Due to the riots going on in the Middle-East, which have been sparked by the unwatchable film, “Innocence of Muslims,” there have been a lot of holier-than-thou theists and atheists who don’t think religious beliefs should be mocked. Some have stated that they support the right of free speech, but they are still uncomfortable with atheists mocking religious beliefs. For the record, this crappy film was made by Christians. Still, atheists have made similar YouTube videos… of much better quality of course.
I understand that there are times to be diplomatic. That’s fine; I don’t mock religious beliefs at every opportunity. But there are also times when mocking ridiculous beliefs whether they are religious or not is entirely appropriate. In fact, we all do it.
Here is a great example that really happened to me. I was at the Renaissance Faire a number of years ago with some friends, one of which was Catholic. We got into a conversation about Tom Cruise and my Catholic friend was mocking Cruise’s religious belief in Scientology. My friend called it silly and ridiculous. I agreed… however, I also pointed out that it was far less silly and ridiculous that Christianity. Catholicism is even sillier and at the very least just as ridiculous.
The fact is that we all mock ridiculous beliefs. If someone came up to you and started spouting out a belief that the government is run by mind-reading aliens and the only way to protect yourself is to wear an aluminum foil hat, you would consider them to be ridiculous. If that person was someone you had to deal with in a serious fashion and you couldn’t just ignore those claims, at some point you might tell them that their belief is ridiculous. You certainly would be thinking it.
There are ridiculous beliefs and there are people who seriously believe them. Sometimes those people don’t realize just how ridiculous their beliefs sound to others. In those cases, some mockery — of the beliefs, not the person – is perfectly justified.