Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drop that Bible!

When will the time come when we no longer look to religion for moral guidance? Perhaps it should have come a long time ago; perhaps it never should have begun. The idea of rules for human behavior being based on compassion never really took hold in the Western world, although lip service has been paid to the notion, and our codes of behavior seem to owe more to fear of sexuality and the terror of what might happen if someone believes differently than directed by the priestly class.

At any rate, the idea that people should be left alone to pursue happiness and restrained only from acting to harm the same right in others is essentially American, essentially secular and essentially opposite to the teachings of American Christianity. Should young people be at liberty to form strong bonds of affection without the approval of Christian authority? Do I really have to ask? The religious say no to love, the secular humanist, the believer in the American way speaks for it.

I read in Raw Story this morning that A California appeals court ruled this week that a Christian high school can expel students perceived to be lesbians. [Italics mine] Of course a Christian school or a secular private school is not a public school, but it is, at least in part, subsidized by special tax treatment. Here they are denying the benefits of liberty and the pursuit of happiness without any protest from the law and with the assistance of your tax dollars.

I don't want to get into the legality of this and I recognize that those perceived to be too fond of each other have other educational choices, but haven't we come to the point where we can recognize that religious moral authority is not imposed for the good or the happiness of humanity but for the sake of fear mongering authority and those who make a living from it? I think most of us may be more morally evolved than Ted Haggard or Pastor Muthee or Pat Robertson or the ex-Nazi in the Vatican for whom minding your business, is their business. Yet we allow them to rule us and we don't find it strange.

I find it stranger still that people who profess patriotism and pretend to promote a government that only keeps us from killing each other and stealing each other's property and little else, will also promote a government that forces us to follow the mandates of ancient, bearded, angry and probably demented men against private consensual and harmless behavior? Why is it terrible to tax the population to support the elderly and sick but fine to force us all to adhere to their religious taboos? Where is the Christian morality in this -- unless Christian morality has nothing to do with love at all.

Of course it's all rhetorical. What I'm saying is that we can have prosperity, we can beat the swords into plowshares but we will never be free to love or live in peace until we stop allowing the perverts of "the cloth" to bend us over their Bibles and have their way with us.

No comments: