Most of you have probably seen the “coexist” stickers that many people place on their cars. But in case you haven’t seen them, one is pictured above.
These stickers try to advocate a message of tolerance among religions, and while I like that they try to spread a message of peace and unity, I think people who make them and buy them are fundamentally misunderstanding these religions – specifically Christianity and Islam – and what the implications of this “coexist” message really are.
The “coexist” bumper stickers imply that all religions can live peacefully, and that to do this, believers can keep their religion but just need to adjust their attitude towards other religions.
But the problem with this idea is that the beliefs of millions of devout Christians and Muslims are built upon, and integrally intertwined with, a belief that everyone who does not accept their specific doctrine will be eternally doomed. These beliefs are set forth in the Bible and Quran, and millions of the faithful hold one of those books to be complete, divine truth. So in their belief system, acceptance of other faiths is actually an absurd and terrifying act of letting people be tricked and thus doomed to eternal death or torture.
So by advocating for each religion to tolerate the others, you are telling these believers that they should utterly reject some of their religion’s most important core beliefs – and drop the Bible and Quran from the status of holy truth – and instead, adopt moderate off-shoots of Christianity and Islam that toss out many of the Bible and Quran’s central, defining ideas.
By telling Christians and Muslims that they should reject those scripture-based tenets about salvation, you are telling them to reject their religious beliefs as wrong and immoral!
But ironically that is exactly the opposite of what the Coexist people are intending to say. So we’re left with an ironic realization: That the ‘Coexist’ crowd actually believe in getting millions of devout Christians and Muslims to reject their beliefs because they are harmful!
If “coexist” supporters would notice this, then they would find that they actually have more in common with anti-theists than they currently realize.