I’m not a follower of organized religion. However, I was raised Catholic by two devout parents so I understand the idea of faith. What I cannot understand is the slow deterioration of tolerance around the world for different belief (or lack thereof) systems.
Before you start pointing the finger at the Middle East, let’s consider three recent episodes.
1. In 2010, The United Coalition of Reason paid for a billboard in California that said, “Are you good without God? Millions are.” The organization is a non-violent group of Atheists (as opposed to violent Atheists, I guess) that exercised their “God-given” right to free speech in the United States. The billboard was defaced and vandalized, sparking an outcry over the message. Imagine what would happen if someone spray-painted a roadside cross. I guess free speech is in the eye of the beholder.
2. Over the past few weeks, several thousand Islamic protestors have attacked U.S. embassies overseas, killing several innocent Americans in the process. Their outrage stems from a crappy YouTube video shot in some dude’s basement that depicts Mohammad doing chicks, or something. Apparently the film was funded by the United States government, directed by President Obama, and supported by all Americans which is justification for burning flags and killing people.
3. And most recently, we have the Dr. Pepper ad stirring outrage around the idea of evolution. Apparently, you are no longer permitted to use the term “evolution” when talking about ANYTHING, even important things like soft drinks. Over 4000 comments have been posted underneath the ad depicting an ape “evolving” to a man after drinking Dr. Pepper.
Seriously, dudes. Calm down. Billboards, movie trailers, and soft drinks are not reasons to kill. But if Coca Cola tries pulling New Coke again, it’s on.