I'm pretty harsh on Christianity, along with every other faith-based religion that asks us to believe in things unseen and a god unknown.
But it takes a Christian to really reveal the dark side of Christianity—a true believer whose world view is so blinded by an egocentric conviction that he's got all the answers, he doesn't see how deep is the moral morass into which he's sunk.
Such a man is Rick Scarborough of Vision America, an organization that claims to be "restoring the original American vision." This supposedly includes the right to discriminate against, hate, and vilify people who are different from you.
The House of Representatives has passed a federal Hate Crimes Act that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include attacks against homosexuals and transgendered people. On Fox News I heard Scarborough inveighing about this threat to hatred.
Religious freedom is about to be dealt a mortal blow, and religious tolerance is about to become history if this legislation becomes the law of the land.
Huh? Hard to understand what the hell he's getting at, but a Fox reporter explained.
Some religious groups fear prosecution and intimidation of pastors whose sermons against homosexuality inadvertently inspire a hate crime.
Oh, poor pastors. They're demanding that society tolerate their spouting of hatred toward homosexuals, even if it leads to violence, while basking in the hate crimes protection already offered (for attacks based on race, religion, or national origin).
Consider the delicious irony. And bullshit. Christianity, a religion that supposedly is founded on love, is up in arms at the prospect of hate crime legislation being passed. If this isn't enough to make you an atheist, or at least an agnostic, what is?
Yes, not all Christians are anti-gay. But an awful lot are. In fact, it's difficult to come up with anything but a religious reason for abhorring homosexuality.
This is why Vision America screams "the hate crimes bill would criminalize Christianity." Fine with me. Criminalize away. If you can't practice your religion without discriminating against other people, you don't deserve to enjoy unfettered religious freedom.
It's good to see a counterpoint to the Christian right prejudicial mindset. A "Call to Courage" campaign has set out to urge believers not to be taken in by the anti-gay wing of Christianity. Motto:
Religious-based bigotry…Let's end it now and forever
Amen to that.
It deeply disturbs me to read letters to the editor like the one that appeared in our local newspaper today. It was written by Angela Makarenko, a 13 year old who, sadly, has already been sucked into the hate-filled whirlpool that passes for mainstream Christianity these days.
I know Salem legislators are deciding laws regarding gay rights, and I'm against that. Since the day I was born, I went to church called Slavic Christian Church of Salem.
I'm Christian, and my parents taught me that God created Adam and Eve – one man and one woman.
Most people say that they were born gay. You can't be born gay, you choose to be gay – it's your lifestyle.
I have three nieces, and by the time they go to school, teachers are going to be teaching them that it's OK to be gay. I don't want that to happen.
Please, no gay rights.
Angela, sometime you're going to Google your name and find this blog post. I hope so much that by the time you do, you've opened your mind and heart to a more compassionate philosophy of life.
You're confined in a small fundamentalist pasture right now. Jump over the fence. Head for the horizon.
There's a lot more joy and love out there than you'll ever find in the Slavic Christian Church of Salem.