Someone asked me what I found threatening about Christianity on a christian forum, where an article on the Codex suggests the bible being the work of man that I blogged on was discussed, where one poster dismissed my blog as the trite of a liberal homosexual. My reply:
In the Jefferson sense nothing, because your belief neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
But there is something about mindsets which need confronting. For example, the Codex Sinaiticus is described as corrupting, hearsay, the work not of god (unlike other works). So without further investigation we can try and dismiss this manuscript that exists. One of the oldest where we can see original text and corrections.
Yet when you look at the books in the bible, where there are several authors of one work, and the various translations and meanings that are derived from these works over time it sounds less like the holy word of god being revealed then men fighting one another over ideas. Not always conductive to a civil society.
When you start investigating early Christianity, what texts there were and how decisions were made on what to include and what not to include, then belief does not boil down to divine revelation, but the decisions of men. That truth is not something that need be feared by anyone unless they hold belief more important than honest inquiry.
The threat is where the state sanctions a faith over others. It grants privileges to one that it does not to others, at best only denying equal citizenship to people not of that faith, at worse actively persecuting those who do not share that faith. The state has no basis enshrining theology in the public sphere, when faith is a personal one that many citizens differ on. Freedom of thought to practise your faith or none requires that the state does not advocate one over another.
Nor should that belief be enforced on others outside of that belief. For example, I am curious what the poster meant by referring to me as a practising homosexual (lets ignore that is not true). That was not dealing about the issue concerned, rather it was an attempt to diminish me as a person without addressing the article. Again, that is something that I have an issue with religion in how it lends itself to characterising people. [source]
My concern is not just religious tolerance, but the tolerance of religion. The latter is not protected by the state to allow unequal citizenship or hate speech.
Do not judge a book by it’s cover (dealing with the prejudice mentioned above)