Some days I’m more pessimistic than others.
Dear Religious Person,
Society has determined that another one of your beliefs is illegitimate. Only haters hold that belief. There’s no finesse, no nuance that can make this belief acceptable, and all right thinking people know this. You cannot appeal to history, or to tradition, or to science, or to reason. You also cannot mention how one action will lead logically to another in some slippery slope because that’s a fallacious argument.
However, it’s not enough to declare it illegitimate. It must also be against the law. You see, you’re a member of an extremely tiny minority that’s completely outnumbered by all the right thinking people out there speaking out against this belief and mocking it online and organizing boycotts. You’re all alone. Yet if we allow you to act on this belief, we’ll step onto a slippery slope and soon millions of people will be discriminated against and we’ll be back to the bad old days of separate drinking fountains or women as chattel or the Wild West or [insert bad thing here].
But don’t worry, you still have freedom of religion as long as you don’t act on your belief. It can in no way, shape or form influence you at school or work, and if it does, you can be suspended or required to undergo counseling or sued and forced to apologize. It’s fine at home, though if you teach it to your kids, there could be trouble down the line at their school or work.
Perhaps you should think of it more as freedom of worship. Anything that happens within the four walls of your worship center stays in the worship center. Unless, of course, someone enters your worship center and is offended by what you say or do. Then they’ll sue.
It’s probably just best if you stop believing.
And don’t you dare push back, even a little, in the name of “freedom of religion.” That’s just a dog whistle for hatred, and all right thinking people know it.
This doesn’t mean you’ve lost your freedom of speech. Talk all you want. It makes you a better target. Though you’ll be mostly ignored until you say something stupid or that can be taken out of context, at which point you’ll get your 15 minutes of fame.
As for freedom of association, you’re still free to associate with anyone you want. You’re just not free to not associate.
A few more of your beliefs are slated to be on the table in the next few years, but don’t worry. You’ll never even miss them.
Dear Non-Religious Person with Certain Secular But Non-Conforming Beliefs,
Society has determined that another one of your beliefs is illegitimate. Only haters hold that belief. There’s no finesse, no nuance that can make this belief acceptable, and all right thinking people know this…
Dear Believer in So-Called “Negative Rights,”
Society has determined that such belief is a cover for hatred. Only haters deny that we have an obligation to at least meet a basic standard for all. There’s no finesse, no nuance that can make this belief acceptable, and all right thinking people know this…
Society has determined that you are not taking enough patients, or at least enough patients in certain categories. Though you are free to take as many or as few patients as you desire, if you wish to have your license renewed…
Society has determined that your latest work, though entertaining and with a great plot, did not contain an overarching message congruent with the times…