Thursday, 16 May 2013

Self-Righteous Bigots Are Whining Again

When Christians become a 'hated minority' – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

I had to laugh when I read this blog by John Blake of CNN.
When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

"But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, 'I agree with everything you said,'" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.
So we have the phenomenon of the shy Christian, or should that be shy homophobe hiding behind Christianity?

The hypocrisy of someone who wants to repress a minority complaining about being a repressed minority is all to obvious but it positively shouts out in the very next paragraph:
We’ve heard of the 'down-low' gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.
So closeted gays are perfectly okay and just as it should be, but imagine the effrontery of expecting a Christian to keep his/her bigotry and hate private? The very idea?

Obviously, Christians should be entitled to bully, harass, offend and deny human rights to anyone they wish provided they can find the necessary excuse in their Big Book of Excuses, aka, the Holy Bible. What's the point of a religion if you can't use it to feel better about yourself by elevating yourself above others and pretending to be their moral superior?

But what's interesting is not the usual Christian hypocrisy, inhumanity, double standards and over-inflated sense of entitlement but what these changing times tell us about two things:
  1. The state of Christianity and how it's losing its former status.
  2. How society's ethics and morality is developing whilst Christianity, like other religions, is trying to act as a break on human cultural progress and moral development.
On that last point, religion is not, and has never been, a source of morality. Religion and morality coexist and to a great extent, morality precedes and, in the early stages, informs religion. No popular religion ever formed around a god or an idea that was repugnant to the majority of people.

If you doubt that, ask yourself if you would think of a god as good or bad if it told you to kill babies? Is killing babies wrong because your god says so, or does your god say it's wrong because it's wrong? How do you think Christianity would have fared if those who made up the Jesus stories wrote about a man who told you to be unkind to old ladies and to kill kittens for fun?

Yes, yes! I know the Old Testament god was a monster - which is why the early Christians had to invent a nicer one when the Bronze-Age Hebrews came into contact with the culturally more advanced Greeks and Romans. Under the influence of newer ideas, 1st century Palestine was on the verge of abandoning Yahweh and becoming Yahwatheist, which is why Christianity was invented.

No matter how much humanism there is in nascent religions, the problem is that religion then becomes a dogma which can only be changed slowly and with great effort, whilst society continues to develop and reassess and re-formulates its morality. In the last few generations we have seen massive changes in our cultures and ethics. We have stopped buying and selling 'lesser races' as slaves; we no longer colonise and deny democratic and human rights to third-world people; we no longer deny working people and women the vote; we no longer fight wars with massive armies slaughtering one another to see who is the last one standing. We now see it as wrong to deny access to goods, services and opportunity to the disable.

Christianity has normally opposed every one of those improvements in human rights for ordinary people. At the very least, religions and theologians have always 'discovered' a perfectly sound theological reason to justify not changing. God created it that way for a reason and ours is not to reason why.

And now we no longer deny people basic human rights because of their gender and sexuality. This is the last bastion of Christian control. Christians like to believe they own marriage, and the ability to exercise what little control they have left is too precious to them to give it up without a fight. No area of human activity is out of bounds for their interference and meddling, even what consenting adults do in private.

Let's look at the excuse they use for this abuse:

Strangely, Jesus was entirely silent on the subject and yet this is the very Jesus whom these same gay-abusing Christians will tell you introduced a new covenant and effectively abolished the laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. But only the laws they find inconvenient, it seems.

First, the usual passage:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Leaving aside the question of whether gay men actually DO lie with one another 'as with a woman', which would be physically impossible unless anal intercourse with a woman was the norm when Leviticus was written, since neither of them have the right female equipment, why take this law in isolation and ignore so many of the others?

This 'Letter to Dr Laura (Schlessinger) has been around the Internet for many years. I first saw it on a Compuserve forum in about 1997.
Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly
states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.
  1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
  2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
  3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
  4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
  5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
  6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
  7. Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
  8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?
  9. I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
  10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.
I think that makes the point better than I ever could.

What we are witnessing now is the end-game for Christianity. The tension on the elastic band keeping us tethered to the Bronze-Age is at breaking point. Society has progress to the point where hysterical Christian attempts to hold it back simply make it worse for Christianity by making them stand out as reactionary bigots merely using an outmoded superstition to try to cling on to the last vestiges of the power they have abused for so long.

Where once you could cross the road to avoid Christians shouting abuse at strangers and threatening them with their god, or the mad person standing in stained underwear shouting Bible verses and abuse from his or her window, we now only need to log on to Twitter or do a quick Google search to find today's batch of religious nutters and Dunning-Kruger simpletons telling the world what God thinks and how science has got it all wrong - with a computer.

Christianity on the Internet is now represented by lunatics, bullies, hate-filled bigots and frauds from which decent, humanitarian, compassionate human beings are recoiling and which is causing people to question the basis of their faith if it can produce people like the repugnant religious fundamentalists we now encounter daily. Consequently, most developed countries are witnessing a phenomenal rise in the numbers of people admitting to having no religious belief, many of whom are coming out of the closet Christians would dearly love to keep them in along with gays. In many European countries Atheists/Agnostics are now the majority and even in staunchly Catholic countries, church attendance is falling rapidly.

The whining Christians complaining about not being allowed to repress a minority any more, and needing to feel ashamed of their bigotry, is merely a symptom of that terminal decline. I'm pleased that they are at least feeling shame for their hate-filled bigotry and are becoming embarrassed to show it in public, when once they would have been proud of it and made sure we all knew it. This is a sign that they are subconsciously adopting humanist morality.

[Update 19 May 2013] Yesterday France became the fourteen nation to abandon yet another inhumane piece if Christian dogma when it legalised same-sex marriages.

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3 comments :

  1. I have often thought that all this squawking was really as swan-song. But I still can decide if this is true or just a hope.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this blog post, it sums up so much that is wrong with religion. I would say however, that if you defend something in the bible like homophobia, or women's rights etc... you are homophobe/chauvinist/racist/ what ever verse you are defending and just using the magic excuse.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Rosa:
    Another beautiful post. I've seen the "Dear Dr. Laura" before; it really goes to the heart of the matter. And, I've already used two quotes from the post, those beginning "Obviously, Christians should be entitled to bully" and "What we are witnessing now is the end-game for Christianity" in responding to christian bigots on another site.
    Keep up the good week!

    ReplyDelete

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