I find it perplexing what issues have a slant between the religious and the non-religious. Here on AN, there are many issues that people feel their atheism informs -- gay rights, stem cell research, abortion, gender rights, bacon-eating, etc. Conversely, there are many stances that are identified as almost exclusively as having religious motives -- Creationism, to name one
Yet, when it comes to religious prohibitions/taboos that can inform these political ideas, I can't fathom why some are favored over others. I understand the historical precendences -- Christians haven't worried about bacon and pork products for a long time. What I don't understand is things that didn't need to be issues that quickly became issues. I have gay rights in mind here as well as freedom of speech. Why is the prohibition on shellfish in the Bible so ignored while the passage about "lying with another man" so important? I've given up on the idea that religious people actually read their sacred texts, so what is it that makes one topic, movement, or idea so controversial and another a non-issue, especially in the modern era? Why is one thing so militantly resisted while another thing dies a quick, quiet death?
Is it purely a matter of what one charismatic jerk decided was abominable and convinced everyone else with passages in sacred text justified his/her particular phobia? Or is it a combination of factors, political and social?
Obviously, these are sweeping generalizations. Differing viewpoints on a particular issue within a religious tradition is part of the reason there are so many denominations. I admit here that there is most certainly a gradiant, but why is something an issue in the first place? How much of it actually has to do with what is written in sacred texts?