Recently I watched Django Unchained, and while I thought it was a fun and clearly a Tarantino-y film, I was deeply puzzled by the reaction some of those around me had to share. Apparently this film was about the persecution, slavery and the oppression of the black man. Allowing Django to turn it on its head and be a bounty hunter for is apparently empowering to blacks and should make me want to stand up and be counted.
Anyone worth their weight in salt will admit that the south had a dominant black population, some books pushing the numbers in excess of 10:1 in favor of the slaves.
April 18th was National Ask An Atheist Day, and as usual I stepped into the line of fire, but it was much more like a walk in the park. I went 5 or so rounds, querying my friends via posts on my own wall on Facebook The questions were all cake, but afterwards there was some backlash. More than one person came to me after the fact, in some version of private, and was told that i was being exceptionally confrontational and one of my friends said i was being very pushy.
The funny thing is, as I highlighted above, I was posting on my own wall… the one that I am certain a good majority of my 200 some odd Facebook friends actually skip over, or have switched my postings to hidden because of differing points of view (and their inability to back up their position). This is the same facebook wall that others choose to try to bombard with invitations to the NewVille game.
This is one of the key times in my life that religious privilege has asserted itself into my life. On a national day of sharing and enlightening those with misconceptions or questions about atheism, posting on my own wall in a reasonably kind fashion is seen as pushy.
So, here is a conundrum of sorts… Christians feel persecuted, as do Muslims and for whatever its worth, if either of the former are the Jews must be. As of December of 2012, the pew forum has come to the conclusion that 83.7% of the population of the planet affiliates with one religion or another, and both Muslims and Christians tend to think they live as a majority in their countries. How can they perceive themselves as being persecuted?
Surely if these numbers are correct they own their countries, what with Christians coming in at 31.5% and Muslims at 23.2% of the population. Surely they are involved, if not completely in control of their governmental bodies path through ruining the lives of atheists everywhere. Hell, it is only a crime, punishable by death, in Afghanistan, Iran, The Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan to be open about ones atheism. With this in mind, clearly atheists are not getting much say in their republics/governments.
In the example above regarding slavery, slaves may have outnumbered their owners by a monstrous quantity, but they were not the party in power, and not well organized. Learning to read English was a punishable offense, so clearly passing notes wasn’t able to be done too openly. When it comes to religious persecution, it clearly cannot be coming solely from atheists. It surely must be a problem within the ranks, and as such I think a better course of action would be to increase the fanfare and become more accepting of religious views not of your own.
In a world where movies like Django Unchained are called inspirational and poetic I think religions need to learn to take it on the chin a bit better. Otherwise when they go the way of beta max, it will be seen more like an old friend that cheated on you, and less as a powerful myth that infused itself in the very heart of humanity.