From time to time, I post comments on news articles on The Globe and Mail news site. The G&M lets people rate comments with a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”. My comments generally tend not to be rated very highly but, for some reason, I recently got the most highly-rated comment on a particular story. The article is titled, “Islamophobia: We need to accept the ‘other’“.
The comment I posted is as follows:
I can live with Muslims just as I can live with Christians, but not unconditionally. I must not be expected to respect the beliefs of *any* religion and the devotees of any religion must accept the fact that, to many freethinking human beings, their religious beliefs are ridiculous and/or disgusting.
Neither must I be expected to accept the preposterous fiction that all cultures are equal. If we are to value all individuals equally, we should not be expected to value all cultures equally since some cultures discriminate against certain classes of people more than do others. And, lest anyone think I’m specifically targeting Islam with that, one should take note of the anti-woman bent to the particular brand of Christianity being promoted by certain U.S. would-be candidates for president.
I can accept the ‘other’ but I insist on being permitted to judge his or her beliefs. I can respect the person but I just might need to laugh at the beliefs.
A point of clarification: when I say that I can live with Muslims and Christians, I don’t mean that I find their religions acceptable. However, I recognize that inconsistency is pretty normal in humans. Highly intelligent people can do really stupid things; those who pride themselves on rationality can make irrational choices. Although I don’t respect their religion, I can still respect religious people – some of them, at least.
The comments section for that article is here.
(Note: the article and the accompanying comments will probably eventually no longer be available for viewing except by paid subscribers.)