Gay Marriages and Religious Intolerance

President Obama’s recent public approval of gay marriages has provoked the religious bigots among us once again. In an exchange between two radio announcers on one of our local radio stations recently, the words: “it is just wrong, plain wrong” could be heard being repeated with such passion and conviction, that if I didn’t know any better, I would actually believe them. I can only talk of knowing better now that I have managed to liberate myself from the shackles of religious beliefs and the crippling effect it has on one’s ability to reason and think rationally and critically. Put differently, in order for you to be religious, you have to ignore common sense, logic and evidence, and instead rely on “faith” – which is essentially the belief in something (regardless of how ridiculous it may be) for which there is no evidence. Only religion allows people to escape with that.
The first serious mistake that believers make is thinking that their religion or idea of God is the only one, and the true one. Of the 20 or more major religions that exist, and the hundreds of denominations, what exactly qualifies yours to be the right one? What procedure did you use to disqualify the other religions—faith or logic and inquiry? If you used logic, why didn’t you use the same on your religion? Why faith? Many Christians would be unable to answer this question because they have never had much say in terms of whether or not to be a Christian. While some may have decided among denominations, Christianity, like other religions, is essentially a product of one’s cultural environment. If you were born in some part of the Middle East, chances are you would be a Muslim and would see absolutely nothing wrong in having 6 wives or stoning somebody to death for adultery.
It doesn’t matter how firmly you believe in God or the bible and how right you think you are. A belief, especially one that is based on faith, is just a belief, and yours is not the only belief system that exists. This simple statement is obviously the most difficult for religious people to swallow. How arrogant of you to think that you can, and should impose your beliefs on Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, or those who are simply non-religious. How would you like it if any of the above-mentioned groups attempted to shove their beliefs down your throat?  Your belief in God and the bible may appear to be ubiquitous, but so are Santa Claus, space aliens, and dragons.
In a previous article, I already highlighted why the bible cannot be a good, universal moral guide. In order to claim that it is God’s word, one would first have to prove the existence of God, and secondly prove that God had anything to do with the book. In addition, the same book that condemns homosexuality also condones mass murder, slavery, rape, adultery, and a host of other atrocious behaviors. This is the same book that makes it a sin for some to work on a Saturday, while making it perfectly okay to abuse children through corporal punishment.  This is the same book that makes it a sin for some Christians to dance in public, or to celebrate their country’s independence, yet makes it perfectly okay to hate and discriminate against gay people. This is the same book that contains those precious, valuable Ten Commandments, which condemns taking God’s name in vain, yet has nothing against rape or child abuse. Where is the moral wisdom?
People who are opposed to gays getting married are simply hateful, intolerant human beings who use their God and bible as a cover up for being so. Christianity did not invent marriage and has no claims to its definition. Marriage predates Christianity. Your belief in Adam and Eve as the first married couple is merely one of the many creation myths which exist. Any right-thinking individual knows that a ceremony does not make a relationship. Saying that gay people can “do their thing” but cannot get married is no different than a white person saying: “black people can travel on the same buses with us but they shouldn’t be allowed to vote”. Nobody cares how much you hate gay people or how intolerant you are of them. Their behavior is as “unnatural” as the physically challenged, the visually impaired, or someone with Downs Syndrome. They are all human beings and as long as they have committed no crime, they deserve to have equal rights as every one else, regardless of your personal beliefs.

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