I don’t need any respect.
All the time in the news we see religions, begging to be respected and tolerated, asking for extra privileges. Muslims are particularly good at this – they are so easily offended at comics, music videos, etc. As an atheist I don’t ask for any special respect. Mock my disbelief, condemn me to hell, I don’t care. I do however ask that the basic human privileges are not torn from us. Simply because we don’t believe in your god, it does not mean you have the right to fire us from our jobs, or kill us (I have a feeling I would be killed if I lived in Afghanistan).
As for the respect that the religious want, I do give. Believe in God, fine. Believe in Allah, fine. Brainwash the schoolchildren, persecute the homosexuals, blow up the citizens – that’s when I disrespect you. Do not ask for respect if you are not going to reciprocate. I will not only blame the extremists for the crimes of religion. I will also blame religion for the crimes of its extremists. If the scripture in any way allows such crimes to be tolerated, then it is the scripture that is to be blamed. Cherry-pick all you want. But do not deny that your book is filled with unlawful sadism, sexism, slavery, murder, genocide, and blood and gore.
Why are Buddhists less likely to blow people up than Muslims? Because their scripture never said anything about “kill the infidels and you shall receive 72 virgins”. Anything done in the name of a religion is that religion’s fault for allowing it in its scriptures. It is that simple.
Do religious people deserve any respect? As much as a child with an imaginary friend does. I can respect him if he wishes to believe, but when he starts pushing his imaginary friend down my throat, that is when I kindly remind him that his friend is not real. But God isn’t an imaginary friend! He isn’t? Well, prove it. The day you prove it is the day I cease to be atheist. But I seriously hope the Bible code contains more miracles than the Qur’an code. It’s a dangerously close match.
I know in my heart that God is real, therefore your God is false, therefore you need to repent or else, you’re going to hell. Well, tough news for you, my friend. I know in my heart that the Pink Unicorn is real, therefore your sky daddy is false, therefore you need to repent or face the pinkish wrath. Religion does not deserve any special privileges because it bases itself upon zero evidence. It should toughen up and face the criticisms, or slink back to the dark age whence it came.
As for our almighty Father who art in Heaven, he should not need any respect. Instead, he should try earning it, like all real fathers do. And for me – the immoral lowlife – the heretical atheist – I don’t need any respect. But as an ‘evolutionist’, I do ask that you respect my Australopithecus afarensis.
Because unlike your God, my Australopithecus afarensis is real, and you might hurt her feelings.