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October 22, 2006


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I was just informed by my ultra-religious neopagan friends recently that it's so much more difficult to be a spiritual person in a secular community than it is to be a secular person in a spiritual community. I find it most annoying that the religious never feel like they're getting nearly the amount of preferential treatment that they think they deserve. I have come to the conclusion that every religious group wishes they lived in a theocracy so they could make their religious beliefs a part of the everyday lives of all of us.

Barbara Smoker, former president of Britain's National Secular Society, says quite the same thing:

"Should we respect religious faith? Certainly not. But should we respect religious people? Yes--as long as they are not antisocial and do not aim to impose their religious views on others.

"However, even if we respect them as good-living people, we cannot respect their beliefs. Faith, which means firm belief in the absence of evidence, betrays human intelligence, undermines science-based knowledge, and compromises ordinary morality. If there were objective evidence for its doctrines, it would no longer be faith; it would be knowledge."


I've been all over that, myself.

Amen, brother. No pun intended.

What a fine, articulate, rational argument that essay presents, than you for the Guardian link. I nominate AC Grayling for Preznit! Barbara Smoker's comments (as above)are icing on the cake--Barb for VP! In our dreams. Can anyone envision any Murkin politico standing up and making a speach like Grayling's essay?

It seems Ebonmuse is saying much the same thing right now, as well. Mass atheist uprising against theocratic control, or coincidence?

I can't believe a mainstream paper has the courage these days... Maybe there is still hope...

you mean religions DESERVE RESPECT?? Please re-read your heading.. so i should not lose respect on the entire article either..

you mean religions DESERVE RESPECT?? Please re-read your heading.. so i should not lose respect on the entire article either..

Well yeah, it IS a British newspaper, though...

Skeptico replies to ocitpeks

The headline was a play on the old Rodney Dangerfield quote – “I don’t get no respect”. I realize it’s a double negative and is technically incorrect. It’s a pop culture reference – you’re overthinking.

I agree with the article, but I must admit that I used the "my religion" excuse just a few days ago, even though I am an atheist.

I was in an outpatient medical facility, and the crass young person seeing me through my care did not understand when I said:

"I'm sorry, I'm not going to walk around the hospital from department to department all day in blue paper hot pants. Would you please get me a hospital gown?"

Health care aide: "But that's what everyone wears."

Me: "I'm an old lady and I don't feel comforatable going out in public in paper short shorts."

Health care aide: "Those are what we have."

Me: "It's against my religion to show that much flesh."

Health care aide: "Oh. I'll get you a gown."

I used religion to get my way, which is what religious people do every day. I should have been more articulate, and the health care worker should have listened to me, but instead religion became shorthand for "I'm not yeilding. Get me a gown."

I heard Richard Dawkins on the radio, sufficiently persuasive to make me part with hard cash so that I can read it for myself.

Yes! Revoke religious tax exemptions.
Wouldn't that bring a few down?

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