About an hour ago, while waiting for the bus, I was hanging out with my friend Jake.
He asked me what my necklace was, the Catholic medal… thing that I wear. I have no idea what the actual name for it is, so I just said “It’s a cross.”
He asked what kind, and I told him that it was Catholic.
One of his friends, an acquaintance of mine (And fellow My Little Pony fan, like Jake and I, so that’s the only real acquaintanceship that we have), said something along the lines of “I hate you now.”
I asked him why.
He told me that he was Atheist.
I took it in stride, asking him why he would hate me if I didn’t do anything to him. I said that I wasn’t forcing my beliefs on him.
He repeated that he hated me, then said “I might just rip that thing off or burn it or something, but I won’t kill you.”
Let me elaborate on that: This dude openly threatened to harm or destroy a piece of my property simply on the basis of my religious views.
I did not provoke him, I did not voice my beliefs from the rooftops for all to hear, I simply answered my friend’s question and this dude was just in earshot. To my knowledge, I’m a very likable person. That said, I have no idea why this dude would want to do something like that, besides my religious beliefs.
This is the perfect example of the fact that ignorance and intolerance is not limited to Christians, or even theists in general. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with ones religious belief. Hatred is, in my opinion, a human-made attribute that depends on the character of a person and not what they believe.
Sure, some theists use their faith to bash people who are different, but not all religious people are like that. On the other side of the coin, not all Atheists are self-righteous a-holes who openly threaten someone based on their belief.
Basically, I needed to rant about this dude’s actions, and shed a little light on an important matter at the same time: Hate does not depend on religion. Hate does not depend on a lack of religion. Hate is created from a person’s personality, and can only be fueled by their bias toward or against religion, or a lack thereof.
Thank you, rant over.
Actually, rant not over. A friend just reminded me of something.
If he had done something, I would not have been able to defend myself.
It was after school, but still on school grounds, therefore any fighting (Or defending, on my part) would be classified as a crime, going on my record.
There were several surveillance cameras, yes, but I would’ve still been held accountable, even acting in defense. There’s some weird rule about how many times they’re “allowed” to hit you before you can defend yourself.
Even when I was punched in the face last year, I was held accountable because I “instigated” the fight by tugging on a dude’s Christmas hat. I got a full day of in-school suspension for it, even though I didn’t fight back.
If the dude had done anything to my necklace, and I had fought back, I would’ve gotten the worst punishment.
There’s also the matter about what people would think. I’m sure that someone would twist it into an anti-Atheist thing, saying that I attacked un-provoked. Tumblr would have a field day with that.
I’m not saying that people on Tumblr are bad, it’s just that they don’t always get their facts straight.
I’m also not saying that Atheists are bad, and that they always insult/taunt/etc. theists.
So, no, I wouldn’t be able to fight back. I’d be stuck between a rock and a hard place.