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Thoughts on Controversial Subjects

I meant to post this a couple of days ago, but somehow I've been too busy all the danged time to actually sit down and write.

Anyway, the other day on NPR I heard an interview with a Baptist preacher who, in his earnest, kindly, serious way, explained why he had supported the original Indiana “freedom of religion” law, because he lives by the Bible and the Bible says homosexuality is “wrong.”

And I thought, you know, I believe the Bible is much more vocal about things like not eating “unclean” food (shrimp, pork, etc.), and mixing meat and dairy is expressly forbidden, and I’d love to know if the minister was wearing a nice cotton/poly blend, also forbidden. I’m also betting he’s clean-shaven. He probably wouldn't support laws against left-handed people. Leviticus is filled with Big Old Rules that most Christians have thrown out completely and many Jews only pay lip-service to and Muslims are still fighting about – but by golly, you gotta cling to the gay thing, rather than let those nice boys next door marry each other so they can file jointly on their taxes (and that doesn’t actually help much, going by what Barb and I have gotten back the last two years).

It annoys me that these people see themselves as so good and righteous and holy, when they’re ignoring more than half their oh-so-important book and hugging tight to things that aren’t even really mentioned too much. Yeah, there’s something about men laying with men, but there’s nothing at all about lesbians, and Jesus himself didn’t make much of it at all. He was far more about the whole “loving each other” and “live in peace” stuff. Damned hippie.

I find as I get older, I get less and less “conservative,” completely contrary to some articles I’ve read about aging. I now find most organized religions simply appalling, and I’ve found myself snorting derisively when someone mentions their sincere faith or what-have-you, even when I try to be tolerant and accepting. I even found myself getting cranky seeing all those holy Easter cards/gifts/etc., and hell, I suppose that’s what Easter is (now, anyway). I stick with the eggs and bunnies, and I sent my Mom a lovely card and I said "Happy Easter" to everyone at work, but was going "blah" at the various Easter wallpapers I was browsing.

And it’s not that I’ve gone completely anti-God, mind; I still have my own personal faith, but it just does not jibe at all with most visions of religion out there. These narrow, forbidding views of a God who is supposed to be all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent – how can you fit something like that into a single book, and call that “all there is”?

The Bible also says God gave us free will. In my opinion, he also gave us science and a nice big brain for a reason, and that was to USE THEM to find out more about his purpose, rather than to just kowtow to a book written more than two thousand years ago by people who were so afraid of the dark they had to have God personified, sitting right by them holding their hands, instead of being an impersonal force that can’t be seen, who moves all things and really doesn’t worry too much about what individuals do with their hair or clothing or food or sexual organs.

The funny thing about these Freedom of Religion bills that’re getting pitched and passed, riding on the Federal law that Clinton signed, is that it IS a big ol’ Lefty idea. When it passed, back in the 90’s, it wasn’t meant to save those "poor, downtrodden, oppressed Christians" from the big heathen bullies, it was MEANT to protect the Native American man who smokes peyote for a ceremony but needs to keep his job, or to help those Muslim girls keep their headscarves in school, or allow Hindus and Buddhists have their holy days off, etc., etc., but now that the majority feels “persecuted” because they’re being “forced” to accept evil gays, they want those Freedom of Religion acts to pertain to THEM, too, to save them from being sued because they like to hate people, in direct violation of Jesus’s actual teachings.

I do think any gay couple who runs into this kind of person or business should simply walk out and find an accommodating place – Barb and I were lucky; when we went to our local bakery to get our wedding cake made, they delighted we were getting married, even if we had to do it in California and it wouldn’t be legal in Arizona at that time. (It was also a wonderful cake – Barb’s Bakery {complete coincidence, that}, in Phoenix on 24th Street just north of Thomas. Has been there forever and is marvelous, and I don’t get there often enough.)





But anyway, should these sorts be safe from lawsuits for being discriminatory? Hell no. If they’re a public store, they should cater to the public. It’s one thing to not serve someone who is belligerent, rude, or abusive – it’s quite another to refuse service for any personal reason. You can’t say “we don’t serve blacks.” You should also not be allowed to say “we don’t serve gays.” People like that used religion to justify slavery.

They can use religion to justify, apparently, every appalling action (see ISIS and Boko Haram).

Somehow I moved from tolerance to dislike of most of them, and I wish it wasn’t like that. I would like to accept everyone’s religious beliefs, but somehow I just can’t anymore.

In any case, no matter what you believe, have a lovely day today, whether it's Easter or Eostre or anything in-between. I'm about to put the sacrificial lamb in the oven.

I'm even going to color up some eggs.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
laurawise
Apr. 5th, 2015 09:16 pm (UTC)
That cake was just GORGEOUS.

Good thoughts to you and Barb, and a joyous day.
empresspatti
Apr. 5th, 2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
I could not agree more
As does the New York Times:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-same-sex-sinners.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region®ion=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

I'm done with organized religion. To me its the justification for the most appalling behavior. Mostly, in the context or religion and conservative belief, religion seems to sit on the corner of willful ignorance and righteousness. NO THANKS. I can get Taliban type behavior from the evening news.

BUT: I see my Parents, who have quietly and kindly lived their faith all their lives and wonder why more people aren't like them.

I'm reading "A Call to Reason" by Jimmy Carter. He rights very compellingly about leaving his lifelong Baptist Church over their current attitude about women.

It was a little weird, the first Christmas or Easter that I took a big pass on all things religious, but I feel better not being in church. I have no use for a forum where some man speaks unchallenged about important life choices.
wildrider
Apr. 13th, 2015 05:03 am (UTC)
Re: I could not agree more
Everyone's always telling normal, average Muslims to "stand up and speak out against the radicals!" and they do -- but no one listens. The same goes for normal, decent Christians. I'm fully aware there are good people in every religion, whose beliefs are heartfelt and they don't go around acting like bigots...

But their good is sadly been overshadowed by the radicals who use the name of Jesus to justify their evil, all throughout history.



cornerofmadness
Apr. 6th, 2015 03:40 am (UTC)
I have to admit, like you, the older I get the more intolerant I become of organized religion because any more I see it being used as a bludgeon against anyone who doesn't think exactly like you do. They're twisting it into an instrument of hate and intolerance and regardless of which of the major religions you look at peace and love are sort of the major tenants.

It's saddening.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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