Moment of madness: A zealot’s plea for tolerance

It is passing no judgment on the veracity of religious beliefs to observe that the most enthusiastic adherents of any dogma tend towards the humourless. The maintenance of faith requires a determination to ignore the contradictions with which life is vexingly replete. As a result, the line between zealot and buffoon can be perilously slender.

The current issue of Awake!, a magazine published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, flaunts a cover story considering atheism. Needless to relate, they’re not keen on it. However, the author of this particular tract should probably have paused to contemplate Chapter 6 of Luke and Chapter 7 of Matthew, with specific reference to the virtue of considering the beam in your own eye before you start on the other chap about the mote in his. “They are not content,” harumphs the author of today’s unbelievers, “to keep their views to themselves.”

Even leaving aside the question of why an infidel is any less entitled to express an opinion than anybody else, this displays a troubling lack of self-awareness from a Jehovah’s Witness, of all people. Nobody has ever had their bath ruined by a knock on the door from an atheist.

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