I think to an extent it is true, that we as humans tend to have a little bit of a victim complex. I observe it, when yet another Theist wishes hell upon me and I also observe it, when some Christians complain that we took the Bible and prayer out of school. I think in many instances we fail to see the difference between what our rights are and what privileges we might enjoy, that we’ve merely grown accostumed to.

Let’s take for instance the case of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of “American Atheists” :

She was known as “the most hated woman in America” because she accomplished one thing, namely that Bible reading in class as well as prayer led by the teacher during class was prohibited.

Many Christians of course aren’t particularly fond of her but she did in no way take away any rights from Christians. What she took away was privilege, the privilege that Christianity be taught in school. I’m sorry to tell you this but in a secular pluralistic society, you don’t get to enjoy this privilege.

That of course doesn’t mean, that children aren’t allowed to pray. They are allowed to pray and they are allowed to read the Bible, they just have to do so during lunch time or recess or whatever.

I think separation of church and state is a good thing and I don’t hold that view because I’m anti-Christian I hold it because it’s fair. After all if the Muslims or the nonbelievers became a majority in America, then they could push for the Qu’ran or “god is not great” by Christopher Hitchens to be read in school.

I hardly think, that anybody but the favored group would be content with that. As a matter of fact I wouldn’t be content with that, because I don’t want Atheism to be taught. I’m pro skepticism and pro critical thinking and teaching children, that God doesn’t exist is dogmatism and counterproductive to the extreme.

The simple fact of the matter is, that anyone can practice his religious views however he seems fit. However your rights to practice your religious views (or your views in general, but since religion is more or less what my blog is about…) ends when it conflicts with my rights.

That’s the reason, why there is such a thing as “Draw Mohammad Day” . Nobody was thinking about drawing Mohammad before we were told, that we can’t. We cannot allow opposing views to be imposed on us. Not being allowed to draw Muhammad is a rule, that Muslims have to follow. Christians, Hindus and Atheists don’t have to adhere to it and we won’t be forced to.

Marriage being only and exclusively between a man and a woman is true for people who interpret the Bible or the Qu’ran a certain way. It is not true for gay Atheists or gay Christians who view the Bible differently or for anybody else.

There is a difference between rights and privileges. Nobody tries to take anybody’s rights away here. Being able to have your religious views taught in school or prohibiting gay people from getting married (I’m looking at you Kim Davis) is a Privilege and it’s a Privilege that unfortunately many have grown accostumed to and that many would like to regain.

In a Pluralistic society we all walk around as equals. Your views are your own. They can be discussed, they can be shared but they can’t and won’t be imposed. At least not without nonbelievers like me speaking out.

Goodbye from yours truly,

Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation


One thought on “Of Rights and Privileges

  1. You don’t understand the 1st amendment. A separation of church and state was not intended to shut faith out of the public forum, but to prevent the establishment of a state religion. To prevent government from impinging on our faith. The reason Christianity has always been favored is because it is at the core of our founding principles. And like it or not, science has backed up those principles. Studies have shown that families with a mom and a dad are more stable than same-sex relationships. With that said, I think anyone should be allowed to exercise their faith as long as 1)it doesn’t impinge on the rights of others—for example, forcing children to go to a mosque to learn about Islam and 2)said faith is compatible with our form of government, our ideals of freedom. If you have people that want to force you to conform to their faith, that is incompatible and we should have safeguards to protect from that.


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