This article is SO relevant for me because I recently cut someone out of my life because I no longer wanted to hold my tongue on my Facebook and Twitter page for fear of offending her AND because I didn't want to hear her mouth whenever I criticized religion and theism.
I'll try my best to respect people but respecting religion...nah.
My former friend just couldn't get this through her head and unfortunately, I had to cut her off.
If christian can say: love the sinner, hate the sin.
Then we can say: love the believer, hate the religion
Works for me :D
There is little to disagree with about "Respect the person not the belief". We atheists are often confronted by religionists who try to demand respect for their beliefs in the mistaken belief that if we can be forced to "respect" those beliefs we must then never speak against them. Over the years I have developed some answers to anyone who tries to lay that on me.
1- I'll respect your beliefs as much as you respect my lack of belief.
2- I might respect your beliefs; would you care to tell me what they are? (oddly they seldom do)
3- What is it that I should respect about your belief?
4- Am I expected to respect all beliefs? If so, can I respect the belief that your beliefs are wrong?
5- Do you expect me to respect your beliefs more than facts?
6- If you respect your beliefs, why do I have to?
7- Why? Can't you do that?
8- Why should I respect something that I think is wrong?
9- Can you show me what there is about your beliefs that is worthy of respect?
10- What does "respect" have to do with anything? You believe - I don't. No respect involved.
I like the article and the steep crescendo in her conclusion:
"And this ecumenical attitude that reality is an annoying distraction from the far more important business of feeling good -- and that insisting on reality is an ugly form of bigoted intolerance -- is part and parcel of this unique armor religion has built against valid criticism, questioning, and self- correction.
It is not a protection against the evils of religion. It is one of them."
Iow you're not doing anyone a favor by treating convictions as if they had intrinsic value, rather than taking seriously the people that hold them, falsely, to be true.