My last blog post, "Freedom of religion offends me", got the attention of two theists who felt the need to protect their religion and themselves. They, of course, missed the entire point of aforementioned blog post and seem quite ignorant, but here's what they wrote and my answers to them.
The original comments
Answer to Remy
Nowhere in "Freedom of religion insults me" (a statement that is satirical, for those who don't get it) did I say I want to "suppress religion to please atheists", as Remy suggests. One must consider the context of what I wrote, which I know isn't easy for everyone, but nonetheless required. The blog post is about free speech, not suppression of religion.
I don't hate all theists, as Remy suggests; he conflates criticisms of a worldview and abhorrence of the bigotry one can find in many major religions with hate of all religious people, an error that is much too common. I often argue against theists' faith and the bigotry one can find in dogmatic and blind adherence to an ideology or worldview. The blog post he was refuting wasn't that, though; it was about free speech.
Remy completely missed the point of "Freedom of religion insults me", which is that even though criticisms and satire of religion are seen as insulting to some people, they shouldn't be censored, because they can still be relevant; likewise, religions are often oppressive and insulting to minorities, so by the faulty logic of censorship, these religions should be banned, even for theists who are NOT bigots.
I'd like to thank Remy for his very adult responses, on par with what he's written to me before. I'd also like to commend him for assuming I'm gay because I write about equality for LGBT.
Answer to Jillianna
To say Christianity doesn’t oppress anything is… just wow! Like I said in the blog post, Christianity and Islam are both bigoted, homophobic, and misogynistic, but that doesn’t mean all theists are. Both these religions have and are oppressing groups of people, while also suppressing science; some theists take issues like equal rights for LGBT and make it about themselves.
I’m guessing Jillianna is still going to have a problem with that statement, but there’s a reason why fundamentalists portray the worst qualities of religion—the fundamentals. Of course, “fundamentalist” implies that there is a certain level of rarity, but oppression of women and LGBT is not rare, even in America, and it is often caused by or at least justified by religion, as is hate of atheists, apostates, and people of different faiths.
I am not “mad because Christianity doesn’t agree with the things [I] agree with” any more than I am mad at fascism, nationalism, or any other worldview which has conflicting moral values or makes a false statement. “God doesn’t hate anyone, he hates the sin” has long been an excuse used to condemn people like LGBT but still seem “nice”. Furthermore, what Jillianna wrote doesn’t actually address the content of my blog post; she just has a sugarcoated view of Christianity as a whole and doesn’t want that view challenged.
There are many denominations of Christianity, many of which are quite progressive. My girlfriend is a Christian, but she is extremely progressive and without a doubt a good person. She and many other nice Christians, of which there are countless, of course, do not nullify the Catholic Church which has long oppressed women and LGBT, even forcing women to give birth by strapping them to a bed, thus removing all bodily autonomy; they do not negate the strong sense of ignorant hate one can find against LGBT people in America, and most prominently those who are transgender, as seen in cases like Leelah Alcorn.
If religions did not have any conservative values, I, as a progressive, would not be arguing against the values found in religion. I’d only be arguing against the validity of their supernatural claims (and the validity of the claims of monopoly on good values, like community and charity). Many theists would STILL find this offensive, because having one’s faith challenged seems to be too much for some people.
And even most nice Christians believe atheists will go to hell for not believing in their specific extraordinary claim. This is absolutely revolting. If I thought a human being would be punished for all eternity simply for not believing in a supernatural claim, not worshipping a totalitarian leader, or not following a list of arbitrary rules, I would not be okay with that; I would not want to worship that leader. Why would anyone?
Update, later on January 16, 2015
Remy seems to have read this blog post, and maybe he even read "Freedom of religion insults me" now. He responded, so below is a comment from him before and a comment from him after this blog post. Seriously, kudos to him for admitting he was wrong. But... do I look gay?
Update, January 19, 2015
If one doesn't read, then of course one will not understand. It is important to read something before you try to criticize it. You should also not base your judgment on what Remy wrote. This theist didn't read and judged me based on Remy. In his defense, he was not chauvinistic and seemed nice, to be honest. Overall a good person, I would say, if not a bit too quick to judge.