When I enter into liberal spaces, quite often those that have been victims of fundamentalist Christians will attack the validity of my belief system by lumping us all in the same group. I know that this comes from a place of pain, but purposefully erasing me is also hurtful. Quite often I am met with the idea that Christians don’t really practice what they preach, and if there was really a conflict regarding bigotry, more Christians would be speaking out. Well, everyday on this blog I attempt to speak for marginalized bodies. I encourage everyone through my open guest posting policy to speak their truth.
Of course, there were many comments which put an emphasis on the advisability of showing respect to people of faith, but at least one person took a major offense to this idea because apparently it's too much like allowing a Privileged Person's Privilege to Remain Unexamined.
You know what? I don't think that showing respect to other people's beliefs necessarily means that we ignore the bad and allow another person's perspective to run roughshod over us. I don't even think that it means that we have to like the fact that someone else believes differently. But what I do believe it means is that if we respect someone else's beliefs, we stop attacking each other for faith (or lack thereof), we do not speak of other groups as monolithic structures of hatred and abuse, we do not make reference to "invisible sky people" and mock them for "silly little superstitions". We do not argue with them about whether it's logical or rational to believe in what they do, and we certainly do not call them names for believing what they do. We do not accuse them of being worse people because of their beliefs. And if we feel angry because somebody else has wholeheartedly embraced a belief that we do not personally subscribe to, instead of trying to argue or annoy them into seeing the world from our perspective, we simply shut up.
Call people of faith out for asshattery, by all means. There are too many people out there who see it as their right to act in hateful, hurtful ways because they're able to use readings from their preferred holy book in order to justify their attitudes. But don't be an asshole by default towards people who believe something that you don't. That kind of attitude is not only non-progressive, but it is profoundly damaging to everyone involved.