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View Diary: When God is Least Expected (160 comments)

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    The intolerance is mutual. There are more believers than not, at least in the US, so the Christians or Muslims or Jews who detest atheists seem worse. But on a one to one basis, Bill Maher, to cite one example, is as intolerant as most southern evangelicals, and he seems typical of many atheists. I like the guy, but I roll my eyes whenever he goes on one of his "religion is stupid" rants on HBO. I don't think atheism is stupid, although I don't subscribe to it. And equally, I'm annoyed by those who try to berate atheists with endless proselytizing.

    It's simple. You believe A and not B, and I believe B and not A. But we both love C and D, so let's be friends. How hard should that be?

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 02:14:10 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  1. Maher is a professional satirist. (2+ / 0-)
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      JosephK74, Tonedevil

             2.  Even though his disdain for religious belief is sometimes over the top, it is most often directed at the components of American religious life that most Progressives also find repugnant or at least laughable.  (I know Catholics who thought his bit with the huge fake papal tiara was a hoot.)

               3. Maher and other atheists seldom if ever seek to impose their beliefs on others by getting their sectarian moral code made into laws, to get the rest of us to support their proselytizing and worship through financial  subsidies and tax exemptions from the government, to try to impose their beliefs on our military cadets (see the AFA & West Point),  or to attempt to obtain special exemptions from the law because of their particular beliefs (see the Catholic hierarchy & Obamacare).   When the non-religious object to these advantages being granted to religion in America, we're accused of attacking religion or being hostile to it.

              Personally, I don't give a shit what other people believe as long as they as they don't try to impose their beliefs on me or ask me to support their beliefs through my taxes or to allow them exemptions from democratic laws.*. Until American churches stop acting privileged in all these ways, I don't see why hostility to them -- and to any of their members who support their efforts to get special status and privileged treatment--isn't justified.  Show me a believer in God who is also a believer in COMPLETE separation of church and state and who is also never going to make any effort to proselytize me, and I'm a pussy-cat.  Some of my best friends . . . .

      *Interestingly enough, the Supreme Court once recognized the inequity of such exemptions when it decided that it was unconstitutional to require men to be religious to get Conscientious Objector status with the draft.  Of course, in practice it was much more difficult for an overt non-believer to get a C.O. than it was for a non-church-associated believer, for whom it was more difficult than for a practicing member of a church that was not one of the traditional "peace churches."  And, of course, it was easiest for practicing members of the traditional peace churches.

               I never begrudged the Quakers, Menonites, etc. this advantage -- my impression was that they were quite sincere and were often quite radical in their draft and war opposition.  Rather, I reserved my antagonism for the sanctimonious assholes on my draft board -- and on the boards of many men I counseled -- who so blithely ignored the law about not privileging religious belief and practice simply because they disagreed with the law. (This isn't surmise.  The idiots said as much to me and put it in their minutes.)  If I hadn't been essentially a draft law paralegal at the time, I easily could have ended up spending time in prison because of that prejudice.  Certainly many less fortunate men actually ended up doing so.  

      "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

      by Oliver St John Gogarty on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 06:03:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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