Every now and then I read an article and say, "WOW ... I wish I would have said that."
After reading the article linked below entitled, "Homosexuality, Atheism etc: What' it to you?" I felt that every politician in America should be made to read it before taking office. It wouldn't hurt the general public to consider the message either.
They could read it, Gene, but for too many of them, it wouldn't resonate. Atheists, homosexuals, those of alternative points of view to their own, all operate contrary to their belief system. That very fact is intolerable to them. They've got that ONE WAY - you know, the way, the truth and the life and no one gets to the promised land except by their boy. This was evinced predictably in the comments below the article, where believers made their predictable and inadequate arguments in favor of their presuppositions, their biases and their god
What's it to them? It's their indoctrination, the belief they've had so drilled into them that they can't be bothered to think about because hell waits for them if they do it wrong or if they're not thinking right 24/7 or if half a hundred other things they've been taught aren't dealt with properly. As example, did you hear Ken Ham at the end of his debate with Bill Nye? He admitted that nothing - NOTHING - would jar or disturb his belief in his magic book. His is a case of determined ignorance and delusion, and there are plenty of others like him. Whether treating his kind with the approach Peter Boghossian outlines in A Manual For Creating Atheists would work or not, I'm not certain. It may be that for some of these types, the only solution is to let them die off and let the kids, those who are more tolerant and less dogmatic, take their place.
It'd be great if one article like that would do the job. I just don't see it happening.
You are right. The majority would not be budged by the article. My hope would be that 'some' who read through the whole message might start to question their positions in life.
I can't remember who said, "Progress is made one funeral at a time".
Thanks for that quote Joan. I love it.
Good article Gene. I've often used the same or similar arguments. When someone tells me that that gay marriage will destroy the institution of marriage, I always ask the following question, "Living in Illinois, how is it that two gay people getting married in Boston or Los Angeles will cause you to get divorced? If so, my guess is your marriage was pretty unstable to begin with. Here's my legal business card. Call me when it becomes untenable. My retainer is $....."
It's a good article but most politicians in America cater to groups for a vote. The religious keep hoping they can change or re-write the laws. This is where "I don't think they should be doing this or that" comes from. Just a few years ago I saw a letter to the editor in a St. Louis newspaper that pointed out that "having sex with animals was wrong." Where had this person been hiding? How was he trying to impact society? What did he think was going on? What had he been smoking or drinking?
We may never know.
John Stuart Mill commented on the phenomenon of imposing views on others:
The disposition of mankind, whether as rulers or as fellow citizens, to impose their own opinions and inclinations as a rule of conduct on others, is so energetically supported by some of the best and by some of the worst feelings incident to human nature, that it is hardly ever kept under restraint by anything but want of power; and as the power is not declining, but growing, unless a strong barrier of moral conviction can be raised against the mischief, we must expect, in the present circumstances of the world, to see it increase.
The fundamental question is privacy. In those matters which are most intimate and least concerned with the welfare of others everyone is entitled to the utmost privacy. In his famous dissent in Olmstead, Justice Brandeis made it clear:
The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone---the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment. [my emphasis]
If you believe that certain behaviors or belief systems are wrong in and of themselves (malum in se), then you don't have to demonstrate that they harm society. The very presence of gays is the harm; the very presence of atheists is the harm. The Simple Christian (TM) believes in a schizophrenic god with two distinct personalities: gentle Jesus meek and mild, and genocidal, jealous Yahweh. Jesus may forgive you your sins or even find you a parking space at the mall on December 24th, but that Yahweh bastard will allow entire cities and whole countries to perish if any of their citizens are sinners who are not punished by their fellow citizens. So the Boxing Day tsunami becomes punishment for Sweden's hate speech laws that prohibit ministers from excoriating gays because a lot of Swedes go to Thailand on vacation. So Hurricane Katrina becomes punishment for the sins of New Orleans. Yet Hurricane Andrew (IIRC) is not seen as punishment for conservatives, though it skipped through Florida, smiting only Republican dominated counties. Homosexuals, atheists, and secularists place the entire United States at risk of being smitten by God. Luckily for the Simple Christians (TM), there are plenty of all three around the country, so God can strike anywhere without threatening their beliefs.
Gene, thanks for posting the link to that passionate opinion piece.
It's somewhat interesting to read through some of the comments. Many of the people who commented either did not read the article, or are not swayed by the argument.
I always fall back on, so many things fall into "us/them" dichotomies. Whenever a group has someone they can characterize as "them", they want to protect themselves from that "corruption" of their "purity". They also like having a scapegoat to focus their hatred, so they don't have to look at themselves critically.
I thought many of the comments on the article were about 6th grade level. That did not make me feel that we are progressing as a society.
Homosexuality, atheism etc: What's it to you? - Text to Speech
Gene, I plan to post this link on Twitter. May I attribute it to you, or would you rather I not? Or if you have any other preferences, please let me know.