Re: this, on rhetorical strategies for dealing with Christian anti-gay vitriol —

Yes to nixing the antisemitism, but this… “no one should be forced to adhere to the beliefs of someone else’s religion”… *rubs temples*  Look, I know, what you’re going for.  There’s real value to that.

But in so far as I believe in a Thing that is Religion (I don’t), I consider it one of my “”””religious beliefs”””” that all people deserve to live, so… yeah, I’m invested in “forcing” people to abide by that one.


less arbitrary religious/secular divisions as a basis for deicing what’s appropriate, more responding to bigoted abusive Christians with Bible-based anarchy

as allacharade put it:

more arguments pointing out that the very same book of the bible demands you leave some of your food for the poor, that you act unbiasedly in upholding the law, that you never take advantage of those at risk in your community, that you never mistreat the poor, the stranger and foreigner in your land, those with disabilities or the elderly. More arguments that point out that you can’t be mad that the law of a secular country doesn’t fit with your one interpretation of one verse in Leviticus, but not be furious at the way minorities and poor people in the country are treated. That if you want to call yourself defenders of the bible and this is the only thing you get mad about, you don’t know the bible very well.

10 responses to “Force

  • Arrela

    Yes no yes idk why do I always see your posts when I’m too tired to know what I think? I think a lot of things about this!

    I agree about the divison between religious and secular in many ways being arbitrary and the two being personally unseparable, but I also think that’s a societally (is that a word? it is now) useful distinction, and I do think that religious freedom also means not being bound by other religoins’ doctrines BUT I also agree that that distinction is kinda hopeless and that separating religion and politics is at best an impossible ideal and probably not even ideal.

    Thank you for this post, not I have a starting point for what I imagine will be a very interesting discussion with my humanist girlfriend :)

    (Also, yes to the “”religious belief”” that all people deserve to live!)

  • epochryphal

    *points at ethical culturalism*

    • Coyote

      (now that it’s a more reasonable hour)

      Oh! Haha, I wasn’t meaning that in the “no one would agree with me on this without being Religious” sort of way; I don’t do that kind of argument. If someone’s going to tell me to set religious beliefs aside, though… eh it just annoys me when people use the term “religion” to only mean “specifically the parts of that religion that I don’t already agree with.” Like “oh well if I think that’s a good thing to be enforced then it doesn’t count.”

      • epochryphal

        mmm yeah i guess i figured that’s what you meant? but hm. it feels weird to root Reasons For Rules That Apply To Others in, religious or spiritual beliefs rather than ethical ones, to me. *shrug*

        like i get that those things can feel and BE entangled? but when presented as like. Solid Reasoning for yeah Enforcing, ’tis too reminiscent of badness.

        • Coyote

          I don’t really… distinguish between religion and ethics, on a personal basis, I guess… meaning, I think of my own as the same collapsed category (not that I think of them as synonyms, lol). So delineating stuff is messy, that’s all I meant. In the same way that delineating abuse in general, like we were talking about the other day, can be messy.

  • Calum P Cameron

    Could it be argued that there is an important difference between “forcing people not to kill” and “forcing people to adhere to the belief that others should not be killed”? With the former only implying meddling in the behaviour of others, and the latter implying meddling in their thoughts? Although I suppose in this particular context the implication would be otherwise…

    Additionally, could it be argued that statements like “no-one should be forced to do X” are by default supposed to be read as including an unspoken “(except in cases where it is necessary in order to avoid the killing or maiming of others)”? Kind of like how most people allow “no-one should have their freedom to speak infringed upon” to be by default assumed to include an unspoken “(except when they’re committing dangerous hate speech or shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre)”?

    I ask because, perhaps embarrassingly, I genuinely haven’t studied the patterns of word usage at play here to know either way.

  • cheerfuloptimistic

    Saying “you can’t force people to follow your religious laws” doesn’t really work as an alternative to the antisemitic tactics. The reason those arguments are employed to begin with is, at least partially, that we’re trying to convince people that they can let go of their homoantagonistic beliefs and still be good Christians.

    I would like most Christians to realize that they don’t have to convert everyone to Christianity, but I doubt the aforementioned argument will help much with that.

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