Reader Chris sent me an email that boiled down to this:
Atheists like to say: You should respect the person, but you don’t have to respect their beliefs.
Is this any different from Christians saying, “Love the sinner but hate the sin”?
The gist of my response to Chris went like this:
There is one major difference.
At *no* point are atheists trying to enact laws that would forbid religious people from believing in a god or attending church. We want to persuade them they’re wrong. Some atheists call them names, some write books, some blog, some are involved in local groups, some don’t do anything… but, in general, we would oppose forcing anyone to share our beliefs.
Meanwhile, Christians who “love gays but hate gayness” constantly vote against gay marriage, fight against hate crime legislation, pass laws against gay adoption, and spread lies about homosexuality (“They choose to be gay!”)…
They’re not content with just sharing their misguided opinions on homosexuality. They want to see to it that gay people are treated unequally in our society.
Atheists don’t need to resort to laws or lies. The truth is on our side. We’re just out there trying to spread it.
Would you add anything to that response?