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Reflections on Ethics 17
Clarified Religious Tolerance - Safe Sects

by: David Mace

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Religious tolerance is a thorny issue among many. Knowing the correct time and place to discuss religion is a social problem that many people have a difficult time overcoming. After some careful thought about this very subject, I believe I have the correct guidelines to make safe religious discussion clear and simple for all.

If you've ever had sexual harassment training, then you should know what a 'hostile environment' is, and that telling a few off-color jokes is potentially a very expensive mistake. Think of saying "Jesus" or "Allah" as a lewd synonym for "male anatomy", and "God" as a lewd synonym for "female anatomy". Any discussion involving interactions between these keywords is exactly like describing interactions between such anatomy. If it's with a friend or acquaintance, consider whether you would discuss the inadequacy of their private anatomy with them before you discuss the inadequacy of their religion.

Just like sexual jokes and discussions, religious jokes and discussions are prone to set off "sensitive" people. These "sensitive" people will literally perk up and eavesdrop on second-hand discussion from other rooms and turn out to be "deeply offended" that it even took place near enough to them that they could quietly overhear it later on.

It is naturally appropriate to discuss anything you like with consenting good friends in a private setting, just as it is appropriate to discuss sex in a private setting. In a social setting where you may openly joke about or discuss dirty sex, you can openly discuss religion, too.