Why on earth does an atheist object to someone imposing his values on others? There really seems to be no reason for someone who lacks a belief in God to join the oft-heard chorus of voices claiming that no one, particularly a Christian, has the right to impose his/her morality on another person. Indeed, the notion is patently silly, especially in the mouth of an atheist.
First, it's difficult to name legislation which does not impose somebody's morality upon the rest of society. Everything from desegregation to affirmative action to welfare regulations to environmental regulations to laws prohibiting gambling, prostitution, public lewdness, drug use, capital punishment, bribery, and so on all presuppose moral values that might not be shared by many of those who are subject to the pertinent laws. Should these laws never have been enacted? Should they be rescinded?
Beyond this objection, however, there are a couple of other difficulties with the concern about saddling others with one's moral values or one's religious views. It's a concern, oddly enough, that only theists can logically express. If an atheist like Mr. Ireland were to object to a theist that he should not impose his beliefs on others the appropriate reply would be to ask "Why not?"
If the atheist is correct in believing that we live in a world without God then a man has a "right" to try to do whatever he wishes to do. In a world without God, might makes right, so anything one is able to do, one has a "right" to do.
If the atheist objects to this, he might be asked what it is, exactly, upon which he bases his conviction that I have no right to impose my values. Is it the law? If I have the power to change or shape the law to conform to my desires then that objection fails. Is it that a right to impose one's will upon others robs the other of his worth and dignity as a human being? So what?
In a world without God human worth and dignity are arbitrary and chimerical. They're grounded in nothing except the subjective sentiments of a few human beings and have no real, objective existence. Even if worth and dignity did somehow actually attach to human beings, why would it be wrong, on the atheist's assumptions, to deprive someone of them?
The fact is that the only constraint upon anyone's "right" to do whatever he is able to do is God's proscription, but for the atheist that limit does not exist and for the secularist it is illicit to invoke it. In a Godless universe, or in the naked public square, we are all morally autonomous, free to do whatever we have the power to accomplish, including imposing our will upon others if we're able.
A second problem with the affirmation that it's improper to seek to impose our beliefs upon others is that the claim itself is a moral assertion. The person who makes it believes that it is wrong to engage in the particular behavior he is condemning. But the irony of this is that he is himself seeking to impose upon others his moral conviction that it is unjust to impose one's moral convictions upon others. In other words, he's violating his own principle in the very act of voicing it. He's attempting to inflict his morality on the rest of us.
The truth of the matter is that few people who argue that it transgresses some moral standard to impose one's beliefs upon others really believe it deep down. What they believe is that it's wrong to have others foist upon them convictions and values of which they disapprove. Their conscience is untroubled, however, by having others burdened with their own values, which is precisely what Mr. Ireland tacitly admits he wishes to see happen through the sexual subversion of American culture.
Thanks for the tip on Ireland's piece to No Left Turns.