I recently had a discussion where a theist said that atheists were intolerant of religion and that they should strive for equality. I’ll handle the second part first, just to be contrary. It really strikes me as funny that the religious say they want equality when that’s never how Christians have operated in the Western world, nor how Muslims operate in the Middle East right now. If you don’t historically care about equality, why should we? Oh, don’t get me wrong, I think all people ought to be equal, I just find it funny that the same group of people who have shown complete inequality to everyone else when they were on top, now acts like it’s a horrible thing that they’re not being shown equality when the situation is starting to get reversed. You might even say it’s a bit of hypocrisy. Besides, they’re not going to reciprocate, the entire point of sectarian religion is that it’s superior, not equal. They believe that their god is real and all other gods are false. They believe that they are the chosen people of their deity and everyone else is not. They believe they are going to eternal paradise and everyone else is going to fry in perdition forever. This seems very one-sided, doesn’t it?
Then we have the other bit. Should we be tolerant or give equality to child molesters? Should we be tolerant of sex offenders? How about murderers? Religion is harmful. Just look at the long and disgusting list of religious horrors in the Religious Horror Show. There is nothing in religion that I care to support. As I’ve said, there is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide to the world that cannot be served as well or better through wholly secular means. It makes no sense to pretend to tolerate things that are intolerable and I think that religion is intolerable.
But let’s get one thing clear, there is a difference between tolerance and support. I am tolerant of your right to believe whatever ridiculous mythological bullshit you want. I am not tolerant of you trying to force it on others through force of law, or of your religion getting special rights and privileges in society. I am not tolerant of you trying to push your beliefs on school children or the vulnerable. You can believe what you want, your rights to do so stop when your beliefs impact the lives of others who do not voluntarily opt in to them. Let’s be honest anyhow, they’re asking for things they’re not willing to provide themselves. Religious apologists are only too happy to attack other religions, or the lack of religion, day in and day out. Not only do they attack anything these religions or non-religions do, they attack the very fact that people hold these beliefs or lack of beliefs! They want complete tolerance from others, they give none of their own.
It seems to me that the religious fundamentally misunderstand a reciprocal relationship. They don’t want to be equal, they want to return to the state of being superior. It’s like slave owners asking for a return to slavery under the guise of tolerance and equality. It’s a fundamentally unequal situation trying to worm it’s way under the radar by asking for equality.
So no, I’m not going to be tolerant of something I find totally intolerable, I’m not going to grant equality to something that has no interest in being equal. If you want to sign on for complete and total equality across the board, great. If you want to get rid of those intolerable elements of your belief system, I’m with you, but we both know that’s not part of your agenda and until it is, I’ll happily remain intolerant and inequitable toward your religious beliefs but it’s not me that’s to blame, it’s the nonsense that you believe.