February 5, 2016

We are the nones

We are the nones.
We have no religion or dogma, by which we mean that the ideas that we hold as true are dictated by facts and reason. Not by culture, tradition, or presumed revelation to long dead men by presumed, invisible beings. None of our ideas and viewpoints is above challenge. We are open to criticism, correction, and progression, not by command but by logic and evidence.
We are committed to the separation of religion from the state so as to ensure our liberty and promote reason in law and public policy.
We assert absolute freedom of expression as the most fundamental of human rights. Without freedom of expression, there can be no civilization, and we will still be living in caves, scavenging for food.
We are from every corner of this world, and our only identity of relevance is the Facebook user identity. A name may sound Indian, but you may be surprised to find out that the person behind that name is a beef eating Norwegian from Finmark, a diehard fan of Akira Kurosawa, and loves Amharic music. We are men, women, lesbians, gays, transgender, and celibates, too. We are of every economic and political hue that you can imagine - capitalist, socialist, conservative, liberal, and everything in between. It would be futile to put us in pigeon holes and deduce our likes and dislikes from the labels on those holes.
People deserve respect, not ideas. We will not silently suffer bad ideas, especially those that manifest in laws and state policies. Bad ideas belong in the ash heap of history, not in legislatures and courts of law. Be forewarned that our speech could be offensive to the ideas that you may hold in reverence. You have the right to walk away from this page, holding your ears, eyes, and nose shut, but we refuse to be bullied by your hurt sentiments into backing off.
A word of caution here. This forum is not a place for indulging in identity politics. We reject stereotyping of any kind. Our shared ideals of liberty and one law for all have no hemispherical identity, however vaguely the hemispheres are defined. Those are universal ideals, not Western or Eastern. The right to choose to terminate pregnancy is the right of all women from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Forced child marriage is an affront to an Indonesian's mind as much as it is to a Canadian’s mind, indeed to every thinking mind.
Rejecting fictitious identities implies that we disapprove of uncivil and vicious ad hominem attacks. Feel free to denounce an idea in the strongest of terms, but the idea, not the person behind the idea.
Join us on Facebook if you like what you have just read.

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