Religion really is the big taboo. We're not allowed to insult other people's faiths, or show disrespect towards them for their beliefs. Why not? This makes no allowance for those of us who do not believe in a god - I am continually insulted by people trying to make me believe in one.
We were accosted the other day by a lovely Italian man who, I think, was in Canberra for World Youth Day-associated activities. I held my tongue and smiled at him for the sake of my friends, but if I'd been alone I would have told him I was a Satanist and walked away. What right does he have to show disrespect to my own choices by trying to convince me that his option is somehow better?
I would never stop somebody in the street and try to tell them that my belief system will enrich their life. How rude! I simply do not understand why it is acceptable for convential religions to do that, but not for the rest of us. Can you imagine how insulted and shocked a Catholic would be if I stopped him in the street and said, "Satanism is the best way to live"?
It's a double-standard which must be abolished; religion should be subject to the same openness and debate that everything else is. There's no particular reason to protect it from question or doubt; only convention and a fear of upsetting people. Well, I'm already upset, and I question these old conventions!
When something has been done a certain way for hundreds of years, they call it tradition. I call it time to contemporise!