Tolerance and Equality

toleranceI 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.

6 thoughts on “Tolerance and Equality

  1. This is precisely what they mean by "the War on Christmas". Not only do they deserve the right (which is guaranteed to them by our Constitution) to worship and practice their religion du jour as they see fit, but they also want to force everyone else to "respect" their public displays, even when they are imposed upon the rest of us against our wills and in violation of our similar right to freedom FROM religion. This is, as always, a "stealth" effort to gain the only affirmation of their hoped-for heavenly reward that is possible to them during this present reality; getting everyone else to agree that they "have it right".

    1. That's something I've pointed out in the past as well. There are a lot of groups, not just the religious, who not only want to be allowed to practice or believe as they see fit, they want to force those around them to affirm that what they're practicing or believing is positive or true as well and if they can't get that, they scream discrimination. I don't have to agree with someone in order for them to be free to think or do a particular thing. Their freedom does not include my assent.

    1. Which is, of course, something that I\’ve pointed out many times is just wrong. I\’m a conservative and an atheist and there\’s nothing keeping me from being both. In fact, I\’d argue that liberalism is more antithetical to atheism than conservatism is, but that\’s just me.

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