When I first heard politicians publicly stating that gay people should be harassed and even murdered, i was fucking outraged. That was in 2006 when I moved to Oregon and started researching the local politics so I could be informed to vote.
The interview I read was with (now, a former) Oregon congressman Gary George who stated that gay people should expect discrimination and to just “shut up”; he stated that gays should expect things like beatings and murder. I really never realized just how much vitriol was coming out aimed at gay folks. Hell, I was too busy working and minding my business, and living life and everybody loved me! [insert smiley emoticon] Now, in 2010, the politicians and religious talking heads are cranking out some serious crazy talk. I mean reeeally crazy.
It makes me wonder what the fuck are these people smoking? And how can they say the things they say with a straight face? Do they even realize just how crazy they sound to normal people? Or, do they just not care – after all, there are big profits to be had in the Godly Moral Crusader business.
So, while these hypocrites are squawking about “Family Values”, they’re destroying their own families. They work tirelessly to sabotage the lives of good citizens who, without the dictates of a Plastic Religion, live simple, honest and open lives with a hell of a lot more integrity and morality than they’ll ever possess.
These people outright lie to justify their hatred of good people they don’t even know; they use their religious faith as a tool to oppress, and as a shield to hide behind. They lie to cover up the HYPOCRISY of their twisted double lives. They lie to their families, their friends, their employees and colleagues … and their ‘flocks’ just eat it up.
My basic rules for living:
[No g0d(s) required]
— Own responsibility for your actions – it ain’t g0d’s or the devil’s fault.
— Be kind to those around you; don’t cause people harm, defend the defenseless, help the helpless; do for others what you would want others to do for you.
— Always show politeness and respect first, but don’t let anyone walk on you or take advantage of you.
– Stick up for yourself and take care of yourself so that you can take care of others.
— If you are not harming yourself or others, be happy.
— Work hard; learn as much as you can.
— Learn from your mistakes; grow from your experiences.
— Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ … and, sometimes the occasional ‘fuck off’! is due (see the third and fourth rules).
Why I hammer on religion:
Well, #1: Religion is the biggest scam ever pulled on mankind.
My first exposure to religion was at the age of twelve; our mom got “saved” – again – she was one of those “backslidin’ Baptists” (say it with a drawl); she’d often express the fear that she’d backslide again and “lose” her salvation. So, at 12, she threw me in Sunday School … a Baptist church in the tiny town in northern Illinois where I attended elementary school. It was cool, to me; new friends, new activities, trips, etc., but I liked school better. Then, at the age of 14 (1972), my Dad (not religious, great man) retired and moved us a thousand miles due south in the deep recesses of rural Mississippi. The original retirement destination was supposed to be the San Diego area (damn!); how we ended up in Mississippi is another story.
Our first house was on a rural red clay dirt road and it was one of 3 or 4 on the whole road that had indoor plumbing; a few little shotgun houses even had red clay dirt floors. The mentality of the people matched the underdeveloped countryside. A total culture shock. It didn’t take long for Mom to find a good ole Southern Baptist church; the good kind that frowned on regular Baptists, and Catholics for sure were going to Hell. The thing I most remember was the preacher’s thing with Ham. Not the deli meat, the capital ‘H’ Ham, one of the sons of Noah — you could call him Deviled Ham, har-har. You may know the story … or, as he told it, Ham was cursed by his father, Noah, and all of his descendants, and so God turned them black and made them slaves. He actually preached that.
We lived there only six months when Dad found a house to buy and moved into town, pop. 30k, approximately. The big box Southern Baptist church there had a sizable budget, which included lots of youth field trips and activities and lots of youth-targeted media. The media included cartoons and books of the End Times horrors (Jack Chick, Tim LaHaye, etc.), designed to scare the living crap out of us kids with its gory comic book imagery and it worked. When I left home at 17 for college I dropped church immediately. I got married in 1980 at the age of 22 and then …
We were lured into the “charismatic evangelical” church in 1981 by our neighbors, Bill and Toni, who convinced me that the anxiety attack I was having (I thought I was having a heart attack) was the Hand of Gawd on my chest, calling me to be saved. Doh! They attended a mega-church in Baton Rouge — the same church where Ted Haggard was in his early days! (I recently found that little factoid and I do remember a “Brother Ted” associate preacher.) It took a couple of months, after experiencing a couple other smaller non-denominational churches, to wake up and realize what a bunch of whack-jobs were surrounding us. That, and the fact that the more I studied about Christianity and other religions, the more I read the Bible, the more I thought WTF?! Holy Cow, this is nothing more than plagiarized superstitions and highly charged emotions crafted to trap the mind of the “believer” … it’s all made up to control broken people (that they broke or make believe they’re broken) through fear and intimidation with an imaginary Ghost! And, to top it all off, they convinced me to ditch my extensive collection of LP’s … “Satan’s music”. Those bastards!
One evening during church service, the tongue-speakers were revving up their pipes. I was looking around, already knowing the whole religion thing just wasn’t for us … and decided to have a little fun. Being that one of my college majors was Foreign Languages, and understanding the structure of language, I started rattling off rhythmically in my new fake foreign tongue, swaying with hands raised. They went totally apeshit nutz, surrounding me, laying on hands, praying and praising the Laaawd because I had been baptized in the spirit … It was funny and damn worth it. I guess that’s what you’d call “blaspheming the Holy Spirit” … a really huge “No-no”.
The biggest slap of the reality of what these people were, was when my then-wife and I went to the Church for counseling. Big mistake. Or, rather, big eye-opener. Unknown to me at that time, my wife had been molested and raped several times growing up in foster home to foster home; understandably, this caused her some serious sexual dysfunction. These “counselors”, Christian “therapists” (none of them had any credentials in any field of psychology or counseling), told my wife that it was “just too bad”, that she had to just “lay there and take it” if that’s what it took, because “God” had “ordained her to be subject to her husband” and it was her duty. That really hurt and made her feel even more anguish; she even started having nightmares about the rapes. They didn’t even try to find out what might have been bothering her; quick in their “discernment” that it was Satan’s demons working their spells to destroy our marriage and needed to be cast out. Sick fucking bastards, they are!
The list of transgressions of religion on my life is long. I have seen religion do a lot of damage to people around me over the years. I have dealt with religious folks of every stripe during my careers, many of whom were good folk, many were most definitely not good folk and some are just plain sociopaths. Many of these stories I’ve touched on in posts, like the church deacon who befriended my parents, then 20 years after our Dad’s death we learn that he’d since been taking petty cash from a drawer, taken over the title of Mom’s car (in 2006 when she was 83; he, 13 years her junior); took possession of her cell phone; also, in 2006, my two sisters discovered he forged and cashed a $5,000 personal check (2006), and had been taking advantage of her sexually. Briefly summed up, and only one example to shed further light on why I detest religious extremism and why I cannot and will not tolerate it.
The church is responsible for my son losing a Dad at the age of eleven. I’ll post about that one day.
While religion and belief in god(s) may give guidance and comfort for a lot of otherwise good folks, it just does not work for me — it is provably false and just plain delusional. Studying the Bible made me an anti-theist; in order to adhere to it, one must dismiss all common sense and known facts and realities; it’s full of factual errors and contradictions.
People really fuck up religion when they use it to dehumanize, degrade, oppress and control fellow human beings. The more a person spouts about their religion, the more they lie, and the more I don’t trust them.
Religion poisons everything it touches.