||It's true. I do not worship a religious god, but I bow at the altars of secular humanism and American Universalism. However, I do not worship the American values of George W. Bush. I voted against the man. I do not call for the destruction of Muslim or Christian values.
Yes, you read that right. I don't call for the destruction of religious values of any sort. Those who find comfort in them are welcome to them. What I call for is an end to the abuse of religious values. One of the ways religion is abused, as described above, is the abuse and oppression of people who don't agree with those values. If that's an American Universal Truth, then by the gods yes, I worship it.
It's a very simple concept. You're free to think and do whatever you please. I'll retain my freedom to think and do as I please. I won't try to impose my values on you, and you won't try to impose your values on me. I won't force you to go to extreme lengths to avoid being offended by me, and you won't force me to go to extreme lengths to avoid being offended by you. There is a legal precedent for this within the United States legal code, but I'm too tired to find it right now. In other words, you're welcome to live any way you like, even if Americans in general wouldn't live that way. You're just not allowed to force anyone else to live that way who doesn't want to. That's not quite the One True Way, but I think it's an excellent touchstone for human values.
In my religion (such as it is) there is only one sin. That sin is the willful and deliberate act of harming or oppressing another person. If you get your jollies from inflicting pain on someone else, you'd better be damned sure that person wants pain inflicted on them by you. Otherwise, my values say that you're wrong and need to stop or be stopped.
That's pretty much it. There is, of course, a lot of gray area in this philosophy. Children and mentally incompetent individuals (the medical definition, please. I'm not interested in playing that game) are part of it. You could discuss those gray areas for megabytes without filling all the loopholes. The difference between this philosophy and that of, say Catholocism, is that this philosophy doesn't claim to have all the answers, just a foundation that places everyone on the same starting line. Where they go from there depends on their circumstances and talents, accordingly.
I don't deny the right of that Muslim group to not want people to go out and enjoy themselves as they see fit during their holy days. I deny their right to impose their values on those who don't choose to take them for their own. They could have attempted a non-violent method of imposing their values, such as through legal means. Instead, they chose vandalism. It is, as I said, an example of the way religion gets abused. It isn't enough that they choose their religion to enrich their lives; they have to make sure that everyone chooses it, like it or not.
A troll's true colors.