Nobody who knows me will be surprised to hear that I frequently comment, at length, on the message boards of websites. One of my favorite bloggers is known as the Filthy Liberal Scum. I find his insight fascinating.
The article that prompted the post can be read here. It's a commentary on a pastor who recently preached to a rapt congregation the following:
“Build a great, big, large fence…150 or 100 mile long…put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out… feed’em and you know what? In a few years, they’ll die out… do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”
Of course, the people commenting on the post had varying opinions, ranging from "why can't the South just be a different country?" to "liberals are hypocrites because they say you should tolerate everyone but they don't tolerate religious people" to "not all Christians are like this!" I had the following to say, which has been "liked" enough times by other people perusing the comments section that I unsubscribed just so that my Facebook Notifications would stop blowing up every five seconds (I'll admit, that's a slight exaggeration). Since modesty has never been my strong suit I have decided to share my much-liked comment with you fine folks.
I hope not to offend any of our religious followers overly much, but only because they are my friends and because I too believe that the Gospel of Christ preaches love, never hate. With that caveat, here is my post:
"...[P]eople get so offended when liberals speak out against the use of religion as a way to manipulate a vulnerable population, such as one that lacks the critical thinking skills necessary to discern between fact and opinion, or when religion is used as a tool to attack people who are perceived as being somehow threatening to an individual's or group's religious inclination. The problem with comparing one man's speaking out against homo[sexuals] and a general speaking out against religion is that religion is an IDEA. You may see it as an important priority in your life, it may be your Truth, but the actuality of it is that it is an IDEA. Unlike ideas, homosexuality is a characteristic that a finite group of individuals possess. We aren't saying put the South or the Religious in, oh I don't know, a concentration camp where for all we care they can starve and eventually die. All we're saying is that religion has been used as a tool for hate since its inception. It's supposed to be about love, but anyone who has seen the Vatican knows that "the church" didn't care about feeding the poor as much as perpetuating its own opulence. Are all churches like this? No! But then shame on them for not speaking out against the use of religion by people with whom they disagree. Religion is an archaic idea that came about because our ancestors had no way to explain the natural world and because death seemed so depressingly final and happened with enough regularity to make any idea but "everlasting life" truly distressing. What's lightening? Zeus's at it again... What's a rainbow? God's promise not to commit global genocide again. Why do women bleed every month and suffer pain in childbirth? Because Eve ate the apple. What happens when we die? Well, if we worship who these educated people with money tell us to we'll have everlasting life, but only if we strictly adhere to their religious beliefs even though they don't seem to. I hate to resort to quotes, but "Religion is regarded by the wise as false, the common as true and the powerful as useful." Are all religious people the same? No. But challenging an idea is not equal to challenging someone's very humanity and entitlement to life based on a characteristic wholly out of their control. Grow a thicker skin, Bible-thumpers, and get a better argument than "God told me so" because I just got off the phone with the Flying Spaghetti Monster and he finds your arguments unpersuasive...."
God may be Love, but religion is politics wrapped up in a dogmatic belief structure that too often prevents people from gaining true spiritual insight.