Let me explain...
In some parts of the world, views I hold are punishable by death. Atheist bloggers have been hacked to death with machetes in Bangladesh as recently as 2015.
I am an atheist blogger and am very thankful to live in a country where such a heinous crime is unlikely to happen to me.
But the idea that someone might be killed for simply being an atheist is horrifying. Most people I know and follow me through twitter are atheists, and I'm sure they think it's completely unreasonable for violence to be committed against them just because of their views.
But others disagree. They think that atheist views are so wrong, and so offensive that atheists should be killed for them.
So how can I say that I should be allowed to express my views without threat of violence, but that protection shouldn't be granted to others just because *I* find their views odious?
If violence against the holders of *some* views is okay...how do we decide? Where do we draw the line?
I know not of this Richard Spencer bloke but it's clear he is some form of abhorrent racist, and whilst being interviewed on the street some anonymous stranger ran up and elbowed him in the face.
I'm not okay with that. Not because I'm tolerant of neo-nazis, but because I'm against being physically assaulted because I hold a view that disgusts others.
I understand the views of Richard Spencer are extreme. A friend of mine feels very strongly the opposite way to me. She said that his views are the same as those that lead to millions of people being killed just for being who they were. And that he has the free will to change his views. So 'fuck that guy, punch his lights out'.
I got accused of being tolerant of Nazism because I said I wouldn't punch a nazi for being a nazi. Then I got asked if I would punch an Islamist. Again I said no. So I got accused of being tolerant of Islamists spreading Islamism. I pointed out that I've literally been confronted by Islamists shouting stuff at me, such as going to hell and whatnot. I didn't tolerate it. I stood there and yelled right back at them. I challenged their views and told them I wouldn't be following what they said. Hardly 'tolerating' them. But when you get a situation like this....the facts don't really matter.
So be clear, this is not about tolerating or sympathising with a Nazi. This is purely self-interest! Basically, I don't want to live in a world where it's okay to punch people just because you don't like their views. Because literally millions of people don't like my views!
And you know what, in my opinion, if anyone deserves having their lights punched out for simply having a view, it's a NAZI.
There's the key though. 'In my opinion'. Deciding who we can and can't punch based on our opinion of their views is a dangerous president to set.
Because I guarantee there's something about you that someone somewhere thinks you deserve a punching for.