facebook is clogged up with pictures of sunsets, rainbows, and clouds – All with inspirational quotes. He hashtags #Jesus on every one of them, not understanding that hashtags do not really work on Facebook.

How does it happen? What makes a college-educated man disregard what he has learned and choose to instead believe that the Earth is 7,000 years old? Do you ever hear a non-religious person denying evolution? What allows a generally reasonable person to sit around with his Bible-study friends and spew hate and lies towards their fellow man? “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” (showing their grasp on the Bible, as Adam and Eve were not married) Did you know Obama is a Muslim? On the bright side, the Illinois Senate voted today to legalize gay marriage, so TAKE THAT!

I bring this up on Valentine’s Day because it seems like a lot of people in this country are going through some sort of personal identity crisis. People are looking for a place to belong. The current Republican party is a tremendous microcosm of this phenomenon in one dysfunctional nutshell. Despite a “rebranding” public relations blitz, it seems like not much has changed in their philosophies. The problem is when you are not genuine – People know. You can’t pretend to change how you think just to get people to like you:

So who are you? Are you somebody who is so insecure with yourself that you’d rather conform to what somebody else tells you they want? Do you still need to hang out with the “cool” kids from high school, or are you comfortable enough to think on your own? Obviously if you are hashtagging #Jesus on everything you aren’t a real big fan of forward thinking or independent thought – But what makes somebody give up and conform? Why pretend to be something that you’re not?

Do you need a Valentine because you prefer pretending that you like muscle cars and MMA to being alone? Hey, he’s got nice teeth and a good job – You can get over it, right?

“Sure, he murders kittens but he’s 6’4 and my mother LOVES him!”

Do you need a Hallmark-sponsored day designed to sell flowers, candy, and jewelry in some sort of relationship shakedown in order to prove your love?

Or can you think for yourself? Can you have a good relationship 365 days of the year that does not require a predetermined celebration of your union? Can you evolve as a person while still preserving your core? Your heart? Your soul?

Who are you, anyway?

Sean Kemmerer is a freelance writer, administrator of Politics Without The Crazy Pills, can be followed @Walkofshameband, and enjoys long walks on the beach, Nicholas Sparks movies, and is not afraid to cry.