I appreciated the suggested, albeit sarcastic, tolerance (a bit) though I don’t particularly share it.
I appreciated the suggestion that we are moving into a time where more and more people are willing to bump up against religion and question it, or even better, reject it.
So anyway, I liked it and I posted it.
Since then it has been rattling around in the back of my brain, poking at me. You know the feeling you get when you have a partially completed thought … yeah, that is how this was.
Then my lovely daughter posted this article, Russia Extends Jailing of Punk Band Activists and the dissonance lifted, and the cards fell into place.
What’s the problem in Russia? Well apparently three feminist punk rock singers from a band called Pussy Riot— were arrested in March 2012 after staging a political protest against Vladimir Putin. In a nut shell, they are being accused of aiming to destroy 1000′s of years of orthodox church tradition. No, not threatening – are destroying it. My first thought was that the orthodox church tradition must not be very stable or secure if they need to jail three women for singing a song. But again, the brain kept chugging even after I had put the article aside.
How do these two things line up, you might ask?
The battle has not been won. Not even fucking close. As long as we are reading the news and hearing about people being oppressed, marginalized, persecuted, punished, tortured or murdered in the name of religion – this is a war very much UN-won. This story is not even a little bit uncommon or rare and it’s not a Russia problem. It’s not a Russian Orthodox Church problem. It’s an all over the world, every religion problem.
Tolerance misses the boat for me. As far as I am concerned, people can believe whatever they want to believe, and I will fight for their right to believe it. I will not however, accept that things people personally believe should ever be used to, as I said above, oppress, marginalize, persecute, punish, torture or even murder other people. At that point, all bets are off, and so is my tolerance.
If we starting getting smug that atheism is gaining ground, is more visible, is more accepted and that somehow we can sit back and think religion is being placed on a back burner, where it can no longer harm people, we are part of the problem. So, no … not good for you, you’re a helicopter. No .. we’re not having fun reading or hearing about people and their imaginary, delusional and frankly dangerous beliefs which so greatly harm so many, many people.
Lest we forget.