Beth's original response to my "Jews for Jesus" post.
My response to her response: "Proselytization and Free Speech".

Beth comments further and says that she dislikes the idea of proselytizing. I don't mean this to be sarcastic at all: do all attempts to change people's minds about philisophical issues bother Beth, or is she only bothered when it comes to what she sees as "religion"?

A lot hinges on the definition of "religion", and that's why I normally refer to "belief systems" instead. An atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, or what-have-you wouldn't like their world-view characterized as "religion", even though those belief systems fall into the same category as Christianity or Islam (as SDB has explained).

So does Beth think that no one should ever try to convince anyone of anything, or are only certain topics off-limits? If so, does only "religious" proselytization bother her, or does the proselytizing of people with non-"religious" systems of belief bother her as well?

This is important to me, because I believe that our public school system (as one example) pushes a secular humanist world-view that is, in fact, essentially religious. Similarly, there is a group of people that would push this belief system on our entire society, while on the surface only advocating the removal of "religious" influence. The failure to recognize and acknowledge that secular humanism is a "belief system" akin to any religion is disingenuous, in my opinion.

This is not to say that Beth holds any of these views -- I'm simply expounding my thoughts on the matter. It's a fascinating topic, and I hope she does write what she thinks about Christianity in the Middle East at some point, as she indicated she might.

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Michael has been writing a bit about religious proselytization as an issue of free speech, and raised the point of Secular Humanism in public schools as a form of proselytization so ingrained into the culture that it's no longer even... Read More



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