Respect Freedom

Shortly after the Behzti incident in Birmingham, England, Lionel Shriver wrote, rather memorably, I thought:

I am under no obligation to respect your beliefs. Respect is earned; it is not an entitlement. I may regard creationists as plain wrong, which would make holding their beliefs in high regard nonsensical. In kind, if I proclaim on a street corner that a certain Japanese beetle in my back garden is the new Messiah, you are also within your rights to ridicule me as a fruitcake.

I am under no obligation to respect my neighbor’s religion; rather I am obligated to respect his right to freedom of religion — or of conscience, if you prefer — and he mine.

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