Al Qaeda threatens Charlie Hebdo staff after republication of Mohammed cartooons, staff says

Bigotry is bigotry. Just as you have a right to not believe, that does not make you somehow superior to those who do.

And that’s coming from an atheist, BTW.


Perhaps I could have put that better - I guess in my indelicate phrasing I was attempting question the coherence of a notion of belief as a singular property of ones person. (In that sense atheism would be a belief too)… Religion can be a lens for experiencing, interpreting and encountering the world. Seems like that where it gets ugly is when it becomes a separatist function, either inter- and/or extra-religiously, so hopefully what I wrote didn’t parse as contributing to that. I think there is a lot that deserves respect in religious thought - (I was brought up in a more-or-less left leaning and relatively tolerant religious environment, that I am grateful for and feel generally positive about, if anything it taught me that religion can be a non-dogmatic and generally positive force even when its most visible headline manifestations often aren’t, and perhaps more frustrated with the degree to which tolerant forms of religion appear to be less visible in the world).

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Exactly right. Not all bad behavior demands punishment beyond disapproval. If someone farts in the elevator, we don’t throw them in jail. One can find Hedbo offensive without shutting them down, or having any sympathy for the people that want to murder them.

I’d be surprised to learn that they hadn’t done so already. Possibly using the same caricatures they do for the mullahs, but in different clothing.

It’s just that trying to separate religion from the people who practice it, which sounds logical without context, falls apart when viewed through the lens of history. People who were born into a religious group have been persecuted since the very beginnings of human society by people who believe differently. That’s true even for those who have never made a conscious decision to believe that way. You can’t separate the religious identity from a person when other people persecute them regardless of whether they believe or not.

There are plenty of examples in history of one group killing babies from another, and you can hardly make the argument that those babies have had a chance to make a choice about whether to practice a religion or not. So while I get that you’re making an argument for tolerance, that same argument carries echos of the justifications used historically for religious genocide.


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