Hari’s question (answers on a postcard)
Johann Hari has a brilliant article in today’s Independent. It is a response to the rioters in India who objected to his column “Why Should I respect these oppressive religions?“. There is so much quotable in it, you really should read it all.
He quotes the offending passage from that article again. And it’s worth repeating.
All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don’t respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a “Prophet” who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him. I don’t respect the idea that the West Bank was handed to Jews by God and the Palestinians should be bombed or bullied into surrendering it. I don’t respect the idea that we may have lived before as goats, and could live again as woodlice. When you demand “respect”, you are demanding we lie to you. I have too much real respect for you as a human being to engage in that charade.
So, religious people – why should anyone respect your stupid beliefs? This is a serious question. What is your answer?