02 December 2007

Religious Freedom

Cases like this one disgust me. They accuse atheists and gays of wanting "special" rights, which amount to rights everyone else can take for granted, and then scream bloody murder when their own actual special rights are taken away. "It's okay to impose our brand of religion! THAT doesn't violate the Constitution because it's our religion." Of course, if it were Mormons or Muslims or Zorastrians or Wiccans doing the imposing, they'd be screaming right along with everyone else.

Get it through your thick, ugly skulls that people have a right to decide their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) for themselves. You have no rights to impose your beliefs on ANYone. You have a right to believe them, and state them, and make speeches about them, and make a complete idiot of yourself over them, but you have no right, whatsobloodyever, to impose them. Here's a clue: banning atheist meetings is an imposition unless you also ban, say, Evangelical meetings. All or none. You do not get to pick and choose for people.

Yes, I know, you think that all us heathens are going straight to hell. Got news for you. I would choose your hell over your heaven, if for no other reason than there can be no heaven so long as a single person suffers in hell. I find it astounding that there seems to be no Christian equivalent to the vow of the Bhodisattva, not to enter nirvana until all sentient beings are able to enter. That is compassion. You choose for yourself, not for me, not for our soldiers, not even for your own children. Forcing your beliefs on someone else is the epitome of evil, whether you think your intentions are good or not. Treating someone like dirt because of their beliefs, then showering them with praise if they do convert... Don't make me sick.

It brings to mind the story of a zen master in whose honor a huge party was thrown. He showed up to the party wearing tattered rags, and was quickly shooed away. He came back in a beautiful silk robe and was warmly welcomed. He took off the robe, put it in the seat of honor, and left, announcing "It seems it was the robe you wanted, not me." If my beliefs matter more to you than who I am, if my beliefs matter more to your deity than who I am, then, quite frankly, I want nothing to do with either of you.

No comments: