Robert Riddle, thanks you for this site. Some of USA efforts and money feed a dangerous ideology that seeks to demonize L.G.B.T. people and intensifies religious rhetoric until it results in violence. It is important for USA congregations hold their churches accountable for what their money does in Africa.
I hope wise, courageous people stand up for same-sex marriage!
You need over 50% wise, courageous people in Congress to get legislation passed. I don't think we have even 10%.
I tend to agree.
A civil marriage that protects all the points you make, Peter, is necessary. I doubt anyone is offended by your remarks, indeed, I think we mostly celebrate your courage and wisdom to stand up for what is right.
Religious missionaries = cockroaches of hate. Some people argue that, overall, religion does more good than harm, but I would dispute that notion.
I agree! Religion has the capacity to immobilize and demoralize.
If religion were an institution of community building and support, if it taught the hard sciences instead of myths and fables, if it stopped hate mongering, if it stood in support of people of color as equals, if it supported GLBT instead of naming them "diseased" or whatever word they choose to deny them full humanity, if it stood up against domestic violence instead of presenting the imperative of the "Passive Gospel" to battered children and women, if it perceived women as equal partners in a marriage, even as they often play different roles because of their gender, if they stopped calling for obedience and submission and encouraged self-sufficiency then I would not make a fuss. As they attempt to bring "Intelligent Design" into science classrooms, that is not acceptable to me. I encourage the study of all religions if it is taught without bias for any one doctrine.
... if it taught the hard sciences instead of myths and fables ... if they stopped calling for obedience and submission and encouraged self-sufficiency ...
... it wouldn't be religion.
I agree. Indoctrination of children develops mindsets that may or may not meet their needs as mentally healthy, mature, adult human beings. Training a child to fit a stereotype of male or female intrudes upon empowering their natural instincts. Not all males fit masculine stereotypes and not all females fit feminine stereotypes. The job of the parent is to empower the individual to be and become healthy and happy and productive in ways of their own definition.
The one thing I've always believed about the ability of religion to impose religious control onto humans, is this. It starts with biology. If you can convince a person to to abrogate the freedom to make their own decisions concerning their own biology, controlling their minds and wallets is a downhill slide. Kosher and Halal laws tell you what you can eat. Enforced fasting (Ramandan and Lent) tells you what you can eat and when you can eat it. Sex can only be between a male and a female, and even there, must be sanctioned by a shaman. And then, the only reason you can copulate, is to produce offspring. And, that copulation must only be done in approved positions.
LGBT are direct threat to this control. Basically, it's telling the religious power structure, "I'll be intimate with whom I desire, when I desire, how I desire, and do it for the purpose of showing love, affection, and just plain fun. So, Sca-rew you and your idiot rules, Mr. bishop, imam, rabbi, priest, minister, etc."
Take away the biological control they artificially impose on others, and suddenly, the former sheep start to think for themselves, with the concomitant result that the money starts to dry up. Take away power from someone that is used to having power and control over others, and watch the hate, anger, vitriol, and bloodshed start to fly. When I was a prosecutor, I got a perverse sense of satisfaction every time I put a person behind bars for domestic violence. I would watch them scream, cry, threaten, whimper, justify and/or deny their behavior. But underneath it all, was the seething hatred they had for me when I took away their power.
Same thing with the promulgators of religion. Take away their power, and watch the underlying hatred boil to the surface.
We have all seen, I am sure, a shy, gentle, artistically talented boy struggle to live up to the "football" dad's image of how he should behave. The boy has to pull himself out of the controlling influences that dictate his personal character in order to fit an image held by others. The same for a girl who likes to climb trees, run for the football, or win a game of tennis; if she has to conform to the dainty little girl with curls, a daughter/parent relationship fails to develop the kinds of bonds a little girl needs as she mature. When parents use religious tradition and dobma to justify their attitudes, beliefs, customs traditions and values, the boy and girl have formidable obstacles hindering full individual development.
A mentally healthy, mature, adult man and woman who developed in a home of expectations based on some notion of what it means to be a man or woman and who do not fit the stereotypes, need anger as a jet propulsion fuel to break bonds that restrict and limit them. Anger is a necessary tool, even as it is not a sufficient tool to gain full maturity. Such a man or woman does not ask for permission to flourish; he or she does what is necessary to make the break.
My role as a parent, as a teacher, as a counselor, is not to acquiesce to traditional values, but to facilitate individual flourishing and assist in empowering the individual adult to look to his or her own compass. My job is not to change a controlling parent or family or religion. If a controlling parent wants to participate in empowering the individual, then I have an obligation to them to be honest, clear, straightforward and define my intent. I do intent to break controlling bonds; my client is not the parent or the church.
The Gospel of intolerance loves to spread the virus.
Once contracted it is difficult to shed ,but there is a need to share.