Showing respect for someone or something that has no virtue, honesty, or credibility seems to me to be a waste of a decent emotion. Love is a gift we give each other; respect has to be earned.
Likewise, attempting to anticipate sensitivity of others acts in the same way as mindbinding. It causes one to self-monitor thinking and ignore one's instincts.

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I do not have to respect your religion. I no more have to respect your religion than I have to respect your life insurance policy. We assume that you believe your religion to be like an "after life" policy, so your god, whomever that may be, is the one that you hope totally respects your religion. That is, if your god exists.

On a realistic level the ones to respect said life insurance policy would be the company that you have the policy with, along with whomever it is that you have chosen to carry out your final wishes on what to do with your body. There are lots of insurance companies and lots of funeral homes.

As you should see, I no more have to respect your religion that I have to respect what car you drive. I don't give a damn about your religion or your car.

Mike, a great metaphor, religion and after-life insurance. I will use that!

Also, I don't have to respect the drunk or drug addict even as I love him or her. I can say the same for the smoker or the obese person. 

"Well so fucking what?"

EXACTLY.  If you want your beliefs to be respected, have respectable beliefs!  Subscribing to unproven gods who blatantly indulge in mass slaughter, misogyny and homophobia and who suborn slavery and scapegoating as a means of resolving sin deserve no respect whatsoever and should damned well get NONE.

Oh! God! what an evil concept! 

I do respect your right to choose your own religion, but you really should shut up about it.  If you choose to put your beliefs out into the marketplace, others have the right to tell you what value they see in it -- if any.  And any effort to impose it upon others is a form of attack, saying you're right and the rest of the universe is wrong.  That's trampling on the rights of others.

Bartold, I have spent the last hour trying to find the author of, "Religion is like a penis." to no avail. Somewhere, there is a tape of a comedien saying these words and I can't find it. The image is so graphic, and so accurate, I can't help but gag as I laugh. It is perfect to use with one who proselytizes, even in polite society. 

Jerry, thank you for you comment. I assume you express concern and care for others and me.

I agree each person has the right to choose his or her religion. That is not an issue for me. I have no obligation to respect the choice made, nor do I have a duty to respect a person who makes such a choice. By the same token, I have a right to choose no belief in supernatural energy. Others have a right not to respect my non-belief and not respect me for making that choice.  I do have a responsibility to speak precisely, without blame or accusation. I expect the same from others. 

If I shut up about my belief in no gods, I do not present an accurate account of me and how I think. Silence implies agreement with another’s thinking and actions. I have a right to express myself, honestly, and with dignity. 

If I shut up about my lack of respect for those who choose belief in gods, it implies agreement. Am I to remain silent in the face of someone with whom I disagree? What is my point in being if I acquiesce to the “remain silent” imperative?  

If I choose to put my thinking out into the marketplace, others have the right to tell me what value they see in my thoughts, if any. 

Any effort to express myself to others is a form of honesty that I expect from them. 

It is not a matter of saying I am right, and the other is wrong. It is saying, “This is how I think about this topic.” The issue is that I will not silence them, and they will not silence me. We just disagree. 

If I witnessed a man beating a woman, I would intervene. If I saw an adult abusing a child, I would be clear in my response. If a person proselytized me, I would end the conversation by making a statement of not being interested in hearing that same old story and change the subject or end the contact. That is not trampling on the rights of others. It is preventing others from trampling on my time and attention and rights. 

Kelly! that is wonderful! To trust your ability to think and reason, to be able to stand on a firm foundation of facts and evidence, you can stand tall, strong, competent and confident in the face of any who impose their religion and rituals on you. You have a right to speak and because you have the intellect to be strong, you have the responsibility to do so. 

There is no stopping the spread of atheism, even as we do not impose upon others unless we are imposed upon. I visualize us a strong, intelligent, compassionate, participant in discussions with others on an equal basis. 

Kelly, I read a lot of Chomsky's work and I surely must incorporate his ideas into my own experience. I'm glad you gain strength and encouragement through these ideas. Your voice needs to be heard. 

BRAVA, Kelly!!!

I agree, BRAVA, Kelly!!!

Jerry, I like your style. I read your string of comments and recognize an intelligent man with compassion for others. I hope our disagreement does not impede our friendship. 




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