Let me be clear: I have absolutely nothing against faith, spirituality or personal belief systems. What pisses me off is religious dogma, hypocrisy and the self-righteous, closed-minded attitude that seems to go hand in hand with organized religion. Have your faith in whatever gives you strength and peace...but the minute you start preaching at me and trying to jam your own morals and belief down my throat? Hell, yes, I find that offensive.
Dogma is defined as an official system of tenets and principles concerning faith, morals, behaviour, etc. This doctrine is proclaimed to be unquestionably true...and the unquestionable truth is the part I have an issue with. Faith is defined as belief in something that is not based on proof, which is fine for the individual who has faith, be it faith in God, Allah, The Flying Spaghetti Monster or the deity of your choice. The thing is, not everyone believes in the same thing...and there is absolutely no proof or empirical evidence that any one belief system is right. The only way to find out if your unquestionable truth is actual fact is when you die...and since there is thus far no scientific method of communicated with the dead, the question of God and the afterlife will remain a mystery. So yes, I find it offensive when someone suggests to me I repent, ask forgiveness from a deity that is based on myth, not fact, and if I don't I'm going to end up in some horrible place that no one can prove exists, while the self-proclaimed righteous go on to flit amongst the clouds and play harps all day. Again, believe what you want...but until you can prove that your belief system is based on fact, you have no right to foist your morals on anyone else.
Let's discuss religious hypocrisy. I'm not even going to get into all the heinously fucked-up things that have happened throughout history in the name of religion, because they are legion and we'd be here for the next 10 years slogging through them. But the thing I find most hypocritical about religion is how things like the bible get all twisted around and cherry-picked to suit a particular argument. I'm sorry, but NO ONE in this day and age takes the bible absolutely literally. If they did, then you'd be walking around asking random people if they were adulterers and hucking rocks at them if they answered in the affirmative. Quote all the bible verses you want, but just remember your own glass house is going to get shattered, because if we were to take the bible literally then every single person on the planet is guilty of something, including the most pious of people. Hypocrisy of any kind is offensive. But hypocrisy that hides behind a book and twists words for the sole purpose of pointing fingers and acting as judge, jury and executioner, while sweeping it's own shitty behaviour under the religious rug? Is the worst kind of hypocrisy there is.
|I love this, I really do. Judge and condemn by using scripture as your weapon and then have a most un-Christian-like comeback when your bible-quoting gets thrown in your face|
This leads me to the self-righteous/close-mindedness part of the story. Having faith is one thing. Declarations like "God kills fags" isn't about being faithful to anything. It's hatred in the name of religious dogma that has been so twisted that it cannot even be recognized as anything remotely biblical. The Westboro Baptist Church may be an extreme example, but it's an interesting one. These asshole picket funerals and claim that soldiers killed in Afghanistan died because God is punishing America for what they claim is the abomination of homosexuality. The part I find morbidly fascinating is these people have convinced themselves they are doing God's work and will be rewarded for it in heaven. So the question is this: if they believe the bullshit they spew is all said and done in the name of God, how is that different than sitting in judgement of how anyone else lives? Sure, it's way more extreme and disgusting, but it all boils down to that pesky unquestioning truth thing. Therefore, if you're a Christian and you find the WBC and their dogma repellant, do you not think that maybe someone else might find your own dogma repellant as well? If you're convinced that the WBC is wrong, how can you be so convinced that your own personal beliefs are right for anyone else but you? That's a hugely egotistical assumption to make...and closing yourself off to any other possibilities except for the one's that are your personal unquestionable truth is your choice. But it's not mine. And I find it offensive that anyone else would want to chose my own unquestionable truth for me.
Ok, religious rant over...back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans