How do you define religious intolerance? Any real world examples or how it has impacted you personally?

I'm a Christian writing a Bible Study for Christians, and am looking for how you define Christian religious intolerance. I'd like to share specific examples of how we act intolerant to help Christians clearly see the negative impact is causes to those around us. Thanks for anything you can share on is topic.

Tags: Intolerance, intolerance, intolerant, religious

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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?

For God's a jolly good fellllow, for God's a jolly good felllllow....

Gandhi said it this way: "An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so."

Your argument are based on hatred towards a particular religion, take a rest and think more on it.

this law is approved by the government to handle sparks that currently existed among the public.

This country is not your beloved full of justice country, why dont you come and live here a bit, then perhaps you'll understand.

Oh and i'll remind you that this is not a religious based country and stoning is not permitted.

*(This post will contain some generalizations, please don't jump on my back about them)


I live in Seattle where I don't personally experience intolerance, but of course I am aware of the situation for people in other parts of the country.  As it has been less publicly acceptable to discriminate against/openly disparage certain groups (women, LGBT, African Am., Latinos, Mormons, etc)* the Right has a smaller pool of targets. Off the top of my head I would list Arabs/Muslims, 'Illegal Aliens', and Atheists*. Things will probably improve for those first two more quickly than the later. I find it funny/sad that politicians/organizations will talk about improvements in diversity but fail to mention the Atheists.
I think the current attempts by Atheists to be more assertive has some historical parallels with similar experiences with other oppressed groups, most notably the civil rights and gay rights movements.  As those groups became more assertive the level of hostility directed towards them by certain segments grew.*  The same thing may be starting to happen with Atheists.  The question is what will be our Stonewall, our Selma?
There is also much institutionalized intolerance against Atheists that many people may not even recognize or acknowledge.  And when it's pointed out that Atheists are often characterized as complainers.  These would be things like the Pledge of Allegiance, public money to religious institutions, prayer in school, religious symbols in public settings, tax exempt status of churches and the special rights that churches demand with things such as health insurance coverage for contraception, adoption rights.  There are even some places where it is illegal for an Atheist to hold public office.  All of these things show how our public institutions view my beliefs as not being given the same respect as those of the Theist. If any of us bring up these things we are the ones accused of intolerance or mocked as being petty whiners. 

Hi Brad – You might like to look at it from a different angle. It is interesting to have a Christian ask Atheists what we see as intolerance. I am sure you have heard other Christians ask “Why are Atheists so angry at god?” Well we are not because we don’t believe there are any, including your one. But we are angry at the religious bigots of all faiths who use their faith to do evil. We are angry at the apologetics of all faiths who say it is not their faith that is to blame. Will you listen to all of this and take notes? Anger is an Energy.

Anti gay and anti atheist mostly. I, and most over atheists don'y give a damn if we're told we're going to hell, what does annoy me is complete ignorance about atheists, some people seriously think atheists are in a cult where they butcher babies and so on.

I'm taking a science class where the instructor spends about 1/4 of class time talking about how love is the answer to making the world better. I can tolerate it (if it doesn't continue into the next weeks), but he proudly makes it clear a few times per class that it's all about accepting God's love in order to love others appropriately.

A lot of heads in the class nod in agreement when he talks like this. He's really good at the science part, so I'm trying to determine if there's a polite way to ask him to consider teaching science 90% of the time instead of 75%.

But he's intelligent, passionate, his heart's in the right place, and I really like his charisma, so I don't know if/how I'll be able to resolve this conflict in a calm and friendly manner. I might have to point out someday how science conflicts with one of his anecdotes purportedly "proving" how faith always heals, if only it's believed in strongly enough. I guess I'll at least focus on maintaining mutual respect, which I'm sure he believes is important. I don't want to come off as an angry atheist, because I'm not, but I might come off as pretty defensive in front of all those believers.

I wouldn't call that overt intolerance, because he has a good heart and means well, probably even for us atheists. If I actually approached him with my belief, I think he would respect it and just feel sad.

Meanwhile, I don't call it intolerance, but the peer pressure to believe is currently in full force, in my secular school. I don't want to convert him. I just want him to stop forcing his personal issue(s) onto the rest of us.

My experiences have led to the following observations:

If you want to follow the Old Testament then become a Jew - it was their holy book first and I have NEVER seen a Christian who followed it, only hateful vile Xians.

If you intend to be a Christian (and not a vile Xian) then follow only the New Testament and stop spewing hatred.

Espousing hatred is evil.

Unfortunately, the new testament has its share of garbage (mostly from Paul). And in spite of some of the decent Jesus stuff, Jesus also said not one little bit of the law (OT) would go away until the end of heaven and earth.

That's why I didn't advise just following the NT but also stopping the hate-spewing. True there needs to be even more admonitions but if we can get them to at least start with ending the vile bile, cool.

Brad, I think it's great that you're asking.

In addition to the specific anecdote I shared as a reply elsewhere on this thread, the biggie for me is the accusation that as an atheist, I must have no moral compass. This has come up more times than I can count. The truth is that most atheists I know feel even more strongly about being ethical, treating each other and our planet well, precisely because the only life we know for sure that we have is this one here and now. There's no do-over.

Interestingly, if an atheist screws up and wants to make it right, we have to actually ask the person we harmed for forgiveness - much harder than just confessing in our heart. (Again, back to my quaker upbringing - we were supposed to go to the Friend to make things right with them, but there was always the fall-back that if we asked god to forgive us, he's still let us into heaven.)

I work in a big company where many people have jesus paraphernalia in their cubicles. If I put up some public proclamation of my beliefs, you can bet I'd face ostracism at some level.

Look in the phone book at business which add the jesus fish to their yellow pages ad. They clearly feel comfortable that this will be seen as a positive driver for their business. Do you think a darwin fish would get the same response? Not bloody likely.

See, we don't even have to be 'in your face' or angry or militant atheists. Just the statement that we don't believe what you believe leaves us open to being told to leave the country, or told we are of the devil.

Of course, plenty of christians aren't that overt in their reaction. But even the nice ones tell us they'll pray for us. So insulting. Like there's something wrong with us! Ugh! 

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