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Tolerating the Intolerant

Malene Arpe of the Toronto Star has written a most marvelous piece about the intolerance shown by fanatics -- most recently by Muslims complaining about cartoons.  She makes some wonderful points throughout, but I'll just quote her close:

"I work hard, as an atheist, at not being angered by the increasing inclusion of this, that or whatever god in areas of life that should be secular. I succeed because I tell myself it's none of my business what people believe, although every time they pray on Survivor or I hear another one-hit wonder thanking God for His direct hand in securing a People's Choice Award, I do feel the need to say a dirty word. Just to counteract.I happen to think religion is destructive, oppressive and overburdened by silly hats.

I also think the only reason Christianity has more adherents and respectability than, say, the Raelians or the Scientologists, is that the Christians came along first. Don't let that keep you from looking heavenwards. Do what you will in the comfort of your own home or place of worship and rest assured that when I visit I will behave politely, cover up whatever vile parts of my body offend your particular god, and refrain from eating ham sandwiches while you pray.

If being offended is such a necessity to your enjoyment of life or your sense of self, think about the censorship you implicitly advocate. Consider that you may not be the one who gets to decide what is offensive and should be banned. Maybe it will be me. I guarantee you wouldn't like it."

Definitely couldn't have said it better myself.

February 13, 2006 in America Inc, Current Affairs, Media, Religion [1], Television | Permalink


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