Freedom to have no religion is not a luxury

There’s a lot of discussion about freedom of religion, what about freedom to have no religion? In many parts of the world that’s punishment by death or torture…I think that gets missed as people bleat about the right to discriminate, or that ‘atheism is a religion’ – well if you (wrongly) believe atheism or humanism is a religion why not respect it and afford the same protections?

Oh no, I didn’t think so.

This sort of thing is why I get angry at believers of any religion, because although a few are progressive and stand up against discrimination in their churches and mosques, the fact that people are allowed to discriminate within those same spaces suggest that the majority go for an easy life and turn a blind eye to what is going on. For if the majority in any group rise up and say ‘no, that’s not fair’ – as happened with racial prejudice – then things do change. But when you hear of Washington Republicans trying to change the law to defend homophobia (ie. prejudice against a ‘non-protected’ group) you realise that these people are drones in many senses (the kind of people who think drones are good, and also worker drones for their beliefs) and also incredibly stupid – as it would be really easy then for progressives to stop serving republicans and homophobes.

But as a commenter pointed out, this isn’t actually about the right to serve someone, businesses usually have the right to refuse service if they want apart from protected groups. It is about rubbing those LGBTQ couple’s noses in it, those ‘uppity faggots’ that dared defy them and win. That’s why moderates in any religion must resist these people – they are dragging you all through the dirt with them, if you turn a blind eye, or accept them or their churches into your ‘communion’ or group, then you are validating everything they believe in. And allowing them to propagate hate – which always ends up with people getting hurt or killed.

I’m far from a Dawkins-card carrying atheist, I hold some of these people with scepticism (a luxury they would appreciate) too. But I hear the tide turning for those who are right-wing, conservative, and religious and away from the freedom to choose. Some places never had it at all…and forcing those to believe seems the most horrible thing at all, and damages both humanity and any faith. Why not let people choose what they want to believe? Be it fluffy kittens or levitating saviours…until that freedom is truly there I don’t think any believer have a right to demand more respect from others, or even grant the little ol’heathen likes of me with the T for Tolerance card.

Sorry, I am not here to be ‘tolerated’, I demand the same basic respect that those with or without religion do, and you should too. That doesn’t mean devoid of criticism either, but that freedom to not be afraid of who you are is a basic human right, and telling people they are sinners or that they will be tortured or killed for not believing is not the way to gain any respect. And a dark mark will be on those who believe in any religion until the majority also believe – and actively support – such freedoms. In other words – sort your own house (of Religion, beief or just attitudes to others) out first before attending or attacking to anyone else’s.

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