Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said that a man should not be judged by the color of his skin, but rather by the content of his character. I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the gist. The idea being that a person cannot change certain physical attributes but can choose to behave in ways that either benefit or harm others. One could also apply this to gender as well.
But for whatever reason, somewhere along the line, we decided that religion also applied. But why?
To me, it seems that one’s religion falls well within the “content of their character”. If somebody thinks that I’m not among the “chosen people” , or that I am going to “burn in hell”, or deserve to be murdered for not subscribing to their particular brand of spirituality, I sort of feel like I have the right to judge that person as not somebody I want to associate with.
To be clear, I am not anti-religion. I have religious beliefs of my own. I generally take the approach that “whatever gets you through the day” is fine by me as long as you’re not encroaching upon my rights as an individual. None of us are 100% rational.
But I do take offense to the idea the religious discrimination is equal to racial or sexual discrimination or other forms of discrimination. Maybe what it comes down to is that I don’t expect you to submit to my admittedly irrational beliefs, so don’t call me a bigot if I don’t submit to yours.