Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not Helping Religion's Image

Now this is always a fun reversal. In response to an article at Family Scholars Blog that noted how young people are increasingly not identifying with organized religion in large part because of being repulsed by homophobia within religion, commenter RK opines:

"...[I]f true, [this analysis] could be seen as bolstering the argument that the gay movement, or perhaps more specifically the SSM [same-sex marriage] movement, is effectively destroying or at least dangerously weakening the nation’s religious infrastructure, a claim which many SSM advocates are trying desperately to assure the public is not true."

Here, note that from the perspective of those opposed to equality, it is gay people and our demand for equality via civil, legal marriage that is tearing apart our "nation's religious infrastructure," rather than, say, religion's intolerance, homobigotry, and obsessive fixation on homosexuality that is tearing apart that infrastructure.

And, well, about that. Notice the subtext. Look at what apparently constitutes our "nation's religious infrastructure."

Hint: It's not Jesus. Not God, either. (It's certainly not Allah or G-d because we all know what America's One True Religion is). It's also not compassion, love, or tolerance. Not the Golden Rule. Not vows of poverty. Or celibacy, equality, peace, or heck, even just being kind to one another.


If the SSM movement is, as RK claims, what is imagined to be the destroyer of our "nation's religious infrastructure," then it must logically hold true that opposition to same-sex marriage is the very foundation of that religious infrastructure. And, if that foundation is taken away, religion will crumble into a heap of meaninglessness, causing Christians to solidify their extreme anti-gay bitterness.

As RK concernedly purports:

"While I imagine you would prefer to interpret this as a call to conservative religious groups to modify their stands on gay issues, it is as likely, if not more likely, that it will only reinforce those stands."

What a sad state of religion if this is indeed accurate.

Here I would argue that as it becomes more evident that so many American religious folks define themselves spiritually almost entirely by their Courageous Stands against the homosexual agenda, RK's prophecy will become a self-fulfilling one, which will, in turn, only repulse more people from such a "religion." Then, in an unfortunate cascade, perhaps RK would say that other religious people would only become more entrenched in their homobigotry and opposition to SSM.

It's a succession of stubbornness.

Religion is at its worst when the devout cling to dogma in order to justify bigotry and domination rather than to transcend these human failings.

It is said that Jesus told Peter "upon this rock I will build my church." If Christianity is worth salvaging at all, that foundational phrase must must mean something other than "upon the backs of your LGBT sisters and brothers, people who claim me as their savior should build my church."

It's good that at least some Christians aren't losing sight of that. Perhaps they've caught on that moving closer to god sometimes means leaving religion behind.

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