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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Doing unto others.

In the aftermath of our stunning defeat at the hands of religious bigots, Tom Ackerman has come up with an interesting proposal: Don’t recognize their marriages either. Ackerman says:

Yesterday I called a woman’s spouse her boyfriend.

She says, correcting me, “He’s my husband,”
“Oh,” I say, “I no longer recognize marriage.”

The impact is obvious. I tried it on a man who has been in a relationship for years,

“How’s your longtime companion, Jill?”
“She’s my wife!”
“Yeah, well, my beliefs don’t recognize marriage.”

Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it’s like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another’s beliefs.

I read the piece to John, and we liked it. We talked enthusiastically about putting it into practice.

We also talked about boycotting hetero weddings. “I’m not going to any more weddings in states without equal rights,” I said. John agreed.

One thing about that, though: No matter how sarcastic we are, no matter how strident we are in making our point, the bottom line is that they’re still the first-class citizens and we’re still the second-class citizens. They still have rights and we still don’t. It might be a way of making a point, and I haven’t ruled anything out, but I have my doubts about the enlightenment of bigots. I don’t think We’re people, too, you know is the kind of point we ought to have to make. It seems degrading to have to point that out.

So. I visited my parents last night. If you’re just tuning in, my parents are right-wing Christian Evangelicals, lifelong Republicans who have been drawn more and more deeply over the years into the most extreme wing of that party. Whenever I go to their house, Fox News is on the television — even though they consider Fox News “too liberal.” There are a lot of things my parents and I just can’t talk about. Apparently, my marriage is going to be one of them. I didn’t even get to the wedding; I started with what we’re going to do about our names.

“So what are you going to do?” asked my dad. “One of you puts on a suit and the other one puts on a dress and then you prance down the aisle together?”

I resisted the impulse to tell my father to kiss my ass. I resisted the impulse to insult him, or his marriage, back.

“I’m sorry you’re disappointed about having a gay son,” I said. “But making insulting remarks isn’t going to change that.”

I stayed longer than I intended, but when I left he was still pissed off. So was I, frankly. So what do I do? Denigrate my parents’ marriage? Boycott their 50th anniversary next year?

Meanwhile, John’s nephew is getting married this month. He’s a fine young man, and his fiancée is a lovely young woman.

He was crushed when a medical problem prevented him from shipping out to Iraq with his unit. “We’re supposed to be in this together. I’m supposed to be with them, and I’m not,” he told me. It wasn’t that he wanted to go to Iraq; it wasn’t support for the war or even patriotism that made him feel so disconsolate. It was a sense of brotherhood and mutual responsibility. I don’t have to approve of this war, or any war, to respect that.

His fiancée voted for Obama and is an outspoken critic of racism. That might not sound so brave in the 21st century, but bear in mind that this is the most Republican county in South Carolina. Racism is still socially acceptable here; it’s almost expected here.

John let me make the call. Are we serious about boycotting straight weddings? Are we going or not?

Yeah, we’re going. Of course we’re going.

I resent Christianity, and Christians, for the unrelenting campaign of bigotry, hate, discrimination and lies. I don’t fucking appreciate it all. I’d like to let them know how it feels.

But I don’t think most of them are ever going to get it. Invincible ignorance isn’t just a Christian doctrine, it’s a Christian goal, and one of the rare ideals they’re pretty successful in achieving. Most Christians are never going to see their way clear to doing unto others as they would done by — not when it comes to queers. Not in my lifetime. Fine.

Don’t get me wrong: I plan to keep of criticizing Abrahamic religion and all its ignorance, bigotry, stupidity and hate. I haven’t resolved to shut up.

But when it really comes down to it, we just don’t have it in us to do unto the Christians as they do unto us.

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From freethoughpedia.

Jesus loves the little zygotes
all the zygotes of the world.
Jesus loves them until they’re born
then abandons them forlorn.
Jesus loves the little zygotes ’til they’re born.

Jesus loves the little children
all the children of the world.
Jesus gives them heart defects
measles, mumps, and ringwormed necks.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Jesus lets their parents beat them,
bruise their bodies black and blue.
Jesus gives them birth defects,
scurvy, ticks, and palette clefts.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Jesus gives the children cancer.
Earaches, lice, and scabies too.
Bowel obstructions, altered lips,
blighted brains and twisted hips.
Extra chromosomes to help them when they pray.

Hallelujah.

Jesus gives the children acne.
AIDS and leprosy galore.
Germs and worms of every kind.
Things to make the children blind.
But he cannot give them smallpox anymore.

Scientists and unbelievers
wiped the pox right off the earth.
Jesus still gives gifts to kids,
broken nose and burnt eyelids.
But he cannot give them smallpox anymore.

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Dick MaloneWhy are so many of Jebus’ friends so fucking stupid?

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland, Richard Malone, has issued a statement condemning same-sex marriage. Big surprise, right? But get what he says:

To redefine marriage to include same-sex couples is to strip marriage of an essential component, namely the ability and obligation to procreate. To strip marriage of this essential component is to render marriage meaningless and open it up to endless revision and redefinition.

Jesus. You’ve got to wonder who ties this guy’s shoes for him. According to Benny the Dick’s official spokesman in Maine (Benny being Jebus’ official spokesman on earth), the ability and obligation to procreate is an essential component of marriage. Furthermore, to strip marriage of this essential component is to render marriage meaningless.

So there you have it, straight from the guy who speaks for the guy who speaks for Jebus. Marriage has been meaningless ever since the first time an infertile person got married. Without the ability and obligation to procreate, you don’t have a marriage, and if you’re allowed to marry anyway, then everybody’s marriage is meaningless.

Of course, that means that everybody’s marriage is meaningless already, and every marriage from time immemorial has been meaningless, too. If you pick at Malone’s absurd statement, I’m sure you can find a heresy there. Better yet, you can grow up and realize that the story of Santa Claus is more plausible than the claims of the morally bankrupt Catholic hierarchy.

Can any intelligent person really believe that assholes like Malone really have anything to do with Jesus?

I understand, of course, that the Catholic clergy don’t approve of sex between consenting adult men, but isn’t about time they realized that altar boys just aren’t for everybody?

Isn’t it about time they just stopped and fucking thought about what they were saying for once?

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Fairfield woman: Priest kicked me out of Mass because of Obama signs

Sebastian MeyerElizabeth Caster was at Mass on Sunday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Fairfield, California, when the priest went berserk and told her to get her car off his God’s property. She was very surprised. She says the church can kiss her 25 smackers a week goodbye.

In the priest’s defense, it must be noted that Caster (a) drives a Toyota Sequoia and (b) had parked it in the loading zone. Knowing those two things, I hate her already, and I don’t even know her.

If you need a Toyota Sequoia to haul your kid around, you should consider getting a smaller kid. And what makes you think you’re special enough to park in the yellow zone? That 25 bucks a week you put in the offering plate? What do you think this is, Mississippi? You don’t get no prime parking spot for 25 bucks a week, you stupid bitch.

Just imagine what this woman is probably like. Imagine what it’s like for the priest, having to put up with her crap week after week after week. Sooner or later, you’d have snapped, too. You know you would.

But according to Caster and other outraged parishioners, people park in the yellow zone all the time, and the priest never cared before. Father Sebastian Meyer went nuts not because of where Caster parked, but because of the signs on her car. In fact, he didn’t say one word about the other cars that were parked in the loading zone at the same time as Caster’s car.

They say that Meyer said, “”We cannot have a car with Obama signs written on it on these premises. And I don’t care who Obama is. I want this car off the premises in 10 minutes or it will be towed. Whoever’s vehicle this is, I want it removed. I don’t want to see that car anywhere around here.”

So Caster — who is, if nothing else, smart enough not to fuck with a crazy old priest — took her kid and went out to move her car. Meyer followed her out to the parking lot and refused to let her park anywhere else on the lot. Naturally, Caster was pissed. I think you’d be pissed, too, even if you aren’t the kind of person who drives a Toyota Sequoia and parks in the loading zone. But would you be surprised? Really?

Okay, you’ve joined this Mediterranean religious cult that worships a vindictive bastard of a God. This vicious deity says you deserve to be tortured for all eternity because you’re not perfect, but having tortured his own son to death in your stead makes him feel a little better, so he’s willing to forgive you provided you follow the rules set down by (surprise!) the head of the cult.

The head of the cult and his predecessors have claimed for centuries that they are the supreme authority on earth. They still claim the right to tell everybody how to vote, and they expect governments to take orders from them, too. The cult is fanatically sexist and enthusiastically homophobic. Having spent decades covering up sexual abuse committed by its clergy, and having been caught at it, the cult’s leaders still aren’t even a little embarrassed to say that same-sex marriage is the real threat to your children.

And they expect you to have a lot of children, too. The only reason their insane god allows you to get married at all is so you can have children. (You could have children without getting married, of course, but that’s against the rules.) You are not allowed to have sex with anybody until you get married, and when you do have sex, you’re not allowed to use any kind of contraception. Contraception is against the rules, because sex is only for procreation. Got that? If you use contraception, you have thwarted the will of the almighty god — it’s surprisingly easy to thwart his will, considering his omnipotence — and that pisses him off.

At least once a week, you are expected to drag your kids to Mass, where the priest conducts a magic rite that turns little round wafers into Jesus, and then everybody eats Jesus. Regular participation in this ritual imaginary cannibalism is considered very important to the insane god.

Most members of the cult don’t really believe any of this crap, but they keep participating in the cult anyway, out of habit and because belonging to the cult is an important part of their cultural/ethnic/spiritual identity, and because they believe it’s important to bring their children up in an atmosphere of guilt, retribution, bigotry, blood sacrifice, and cannibalism. (Because how else are they going to learn any values?)

Okay, it’s a free country. (For heterosexuals, I mean.) You want to join some bizarre cult, that’s your right. You want to believe, or pretend you believe, all this nonsense, more power to you.

But I draw the line at feeling sorry for you when a priest of your insane cult acts like a narrow-mind jerk. Do you really expect me to believe that surprises you? Have you been paying attention at all?

Well, apparently not. Some of the parishioners were really upset. They felt it was wrong, very wrong indeed, for a priest of an irrational and intolerant cult to behave in an irrational and intolerant manner. They were so indignant, they were stirred to … well, nothing. But almost.

“It took a lot out of me,” said one, “to sit there and not walk out.”

Whew! That was a close one! I’ll bet the Pope was shaking in his handmade red calfskin slippers!

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Mormons Stole Our Rights.

MORMONS.

For the past six months, Mormons tricked Californians by lying about the effects of the Supreme Court ruling.

They told us we would lose the right to participate in our childrens’ education. Lies.

They told us the California state public school curriculum would be modified to teach sex education to kindergartners. Lies

They told us churches would lose the right to free speech. Lies. …

To restore the right stolen from us, we must correct the amendment to California’s constitution. To do this requires another statewide proposition. Yet how will we avoid another election season of Mormon deception, when they can pour limitless, tax-free money, money meant for the poor and underprivileged, into advancing their platform of intolerance and hate?

Strip the Mormon church of its status as a religious organization.

Mormon, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal … they’re all the Klan to me. I don’t think this effort will succeed, either. I certainly sympathize with its intent, though. Practically all Christian churches preach bigotry and exclusion, but it’s hard to think of one that’s worked so hard at it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is just another hate group, and it’s high time that decent people recognized that fact.

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The Bible and me.

Last night after work I went to Barnes & Noble. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular; it was just time for a little book-shopping. I needed to get my fix. I finally got The Audacity of Hope, and I surprised myself a little by buying a Bible.

Does a gay atheist Buddhist really need a Christian Bible? Does somebody who already owns fifty or sixty Bibles really need another one? Even if it’s a King James Version and he’s already got a bunch of those?

In this case, I did. First off, it’s got a really classic-looking binding, and the burgundy fake leather is a really good fake. I thought it was real leather for a second. It’s got a Celtic cross embossed on the front. It’s a compact Bible, something you can carry around with you, but it’s got (relatively) large print.

It looks good. It feels good in my hand. I can carry this Bible around with me and I can read it easily. But why am I still reading the Bible?

Some of my Christian friends and relatives, no doubt, would say I still read the Bible because on some level I still believe it. On some level, I’m still being drawn to God. They’d be wrong.

Even when I was a believer, I didn’t believe the Bible. The Bible is wrong — obviously wrong — about a lot of things. Any honest reader knows it contradicts itself. It’s been used to the most horrific ends, often without taking it out of context at all. It’s loaded with nonsense; it teaches — or at least, parts of it teach — violence and hatred and oppression. But I still love the Bible. Why?

I guess when it comes down to it, I love the Bible for the same reason I love some of my relatives, and the same reason I love Pensacola. Because I just do. We have a long and intimate relationship. I can’t remember any time when I didn’t know the Bible, when the Bible wasn’t part of my life. Maybe I love the Bible because — like Pensacola — it’s something I can’t see as entirely separate from myself.

The Bible and I have a history. We have a bond. If you see me and the Bible together, don’t be surprised. I know what the Bible is; I know what kind of company it keeps; I know what kind of things it supports. It’s not very good or very wise. It’s erratic and sometimes it’s stupid and mean. You can’t trust it. If you get right down to it, it’s a lot like most of the Republicans I know.

I have a lot of trouble respecting the Bible, but it’s family.

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In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Sarah Palin has announced her support for a federal constitutional ban on marriage equality in the United States.

She did so with her usual eloquence, saying she was

… speaking up for traditional marriage that, that instrument that it’s the foundation of our society is that strong family and that’s based on that traditional definition of marriage, so I do support that.

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