I suspect that the reason we hear so much about one’s right to one’s beliefs is that some people - especially some religious people - refuse to distinguish between the private beliefs that occupy their thoughts and what they do or say. That is, some people equate holding a belief with expressing it or acting upon it.
The Jackson Public School District has agreed to stop requiring their employees to a convocation where they are exposed to Christian proselytizing.
Though we are quick to condemn callousness and prejudice as a form of bullying, we less readily interrogate our own participation, even as bystanders, in the widespread attack of a single person, which is a classic example of bullying. We may justify our reaction as appropriate remediation for whatever crime has been perpetrated, but fighting fire with fire rarely elevates the discourse.
If we expect religious moderates to speak out against religious extremists, we must recognize that it is sometimes necessary for us to do the same.
"Being offended is part of how we learn."
What are we doing complaining about Richard Dawkins being a liability to atheism when we have someone like PZ Myers likening the suicide of a depressed man to nothing but a mere distraction from other issues?
Is this really where the atheist/humanist/skeptic/secular community has ended up? Are we so threatened by shitty ideas and hateful speech that we’re going to attempt to purge it by any means necessary? We’ll attempt to suppress good content if it comes from someone who has said things we don’t like previously. And we’re no longer satisfied with not viewing the content ourselves and/or to speaking out against it; we now need to shun whoever created it. But even that isn’t enough, for it seems that we must now unload our outrage on anyone who dares not to participate in our shunning.