Regarding the whole belief thing:
What are beliefs?
- The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever.
- Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief.
- Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.
People can hold religious, cultural, economic, political and social beliefs. In fact, people can hold beliefs on virtually any topic.
In free societies and cultures people have the right to hold whatever beliefs they want, but they do not have the right for beliefs to go unquestioned.
People who don't want their beliefs questioned, examined or scrutinized in any way, shouldn't make them public. If they do not want to hear a dissenting voice, they should keep their beliefs, no matter what they are, private. As soon as anyone places their beliefs in the public domain, anyone has the right to question them.
Now, having said this, it doesn't mean I have, or anyone else has, the right to threaten anyone's life or personal safety. And having said this, I also think there is an ethical obligation to try and keep the questioning polite, and to not fall into the logical fallacy of the ad hominem attack.
Some people allow their beliefs to define them, and as such, they consider it a personal attack if you question whatever belief it is that they are espousing. In other words, they cannot distance themselves from the belief, which is being questioned, and the person who holds the belief.
So, as to whether a person is insulted by the questioning of their belief, over that, I don't have complete control. At least part of the responsibility for the perception of insult, lies also with the person whose beliefs are being questioned. Does this mean that I should refrain from asking questions because my questions might be considered an insult by someone? I don't think so.
Many decisions are made in our lives through the use of reason and critical thinking. Reason involves questioning, examining and critically analysing information. So, when someone is concerned because you are questioning their beliefs and says to you, "You should not question my beliefs." Just remember that what they might be asking you to do is, not to use reason, but to accept their beliefs on faith.
"The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason." - Benjamin Franklin