Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In reply: Unitarian Tolerance (if I do say so myself)

In reply to the following comment from Charles Giacometti, which appeared at INSTAPUTZ: In which Ann Althouse makes sense. on 4/26/10, at 8:35:16 AM EDT (No links to individual comments via ECHO):

You could have entitled this entry, "Wherein even an angry old drunk realizes Glenn Reynolds is a rube...."

But I also agree with the angry old drunk, and will go even further. The "draw Mohammed day" is clearly anti-Muslim. As Respac notes, visual depictions of Mohammed are indeed offensive to many Muslims. I have friends who were raised Muslim but no longer practice it, and they were upset about the Danish cartoon (though they would never go so far as to even protest it). Still, they were offended, and at least in one instance, I could tell profoundly so.

Moreover, for a million reasons, Americans shouldn't be in the business of mocking religions.

For the record, I am a religious person, Unitarian Universalist specifically, and I am taken aback by some of the comments in this thread ("coddle the fucking morons who believe this stupid shit.") These commenters seem to assume that all religious people are stupid, childish, and more. When I sit in the pews on Sunday, I look around at MIT and Harvard professors, musicians from the Boston Symphony, doctors, lawyers, therapists. I can say with all confidence that none of them are morons.

As for keeping religious beliefs private and out of the public square, I need only point to the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement, both of which derived a great deal of energy, power, and moral authority from religious leaders and lay religious people.

Just to be clear, the extremists who would threaten to kill someone over a drawing should indeed be mocked (not to mention prosecuted). So too should the transparently fake "religious" leaders of the right, and the deeply flawed people like KLo who attach all their failings and inadequacy to a religion they claim to understand but clearly don't. But let's understand that there are indeed intelligent, reasonable, and principled people of faith in our midst and around the world.

My reply, posted 5:43:11 AM, EDT (same link):

It says something that we're both UU's, and both offering a message of tolerance for the innocent muslims that'll get caught up in this. Taking a stand against censorship and violence in the name of political and religious intolerance is a worthwhile goal--and like I said, a huge, united front in the face of those who're threatening violence really does appeal to me--but the more I see of the people who're supporting it, the more I realize what a bad idea it is.

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