Friday, August 1, 2008

Respect Is A Deuce-Way Street

Via Tristero, an Andrew Sullivan reader on PZ Myers' Catholic-baiting:
If the Catholic church can get away with desecrating what others consider sacred (or, for those of us who have no concept of sacredness, at least special) - if they can call a loving union between two gay men or women an "abomination", if they can call the union into which I hope to enter someday a "perversion", then damn it, I reserve the right to desecrate what they consider sacred also. Respect is a two-way street - if they want my respect, they must give me theirs.
What this misses is that while only a small minority of Christians (some Catholic, others not) use words like "abomination" and "perversion" to describe gay relationships, the gleeful public desecration of the host is offensive to a vastly larger number of Catholics, for many of whom Catholicism is primarily an ethno-cultural identity.

Furthermore, the display of antipathy towards that symbolic ritual in particular evokes a long history of anti-Catholic demagoguery, typically perpetrated by the sorts of fire-breathing Protestant fundamentalists and bigots whose intellectual heirs today build their careers on the demonization of Muslims and, yes, gays.

Anyway, I guess I would say that people's beliefs don't necessarily deserve respect, but on the other hand being a jerk about it is kind of...jerky.

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