Religious complaints are just so childish
Now, I know what you’re thinking, but you’d be wrong. This isn’t about mocking religion, or portraying it as some sort of deficit of intelligence or maturity, and there will be no reference to a Sky Daddy (apart from that one, obviously). This isn’t about the beliefs, but how they get applied.
Something I noticed recently, while covering various arguments about social policy, employment legislation and the inevitable complaints of persecution, is that when you scratch a religious person of a certain stripe (and let’s be fair, there are plenty who don’t behave like this), it seems there’s a small, sulky child just under the skin. Here are a few examples to show what I mean:
But you let me do it yesterday! (see also: Granny lets me do it) – An incredible number of arguments for religious privilege boil down to “we’ve always done it this way.” Bishops in the Lords, established religion, marriage restricted to couples of the opposite sex – they’ve been like this for aaaaages. Now you want to change it? Sorry, no deal. I got to have my way before, so that creates a binding precedent and proves that you’re being completely unreasonable.
How come Mohammed can do it? – It could be anyone, but to be honest, it’s mostly Mohammed who gets the envious glances. Make any mild criticism of any religion, and you can bet that someone will say “You wouldn’t say that about Islam.” Even if true, it’s not a response so much as a whine. Then there are the Uniform Wars – he gets to wear a bangle, she gets to wear a scarf, how come I can’t wear a cross? No, I don’t want a badge, badges are smelly, I want a necklace! And they get to stay up until 9, and they have an Xbox in their room…
I don’t want to share! – The flip side of the Argumentum ad Islam, this is about obstructing equality and outrage at someone else wanting to use your toy. You weren’t even playing with it until they came along, but if they get to use it, it would obviously ruin your enjoyment of the now-tarnished toy forever. Try to imagine how existing marriages would be damaged if it was possible for same-sex couples to get hitched – really try. Get anything? Me neither. But incredibly, this is still a key element of the campaign against marriage equality.
It’s my house, so I make the rules – When you have a guest in your house, you could make them welcome and accommodate their preferences, or if you’re a six-year-old, you could insist that they should play what you want, with your rules, especially if that means you always win. Just think of it as exploiting home advantage. This works just as well for houses of any size: no, you can’t have official recognition of your heathen rituals; no, not even a day off for your most holy day – this is a Christian country. (Terms and conditions apply)
You’re the worst parents ever! – Nothing helps a tantrum like a complete loss of perspective. If you’ve been encouraged to pick up your toys so that they don’t get broken, it’s an unconscionable restriction of your freedom of expression. If you’re expected not to preach hate-filled bigotry while being paid to perform a public service, your situation is directly comparable to whatever extreme example of persecution you like. Bonus points for mentioning George Orwell or Nazis.
And if all else fails:
It’s not fair! – Fairness is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is you. Nothing more needs to be said.