Originally posted 04 April 11.
A few people unfriending you on Facebook because they disagree with your belief or religiously motivated statements, is not persecution.
A billboard proclaiming that your god doesn’t exist, that atheists can be happy, or that separation of church and state is a good idea, is not persecution. It’s not even an insult. I’ve yet to see a billboard stating that your ideas should be made illegal, or that religious belief should bar you from political office, or claiming that you are evil and should suffer eternal damnation.
Making laws to give other people the same rights you already enjoy, or repealing laws which take them away, is not persecution. Nor does it ‘weaken’ those rights. It strengthens them. When all enjoy them, all will defend them.
Someone proclaiming, or – shock-horror! – enjoying, a sexuality other than your own, is not persecution.
Making critical replies to a statement you make on the internet or in any other public forum, is not persecution. If you don’t want people to examine and critique your words, don’t hang them out for display.
Someone having a belief-system other than your own, is not persecution.
Examining a religion or a religious tract in a critical or sceptical manner, is not persecution. It is common sense.
Not allowing you to deny your children decent medical care on ‘religious’ grounds, is not persecution. Want to inflict disease, pain and misery on yourself? Fine. Go ahead. Just don’t expect to be allowed to inflict the same on a minor, merely because they happen to share some of your genes.
Telling you that you’re not allowed to persecute others, is not persecution.
Asking for extraordinary evidence when presented with extraordinary claims, is not persecution.
Claiming that your church receives undeserved tax-breaks, is not persecution. It is a statement of fact.
Teaching children that the world is older than your Bumper Book Of Fairytales claims it is, is not persecution.
Someone, somewhere, having fun doing something that you don’t like, is not persecution.
Pointing out inconsistencies in your belief system, when you have publicly promoted that belief-system, is not persecution.
Not treating your beliefs as a holy Get Out Of Jail Free card, able to excuse any action you claim to be ‘religious’ in nature, is not persecution.
Any statement of fact, no matter how much it disagrees with your creed or how uncomfortable, lonely or unimportant it makes you feel, is not persecution.
Being tortured, imprisoned, harassed, bullied, vilified or treated as less than equal, by any government, organisation, law or tax-system, on the grounds of one’s skin-colour, gender, belief (or lack of belief), sexuality or political stance is persecution.