Stop 👏🏻 Saying 👏🏻 Religion 👏🏻 When 👏🏻 You 👏🏻 Mean 👏🏻 Xtianity 👏🏻
Just because Xtianity does those things doesn’t mean they apply to all – or even most – religions. Judaism, for example – since you tagged it in the post, doesn’t actually require non-Jews to follow our laws, doesn’t proselytize, and makes up less than 0.2% of the world population. And it’s hardly alone. When’s the last time you heard of an indigenous American religion trying to force their beliefs on others? How about Sikhism? Yoruba? Zoroastrianism?
Saying that the critique leveled in the OP only applies to Christianity is ludicrous and betrays an extremely parochial understanding of the politics of religion globally. What about the weaponization of Buddhism against Muslims in Myanmar? Of Islam against LGBT people and women in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan? Of Hinduism against Muslims in India, and indeed the existence of Hindu fascism generally? What about State Shinto in imperial Japan? What about discrimination against LGBT people in orthodox Jewish communities? What about the way religion has very often tracked with political power throughout history, venerating earthly political leaders as divine or divinely-sanctioned as justification for their rule? The divine right of kings, the pharaoh as living god, the emperor descended from Amaterasu, the Sapa Inca as son of Inti?
Just because not all religious people are bigoted, or cruel, or oppressive (indeed, not all Christians are bigoted, or cruel, or oppressive), does not mean that it is wrong to critique the role that religious institutions and practices have in bigotry, cruelty, and oppression. To be clear, I don’t have a problem with religion—any religion—in any inherent sense. But the idea that religious institutions and practices, Christian and otherwise, often play an oppressive role in society is undeniable. And that is worth critiquing!