When is enough truly enough? When will religious apologists wake up and realize that it is from the ranks of religious moderates comes the never-ending idiotic whack-jobs who think that they have the wherewithal to correctly interpret god’s wishes for humanity and impose their warped views on the rest of us? This comes at a deadly cost.
Examples abound large and small, from the Vatican’s lunatic position that condoms fail to offer much protection from AIDS to Egyptian clerics assuring the faithful that even trees hate the Jews (except for the Gharqad tree), the irrationality of religious beliefs continues to seep into our lives. It would be funny if it weren’t so destructive. There are about a billion Catholics who tolerate the Vatican’s nonsense and another 1.9 billion Muslims who produce clerical scholars of such repute. As if such popular foolishness and general delusion wasn’t depressing enough – foolishness and delusion that at the very least does nothing to stop needless death and destruction and arguably adds to them – we have a general theological consensus that, above all, homosexuality truly has earned the wrath and revulsion of the devout on behalf of god.
From the Mormons who funded the revocation of legal same sex marriage in the great state of California, to the active support by the Church of Scientology for the same Proposition 8, the religious continue its war against the equal legal rights for gay and lesbian couples in the heartland of Liberty. Iran’s Shia laws may kill them with the blessing of the Guardian Council, but Americans like to think that their brands of Christianity are much less… brutal. Legal discrimination is fine and dandy with the Good Lord’s blessing, of course, but the theological maturity of Western Christianity means that the basic rights to life and quasi-liberty are assured – even for gays. I mean, talk about tolerance. Even India has legalized homosexuality in 2009! Talk about progress.
So how surprising is it to find that the Family – the Christian evangelical group dedicated to a muscular Jesus right at home in the halls of Washington’s power brokers – directly supports such stalwart allies in the land of so much missionary zeal, Africa, like President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
After listening to various speakers at a conference in the capital of Kampala in March of ’09, including American speakers like Scott Livey and Caleb Lee Brundidge who are well known for their religiously inspired anti-gay polemics, Uganda has tabled legislation aimed at criminalizing homosexual behaviour: from capital punishment for aggravated homosexuality to five years in prison and a multi-thousand dollar fine for those who attempt to legitimize or in any way abets homosexual and related practices. The law awaits the signature of the person Senator Rick Santini calls the Family’s “key man” in Uganda, President Museveni. The legislation calls homosexuality a “mental disorder” which “can and have changed to a heterosexual orientation” because it is “preventable, especially among young people who are most vulnerable to recruitment.” Sound familiar? It’s the same old ‘homosexual agenda’ bullshit right out of the US conservative christianity shtick. If it can’t fly at home, let’s support it where it can do some real damage, right?
Tolerance by the religious moderates for this kind of ongoing bigoted attack by their devout brethren allows it to spread around the globe without self-rebuke and theological condemnation. Without that moral support from those so-called ‘moderates’, atheists can keep pointing out how irrational, intolerant, and de-humanizing the anti-gay agenda really is with a count of very real dead bodies. Unless and until the religious moderates step up to their supposedly theologically inspired moral plate and deliver a resounding home run against this growing bigotry, the very least they can do is get out of the way and recognize that atheists hold the higher moral ground here on the basis of human rights and dignity for all.