When I was a freshmen in high school I had a best friend named vincent- he was super caring, one of the nicest people I've ever met, non-judgmental, and openly gay. One day I came to school and he had a bloody nose and eyes. He said that another person from our school had tracked him down when he was walking home the previous day and assaulted him without mercy- saying "God hates faggots" and saying he was going "Suffer the consequences for his abomination". That's what religious intolerance is. That guy never even knew my friend, he just knew he was gay. He never saw the caring side that I saw, and he didn't want to. He just wanted to think vincent was evil and he was doing "the lords work" by beating him near to death.
Why should anyone have to do "the lord's work"? Any entity that could create an entire universe from nothing in six days, out to be able to do his own damn work!
Homosexuality, forcing abstinence, against abortion (irrelevant of the situation), threats against atheist and other religions, witch burning, the crusades, against science since the dark ages, even still against evolution, the list goes on, that's just a few examples!
It's simple Brad - judge people based on the character they prove themselves to have, rather than on what they do or don't believe.
How about this: In Indonesia a man named Alexander Aan was just convicted and sentenced to two and a half years in prison for stating on his Facebook page that "God does not exist." Indonesians, by and large, are angry at the sentence; they thought he should have gotten a far longer sentence for his "blasphemy." In Indonesia, it is illegal NOT to have a religion.
Not in the U.S., you say? Au contraire! There are six U.S. states, including Texas, that PROHIBIT any atheist from holding public office. And, as a practical matter, it is virtually impossible to hold office in any state if you are an avowed atheist. That just is not tolerated in Puritan, Christian America.
I'm gonna "fix" this.
He did not only state "God does not exist", that's completely BS since i was presented with few of his remarks over the facebook.
To make it simple, he was throwing bad insults (regardless who & what was he discussing).
Oh, and that case was only published on local region newspaper, it doesn't even hit national newspaper as far as i know, thus your "by large" is an overstatement (tho i'm quite positive most people would be angry, even i'm angry to be considered as the same league as that guy)
Jakarta Post wrote about it, and regardless, I do think that it is not an important issue at all what insults where uttered. The fact of the matter is that the guy was prosecuted for not having a belief in God.
As if the sense of hurt that religious people have is an actual offense.
He was not prosecuted for not having belief in God, he was prosecuted for insulting which is regulated under a law;
1. Your uncle is gay.
2. Your uncle is gay, he had sex with the guy next door.
see the difference ? insult is not a fact, fact tho insulting it may be, is still a fact.
And that post @Jakarta Post is not telling the whole story.
http://www.hajsmy.us/2012/01/mui-pns-ateis-lukai-masyarakat-lengkap... have screenshots of his remarks, if you're capable of translating it..some of his remarks are using regional language which i do not understand, some are pretty straightforward Indonesian.
And let me translate you some of the remarks (taken from http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/535/am04ok.jpg/)
"Its common, most muslims are dumb like a dog, including Fransisca which is a nasrani name"
"And in the country where the muslim is the majority religion means the country where a a girl can be f*cked by the husband when she's 9 years old fit the example set by muhammed pig which called "teenage rebirth" is clear to be exist tho not often, if ever matters."
taken and translated as it is...tho his language is badly mixed and quite hard to understand since he's using his own regional-indonesian language,
Regardless, a person is convicted because a religion needs to be protected against insults? Seriously, a guy goes to prison because he is angry and hostile towards religion? Did he slander a person, no?
Blasphemy is a victim-less crime, the whole idea that insults against religion are worthy of a legal retribution is just ridiculous. My opinions are not protected by any law, and neither should the opinions of another person. I don't care how insulting something is to another person, grow some skin for f*ck sakes.
If his opinions are insulting, than I would like to argue that the opinions of people that believe that women are subservient to men are insulting to me, so therefor they need to go to prison for 2,5 years as well. (See where this is going to lead us?)
So.....regardless what the law said, someone shouldn't be prosecuted for breaking the law ?
When a law is stupid, it is stupid.
Just because something is a law, doesn't make it sensible, does it?
Would you think that a law that would sentence all women to death to be sensible? Would you argue that "since it is law, it has to be done?"
I've asked this before, but can't seem to get an answer - why do humans have to punish other humans for religious "crimes"? Isn't their god capable of doing his own dirty work? I mean, what's a little lightning bolt for the serious stuff, and for working on the Sabbath, how about a little plague, or a few frogs or locusts?
And for the really REALLY big stuff, liking stewing lamb in its mother's milk, he could go all Sodom and Gomorrah on their ass!
Is he on vacation in Boca, or what?