Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I saw this article on Slog today and it really resonated with me.

For those too lazy to click through, it's an article saying that Jews have had to deal forever with cheeseburgers being in restaurants, even though cheeseburgers are forbidden by the Bible, so conservative Christians can deal with gay marriage being legal. (In short. Go read it. It's a good argument.)

Of course there are fundamentalist Jews out there--every religion has fundamentalists--but the rest of us are used to being a minority who has to deal with everyone else all the time. Heck, now I'm a vegan (mostly) and guess what? I have to watch people eat meat all the time. I smell it when I walk down the street. I see it displayed in the window of butchers. The supermarket is full of animal products that I choose not to eat, for scientifically sound health reasons.

And yet I can't stop them.

I can't stop people from eating meat. I can't stop restaurants from selling cheeseburgers. I can't stop Christmas trees everywhere.

And all of that is why nobody can stop me from practicing my religion, or preaching my non-religion, if that's what I decide to do. In this country, everyone gets to practice her own religion. But we don't get to impose that religion on others. We can't stop McDonalds from selling cheeseburgers, and we can't stop my friend from sponsoring her wife for citizenship.

I can't tell you that Baptism is a meaningless magic trick, and you can't refuse to pay for your employees' health insurance just because it covers birth control. It works both ways.

Yeah, it's hard to be a religious minority. I imagine it's even harder when just a few years ago you were in the majority. But being in the minority doesn't automatically make you oppressed. Being unable to impose your views on others doesn't make you oppressed, either.

It sucks sometimes. But the same rules that stop you from stopping gay marriage also protect you from being shut down for preaching your message of hate.

You just have to turn the other cheek. Who said that, again?

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