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Religion As A Weapon?

May 23, 2011

I am all for religious tolerance and rights to one’s beliefs, believe me. And I’m not just a “nay-sayer” to any strict religion, for the fact that I was born and raised within one. Not to mention that I was once an Ordained Minster, once upon a time, and in order to get there I was required to study the whole Bible and know it backwards and forwards. I was never kicked out of the religion or broke any rules within it, but I simply lost my faith within it and walked away from that path. I now make it a habit to not just stick with the knowledge of my current religion (for the past eight years) of Paganism, because of my religious past. Since I do know A LOT of the Christian religion, I do my best to expand my knowledge into other religions as well. Why? Just so I can be aware of other’s beliefs, to be the most respectful, and to not become as ignorant or bias as some do about beliefs that don’t match their own. I fear that I may become closed minded and judgmental of someone’s beliefs, out of pure ignorance and not bothering to learn about my fellow human beings and their dogmas. And ignorance begets fear, which begets hate. :-/

That said… I am a lot disturbed when I witness people using their beliefs as weapons towards another simply because they have no real knowledge about it. I do respect people who are devoted and connected to their spiritual beliefs. But the one thing I can’t accept nor respect are religious zealots, bigots, and extremists. It was religious extremists who decided to crash planes into US landmarks, after all…

Some weeks ago, I had read this very off-colored article online that was suppose to read like a joke. It was titled: “How To Tell If Your Daughter Is A Lesbian” or something like that. I didn’t get through most of the article, because it was written in the view of extreme Christian bias, and even though it was suppose to be funny it was just creepy and disturbing. Especially it’s claims that everything and everyone that supported the rights of the LGBT community was a creation the Christian demon-god named Satan and the overuse of the word “homo-gay”. Which is a highly offensive slur, like any other one out there, like for instance calling a Christian a “X-tian”.  It was suppose to be a joke, shared on a Christian site, but it was in poor taste in my opinion. I shrug my shoulders and scrolled down to the comments of the article, maybe hoping to see someone suggest that the article wasn’t that funny as it was dark… And I probably shouldn’t have done that. :-o

The comments were riddled with readers in debate, both Christian and non-Christians, arguing about fellow human beings. A guy claiming to be a Reverend commented that being gay is a mental disease, which sparked an argument from those who are gay, both Christian and non. And a few straight, but highly devoted to their religion, argued against the Reverend’s  idea too. Yet this Reverend had back up from others, agreeing that a person who is gay is wrong and seriously ill. And one person, in sheer hurt and anger posted, “So, if a person doesn’t agree with your beliefs, then you will deem that person as evil or mentally ill?” And to this the Reverend replied, “It’s not a disagreement against me or my words, but it’s against God and His words.” At that point, I walked away from that site, sickened. :-/

We all have our own religious beliefs, that’s true. But to say to a crowd, “You were born wrong and are an abomination to the human race”, which is what a person is really saying to anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. when you claim that it’s evil or a mental disease, is entirely another thing. But everyone has the right to be a jerk! However, to not stand up for your own prejudice and bias, instead blaming it on a Deity just seems so cowardly to me. I happen to know, a heathen as I am, that the Bible has the rule of “Love thy neighbor” and “Judge not lest ye be judged”. And also the many teaching of how it’s the job of God to pass judgement only, not the job of men. Also, the Bible holds many examples of Jesus Christ who loved EVERYBODY, in spite of their sins. But of course, religious fanatics do overlook this part of the Bible, conviently. And they would be prone to shout out that I am the she-devil who mixes truth with lies. Scary! This is why I avoid religious extremists, as much as I try to avoid the criminally insane. :-p

But, the silver lining is that I know too many real and devoted Christians who aren’t fanatics. And I do have a deep respect for the religion, even if I don’t agree with the dogma one hundred percent. My best friend is a devout Christian, yet we are of different faiths and backgrounds, and we are as close as brother and sister.  So that’s proof that a person doesn’t have to be prejudiced and extreme in order to follow their religion. ;-)

The real evil here is when a person uses their religion as a weapon against anyone that doesn’t fit in with their views or feelings. And quite frankly, I don’t understand how it wouldn’t be considered blasphemy towards any Deity for a person to blame their personal feelings and opinions on their God. Every bit of my blog and opinions expressed here are MINE and mine alone… no God or Goddess has told me to think or feel this way. If I offend some with this article… well, tough! Just stop reading this blog and never return! :-p

But, more to the point, if I do offend it’s by my own doing and not from the words of my religion or Deities. It’s how I feel, in my own words, and not a case of, “That’s what my God said, not me. I agree with it and I will push my agreement with aggression and lack of care or empathy towards anyone else who doesn’t agree with what I agree with… But, if you began to gripe about my attitude, it’s not me… it was Him, the God I serve! You’ll have to take it up with Him!” And for that kind of behavior, I have a very disappointed response of, “Not cool, dude… Not cool.” :-/

I think  Friedrich Nietzsche had a good point, when he quoted, “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.” There is so much real evil in the world, that effort can be better spent on fighting against, than to waste time becoming monsters against each other. Just a thought. ;-)

-D

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2 comments

  1. I so agree. I’m liberal on humour preferring to not to censure comment but I feel here was a miscall, that could only tear people apart without any redeeming qualities. And predictably it matters.
    Sadly this drives humanist extremists in the LGBT movement to fire their weapons against those fellow members who find a very real strength in their faith so another eye is lost and society goes blind.


  2. Well, my feeling about the “eye for an eye” idea is strictly religious common sense… I always like to point out that even the Bible says at the end of the eye for an eye speech, “Vengeance is mine, so saith the Lord”. Even for the most religious person in the world, they really should pay attention to what they claim to worship, because there’s NOTHING in the Bible that says that harassment or oppression of another person is justified, even if they are seen as “sinners”. However there’s plenty in that book that argue the very opposite. I’m just saying. ;-)



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