Sunday, May 20, 2012

Religion hurts.

“So, tell me, what harm does it do for someone to believe in an invisible being if he/she isn’t hurting anybody?”

A common defense of faith - what harm does it do?  “Most people don’t go around stoning people to death or bombing abortion clinics, that’s for extremists.”

True, absolutely true.  But in answer to the moderate theist who asks those questions, ask this:

  • “When was the last time you protested to your State legislator when they got ready to pass a draconian law that infringed on someone’s rights?”  
  • “Have you ever written a letter to your State Senator telling him/her that you are in favor of equal protection under the law?”  
  • “Have you ever protested the passing of a TRAP law intended to do an end run around Roe v. Wade?” 
  • “Do you support the misogynistic application of laws that have nothing to do with abortion to charge women with murder for having a miscarriage as if they attempted to perform an illegal abortion?”
  • “Have you protested the new draconian forced ultrasound laws?”
  • “Have you ever told your State Senators (or the Federal ones, either, for that matter) that you support Planned Parenthood and do not want its funding to be curtailed?”

If not, then you are part of the problem.  YOU are allowing these and other unAmerican activities to flourish and spread and YOU are not doing your part to stop this madness.

It is the failure of the majority (who polls show over and over again to not support the Republican social agenda) to make their views known that allows these miserable thugs to get away with their shenanigans.  They are passing laws that undermine the legal standing of women everywhere in the US.  Laws that make women second class citizens.

And their statements among themselves and to the press as well often make the religious characterization of their actions clear. The motivation of turning this country into a theocracy is as clear as a hot summer day in Death Valley.

When people believe in impossible things, there isn’t a reality check.  You can’t compare their goals with reality to see if their promises ever come true.  When people like that start making decisions about reality based on fantasy facts made up almost two millennia ago, the results aren’t often pretty, and rarely meet the true needs of the society involved.

Mississippi is just now passing laws to stop abortions in their State.  A State legislator has bragged that they’ve managed to do it without challenging Roe vs.Wade in court, and they’re making no bones about the motivation being religious.  Prior to that SCOTUS ruling, death by botched back alley abortions was one of the leading causes of death for women in this country.  The incidence of women being treated for the consequences of back alley abortions are already on the rise, thanks to the recent spate of anti-abortion laws passed in the last year.

Moving on.  How about foreign policy?  How about our insanely one-track policy of supporting Israel, no matter how wrong headed or just plain stupid or criminal their actions may be?  A policy informed by End-Times beliefs of right wing fanatics who want to help bring about the final Armageddon in the so called “Holy Land”?

A sane, sensible policy on the part of the US would stop the insanity in the Middle East in a short time and would help to undermine the reasons the Islamic terror groups use to oppose us and recruit new suicide bombers.  But we cannot be seen to stop “supporting Israel”, no matter how stupid, racist or insane their policies may be or we may incur the wrath of the Abrahamic god.

How about the issue of prostitution?  It is illegal in this country in all but one State, mainly on account of religious objections, as the christian bible portrays prostitutes as “fallen women”.  This has the affect of marginalizing those who practice it, exposing them to the depravations of the criminal element and denying them the protections afforded their sisters and brothers in Europe, where it is legal, protected and policed.

Need I go on?  I could.  There are a lot of areas where “christian values” are contrary to the general social values of the population of this country - drugs being another area where we have been victimized by adherence to an insane drug war (there’s that “war” thing again) that has drained trillions of dollars and millions of lives from helping to raise the productivity of this country.

And so it goes.   “Doesn’t hurt anybody”?  It hurts plenty. It costs this country an insane amount of money each year vainly enforcing impossible laws making illegal many activities, substances, and associations which would otherwise be unremarkable and a normal part of society.  It has had the affect of brutalizing our police forces and turning them from a respected form of employment to a feared, clannish and brutal club used to  marginalize large parts of the population, destroying families, neighborhoods, and countless lives.

“Doesn’t hurt anybody”?  It is destroying the social fabric of this country.

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