GlottalGreekGeek wrote:To use your analogy, if vegetarians try to make eating meat against the law, they are going to have do a helluva a lot of convincing other people to conform to their beliefs. Okay, they could stage a millitary coup, but that would be outside the limits of tolerance. Under the law of the United States as most people interpret it, those vegetarians will have to sway a majority of elected officials, judges, and voters. Since banning meat for consumption would probably require a constitutional amendment, that majority would have to be big and residing in almost every region of the nation. I suppose if such an amendment and ensuing laws were passed, there would remain an unwilling minority who would be forced to not eat meat (or to do so illegally), but they would have had the oppurtunirty to speak out and protest the unfairness of the amendment. For that matter, that Poseidon cult would have to get a constituional amendment passed too, which would be the same enormous effort.
But what you're essentially saying is that they could have the ability
to change the laws under certain circumstances. This I do not disagree with, but to have the ability
is not the same as to have the right
GlottalGreekGeek wrote: Technically I suppose this is using laws to force somebody's beliefs. There are currently some laws (such as anti-prostitution laws) which are mostly founded on morality and tradition,
Anti-prostitution laws exist for pragmatic reasons in almost all cases (as do laws that facilitate prostitution). It's hard to come up with another example of a law that seeks to override one side's moral compass in favour of another's over such an ambiguous moral question. The only other examples I can think of are blasphemy and heresy laws.
GlottalGreekGeek wrote: However, I think even if I did this, I could still count as "tolerating" them. I could still say "Good morning" to my Poseidon worshipping neighbor, and loan her sugar if she needs it after the grocery store is closed.
You're not properly distinguishing between the characteristics of a group and the characteristics of each individual within that group.
If a movement to ban the building of walls taller than two metres were initiated by members of the Poseidon cult, even if it was supported by a majority of members of that cult, it would still not be fair to blame your neighbour, who may have nothing to do with it. That's why I always distinguish between fundamentalist Christianity, evangelical Christianity, etc. and the religious right. They are not the same thing, even if they share many members.
Besides, even if she did support it, I think it was Socrates (again) who said,
"No one is evil, some are merely misguided."
I genuinely think that Socrates was wrong, there are some evil
people around (depending on your definition of "evil"), but, for the most part, his statement is correct.