How is that for civility?
Let me explain something simple to you. There are places in the world – many places – not isolated places – not bizarre places – not insignificant places – not just one place or two – where being an atheist will get you a bullet in the head. Most others? Harassed, hated, closeted, isolated, disowned, discriminated against – out atheists (the rude as well as the diplomatic) are subject to threats of violence and murder in the United States and in Canada, where, at the very least those making those threats generally do not act on them. Not everyone is that lucky.
I know I know – sometimes atheists say things that people don’t like. Heck a few of them are really rude. A few of them get annoyed when they are constantly expected to participate in religious ritual to be active in public life or at their work place.
I’m not angry at you for giving Mr. Solo lessons on diplomacy. I’m not even championing his cause. At some point, I do understand the wisdom of picking your battles.
What angers me is that in one breath you completely dismiss the atheist experience and then in the next accuse Mr. Solo of dismissing the experience of others.
“During this deep breath, reflect on what your little diatribe about victimhood might sound like to, say, Christians in China or Egypt or Pakistan who have been imprisoned or even killed for having dared to poke tiny holes in the totalitarian clouds -– one atheistic, one hyper-religious — that hang over them.”
THE REASON – the entire reason – to nip theocracy in the bud, is because WE KNOW WHERE IT LEADS. We are the ones speaking out against blasphemy laws. We are the ones who invite apostates to speak – we look into the eyes of those people who are risking their lives to admit their convictions openly.
If you want to know why atheists who do have very privileged lives in North America and Europe – who deal with offense and annoyance, but are not being “imprisoned or even killed” – get all bent out of shape about the U.S. pledge including “under God” or presidents lighting up “Christmas” trees or atheist service men and women having religious funeral services against their family’s wishes or any other sort of “silly” “unimportant” stuff – it is because with every death threat, with every politician calling us a “threat to society” – we understand very well how tenuous our security is.
We know where theocracy leads – to us being slaughtered.