Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Religion: No Rights Reserved

this pope doesn't get gay rights either
When will religion recognize gay rights?
I cannot begin to describe how saddened I am by this story. For those not familiar, a 4-year old boy was shot by Peter Moses, a religious cult leader, because he thought the little boy exhibited “gay behavior.” I’m not even sure where to begin. Not only does this show just how rampant homophobia is, but it attests to the fact that religion incites violence.

Why do people dislike homosexuals? Is it because it’s “weird?” For some, sure: They have not been ‘exposed’ to homosexual relationships, so when they see two men or two women holding hands and maybe kissing, they ask, “wait…what just happened?” This is excusable and goes away with time. But for someone to disdain homosexuals and outwardly dislike them, that source isn't ignorance, but comes from religious dogma.

Christianity and many other religions have a dislike for homosexuals. It has never been explained why. When given any thought, it is not morally incorrect. What exactly is wrong with two people coming together and loving each other? Nobody chooses the gender they fall in love with, and for many who do not want “homosexual feelings,” this is a huge burden on them. Without the religious notion that same-sex relationships are ‘evil’ and ‘unnatural,’ this sort of burden and violence would not happen.

Religion seems to be the main culprit in all of this. Without it, needless suffering would not occur. We have all read countless stories showing us the horror that religious dogma can do: Everything from the horrendous actions on September 11, 2001, the threats of violence of abortion clinics, to the senseless murder of a little boy. People do not and will not see the harm that religion does. And do not let religious people tell you that these people were not “true believers.”

I come across this claim a lot, but here’s the problem: you’ll have many people accept belief X, but once someone outwardly acknowledges belief X or advocates it, they are demonized and labeled as crazy. The hatred towards homosexuals is found within the Bible and from religious leaders.

Homosexuals are a large sub-set of the population that is told they are full of sin, are unnatural, and should not be afforded equal rights. If you hear this kind of talk daily, you are not going to treat homosexuals with respect.

What can be done? First, I want to hear religious leaders release a statement showing their revulsion about such acts. Second, I want to advocate that we confront these backward beliefs. Homophobia and the spread of religious hatred are two very common things nowadays, and the best way to combat both is to stand up for what you believe, and lead the discussion. When someone says that homosexuals are disgusting, say something. I do not wish to advocate violence, nor do I wish anyone to disrespect anyone else, but I am advocating for a dialogue. Our situation will not get better if we sit idly by while this happens. People are being harassed with verbal and physical violence every single day, and most of us do not give it any thought.

The only way forward is to speak up and be heard.

Originally posted by: 

Catholic Parents of Gays and Lesbians For Equal Rights  by Pipistrula, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.


Anonymous said...

Amazing, and you're absolutely right. There's no kind of excuse for this kind of behavior, and nothing brainwashes people into hate and violence quite like religion does.

Lewis Breland said...

To begin with, if you are a Christian, you must believe that God wrote the Bible and it is therefore infallible. If this were true, the world should represent what the texts say. Gallileo Galilei and Charles Darwin – to name two VERY significant scientists – showed us that this is not the case. The Bible, supposedly God’s word, is therefore not an accurate representation of the world or life in the universe, which it claims to be. If this, then, is the case, why should we believe any of its mystical or metaphysical claims, which are NOT verifiable with evidence?

What’s more, if LGBT people are brought up to believe that this scripture is to be taken as the literal word of God, they will feel extreme guilt and shame. Why? Because they will read or be read the passages in which God condemns the “abomination” that is same-sex intimacy; recommending as it is of disgrace and death.

gaytheist said...

Thanks @anonymous, we should thank Tim for posting this great entry!

@Lewis, your are absolutely right. Science has negated a lot of things in the Bible and some people still refuse to admit that it makes their faith based on false claims!

Tim said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for the kind words. You're completely right when you say there is no excuse for this kind of behavior. It is awful and it is time we confront the root issue: religion

@ Lewis: I agree with you. The Bible is not to be used as a scientific document, as some Christians admit. But, as with any belief, people try and rationalize all the counter-evidence away. Genesis 1 & 2, the supposed 'creation moments,' depict two different acts of creation.

Anonymous said...

watch. in ten years, the pope, followed by other christian authorities, will issue an apology for their appalling behavior towards homosexuals, for codifying homophobia. soon afterwards, the mormon church will get another "revelation" that homosexuals are human after all. a thorough demonstration of the MAN-MADE nature of religion. too bad hundreds, if not thousands of lives will have been negated, invalidated, ruined, and outright destroyed by their adherence to the hideous fairy tales concocted in the infancy of our species.

as far as i am concerned, there will NEVER be enough apology or expiation from them for the evil they perpetuated. look at history. see how alan turing serviced our world and saved us from the nazis. no, no, that's not what's important, it's who he sleeps with. for his great service to humanity, he was driven to insanity and suicide. and it is only by petition 60 years after his death that there is an apology for this appalling behavior.

Tim said...

@ Anonymous:

There is definitely a change in attitudes about gay people. The younger generation does not care if you are straight, gay, or bisexual. Yes, the tides are turning, but we still have a long way to go. Science is a big factor as well: we are just now beginning how sexual orientation works, and we all know what science has done to religion in the past.

I don't know if I'm optimistic enough to say within 10 years, but I think in the near future, only people on the fringe would think about demonizing those who love people of the same sex.

Karim. said...

How can a 4-year old exhibit homosexual behavior? All 4-year-old kids are freaking girly! He hasn't even gone through puberty yet... This dude has some serious issues...
Homosexuality is a blessing, fanaticism is a sin. Just saying :)

gaytheist said...

cos we were born this way!

darwinseye said...

I am more and more shocked by the actions of those God fearing Christians. The 'abomination' of homosexuality comes from the same book of the bible which says stone a man for planting his crops near the wrong variety of other crops or talking back to your parents. The selective nature of these people and their religion makes me sick. They kill one person and ignore another 'crime' completely.
I am no theist but I have read their book and it is rough on a lot of people. Modern Christians choose to hate gays. They get their gospel from a rabid homophobe in a robe every Sunday and do not bother to read their 'holy book' for themselves and see that there are a lot of sins. They need to grow up and enforce them all or just shut up!

Internal consistency, people!!!!

gaytheist said...

Thanks for your contribution @darwinseye. Nice blog!

Barbara said...

Great post, Tim. I was a Christian for years and this is one of the MANY MANY reasons I walked away. I can't believe this little boy lost his life. A CHILD! It breaks my heart.

gaytheist said...

This is another episode of the dangerous effects that religion can have on people

doubtingthomas43@hotmail.com said...

I'm a police officer and an atheist so I am no stranger to hate directed at me but I don't get it anywhere near as bad gay men and women. keep fightin' the good fight.

On the bright side I can't count how many guys that have called me or one of my boys 'faggot' ended up in handcuffs. (hehe)

gaytheist said...

Thank you officer!! Gaytheist is highly appreciative!! :)

Anonymous said...

The Episcopal Church recognizes gay rights

gaytheist said...

@Anonymous that's a very specific case

Erica Pike said...

All I can say that things *can* change.

Okay, so religion has never been a HUGE thing in Iceland. There's only one catholic church here (I think) and a few other religions (who are low-profile, really). The majority of Icelanders are Lutherans, and Lutherans in Iceland are pretty liberal.

Anyway, homosexuals in Iceland have the exact same rights as heterosexuals do - and I'm talking church weddings, adoptions, and the whole works. It's been a step-by-step development, and since Iceland is so small it was probably a lot easier than in huge USA, but I hope that, in the future, things will change for the better in the US.

It's a nice fact that not one person voted against homosexual marriage rights or rights to adopt in parliament. Our prime minister is lesbian (though no one cares, really), but the opposition all voted for same-sex marriage rights. Then I remember an ad in the newspapers, the very day it became law, from loads of priests welcoming people of the same sex into their churches for weddings (and weddings ceremonies performed by priests costs very little - so it wasn't a greed-thing). I was a proud Icelander that day.

As for saying something if someone says something against homosexuality: I'm not homosexual, but I'm an avid supporter of homosexual rights. I go off like a firecracker if I hear any anti-homosexual slur. I'm also going to raise my two sons with the knowledge that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.

gaytheist said...

@Erica Interesting insights about Iceland!

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