Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ranting against Religion, again

A friend once asked me if I had a bad experience with church, trying to understand my disdain for religion in general. That simple question has stuck with me and I think I've mentioned it before. The reality is I was forced to go to church most sundays as a kid, I hated it and I fought against it but other than being boring it really was about as nice a church as one could hope for. I once asked the preacher how dinosaurs fit into the whole 7 day creation story, and he simply told me that it didn't necessarily mean 7 24 hour days, AKA it's not literal so don't worry about it. Even as a child I knew enough about the age of the earth that if he had tried to take the fundie route my battles with my mother would have had gas thrown on the fire. But it wasn't that kind of church, the lesbian couple had their child baptized there, the church was "open and affirming" and proud of its history as a party of the underground railroad. We imagined what it must have been like as we wandered the slightly scary dirt floored basement, only upon our return to find out that this church was build later, the one that was part of the underground railroad was on the other side of the park... Oh and I recently heard that the Beecher family that was long ago a part of the church was the Beecher family as in Harriet Beecher Stowe. Why do I give this little history lesson?

The truth is my experience with the church actually tempers my anger with religion, I've been to a mission in Guatemala that really and truly helped make people's lives better, otherwise I'd be even more angry about what goes on in this world in the name of religion. And that's a problem. I'm quite sure that there are a great many moderate people of faith who's own generally positive experiences with faith lead them to not blame religion when a crazy person invokes god while saying some crazy shit, or worse yet otherwise fairly intelligent people will listen to and even respect the word of a crazy person because they are a "man of the cloth." Guess what I'm legally an ordained minister myself does that make me an expert on a fucking thing? No, but it does mean I can legally perform marriages!

What all of this is getting at is that if a crazy person kills a doctor that crazy person should go to jail. And everyone should be outraged, if another crazy person says they had been hoping that doctor would be killed they should be watched carefully. If said crazy person then goes on to say they're also hoping the president will die and that the president is actually part of a conspiracy that killed the original doctor in order to advance his agenda then that person should be watched very very closely, by the secret service. (I'm too big a believer in freedom of speech to lock him up for that but maybe a little chat would be ok) Unfortunately because the guy is a pastor claiming he wants the president dead is just fine, and he can shout all the crazy he wants because their are millions of reasonable people of faith who shield these psycho's usually without even realizing it.

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