Or, You don't like abortions? Don't have one!
This is more about Jen Schroder and the other folk on the Religious Right – the Theists I’m opposed to – and it’s in response to a comment that was wondering why I see myself as any different than Schroder. Do I not oppose her, just as she opposes me? Do I not want to eliminate her and her kind, just as she would like to eradicate me and mine? True, I am willing to allow her to exist, because I have this vision of America as a place where diversity should exist, but does that actually make me any different than her, given than I really would eliminate her if I could?
First off, I would not eliminate her if I could. I do think she’s wrong. I do think her belief system is dangerous and insane. I will defend to the death her right to practice it. <-- This is what true diversity is about: the right to practice divergent ways of believing and behaving, even ones I don’t like. (Yes, and even ones Jen Schroder doesn’t like.)
Second, defending her right to practice her belief system does not preclude my right to criticize her belief system. (Not to mention deride and mock her belief system.) How do we handle divergent ideas in a free society? We do it with speech. We don’t (or shouldn’t) shoot each other, burn down one another’s houses, whap each other: instead, we evaluate one another’s ideas with words and reason. I do have to tolerate her belief system; I don’t have to approve of it. If I think her belief system is wrong and dangerous, I can say so. I can say why. I can try to persuade other people that it is dangerous and wrong and that they should not adhere to it.
What I can’t do (or ought not to do ) is eliminate other people’s access to it – by, say, passing laws that make this belief system illegal; or by passing laws that make certain aspects of practicing this belief system illegal; or by intimidating publishers so that they publish only those aspects of our history that are acceptable to a given belief system among us.
Jen Schroder is different from me because while I will tolerate and accept the existence of belief systems that are at variance from mine, she will not. She’s over there protesting at the school board because the school has the nerve to teach children about gods that aren’t Christian gods. She’s burning Harry Potter in her back yard. She and her team, the Theists, do not want a multicultural America, and they never have.
They’ve got a really good reason for not wanting one. They think their vision, of One America, under One God, is the One Right way to live. They really believe that, and they honestly think it’s the right answer. I have no doubt of that. It’s Planet Theism they’re after; where everyone is White and Christian; where every family has two parents, a father who works and a mother who stays home and wears a dress and submits cheerfully to her husband’s authority; where everyone agrees about everything and we all have the same answers all the time.
That’s their worldview. It’s not the answer I like, or the way I think this country should go. I’m in favor of multiple answers, multiple ways. That’s the sort of country we have going here – or have had going here – and that’s the sort of country I’d like to keep.
9 hours ago