The following may be stretching what 'being offended' means (and, truth be told, I may be stretching what 'belief' means), but I'm curious how this will play out:
I'm not made angry by people who have religious belief. It's when they impose that belief, directly or indirectly, on me or others that my hackles go up and my teeth get bared.
If these particular people actually
believe that, unless you do not follow god's rules, that you will be eternally tortured
, shouldn't you be offended if they don't
try, with as much effort as they can muster, to impose those beliefs upon you?
I'm being serious here. If there is someone who truly
believes that, unless you accept claims a
, and c
, unless you do x
, and z
, that you will suffer eternally
, shouldn't you be offended that they aren't
doing their best to save you from eternal torture
Don't like premarital sex? Don't have it. Don't like abortions? Don't have one. Don't like gays getting married? Don't perform them in your church. Think all other religions are demonically-inspired? Stay away from them.
But keep your beliefs out of public life. The alternative is sectarian violence and repression; history is all too replete with examples of how that turned out. Spoiler: not well.
But their beliefs extend beyond
what they do or do not like
. Their beliefs are that, if you engage in premarital sex, you will be eternally tortured
. That if you are OK with homosexual marriage, you will be eternally tortured
. These are beliefs regarding objective reality
here, not merely preference.
Bad analogy time:
Let's say that I am at a fork in the road. There are no signs of any kind to indicate what will happen if I go down path A
or path B
I am on this road and walking towards path A
. Now, there is another person who sees me walking down path A
, and this person believes that path A leads to pain
- let's say...an army of monkeys with rubber mallets that will continuously hit me, over and over again, if I so much as go near them. This person tells me
about these monkeys, but I don't believe them.
Now...both this person and myself acknowledge that I do not
want to feel pain. If presented with the options of 'being hit by rubber mallets' or 'not being hit by rubber mallets', I would decidedly pick 'not being hit by rubber mallets'. This person knows
that I do not want to be hit by rubber mallets. Which action should I find more offensive - if this person let's me wallow in my own ignorance and carry on my merry way down path A
, or if they tackle me and force me down path B
because they believe
that I will be hit by rubber mallets if I do otherwise, and they know
that I don't want to be hit by rubber mallets?