The other day, Toronto Sun columnist Anthony Furey mused on religious people’s frequent pleas for “respect,” and couldn’t find any to give.
That might seem surprising. Like rays of sun and children’s laughter, respect is one of those things that no one can be seriously against, right?
Hmm. Look, I do like respect. Maybe I even respect it. I’ve just never felt obligated to give it to unlikely theories, or to the absurd edicts of Bible-era sheep herders.
If you agree, don’t feel guilty; for all their professed reverence for “respect,” the faithful don’t truly supply it either.
If you think your god is the one and only god, well then you certainly don’t think the other guy’s is. Which means you likely don’t respect him for joining the wrong team. Nor should you. You wouldn’t be a very good believer if you did.
And guess what? That’s OK. The multi-faith crowd don’t want you to know this, but we were never meant to “respect” each others’ religions. We’re simply meant to tolerate them. Two starkly different approaches.
And I maintain an easy disregard for Islam’s incessant, belligerent demands for respect — demands that are usually spoken in the same breath as the ominous warning that we’d better not joke around about Muslims’ precious prophet.
The worst kind of respect-related doublespeak is uttered by people who lie through their teeth to get heathens to heel. For instance, this is what Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu, the former Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, told the Huffington Post in 2012:
“We Muslims, we never insult Christians, Jesus Christ, Moses … nobody in our countries produces films mocking Jesus or Moses.”
That’s some “respect,” huh?
I’m in favor of harmony, by which I mean a broad live-and-let-live approach to life. But I’ll never pay up if the price for a peaceful coexistence is that I must show respect for the fatuous doctrines of Pat Robertson or even Rick Warren — or for the phantasmagorical beliefs of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu and his thin-skinned brethren.
Tolerance, they can have. Respect, not so much.
(Image via SMBC)