We Have To Stop Letting God Be A Crutch For Hate

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This week has been a harsh reminder of why I started this blog. Look at news being discussed just today, November 6, 2009.

» Of the donations supporting the anti-gay Yes on 1 measure in Maine, 89% ($3 million) came from churches, Christian organizations, and their employees. The Catholic Church alone directly contributed $553,608.27.

» A man arrested for a(nother) hate crime beating and robbery this week claimed, “God made me hate gay people.”

» Out of retaliation, Pastor Gary Cass is calling for a rally to incite gay hate crimes to test the new law on ground of religious freedom.

» This guy is boohooing (and rallying a LOT of support) because he got fired for “expressing his beliefs” about how he thought his boss discussing her “so-called female fiance” was “bad stuff.”

How long does this go on?

We have to recognize that there is a serious problem for how people talk about their religion in this country.

I’m not saying everyone has to be an atheist. I think if everybody properly understood what we know about the world and applied critical thinking skills to how they lived their lives that most people would become atheists, but that’s besides the point.

What we do need to do is stop tolerating “God” and “it’s my belief” in every incarnation we hear. We have to start having real conversations about what we want for this world and hold people accountable beyond dogma. We have to recognize the real struggles of our people.

If you don’t support LGBT equality, it can only be because you do not fully understand sexual orientation and gender identity. That could be because you simply never had the opportunity to learn. It could be because you were encouraged not to learn. It could be because you refuse to acknowledge what is actually happening and who is actually existing in the world around you.

That is not acceptable. Society is too concerned about protecting religion and people’s chosen (or forced upon) beliefs that people with inherent identities are unable to live their lives openly and honestly, continually condemned to second-class status.

And let’s be honest, if that protection weren’t there, religion would fall flat a lot faster. We wouldn’t tolerate beliefs because beliefs would not be able to hold themselves accountable. Modern research discounts what is written in the Bible. The end.

In the meantime, people across the society are beaten, harassed, condemned, and stripped of our liberties all to humor these holier-than-thou ideas called “beliefs.”

If you say “I believe x,” does that make x true? I don’t think that would cut it for 7th-grade Algebra. SHOW YOUR WORK!

Whether you like it or think it so or not, God is a crutch for hate. So here’s the big question to all you believers: Is it so important to you to not challenge God that you will not challenge hate? You can’t do one effectively without doing the other. For too many, God is the protection for their ignorance, for their condemnation, for their hate.

“Believe and let believe” just won’t cut it anymore. So what’s it going to be?

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There are 7 Comments to "We Have To Stop Letting God Be A Crutch For Hate"

  • @SheenaLara says:

    Wow Zach, what a great post! I think the only point I can argue is this; it’s less God is a crutch for hate, and more Religion is a crutch for hate. Religion is man’s interpretation of what God supposedly want’s us to do, and therefore is very flawed – because we’re humans, we get things wrong. If there is a higher power I don’t think it would want us treating each other so badly.

  • ZackFord says:

    Haha, but Sheena, perhaps you actually illuminate the greater point. It is only through man’s interpretation that we even have a concept of God. I’m not sure your distinction ultimately means much, if you’ll forgive my saying so. Religion is a means for believing in God, but would there be much point in believing in God without what you distinguish as “religion”?

    I, of course, like and appreciate your perspective on what a higher power would want. But just because we like it and can make more sense of it doesn’t mean that, as an idea, it has any more legitimacy than what other people say they think God wants.

    It is just as likely that God is hateful and spiteful as it is that he is caring and forgiving as it is that he is oblivious and apathetic. None of those are as likely as the possibility (cosmologically speaking) that there is no God. My whole point is that, ultimately, to get past the problems we’re having, we cannot use God or religion in any way to argue our points and our decisions. Your perspective might cancel out the perspective of the hate crimes suspect, but then we are left with nothing to move forward.

    We have to speak to the human experience.

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  • DV82XL says:

    Is it so important to you to not challenge God that you will not challenge hate?
    I am an atheist, but I will wager the answer to this question is that it is too important to theists.
    Think of what it means to have to accept as true things that every bit of logic you have and every observation you make, every day is telling you are nonsense.  The effort to do this is so hard, that to accept any breach in the dam, will bring the waters rushing in.
    Teaching of evolution, gay rights, the dropping of Christian trappings in government, and all of the other hot-button items that are setting the religious against the secular world, are by in large new issues that were never historically that important to most churches.  This is not to say they were embraced, or even  liked but they were not issues that caused such an uproar.  This need to circle the wagons, and fight every change to the last man, is something new and to me at least, a clear sign of desperation.
    I am not gay, I am the father of two gay children, and we are very fortunate to be living in Montreal, Quebec, a community, and a culture that if thinks about its gay members at all, regards them as part of the rich tapestry of life here. Strangely enough this is also a very Catholic community and culture, and I suspect that it is the fact that the Christians here do not feel threatened in general that they do not feel to lash out at the gay community here.
    Please don’t think I am saying that atheists should back off – quite the contrary, I am only offering a possible answer to your question.
     

  • Jen Galbraith says:

    Zack, this is one of the best blogs I’ve seen you write.  Well written and very true words.

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