In the comments to the teawad post, Spocko writes:
I have a
quote from the neocon theocon rw radio host I never used because it
explains a lot. He said that he can not respect another religion
because then what would that say about his religion. To even
acknowledge another religion as okay is a “slap in the face”
That inability to be okay with your religion without attacking another religion shows just how weak they see their religion.
Which is close, I think. How do you prove your faith without running down that of others? How confident can you be in your own life if you can’t compare yourself favorably to another? How do you know you’re doing the right thing, if you can’t make out like somebody else is doing wrong?
How, in the face of someone else’s truth, in the face of someone else’s peace or joy or satisfaction, do you justify your own?
I was brought up in a serious religious environment: church on Sundays, prayers before meal- and bedtimes, Catholic school for 12 years. We had an advent wreath at Christmas and went to the holy day Masses. We weren’t casual Catholics, I mean, even compared to my Catholic school friends we were pretty hardcore.
But I had to ask my little brother, a while back during some other incident of religious stupidity, if he could ever remember, ever even once, hearing an unkind word about a Protestant or Jew or Muslim in our house, growing up. In general or specifically about an individual because of that individual’s faith. I had to ask him because I couldn’t recall a single incident in which someone else’s religion was put up for ridicule or seen as a threat or even commented on at any length.
Now, part of that might have been that it was a fairly homogeneous white Christian town and thus the opportunities for comparative religion seminars were limited, but still, we had TV, it’s not like we didn’t know the rest of the world existed. And the most I ever heard either of my parents say (possibly spurred by seeing someone in a yarmulke or veil) was that some people believed other things, but that we believed what we believed.
It was seen as No Big Thing that not everybody thought and practiced the same way, and I used to think it was because doctrinal debate was tiresome and everybody was busy and we were too young, but now I think the people I knew growing up just didn’t care, and I mean that in the best sense. It was a useful lesson: You don’t need to concern yourself. Your responsibility is to get your sinful ass to church on Sunday. Somebody else has another job.
Without running someone else down, how do you know you’re okay? You know because if you are okay, you don’t need to run someone else down. You don’t need to see someone else’s faith as a threat. You don’t see in every family speaking Spanish in a store the menacing brown immigrant hordes. You don’t look at a mosque being built as “the Islamization of America.” This is the way of the world. You look at them, look at yourself, and go on about your day.