Tag Archives: Bible

My Religion’s Better Than Yours

Religion, ain’t it grand? Everyone can use it to feel righteous, superior and special. In fact, people can use it to preach tolerance, yet in the same breath turn around and show bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

Nine years after September 11 and what have we learned? Place the blame elsewhere and stoke the fires under the fetid brew of religious intolerance. I speak of some Qu’ran burning putz in the US and the masses of protesters screaming against a mosque being built near ground zero in New York.

The masses, as has been shown again and again, are mostly ignorant, easily swayed and influenced by hype. If there is a complete intelligence amongst them, they hide it in the mob mentality. Notice I don’t say the Christian masses or the Hindu masses or any specific religion, because a mass of people (as opposed to the Catholic mass) is just that; not necessarily an unthinking organism but a lower thinking one.

The problem with religion is that it’s open to interpretation, interpretations of interpretations, offshoots, branches, sects and other views of the same religion, let alone all the different religions out there. Take just one, even Buddhism, and you have moderates, those who are orthodox or who adhere to the most stringent rules, and those who are liberal. One extreme end holds the fundamentalists. It makes no difference if this is Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam or one of the host of many religious practices. Fundamentalists are sometimes raised in the tradition but just as often (if not moreso) they are brought to this view as adults.

Fundamentalists are often recognized as being stringent and unbending, narrow-minded, and resistant to truth and facts. They like going on tirades, performing highly dramatic proclamations and at the worst, killing people in the name of their religion. A fundamentalist, whether a Taoist (Are there fundamentalist Taoists? Probably),  a Wiccan or some other religion is annoying at best and downright threatening to life and liberty at worst.

Who is a fundamentalist? The Taliban subjugating men and women, the Holy Roman Empire feeding Christians to lions, the Spanish Inquisition toasting witches, and southern Baptists burning religious texts. This is only a small sampling of pointing the finger at another group and ostracizing them for their beliefs. Sometimes this religious prejudice has been wholly one group against another and that’s not necessarily fundamentalism (really, the Roman Empire was a state religion and not fundamental beyond that) as it is the tenets and interpretations of the era and culture, such as various pogroms against the Jews in Medieval Europe. But fundamentalists will loudly proclaim the right and might of their belief system, then put their hands over their ears so they do not hear anything which would make them doubt. And they just as loudly denounce everyone else of not being on the “one true faith.”

Most religions preach love, compassion and turning the other cheek but it seems it doesn’t run to your neighbor if they are of a different ilk. It’s okay to tell your wives to stay home and raise babies if you’re a fundamentalist Christian but it’s not okay if you’re a fundamentalist Muslim and tell your wife to wear the hijab.  It’s okay to guilt trip people into being of a particular faith but then not let homosexuals into your church. It’s okay to convert by the gun or the sword because that will really give you more believers but it will only be lip service. Oh and do I even have to mention that should you start burning, breaking or otherwise destroying one group’s symbols of faith, that that won’t make them go away but will have them in your face. But if it’s war you want, in your religious peace, then it’s war you’ll get.

I’m not sure when the world is going to grow up. I have little faith it will be anytime soon as religious superstition, suspicion and intolerance seem to be on the rise. And people, no matter their faith, should be willing to listen to another person’s belief system. If they’re threatened, then they’re already insecure in their beliefs. If they change to another path, so what? Spirituality is always an individual journey and coercing or forcing people is not the way to spirit and belief.

Blaming all people of one faith for what some men did of dubious and most likely fundamentalist beliefs is the same as saying half of the species (say, women) is inferior to the other half. It’s the same as saying, Joe killed someone; therefore all of humanity should be punished. It’s the same as saying, my great grandfather raped someone so all the men in my family line are rapists (and this is a what-if and not indicative of my family). It’s the same as saying all Christians are good and all Muslims are bad. Switch the nouns and names around and it will sound as ludicrous.

Anyone who supports such wholesale bigotry should not be surprised when vengeance is wreaked upon them by the group they denounce. Look at the individual and do not use that wide brush to paint all of any group with it. There are evil Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists (Burma/Myanmar is run by Buddhists), pagans, agnostics, atheists, Hindus, Sikhs, etc. all over the world. And there are many more people of all faiths and none who are compassionate, charitable, giving and willing to let each person live, as long as they do not damage or subjugate another person in any way.

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Gay Specifics: Why There are Bathhouses and Gay Bars

Someone recently responded to my post on Pope Benedict and part of the comment was: Why should we care if a bunch of gays protest the Pope. This not just a religous thing. It’s about a people who want to legitmize and mainstream their perversions. Gay bars and hotels are in a true sense houses of discrimination. What if some restaurant throws out a gay..? (Sic)

Whoa! Perversions? Not just a religious thing? Well let’s see. You’re right, being gay is not just a religious thing. Gays protesting the pope, well that seems religious but I’m sure that some of those gays protesting (beside all us straight people) are also not religious. The protest is on principle, on the basis of discrimination and perpetuating hate crimes.

Hate? You say you don’t hate these people; they’re just perverts. Hmm. Perverts. I guess because it’s not in the Bible or something. But a gay bar makes a house of discrimination more than say, a men’s club where they can discriminate against women and paw and fondle single women (as waitresses) while these guys’ wives stay at home with the little chumps. I wonder if that’s in the Bible. Or let’s see, a house of discrimination, like those golf clubs that only allow a person in if they can afford the exorbitant fees, make them elitist and discriminating against the poor. Hmmm.

Well gosh, those darn gays are perverse whereas playing golf or say, people having extramarital affairs is normal. Why? Because some book written just a few cultures ago (like almost two thousand years ago–and no it wasn’t written right at the birth of Christ) says go forth and multiply and a man who lays with a man goes against reproduction, or some such. Sounds kind of like everyones’ homophobia and fear of homosexuality spreading like a disease is kind of religious in that sense.

Someone told us it was wrong, that it offended, that it went not just against someone’s personal dislikes but went against THE WILL OF GOD. Therefore it is wrong. And God pulls more weight. Right?

And guess what? People took that God’s word thing pretty seriously for a long time, using it to persecute, kill and jail homosexuals. Since it’s not a disease and some people are born preferring the same gender for partners, what was a homosexual to do? Stand around and wait for something horrible to happen to them because people got incensed at what they did behind closed doors? If we all got involved in each other’s personal lives, whose life could stand up to the scrutiny. Excuse me, sir, you’ve been using the missionary position for twenty-five years and haven’t given your wife an orgasm in twenty. Sorry, ma’am, but laying there like a dead fish isn’t called making love.

I think you get the picture. No one’s life can be held up to the moral candle constantly. And what people do in their bedrooms is between them, whoever they do it with. So homosexuals, wishing to avoid the pogroms of the era, formed bathhouses, where men could meet and take care of their needs. They created gay bars, where they would be able to meet others without being accused of hitting on straight men (and consequently being gay bashed). It was in fact, straight people who caused the formation of gay bars. And all the gay bars in New York in the 50s and 60s were owned by straight people or the Mafia.

The Stonewall riots of 1969 happened because of persistent persecution by the police and just one too many injustices. The 60s were a turning point that spawned many movements including the black rights and gay rights movements as well as anti-war protests. Reading about Stonewall will show exactly why some of these bars were created to begin with. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots

Perversions? In whose book? The Bible. So yeah, moral sensibility is often tied so deeply in a person’s roots that they don’t realize those morals may be based on some religious teaching. And remember, if you don’t like those other religions because they’re persecuting and subjugating, then make sure to check your religious yard first. Are you persecuting or making a group “other” because they’re female or black or gay? In one sense, yes, everyone should be equal and treated so, but until that is completely accepted in our society there are still going to be gay bars because homosexuals need a place to feel safe.

Oh and for every paranoid right winger out there who is afraid that homosexuality was a disease, you can rest easy. It’s not and many homosexuals do have children, fulfilling that reproduction thing that the Bible loves so much. And guess what? Those who have genetic children (as opposed to adopting) don’t necessarily have gay children. And even the adopted ones grow up straight. Kinda throws water on the fire of the gay disease theory.

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