I was talking this afternoon with my friends Molly and Kate about religions and religious people, and I said out loud something that I've been thinking for a while.
It all centered around the notion that I was always raised with the societal imperative that I should respect everyone's religious beliefs, even if they differ from my own. That's always been my de facto stance, in large part because it is so ingrained a notion that I never thought to question it. Now that I don't have religious beliefs from which others' may differ, however, I can see that this is a dictum for believers only. It really doesn't apply to those of us who see the universe through the filters of logic and reason, as opposed to the "belief" lens.
As a believer, it makes sense. It's a tacit way of acknowledging that "our way is no more logical than any other so we have no room to judge". Because really, once you start accepting beliefs for which there is no evidence as presented by people who have no greater authority than just the claim that they know more than you… well, you really can't justify any disrespect of anyone else who does the same thing. I do not feel however, that the same strictures apply to those of us who really do try to base all our beliefs on that which can be made evident.
In other words: No, I do not respect your religious beliefs!
|A nice rack? That I can respect.|
I don't give a flying fart how deeply you connect to Jesus or Allah or mother Gaya or whatever. If it sounds stupid to me, I'm not going to respect it. You wouldn't respect me if I told you I believed in the tooth fairy or magical unicorns or flying monkeys… you'd think I was either an idiot or bat-shit crazy. That's to be expected- those are dumb things to believe in. The fact is, though, there's no more evidence for belief in a god than there is for any of those ridiculous things.
So here's the deal I'll make with you believers- when you catch me believing in something with no logical or factual basis, call me on it. I promise I'll either give up that belief, or I'll admit that I'm wrong here, and resume respecting whatever spiritual mumbo-jumbo you got going on. Until then- your belief is fair game. And I think it's dumb.
P.S. I stole the image above from this asinine website. Maybe if you pay them, they can cast a spell on me to make me respect your beliefs…