Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Don't Blame the Religion, Blame the People Who Misinterpret It

 
"Don't blame the religion, blame the people who misinterpret it" - this is a tiring argument that I've constantly read and heard. This is a line of argument that you can almost always expect from so-called "moderate" believers.

According to this point of view, people do terrible things in the name of religion not because religion is evil, but because people are terrible by nature.

Of course people do terrible things, but that does not mean that religion is exempt from blame. Religion has incited men and women to do violence and injustice to their fellow humans, and will continue do so as long as it exists.

In the context of homophobia, the Abrahamic faiths provide good examples to show that religion can incite people to cause much pain and suffering.

Christianity has a very rich tradition of murdering and torturing gay people. The reply of many moderate believers is to say that people in ancient times were homophobic, and that they twisted the Bible to justify it. A look at how gay people have been treated elsewhere in the world blasts away this myth. Take countries that have had a Buddhist history, for example. Buddhism has it's share of homophobia, but it's quite mild when compared to what Christianity has to say about it. Why doesn't Buddhism have a history of murdering gay people? Why didn't they murder gay people and use their religion to justify it?

A look at Christian and Buddhist religious texts makes the answer clear: you cannot use Buddhist texts to justify murdering gays because no where do the texts mention such a thing. Christian(and those of other Abrahamic religions) texts, on the other hand calls unwaveringly to kill, kill, kill the gays. Of course, killing doesn't end things - that's just the beginning of the party. When the murdered gay guy goes to hell, the real fun begins - at least from Jesus' point of view. So it's clear that people didn't just "use" the Bible to justify their existing homophobia. The Bible gave them homophobia. Anyone who praises this vile book can only have a truly wicked mentality.

"The Bible is to gays what Mein Kampf is to Jews. It is the theory and practice of Homo Holocaust"
- Peter Tatchell

 

1 comment:

Shell said...

Oh, you're so right. It is a very, very played argument. "That's not MY religion. That's not MY god," they bleat. Well, then, where the fuck did you get yours? Not from the Babble, certainly, which is brimming with all matter of vileness. So WHERE? And how can you claim some sort of cosmic truth for your religion if you only take it ala carte? and what about the guy next to you who chooses the same entre but different sides and still calls himself the same religion as you?

It's maddening it's so ridiculous.