I tell you what, most people often argue that you should be able to freely speak about and criticize religion openly in the public sphere, with Richard Dawkins is one of the biggest heralds of this idea with which I agree emphatically. However, more often than not you hear the line, “No one gets offended the same way when talking about politics.” I no longer thing that’s the case.
It seems today that if you in any way support libertarianism, let alone a libertarian politician such as Ron Paul, you’ll see pretty quickly how offensive, rude and ignorant even the most well composed and informed people among us (even atheists in my experience) soon become.
It’s a real shame that we have this break down in rational and courteous discourse. I, myself, am somewhat of a supporter of Ron Paul, as I am one of Barrack Obama. I support them for different reasons, pretty much because what one has the other lacks. Anyway, I’m not going to delve too deeply into my personal politics.
The point is that I think I’ve suffered more ignorance and abuse over what often start out as sensible discussions about Ron Paul than I have with regards to religion and my atheism. I kid you not… This may be because most of the people I surround myself with are atheists, or at least sensible / moderate theists, who agree with me mostly in regards to religion / science, but of whom are mostly somewhat socialist and definitely mostly liberal.
However, on top of this, I find it disturbing that so many otherwise highly intellectual people, atheists in particular, succumb to political propaganda, to which they exhibit knee-jerk reactions, then incessantly proclaim ridiculous strawman arguments, and are completely close-minded to the rational arguments in favour of libertarianism (whether or not you agree with them). That is, few people I speak with can even momentarily accept and comprehend the ideals Ron Paul champions, despite needing to agree with him wholeheartedly or not in the slightest.
I have no issue with people disagreeing with me, Ron Paul, theists, anyone or thing or idea out there. But it is an enormous disservice to oneself to ignore the motivations of such people. To brush them off as evil people, or morons, without actually giving a moment to understand why they believe what they believe.
Be respectful and open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brain falls out…