I Don’t Get No Respect
You Get Only What You’ve Earned
Since when are people entitled to absolute respect for their beliefs just because they’re entitled to have them? I refuse to bite my lip in a display of mock civility just because I’m expected to embrace, tolerate, or respect the beliefs of others.
Tolerance and respect must be earned, and they are not necessarily warranted. If I think a religious ideology or belief is moronic then I will respond accordingly as I would with any other ideology or belief.
And I don’t believe that context or numbers validate one’s beliefs either. Take your pick: Christianity/Judaism, racism/equality, buy low/sell high. These ideologies are not entitled to respect or tolerance by default just because someone has the right (which we all do) to practice them. Should we respect racism or anti-Semitism just because a racist has the right to embrace and promote them? Um, no. It’s gotta work both ways people. Just a little consistency. That’s all I ask for.
How silly would any sane adult feel believing in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy? They would likely never share it with another human being for fear of looking like a first-class whacko and becoming an outcast. Would you trust an adult who believed in the Easter Bunny? Would you put them in charge of your finances or let them watch your children when you were away? Would you even associate with them? Would you say, “Okay, I don’t agree with their beliefs, but I respect their right to believe what they believe and I’ll treat them like anyone else.” If you answered yes, then you’re either being disingenuous, or you’re in complete denial. Your feet couldn’t carry you away from a nutcase like that fast enough. You would consider them intellectually inferior and think less of them because of their insane beliefs.
If I were to tell you that I believed in the Easter Bunny (for real, not a joke), look me in the eye and tell me that you would respect my beliefs and that you would treat me as you would any other rational person. Tell me that you wouldn’t think me a delusional lunatic. Tell me that you would trust me with things of importance. Tell me that you would trust me with your home, your finances or your children. Tell me that you would let me teach your children. Tell me that you would put me in front of an important sales prospect. Tell me that you would let me hold public office. Tell me that you wouldn’t think of me as foolish and unintelligent. Tell me that you would try to see things my way. Tell me that you would embrace my beliefs as just another ideology. Tell me that you would consider my viewpoint before calling me crazy.
Now, how silly would you feel believing in the Easter Bunny if everyone else did? I doubt you would feel silly at all. Why? Because there’s safety in numbers. The majority provides a warm safe place for people to believe in [whatever] without fear of ridicule or being labeled as silly, insane, delusional, etc. (We’ll talk more about this phenomenon later.)
You See Them As I See Them
If you’re a theist and honest enough to admit to yourself that you see the nutcase (below) as deluded and intellectually inferior (as it pertains to theistic beliefs), then you’ll understand why I see you in the exact same light.
If my (admitted silly) Easter Bunny example is too unrealistic for you, then let’s come back to reality and deal with individuals who actually walk this planet. I could reach into my giant bag of social misfits and deviants and pull out any number of human beings whose ideologies will nicely replace those of the aforementioned bunny believers.
Anyone remember the Heaven’s Gate cult? For those of you who aren’t familiar with these bat-shit crazy lunatics down in San Diego, they mindlessly followed the cult teachings and directives of a demented little fellow named “Doe” (Marshall Applewhite) who convinced them that there was a alien space vehicle flying behind the Hale-Bopp comet.
These intellectual sticks of dynamite not only engaged in self-castration [crickets chirping], but they actually believed that committing suicide would allow them to hitch a free ride to Nirvana on the alien spaceship. On the morning of March 26, 1997, these ass-hats donned their matching Nike uniforms, had a little strychnine cocktail, and hopped on-board the Lunatic Express to Nowhere. Beam me up, Scotty!
Enjoy the aftermath video…
Now dig down deep and admit, at least to yourself, that you see them as do I. You don’t just question their sanity and intellect, but you actually reject and refute it. And you’re a very bad liar if you claim otherwise. You and I both judge them on their (in)ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Maybe it’s okay that we do, and maybe it isn’t. Regardless, in this manner we’re not that different.
Ain’t intellectual honesty a bitch?
Niggers and Kikes and Fags, Oh My!
Those words bother you? They’d better.
How about card-carrying racists, anti-Semites, and homophobes who believe that blacks, Jews, homosexuals, or any other group that has ever been targeted should be put to death, beaten to a pulp, driven out of town, or scared into hiding and silence? I’m sure you’ll agree that there are such racists in this world – lest you be one of those nutbags who believe that the Holocaust never happened. You hate the words and people who spew them. You’re intolerant of their beliefs and show them ZERO respect.
I intentionally chose the admittedly silly Easter Bunny as an example because it’s simplistic and neutral. It wasn’t meant to be taken literally, although there are people in this world who are delusional and do embrace such craziness. So even if taken literally the Easter Bunny logic stands up to scrutiny. But let’s euthanize the little bastard and swap him for another fringe ideology. I think any reasonable person would agree that the Heaven’s Gate cult members were benign, non-violent (to others), soft-spoken people. They were well educated, worked for a living (a software company, I believe) and paid their taxes. They were also a few cards shy of a deck.
The point being, spare me your “I have respect…” crap. The respect you dole out is no different that the respect that I give. Respect is unendingly conditional and it must be earned.
What’s in a Number?
If you are inclined to argue that proportion matters (i.e. how can so many people be wrong?), let me remind you that the truth is not determined by a majority vote. If it were, the earth might still be flat. Twenty believers don’t make one ideology irrational, and 20 million don’t make another one rational, reasonable, or true. Did six million Jews (plus another five million non-Jews) die because of the beliefs of a few deranged people? No! And it doesn’t even matter whether the ideology is benign or not. Fringe is fringe. Lunatics come in different flavors, but they’re still lunatics. Besides, what’s benign to one person is malignant to another; such is the case with the issue of abortion.
So let’s try this again…
If I were to tell you that I was a member of Heaven’s Gate, for real, not a joke, look me in the eye and tell me that you would respect my beliefs and that you would treat me as you would any other rational person. Let me tell you about the aliens, and the shuttle, and the comet, and then tell me that you wouldn’t label me a delusional lunatic. Go ahead and tell me that you would trust me with things of importance. Tell me that you would trust me with your home, your finances or your children. Tell me that you would let me teach your children. Tell me that you would put me in front of an important sales prospect. Tell me that you would let me hold public office. Tell me that you wouldn’t think of me as foolish and unintelligent. Tell me that you would try to see things my way. Tell me that you would embrace my beliefs as just another ideology. Tell me that you would consider my viewpoint before calling me crazy.
Now read it again, but substitute “KKK” for “Heavens Gate”. Tell me, would you try to see things my way? Would you respect my ideology? How civil and respectful would you be if a member of the KKK approached your children and started teaching the importance of racial cleansing? Would you try to see things his way? Would you respect his ideology?
Understand that I’m not trying to equate Christians as a whole with Nazis and Klansmen. Christians are certainly not intrinsically evil people, and the latter two examples are patently offensive extremes. However, my assertion is about conceptual ideology, not subjective proportion.
Your Denial Changes Nothing
Kick and scream to your heart’s content. We all know that you accept this truth despite your pathetic obfuscations.
An ideology does not deserve respect (and certainly not acceptance) just because one has the unalienable right to believe in and embrace it. We all know that you reject the beliefs of others, that you dismiss them as crazy, and that you have ZERO respect for their patently false dogmas. Your denials are your own, and everyone sees you for the self-deceiving crank that you are. We care not that you won’t admit it to us (because we already know exactly how you feel), but we think less of you because you can’t even admit it to yourself.
And don’t think for one second that you can weasel your way out of intellectual honesty with the following disingenuous response: “That’s not true. I do respect everyone’s right to believe that which makes them happy.”
Oh, blow it out your ass, you disingenuous sack of shit. That is not the issue being addressed here. I neither challenge nor care about your respect for a person’s right to believe whatever they choose. We’re talking about whether or not you respect their actual beliefs. You don’t – and everyone knows it. In fact, as a Christian, you necessarily must offer no respect for beliefs that deny, mock, or seek to disprove your god. So spare us all your charades. We know exactly where you stand on any theology other than yours.
Respect for religious beliefs is a multi-way street. It must work the same way for ALL ideologies – lest you be arrogant enough to paint the lines for all of humanity. No one gets to establish the baseline for respect. No one gets to set that bar.
Wait. What am I talking about? I totally forgot. Christians do paint those lines, don’t they? They seem to feel entitled to set double-standards, shake off hypocrisies, and preach within the bounds of a duality that insulates their arguments from introspection, skeptical inquiry, and refutation.
We’ve got your number, and your denials are futile.
A Final Word on Your Latent Feelings of Silliness
We all know that deep down inside you can’t help but feel a little (if not off-the-charts) silly believing in the utter nonsense that you do. Talking snakes? What, are you fucking crazy?
Unfortunately for you, the same doesn’t apply to those who hold no belief in gods and miracles and other such fantasy. One can’t feel like an utter buffoon not believing in an all-powerful god, especially one who refuses to show his face even when asked nicely.