theraginghottruth

secotm:

(I’ve talked about Christianity and gay rights before, also.)

So Fred Phelps is dead. I know just talking about him can be considered giving him undeserved attention and helping to spread his lifelong message of hatred and intolerance, but as the world (or the nation, at least) considers his life I find a lot of whitewashing going on. Not of Phelps’ life or message, but of his message and its relation to Christianity.

As I said in my last post: Fred Phelps was completely 100-percent accurate about Yahweh, the Judeo-Christian deity, and their view of gay people. I know lots of people would rather pretend this is not the case, but I have never seen a convincing argument to refute Biblical passages that clearly, unequivocably condemn homosexuality, to say they don’t really mean exactly what they say.

To preempt anyone who wants to say “God doesn’t hate gay people, he just doesn’t accept homosexual practice,” let me remind you that Jesus was big on thoughtcrime. If you look at someone with lust in your heart you’re committing adultery. The desire is a sin by itself. So how are gay thoughts, gay lust, not a sin? Just being gay and being attracted to someone of the same sex is, according to the Bible, sinful.

‘But didn’t Jesus love all people?’ What a stupid question. No, he didn’t. The concept of hell is not an esoteric, apocryphal bit of Christianity, is it? It’s one of the most iconic parts of the Christianity package, the stick to heaven’s carrot.

Really, how can anyone say with a straight face that God loves all people while at the same time invoking the fire-and-brimstone idea of hell? But look at these cartoons.

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Fred Phelps is going to hell for spreading the message of hate contained in the Bible? Even if Phelps had pulled “God hates fags” completely out of his ass, just making it up without any Biblical connection whatsoever, the idea being presented here is that God is returning Phelps’ hatred with suffering.

The claim that God is all-loving, that Jesus was infinitely merciful and benevolent, goes right out the window when you suggest that not towing the heavenly line results in an eternity of damnation. Even when Anderson, Priggee, and Plante try to say “God doesn’t hate these people” they’re falling back on the classic “God hates some people” (or “God hates the people I hate”) line. I’m so confused.

And I think so many other Christians are confused as well, but how else can you react when you have a holy book that lays out so many rules and restrictions and limitations, dividing humanity into the saved and the heathen, while at the same time having the (I would say understandably human) desire for a benevolent parent-figure who gels with modern society’s views on sex, gender rights, and other social issues?

American society does not follow the Bible’s teachings. There are areas where the two come together, such as vague understandings of justice and fairness (specific definitions of those terms muddies the waters), but those similarities are so simplistic and fundamental that you can find them in virtually any civilization throughout history. Prohibitions on murder and lying are not unique to Christianity, nor does American society require a devotion to Biblical teaching in order to have such values.

But as the coverage of Phelps’ death shows, we need to remember that the Bible does not follow American society’s standards. The Bible has no respect for the freedom of speech, or religion, or women’s rights or gay rights or multiculturalism. Or democracy in general; no leader in the Bible is elected by the will of the people. And as society moves forward and progresses, you cannot retroactively change the Bible to claim it is in keeping with our modern morality. It is an Iron Age text with Iron Age morals and worldview.

No matter how embarrassing that may be, no matter how much you may want to distance yourself from the sexists and the homophobes, the fact is this religion and this holy text are sexist and homophobic. Our society is, to a significant degree, not sexist and homophobic; we’ve got a long way to go, but we’re trying, and as we move forward the Bible is not keeping up with us, no matter how much you may like to pretend it is.

Absolutely loved this

Thoughts

  • I want to start actually using this blog to post my views and opinions on the news that matters to me. Which is usually human rights, scientific news, religion as a poison to society, and the promotion of critical thinking, skepticism, valuing empirical evidence, and using reason to come to reasonable conclusions. I think it would be more interactive and interesting than simply posting pictures. I would be willing to learn from my followers, and talk sense into anyone that's willing to learn.