Are we becoming more and more intolerant or was the fire of religious intolerance always burning? The pilgrims, the very first immigrants to this nation came to seek religious freedom. I cant help but wonder what they would do if the Native Americans burned their bibles, did not allow them to build churches or tried to kill their horse drivers. Most immigrant come to America for this freedom, religious, social, economic.
Yet, when we immigrated to Texas, and enrolled my kids at River Oaks Baptist School in Houston, we met with increasing religious intolerance. We were brown, and Hindu, wrong color, wrong religion. They had bible as a class. I was perfectly happy with that, since a knowledge of bible is essential to the understanding of the Western Culture. But the bible teacher used it to discriminate against my children. They were asked to expound on a passage that said that people who worshiped idols are like dogs. Incidentally that bible teacher always dressed in real tight and real low cut clothes.
My children were treated like subhumans. Other children would not play with them, and pushed them in playgrounds, with the encouragement of teachers. The teachers would mark them down for little things. We were told not to expect much from our children. We were told to see a psychiatrist at the med center, a professional from Houston Baptist University, who said my son had low IQ. I doubt his own IQ was above 100. To prove to myself that my children were smart, I made them sit the Mensa exams and they became members of Mensa at second grade. They subsequently made it to Duke and Yale, while the average River Oaks Baptist kids graduate from those southern religious colleges ranked as lowest in education by US News and World Report.
Religion is a business which thrives on putting down and converting other religions. By nature we humans are sectarians. We are divided into color, gender, etc which are hard to change. But religion is not immutable. And religion fosters hatred for other religions. At River Oaks Baptist school, the Baptist hated even the Catholics. I guess there are layers of hatred, with Muslim being the lowest on the totem pole. Religion propagates blind acceptance without questioning that fuels this intense hate.
And to those kindly souls who told our kids that they felt “sorry” that my kids would not go to Heaven, I say, my kids are going to that other H— Harvard.