Often, religious people get very offended when an atheist judges their opinions as bullshit. The usual reaction is expressed in a normative sentence like “you have to respect my opinions!”
Let us make it clear! Nobody has to respect anybody’s opinions.
I have to respect your freedom to express an opinion, not the content of your opinion.
After careful assessment I may judge your opinion as intelligent or idiotic, accept it or reject it, classify it as a good argument, even though I may not agree with its content, or just pure ranted rubbish, but I don’t have to respect it! As I do not expect that all of you respect my opinions. However I expect you to respect my right to express it.
Article 10 of the Universal Human Rights, subscribed by democratic countries asserts the right to freedom of expression. However some so-called democratic countries seem to apply censorship when the opinions express a disagreement with the mainstream ideas of that society . These democratic countries need to remember that the concept “freedom of expression” implies disagreement with the “consensus gentium” and the right to protest against the “status quo”.
There are some opinions, expressed by totally bonkers religious and political leaders that influence simple minded people. Religious and political fundamentalism appeal to people’s most primitive emotions such as a exaggerated sense of in-group inclusion , out-group exclusion and hatred of others not members of their ideological group. After the Muslim fundamentalists, perhaps the most dangerous opinions are those expressed by the people joining the rapidly growing evangelic cults. I never saw Christianity based cults in the 21st century to be so aggressively full of proclaimed hatred towards the outgroup, as those evangelic pseudo-churches. This is especially clear in Brazil and Portugal, countries where the level of primary and secondary education has much to improve. These evangelic and islamic cults are dangerous social cancers which proclaim the most vociferating expressions of hatred. These are cults that appeal especially to simple minded, gullible, uneducated, and credulous people who can’t accept any criticism of their narrow vision of the world.
To those religious fundamentalists I want to scream loudly, nobody has the obligation to respect, or even listen, to your sick opinions.
Understand that those who respect your right to express any bullshit that comes out of your mouths are not respecting your opinion. They are simply abiding by article 10 of the Human Rights Convention, something that most of these feeble minded fundamentalist can’t even do in relation to those who disagree with them.