Skip to main content

View Diary: Struggle and Faith: How Occupy Has Taught Me To Tolerate Religion (231 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook

    Guess you sure told me!  Except you completely misunderstood me and have no idea what I'm talking about.

    Toodles!

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:10:04 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Sure. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil
      Except you completely misunderstood me and have no idea what I'm talking about.
      Another possibility is that you weren't actually "talking about" anything coherent at all—that your whole "not irrational but suprarational" is an empty, meaningless dodge you've concocted as an excuse for (1) being happily irrational and (2) considering yourself entirely immune from criticism for it.

      ...A dodge you then followed through on by claiming anyone who criticizes your move must necessarily have "completely misunderstood" it.

      What a hermetically-sealed worldview, entirely impenetrable to challenge.

      Gee, how could anyone ever think that religion is a bad idea?

      •  I think it is wonderful of you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hammerhand, JDsg

        to take time out of your busy day to come participate in this diary about tolerance toward religious people.

        It's times like this that make me think I'm wasting my time trying to help others through volunteer work.  What good is that when I can come here and discuss abstractions endlessly and be corrected for the phony that I so obviously am?  And it is terrific motivation for forming coalitions with my open minded atheist sisters and brothers.  After all being constantly told by folks such as yourself that we live our lives based on illusion should motivate us to get more involved with you on these common political goals.

        It's fantastic that you've got 99.9% of reality figured out and are willing to share your brilliance with us poor deluded fools.  Sure you have no idea what my life experience has been, but it doesn't matter!  You've deduced it all with your magnificent mind.  You've obviously studied the universe seriously and all the history and forces in societies around the globe that form the experiences of billions of humans.  You've got the inside track on The Truth and you're willing to share generous portions of it.

        Ciao for now...

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 08:30:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

          The wounded privilege is strong in this one.

          I think it is wonderful of you to take time out of your busy day to come participate in this diary about tolerance toward religious people.
          This comment of yours, like the diary above it, proceeds from the fundamentally evil premise that it is unethical to call religious ideas into question—that is, to treat religious ideas the way it is uncontroversially acceptable to treat every other kind of idea in the world. Both diary and comment are ugly stains on any community that purports to value the free marketplace of ideas.
          And it is terrific motivation for forming coalitions with my open minded atheist sisters and brothers.  After all being constantly told by folks such as yourself that we live our lives based on illusion should motivate us to get more involved with you on these common political goals.
          That's flatly disgusting.

          You clearly have a notion that you, as a religious believer with all the privilege that that status affords you, are entitled to launch your religious ideas (e.g., "[G]enuine faith is not irrational but suprarational. That is also how I understand and experience it.") into the public discourse at will, whereas we who disagree with your ideas and find them self-serving, irrational, and empty are obligated to shut up and never say a discouraging word about any notion that flits across your overwhelmingly entitled mind.

          You badly need to grow up. By offering up your notions about faith in the free marketplace, you are accepting responsibility for the fact that other people are entitled to disagree, and to do so openly and directly. If you can preach the wonders of faith, it is flatly an outrage for you to demand that contrary assertions (for example, that faith is not wonderful) be silenced. And yet here you are, asserting the power and privilege to decree that all who disagree with you stay quiet and let you preach unchallenged.

          Now you pile on, in your fit of pique: if we scummy atheists dare to ignore your privilege to bind and gag us, you'll decide to abandon "common political goals."

          Do you even listen to yourself? And what you're saying?

          "GLBTs need equal rights? Fuck them"; that would require alliances with those nasty atheists who dared to treat your beliefs the way you treat ideas that you think are false and destructive.

          "Climate change? Who cares?" Again, those ugly atheists are all over it.

          "Economic injustice? Bah"; the poor can kiss your ass. Obviously your religious privilege, your right to preach your religion without fear of ever being contradicted, is more important than the poor.


          It is unbelievable how far wounded privilege will drive members of an ignorant hegemon to go to deny things they supposedly believe in. But in the end, it matters little: back here in the free marketplace of ideas, those of us who recognize the fallacy inherent in religious belief and the destruction it wreaks aren't going to shut up just because you impotently demand that we do so. If that leads you to abandon political causes that you supposedly care about, then it would appear that protecting your hothouse-flower beliefs from the slightest challenge is more important to you than actual suffering human beings are.

          Which once again leads to the rhetorical question: how could anyone ever think that religion is a bad idea?

          •  Wounded, schmounded (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JDsg, Hammerhand

            LOL

            Your claim about merely, "calling into question" religious ideas is transparent.  Your stance begins with the premise that I have nothing to offer in the way of ideas, but you've decided to engage me anyway.

            Guess what?

            I'm not interested in wasting my time attempting to discuss my experience and thoughts on the subject to someone who really doesn't want a mutually respectful discussion.  Is that so hard to understand?

            No, I'm not feeling wounded.  Nor am I avoiding disagreement.  I just think it is hilarious that you think I should not see where you're coming from.  The ultimate irony is that you're doing it in a diary about tolerance for religious people but you've obviously got zero respect for them.  The irony is that insults are slung at people of faith in this thread while in other threads of the diary they're being called upon to take a more active political role among progressives at this blog.

            IT.  IS.  TO.  LAUGH.

            So this has been amusing, but I really have higher priorities to move on to.  If you should change your mind and want to have a respectful discussion with another individual who may have experiences different than yours, I am at your service.  But if you've got your mind made up and just need fodder for "calling religion into question", then  all the best to you and that's my last word on the subject.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:43:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)
              Your stance begins with the premise that I have nothing to offer in the way of ideas, but you've decided to engage me anyway.
              The hell it does. As our exchange has made clear, I'm well aware that you have something "to offer": self-satisfied hot air propped up by hegemonic power and privilege. That happens to be something that's solidly bad on multiple levels (e.g., on the merits of such nonsense as "not irrational but suprarational," and in the implications of your attacks on the ability of irreligious minorities to speak truth to power-such-as-yours), but it's still something. And thus we've had a discussion, combative as it's been.

              I daresay there are plenty of lurkers on the sideline who stand to benefit from the exchange—from your attempts to use privilege and a hegemon's unjust social power to silence criticism of your ideas, and from my attempts to smack that prejudiced garbage down. Thankfully, it's not your mind in particular that I'm trying to change.

              Nor am I avoiding disagreement.
              "Avoiding"? Well, you are now ("that's my last word on the subject"), but you've responded to me more than once—so no, avoidance wasn't initially your game.


              Instead, what you're trying to do is strangle disagreement, silence those of us whose irreligion makes us your social inferiors, so that you can blather your notions about faith far and wide without ever having to worry that a scummy atheist might dare to call "bullshit" on you. ...In precisely the way that absolutely anyone else announcing absolutely any other kind of idea in the world (very much including atheistic ideas) makes herself subject to criticism and contention.

              Like your fellow bigots of other strains—such as unashamed racists, misogynists, and homophobes—you disguise your demands for impenetrable primacy and power as a request for "respect." Racists want lowly brown people to "respect" them by staying out of their pristine neighborhoods; misogynists demand that the women around them show "respect" by deferring to men's hegemony and control; homophobes demand "respect" for "common decency" that's shattered when gays and lesbians dare to hold hands in public, to say nothing of demanding equal marriage rights. All of you are alike in demanding that the minority you despise and wish to marginalize know their place—that we recognize and "respect" the fact that you are more important, and your fragile sensibilities more valuable, than anything we think, do, or are. Your demand for "respect" is in fact a demand that we deferentially worship at the altar of your privilege and power.

              And the proper response to that demand is the same from the uppity atheists you wish to silence as it is from the ethnic minorities, feminists, and GLBTs who are abused by the tactics practiced by your fellow bigots: Kindly Stick It Up Your Ass.

              We are not going to shut up, to bow and scrape and show "respect" to your absurd demand that no one ever say a discouraging word about your irrational and destructive ideas. You can try to silence your grubby inferiors all you'd like; we refuse. And you can pretend that your atheophobic bigotry is a polite request for "respect"; that does nothing to change the fact that what you're actually demanding is that people who disagree with you remain disempowered, marginalized, pathologized, and silent.

              •  for the lurkers (0+ / 0-)

                I happen to think that informative discussions happen in a tone of mutual respect.  I think overheated insults hurt discussion and do more harm than good to the truth.  I think there is some wisdom in the phrase, "we can disagree without being disagreeable".  I think there is a clear line between thoughtful criticism (which I relish) and hurling put downs.  I think the judgmental language that often spawns from heated exchanges is at the same time tragic and silly.

                Rieux chose a discussion with me, opening with a comment in which I could not find any trace of respect or good will.  I responded with sarcasm and so not only has there not been a discussion about the underlying issues, there is no sign of agreement on the ground rules for holding such a discussion.

                Later I offered a second opportunity to start a discussion if he could find a way to carry on in a respectful tone.  He clearly rejected that just as he has rejected the main thesis of the diary:  that there is room for tolerance of religious people in progressive causes.

                Rieux may have suffered in some way at the hands of some of the many idiots who claim to be Christian.  Many of us have - me included.  In any case, I still wish her or him well.

                I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                by Satya1 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:10:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Cute. (0+ / 0-)
                  I happen to think that informative discussions happen in a tone of mutual respect.
                  So do I. The problem is that your unexamined privilege and prejudice lead you to believe that "respect" requires your social inferiors to remain silent and never question the self-serving ideas that you broadcast.

                  You call it "respect," but it's actually subservience. And we members of disempowered and despised minorities have every right to scoff at your demand.

                  I think there is a clear line between thoughtful criticism (which I relish)....
                  You pretend to "relish" thoughtful criticism. But it's a crock. You declare any criticism that is actually critical as disrespectful and thoughtless. It isn't; that's just your blind privilege talking.

                  You'd never have the gall to defend such absurd privilege in these parts if it were any other variety of privilege—white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, class privilege, ableist privilege. But religious privilege is a generally unchallenged norm even in this community, so you think you can beat atheists up with it. It won't work.

                  Rieux chose a discussion with me, opening with a comment in which I could not find any trace of respect or good will.
                  No one is obligated to respond to your broadcast of your personal philosophy with "respect or good will" toward that philosophy. That, again, is the arrogant demand of a hegemon accustomed to the unchecked power to silence anyone who dares to question him or her.

                  Again, you wouldn't dare to whine about "respect or good will" if the exchange had been about race, gender, sexual identity, class, or ableism. But religion, you think, makes you immune from challenges you deem "disrespectful." Your privilege is showing.

                  He clearly rejected that just as he has rejected the main thesis of the diary:  that there is room for tolerance of religious people in progressive causes.
                  That is a bigoted lie. Nothing I have said carries the slightest actual implication "that there is" no "room for tolerance of religious people in progressive causes." That is nothing but your bigotry talking.

                  Open challenge and debate about religious IDEAS is not, in the real world, hostility to religious PEOPLE. You are so buried in prejudice and privilege that you think that you, unlike anyone else pushing any other kind of idea, deserve deferential silence when you push your theological notions into the free marketplace of ideas. But you're wrong, nastily wrong: your ideas are just as fair game for challenge, critique, and mockery as anyone else's ideas.

                  Your pretense that critical challenges to your ideas constitute a denial of "tolerance of religious people" is a hateful lie. Shame on you.

                  Rieux may have suffered in some way at the hands of some of the many idiots who claim to be Christian.
                  Your sneering ad hominem insult is noted. Again, you would never dare to respond to (say) a GLBT person who criticized a straight-privileged argument of yours by airily hypothesizing about what your opponent "may have suffered" at the hands of homophobes.

                  Your atheophobia is disgusting.

                •  It's also worth noting (0+ / 0-)

                  that you were whining about the uppity behavior of disgusting atheists who dared to question you before I ever showed up on this thread.

                  This particular exchange began with your declaration that "genuine faith is not irrational  but suprarational." not2plato—and not I—exposed that notion of yours for the absurd bafflegab that it is, a response that you, with the tremendous arrogance of a privileged hegemon, took offense at:

                  Guess you sure told me!  Except you completely misunderstood me and have no idea what I'm talking about.
                  That, of course, is utter bullshit that lays bare your inability to support your hot air with reasoning. Which isn't surprising, given that you have so little practice defending your ideas against critique: as you've now demonstrated, your preference is to personally smear your opponents and demand "respect" (by which you actually mean silence) from them rather than confronting their objections on their merits.

                  ...But it's also a tellingly emotional response that demonstrates your whiny unhappiness that not2plato dared to ignore your stuck-up privilege. The offended dignity you affect in "Guess you sure told me!  Except you completely misunderstood...." is a hilarious caricature of a thoughtless blatherer caught shooting his mouth off—of a blinkered majority member who never imagined that a lowly unbeliever might dare to question his enlightened lucubrations.

                  All of this happened before I ever wrote a word in response to you. You were in high privileged-atheophobe dudgeon before I even showed up. Nice try, though.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site