R.E.S.P.E.C.T.... find out what it means to me... (with apologies to Aretha)
I can excuse children for believing in Santa, heck, I encourage in my own grand-kids. The same with the easter bunny and the tooth fairy.
I excuse the mentally ill for having delusions, no matter how absurd.
But frankly guys, I can't excuse grown, mentally competent adults for clinging to absurdity in the face of reality.
When are we as a group going to stop pretending that we can separate the belief from the believer? Why do the liberal-pacifists among us try so desperately to pretend that belief exists in some sort of a vacuum, a thing separate from the people who hold it? You tell me about respect, yet you are condescending to those you seek to defend, treating them as children, not responsible for their own beliefs.
I'm as socially and politically liberal as they come, and I'm not really all that fond of confrontation (no really), but damn, people...
I hear on a daily basis how I'm supposed to respect people even though I think what they believe is lunacy.
So, I either act as though they are delusional and NOT responsible for their own beliefs, as if they are brain washed and indoctrinated children, or I show them TRUE respect, and demand that they take full responsibility for the views they espouse.
If I call you a dumb ass for something stupid you hold near and dear, it's because I RESPECT you enough to NOT see you as a helpless and hapless victim of matters outside your control, a robot. I see you as a human being.
Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.