On the 3rd day of CSW, I went to an event called “Gendering the Debate on Religious Hate Speech”. I went to that event, sat through it for over an hour, and still don’t know what it means to gender a debate on hate speech, or how one goes about that, which is telling. There was one thing, however. I noticed that the panel had a very atheist and secularist bent. The major idea was about how those big, bad, religious conservatives were oppressing those who had no religion. I understand where these panelists were coming from, considering that they were mostly from the Middle East, where that is often the case. That said, the same principle, when applied to the West, turns on its head. In the West, all too often, it is the religious people, whether they are Christians or Jews (not often Muslims, due to the progressive hierarchy of victimhood) who are on the receiving end of hate from secular liberals, and that is where most bias on the basis of religion comes from in the West. In one of the other panels, a woman was talking about how she had a cross on, and when another woman saw it, the other woman bolted, claiming that she did not want to talk to this person who was a Christian.
Another example– this was not a problem in the end, which was good, but I, knowing of certain biases imagined any way this conversation could have gone–but on Tuesday, I was sitting at lunch eating my food when a woman came by and asked to sit with me. I invited her to sit with me, and this is where I make my point. I was questioning whether to ask her what she did and who she supported, because that would have forced me to talk about what I did and who I support. With people I don’t know, I sometimes become nervous about talking about what I do. This is often informed by the things I see in the news, like the violence in Berkeley a few weeks back. Anyway, I asked her what she did, even though I was afraid to. Luckily, she works for Brad Trost, the most pro-life MP in Canada, so I told her what I did without fear. This story has a good ending, but it’s unacceptable that this was even a consideration for me. The world should tell everybody to be religiously tolerant, even secular liberals who hate religious people for having values in conflict with their secular “progressive” values. Those people should not be exempt from these demands, but some people treat them like they are.