"I'll respect your beliefs if you respect mine."
How many times have you heard that? Too many, I assume. I've heard it (or a variation) so many times that I haven't even thought about what it means, until now.
Let me dissect this.
"I'll respect your beliefs..."
My...beliefs? I am an atheist, I don't have beliefs. An atheist by definition lacks beliefs. So you'll respect my non-existent beliefs if I respect yours? Hmm...
Ok, now lets assume that you interpret atheism as believing that there is no god (which is a huge stretch, but whatever). Would you really? If you follow either the Bible or the Quran, you will see very clearly that there is contempt for heathens.
Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.
1 Kings 21:13
...Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.
The Quran: (this one was almost too easy)
2:257 Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.
2:6 As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not.
2:99 Verily We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them.
If you have even read the books you desperately cling too, you would know that your beliefs prohibit you from respecting mine.
"...if you respect mine."
I must ask one simple question...why? Why should I respect your beliefs? You believe that it is moral to stone ME because I don't believe the same as you. I don't even know where to start with that.
Your beliefs are irrational, illogical, poisonous, a burden on society and I refuse to respect them.
Yes, it is a basic human right to believe what you want about the origin of life and an afterlife, but it is NOT a basic human right to believe that it is ok to harm others. I think that it's ok to stone children that interrupt, but do I have the legal or moral right to preach that? NO.
Freedom of speech and religion only go so far. If you yell "fire" in a public building, you can get arrested. If you tell a hitman to kill someone, you most definitely can get arrested. Why should if be any different if you tell someone that they will be rewarded in heaven if they kill someone rather than just telling them to kill someone?
If you don't believe that it is moral to kill some for being a homosexual, which I hope, I still must ask the question...why? Respect is EARNED, not GIVEN. I respect basic human rights, I respect famous musicians, actors, scientists, etc. I don't respect your illogical beliefs. I will not try to prohibit you from having them as long as you don't:
-push them on me, or anyone else (including your children)
-state them as fact
-insult me or anyone else for not sharing them.
If you don't do those four things, don't believe most of the Bible/Quran (the parts about harming others, which are a huge chunk of the books), I will not try to stop you from believing what you want to, but I still will not respect your beliefs until you offer me some proof that your beliefs are correct. And remember:
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."-Carl Sagan