I’m going to warn you up front. I’m about to piss a lot of people off.
But we have reached a point where lines need to be drawn, markers need to be laid and things have to be spelled out so a six year old can follow it.
All I can say is that I will do my best to lay this out so that the only people who are offended are the ones who deserve it.
If you are offended but don’t deserve it, I apologize in advance. And I will do my best to improve my aim in the future.
The first thing you need to do is FOLLOW THIS LINK to Milk Men and Women’s diary on Daily Kos that talks about the Kill the Gays bill that is on the cusp of being passed by the Ugandan Parliament. Let me block quote the most pertinent passages.
Christian leaders of America are excited about the prospect that Uganda is close to passing its “kill the gays” bill. The infamous bill is on the parliamentary schedule, cleared committee, ready for debate and said to be poised for a vote any day now. The speaker of the Ugandan Parliament has described it as “a Christmas gift to the Ugandan people.”
Above, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins praises Ugandan president’s “leadership,” calling it an worthy “modern example.”
Perkins is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC and other news outlets to speak to the Christian perspective on issues. Perkins also boasted of having authored passages in the Republican Party platform of concern to LGBT American citizens. Can we look forward to a “Kill the Gays” plank in the 2016 GOP platform?
And then there’s this.
Fischer, (Byran Fischer of the American Family Association. RJ.) as usual, has a very poor grasp of actual facts, which is unsurprising as he’s linking to “World Nut Daily.” The bill did not yet pass, which his Tweet might seem to indicate he believes. Regardless, homosexual conduct is now illegal in Uganda and has been for a long time under existing law and it is punishable by prison.
The new bill is only more barbarically punitive, expanding punishment to death and also creating a circle of criminal responsibility around people who know gays and do not report them to the government. Failure to report a suspected homosexual may be punishable by prison. Box Car Turtle looks in depth at what promises to be an Ugandan Inquisition.
More chillingly, Fischer ends with “It can be done.”
Fischer doubtlessly feels emboldened by this to redouble his efforts to bring sodomy laws back to America, maybe this time with the death penalty attached, because the Puritans’ original 16th century ideas were just a little too liberal to be effective.
Fischer and Perkins are key organizers of the Value Voters Conference that is a standard stomping ground for Republican pundits and candidates, having hosted VP candidate Paul Ryan just months ago. Fischer too was a key instigator when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s decided to “un-hire” his campaign’s foreign policy adviser this summer.
Please take the time to read the whole thing. But from those brief snippets, you get the gist of the situation. Uganda is getting ready to pass a bill that would further criminalize homosexuality to an extent that if you hear two guys screwing through the thin walls of your studio apartment and you sleep though it without calling the police, you could go to prison.
And there are so-called “Men of God” who are fine with this and would push this on the American Public.
And I’m sorry but this bullshit has to stop now.
The clip below is for my money, one of the five best things about Religion ever written.
One of Mr. Oswalt’s finest riffs. He managed to compress thousand of years of history into one central metaphor. “Skycake”.
And he also pointed out something we Atheists tend to forget. That for the first few thousand years of our existence, religion was responsible for the codification of laws and gave human civilization a structure to build from. Sometimes for good. Other times for ill.
But if there’s one thing we can take away from from this bit. That religion is a social construct of man that uses promise of an afterlife as a control mechanism.
Let me repeat that in bold.
Religion is a social construct of man that uses promise of an afterlife as a control mechanism.
The problem is that the mechanism is no longer working.
I wrote this a few months ago in my post about Kirk Cameron.
We have just gone through an entire century of massive technological and societal change. And we are discovering that many of the old systems either are inadequate to the change or simply do not work.
And as we move ahead, we are finding that society is dividing into two camps. Those scared to death of the future and those are working like hell to bring it about.
The more accepting people are of gay marriage, the more rabidly the ones who aren’t scream of morality.
The stronger the evidence of man made climate change, the more rabidly the deniers yell.
The more you point out that tax cuts for the rich is hurting the nation through lack of funds for social services and infrastructure repair, the more shrilly they yell “Socialist”.
And the reason is fear.
People are afraid of change because they’re afraid that it will rupture the stability of their world. They treat life like it’s an involuntary game of musical chairs. they’re afraid that if they get up, they’ll lose their seat.
Hell, you think about it, greed is a kind of fear. The rich feel that if they give up too much of their wealth, they’ll lose all their status and safety.
Fear is the thing that is killing us.
And fear is the enemy that we need to fight.
Our problem is not Christian Fundamentalism or Muslim Fundamentalism but Fundamentalism itself. The belief that your religion is the One True Way and that everything else is a one way ticket to the fiery pit. And any one who challenges this is a threat that needs to be crushed.
And that is not a healthy situation for a species that is trying to get it’s lips off the murder crack pipe.
The bitch of the problem is that most people reading this will say “Yeah, Jensen. And the bird goes Tweet! Why don’t you do a Trailer Thunderdome or make fun of Mitt Romney’s whiteness instead of being a pedantic bore?”.
And my response is “To you, I’m a pendant. To them, I’m a blasphemer.”
You try to tell someone of faith that religion is a social construct of man that uses promise of an afterlife as a control mechanism and I promise you, it will not end well. (I can already think of one Facebook friend who is going to lose his shit when he reads this. And keep in mind, most people of faith tend to be live and let live and would never even think of supporting stuff like the Kill the Gays bill. They’re not the problem.) So the question becomes, how do we deal with this?
Naturally, you fight against these laws. But it’s a no win situation. If the law passes, then our society devolves that much sooner. If the law doesn’t pass then the people who wrote and pushed it get angrier because we’ve defied God’s will.
And we know what happens when people who are utterly convinced that they are doing God’s will get angry.
And this is the question that we have to deal with this next century. How do we continue to evolve as a species if a segment of our population holds us back because of arcane belief systems?
And hell, just asking the question will get you tagged as being disrespectful. (Even though an argument could be made that if you believe that because the person who doesn’t believe as you is undeserving of protection under the law because of their lack of belief and/or actions that you find sinful that you are being equally disrespect to them. So there.)
So, the next question is “How do you have a civil conversation with people who believe in their hearts that you are going to hell?”
Someone, somewhere better think of an answer fast.