Thursday, May 12, 2005

Gloves Off 

I concur with Digby and James Wolcott. The religious right deserves no respect whatsoever. And this isn't about religion bashing. I have absolutely no problem with Christians or Jews or Muslims who go to their church and quietly live whatever they believe. But I draw the line when they try to convert me or, worse, try to subvert the law so that I'm forced to live to their fucked-up standards. I'm an atheist because I have a brain. I don't need to rely on fairy tales to get through my life. (How come most kids give up on Santa and the Easter bunny before middle school, but frequently stick with the god thing into adulthood?)

But, as Digby points out elsewhere today, the religious right is full of hypocrites who preach one thing in public and perform another in private -- viz. Dr. David Hager, who had a thing for forcibly sodomizing his narcoleptic wife. Can you say, "Eeew"?

Then there's this appalling little ruling, from one of those damn activist judges who can't keep his personal beliefs out of the courtroom:
A federal judge on Thursday blocked a county school system from instituting a health curriculum that includes discussions of homosexuality.

U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams agreed with two groups that sued contending such discussions gave preference of religions that are tolerant of homosexuality over those that reject it.
Um... huh? So, in other words, we can't teach most kids tolerance and respect and facts that may save their lives (condoms condoms condoms) because a whining minority of religious asshats may be offended? Bullshit. And tell me where the religious issue even enters into it? Hm. Preference of tolerance over rejection. WWJT -- what would Jesus think?

Yeah -- he'd come back and go all money-changer kick-ass on the bigots who are trying to force their narrow beliefs on everyone else.

Where does it stop? No more teaching of, say, Roman history because it gives preference to polytheism over monotheism? Bye-bye evolution because it gives preference to science and facts over fantasy? Oops, wait a second. They're going after that one, too...

Well, in the words of Mother Theresa, "Fuck 'em." That's it. The bigots should get what they earn, and they've earned the right to be the target of scorn, prejudice and hatred. They've earned the right to be driven out of public discourse until they learn that this country was not founded on their religion (or, in fact, upon any religion), that law is not meant to push their views on everyone else, that there is no hell, no heaven, no god. Life is here and now, and the sooner they figure that out and try to improve the world in positive ways instead of promising lies which are not to come, the better.

Oops. Imposing my beliefs on them there. But, honestly, that is the reverse argument here. Because, at the moment, the parents in that school district do have the choice as to whether their children are exposed to the (gasp!) naughty things:
The curriculum was to be used in eighth and 10th grades to teach students about the dangers of unprotected sex and about human sexuality. The 10th-grade class included a video discussing abstinence and a segment where a woman puts a condom on a cucumber to demonstrate its use.

Parents can opt out of the curriculum by signing a form, school system attorney Judith Bresler said while arguing the case. Blocking the curriculum would hurt only the students who agreed to take part, she said.
Exactly. And that's the difference between the fundie and the enlightened side. We, meaning the non-fundies, will offer the option and let the parents decide what they want their children to learn. The fundies, ostrich-heads all, would deny the choice to everyone because they're just scared little whiners who'd rather hide from the world.

It's the choice between fear and love. The fundies are afraid of everything. People who know better and love their children will let them be exposed to many options, let them learn that there are people in the world who think and believe different things. Loving parents are honest and open with their children.

But... we can't pander to the religious right anymore. It's time to tell them no, time to be as intolerant of their views as they are of ours. It's time to marginalize these fuckwits and push them back to where they belong, the punchline to a sad joke perpetrated by the likes of Aimee Semple McPherson and parodied in Elmer Gantry.

When religion ruled the world, it was called the Dark Ages. Well, I'm not about to let a bunch of fearful, stupid whiners push my world back to the 13th Century.

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