There’s a lot of wacky claims made by religion and the jihad against bacon, sweet salty innocent bacon, is one result. FWIW, I like bacon, I think bacon tastes good on everything including ice cream. But some wayward bacon left in a New York City park before the Muslim holiday Ramadan raised concerns over religious intimidation:
WaPo— The Staten Island Advance said the message was left Tuesday on a reporter’s voicemail. The caller said “It was not any … anti-Muslim act, and I did not want to offend anybody.”
The NYPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. It was informed of the call but declined to discuss it. Three packages of bacon were found Sunday in a section of the New Dorp Beach park. Muslims are barred from eating pork because pigs are considered unclean.
I’m not sure why Muslims and Jews aren’t supposed to eat pork. But I used to date a vegan body-builder who told me every day that not only was meat unhealthy, she came from a culture with a religious belief that human souls could be in the animals and therefore slaughtering and eating them was murder most foul. There are other spiritual beliefs that human souls could be in other animals, in some cases even plants and inanimate objects. Before you decide those are esoteric cough-foriegn-cough beliefs, any belief where a specific place or object is haunted by ghosts might fit that classification.
As atheists go I’m a live and let live kind of godless guy. Which is to say I’m not an atheist activist outside of these virtual pages, for now — not that there’s anything wrong with that! Like anyone else growing up in the era of astrology and Reagan’s America, I’ve been around wacky beliefs all my life and have come to tune them out to some degree. They only really bother me when they’re hurtful to people who don’t buy into the theology underlying the belief, they only worry me when they build up enough social inertia to be forced onto the rest of regardless of how we feel.
So, for example, if there was a government mandated ban on eating meat because there might be souls in the animals, or a moratorium on using a certain kind of lumber because great Aunt Betsy spirit might be living in the trees, that’s worrisome. Those beliefs are not usually hurtful, they certainly don’t have the kind of political popularity here in the US. No harm no foul.
But the belief that human souls are magically implanted into a certain kind of microbe the moment sperm meets egg does cause harm and it is backed by the most powerful nexus of religion and politics on earth. So if you believe in that particular kind of magic, that’s fine. Sing it from the rooftops. Don’t use products derived from blastocysts, don’t use forms of birth control that interfere with fertilized eggs implanting, feel free to serenade the rest of us with your religious beliefs on sidewalks and street corners.
But the moment you decide it’s a great idea to force these beliefs onto the rest of by the power of the Small Government State apparatus regardless if we share them, stop and think how you might feel if a group of Hindus took over your city council and criminalized barbecue. Because you know damn well, the second a bunch of Hindus outlawed meat, or the minute some Wiccans said you can’t cut down a tree in your yard no matter what, because it’s murder, you would scream repression, you would howl about your religious liberty being infringed at the top of your lungs, and you would transform into an internet Constitutional scholar faster than Optimus Prime turns into a truck.