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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Monday, July 31, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser

For what it is worth, there is a reason why I pick on the Christians I do, and not others. Most fundamentalists are lay people who find comfort in a structured and highly rigid belief system. It is these believers whom we should be focused on because they represent the misguided beliefs that are/can/will be so dangerous to American society. They are the 'sheep' led by the 'shepard' of fundamental Christianity; in their beliefs alone they represent no serious danger except to the mental well being and growth of their children. [They only pose a threat when they vote for these crazies and put them into office, or push them to pass bad policies.] Answers in Genesis fits this category as well. What does not fit are such leaders as Pastor Swank and Paster Fred Phelps. They are Pat Robertson wannabes who say the most absurd things; things that only cranks can listen to and believe in what they are professing. These are the shepards who get the ball rolling on these unAmerican policies that cause so much harm to individuals here at home, and entire nations abroad. And while the policies may be unAmerican, they are clearly pro-Christianity -- gay marriage, anti-contraception, anti-choice for example. Pat Robertson himself is this as well; but he is dangerous because he has a very large following who hangs on his every word as if it were God's. [Pat, of course, says that it is.]

The reason I bother at all has nothing to do with the fact that we disagree, Christians believe in Jesus and God and supernatural things, I believe in those things we know to be real. If that was it, then I would simply let them live on in their ignorance, thinking the world is only 6,000 years old, and any day now Jesus is going to return and sweep them all up into heaven, leaving the rest of us to be tortured and killed by ten-headed monsters and such. But that is not it. They are not content to just believe what they want to believe and teach their children the same (no matter how harmful it is to the children). No. They want to force everyone else to accept their silly beliefs, they want everyone else to live by their rules, and they want to force us to teach our children the same things they teach their own. Because of this, I fight.

They seem to think if gay men are allowed to marry, then that destroys the entire institution of marriage, and that somehow their own marriage will be cheapened. They use coded excuses to defend this position; decline of American society, traditional marriage, family values. These are hollow statements. They suggest that things have degenerated into a worse state. But that is not the case at all. They change, that is true; but change does not mean decline. Today's children are exposed to violence at unprecedented levels, through video games and TV. But they are also exposed to why violence is so horrible as well. They learn faster that violence leads to negative ends, not positive ones. They see Columbine, for example. The Iraq war, torture, genocide. All these things offset the violence they see on TV and experience through video games. The same type of reasoning goes for homosexuality as well. There have always been gays. There always will be gays. In the past, they were so humiliated or threatened with death, that they "remained in the closet". Today, they are realizing that they are people too, and they deserve to live their lives just like all others. This leads to a strong desire for equal rights. Their only desire is to be able to live, and love, just like straight couples. Yet that is so disgusting to anti-blasphemy Christians that they fight to put gays back in the closet. To these Christians, they see the "gay problem" as new. In a sense it is, because gays are only now fighting for equality, whereas before they lived quite secret lives. So it seems like a new problem, when in reality, it is a situation as old as (and actually much older than) the Bible.

In Jesus' time, his younger generation was wicked and evil, the worst ever known. The same is still true today, the younger generation is wicked and evil, the worst ever known. But how does today's younger generation really compare to the younger generation of Jesus' time? I would guess they are about the same. They both fight their parents, strive for their personal freedom and independence, and so on. Rebelliousness is not a sign of wickedness, rather it is proof of burgeoning self-awareness and rationality. Rationality and self-awareness can easily appear to be wickedness, when viewed with the more rigid standards of adulthood. But in reality, they are admirable qualities which only lack age-tempered wisdom.

It is the anti-blasphemy Christians who mistake my attacks on their views as a desire to eliminate their worldview. They think for some reason it is acceptable to fight to attack other's worldviews, but not acceptable for us to attack their own. Allowing other Americans to possess and live by their worldviews will not destroy those Christian's worldviews. But that is not how they see it. This is the irony of intolerance, it is incredibly thin skinned.


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