I received a comment from a reader of my post yesterday. I have posted the writer’s comment here and responded individually to specifics.
“You might think that the fact that you use words as “vilify” makes you an authority on something which you obviously know nothing about.”
By phrasing your opening line with the words that I “might think” something, you limit logical denial. However, while I “might think” using the word vilify makes me an authority on something, I don’t. My use of the word is as a verb to describe behavior of certain people. How is it you prove I have no “obvious” knowledge, because I did not give a history of religious bigotry in an opinion piece? I need not give such a history; your own letter proves my point in its last line.
“You vilify Christians in the same breath you claim we vilify you.”
Show me where I say anything about Christians and show me where I vilify anything. I am making a valid criticism of organized religion. You jump to conclusions and take it further, ascribing my criticism to Christianity, then claim I am vilifying, all in the same breath.
“You don’t understand us, but yet we are supposed to understand you.”
Again, this comes from nowhere. My fundamental thesis requests that we look hard at religion, that we seek understanding. You miss this point entirely and as you do in your entire letter, making assumptions and jumping to unjustified conclusions. You state I want “you” to understand me; does this mean you think I am in a minority and want religions to understand me? Is it something else? I offered an opinion, I did not ask for religious tolerance of what I had to say.
“It seems that whenever any group of people creates a movement with the same rhetoric you espouse, you want to play with a different set of rules and on a different playing field. Your attitude and language mirrors that which you abhor in Christians.”
What rhetoric is it that I espouse, that we should look at religion’s place in furthering intolerance and bigotry? I suppose you are right that I want to play with a different set of rules on a different playing field because I am not arguing we use intolerance and bigotry in making this examination. And again, where in anything do I specifically mention Christians? Where do I show abhorrence? In asking we stop intolerance and bigotry? Is that abhorrence? It seems you are the one with the attitude, as well the one who is jumping to conclusions and making assumptions.
“Have you thought about that?”
Why yes. See my previous response.
“You make leaps and bounds and speak with hyperbole, and use circular reasoning to prove your point.”
Ironic, considering this exactly what you have done through this entire diatribe. Making leaps and bounds? You have done so by assuming I speak only of Christians. I said religion. Does this mean only Christianity qualifies in your narrow mind? And where exactly is my hyperbole, in claiming religion is used as an excuse in most bigotry? This is not overstatement; it is truth.
“I don’t think you’re going see people give up on religion.”
Did I make such a request? No. I said we need to look at religion honestly to see its place in bigotry. I did not say do away with it. Read my words, don’t jump “leaps and bounds.”
“After all, religion is a word that people don’t understand. What we really focus on is a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
As is typical with those of your ilk, you think the only religion is yours. There is no response to your narrow-mindedness.
“You don’t have to understand us or believe the way we believe, especially with regard to sin and our own sinfulness. But, then again, we don’t have to understand you or believe the way you believe, either–even if you don’t want to believe that there is such a thing as sin.”
Again, as with this entire pointless rant, you make assumptions based on your own beliefs, not based on anything I have said. And again, there really isn’t much one can do to respond to your own imaginings.
“So, I will respect you and let you live the life you want to live; but, please, respect me and let me live the life I want to live without the name-calling and generalizations.”
Name calling? Where in what I said did I call anyone any names? You are deluded. And if this entire letter is your being respectful, I would hate to see what you consider disrespect.
“The proposition was voted, and unfortunately for you, you are in the minority.”
Yes, thanks to religion and the hatefulness of most people like you, bigotry is alive and well. Thank you for proving my point.