Klein Slanders People of Faith

Joe Klein names a few characteristics of right-wing extremists, including:

  • believes that homosexuals are condemned to hell.
  • believes that there are inferior religions.

Obviously, I hold no such beliefs. But these beliefs are widespread. What’s more, I don’t really think it’s fair to condemn people for holding them. To me the belief that gay sex acts are immoral is false and hard-to-justify. It’s not, however, politically objectionable unless the believer goes on to believe that government policy should be aimed at criminalizing gay sex acts or discriminating against gays or lesbians. After all, there are tons of religious prohibitions (Muslims don’t drink alcohol, Hindus don’t eat beef, Jews don’t eat pigs, Pentacostalists don’t dance) that I don’t agree with, but that I also don’t have a problem with unless the believers want to turn them into legal prohibitions.

On the inferior religions point, I think it’s even clearer. I would expect a religious believer to believe that his religion is “the best” and that the others are “inferior” in some sense. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong, really, with Christians believing that non-Christian faiths are inferior to Christianity in that they don’t result in the salvation of your immortal soul. The problem would be if someone thought there should be legal discrimination against people who believe in non-favored faiths.