May 26, 2010

Taken to Task for Intolerance

coexist.jpgThis is going to have to be a quick one. Just because I am lucky enough to be able to work from home today does not mean that I get to spend the day blogging. At least that is what I am trying to convince myself of at the moment.

I was taken to task recently by Sherry, a Christian blogger at A Feather Adrift. I'm not sure I deserved it. I don't think that what I wrote was really that bad. See what you think.

After indicating that she "was happy to hear that the Pentagon rescinded it’s offer to Franklin Graham to speak at the National Prayer Day ceremonies," Sherry wrote the following (unedited):
While VJack at Atheist Revolution was “disturbed”and “disappointed” that the President visited the elder Graham and also met Franklin, I pointed out in a FB entry that, well fundies would would have been just as disappointed and disturbed had Obama visited Dawkins or Hutchens. The point being, I guess intolerance is something that both fundies and atheists can have in common.
She is certainly right that fundamentalists would have been upset if President Obama had met with prominent atheists. I seem to recall them getting fairly upset when ordinary atheists were permitted to meet with low-level members of his staff. But am I intolerant for being upset that he met with Franklin Graham? Perhaps. I do tend to be more than a little intolerant of bigotry.

Sherry herself characterized Franklin as expressing "the usual racist claptrap," so is she suggesting I should be tolerant of that? I doubt it. But somehow it is okay for her to criticize Franklin in a way that is not okay when I do it.

Sherry seems to be equating criticism of religious belief with racism and theocratic ambitions. I have seen this comparison made plenty of times, and I find it to be misguided.

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