Saturday, January 28, 2006

Take strength from the Flying Spaghetti Monster

From comments, regarding this post on Harper’s relationship with Tristan Emmanuel(unedited):

This article is very frusterating to me. Who cares if Harper is a Christian. I am a Christian and so are many other Canadians and citizens of this whole world. Canada is a free country and that includes freedom of religion. No one is knocking u for having your beliefs. Stop being so hard on us for being Christians. If you don't like how "homesexuals are bashed, or womens rights are bashed". Then what gives you the right to start being so anti-Christian. Why is it such a horrible thing if Harper is a Christian. It is that type of attitude that brings about communism ideologies and infringes on our freedom!!! I am a Christian so tell me what is so disguisting about my beliefs that you have the nerve to write an article on how "AWFUL" it is that Harper is a Christian. Think about the many other Christians out there that you are insulting by this type of an attitude. GIVE Us SOME RESPECT!!!
Which was then followed the next day by this:

I would like the writer of this article to comment to my previous message. Ya so comment to that and also explain to me why you have made Christianity your personal target??? If you are so anti-Christian why do you invest so much of your time thinking about it and writing articles about it?? Religious freedom is important and you need to start respecting this in you articles!!
Sigh. Oh, where do I start?

How about with… read the post again. Then go back, Tamara, and read it again! At no time did I refer to Harper being a Christian, if indeed that is what he is. I did refer to his relationship with Tristan Emmanuel who is openly using his position as a religious leader to establish Christian dominion in government and infuse the ideas of one particular religious group on an entire nation. That, to put it as mildly as I can possibly manage (in an attempt to insulate sensitive eyes), is unmitigated bullshit!

The commenter is absolutely correct. This is a free country and freedom of religion is assured. That means I too have the freedom not to have some proselytizing religious wank or group of wanks make an effort to foist their religious doctrine or superstitious beliefs on me. That means you don’t attempt to peddle your religion at my front door, on the decks of my ship, inside my fire trench, in my path on the street nor, especially, via any form of government. That includes school boards, municipal councils, provincial and state legislatures, federal governments and the United Nations. That includes attempts to force public schools to teach a ridiculous religious belief as science or an effort to exclude a segment of society based on the extreme literal interpretation of a particular book.

The commenter seems to think I have made a personal target of Christians. She flatters herself. I am nowhere near so discriminating. I have an intense dislike for most organized religion and a deep mistrust of those who market their faith beyond the boundaries of personal belief in an attempt to “save” me.

As Christians go, I couldn’t care less. Most sects of the Christian religion don’t proselytize. They require some adherence by members to church doctrine and that’s fine, providing it doesn’t extend beyond the congregational limit. But some segments aren’t happy with that and instead insist on forcing their religious beliefs, “the one true religion” on those who are not members, nor are they believers.

Without more than a few seconds thought, I can pull up the names of the three of the most evil people in the world, in no particular order: Osama bin Laden, Pat Robertson and Bill O’Reilly. Hardly an exhaustive list, but one claims to be a Muslim, two claim to be Christians and one even insists he’s intelligent. All of them are guilty of corrupting the canons of their faith, exceeding the limits of propriety and misleading huge numbers of people into believing that anyone who doesn’t agree with them is not only wrong, but should be, at the least, removed from society or, at the worst, executed. And they have a following because there are large numbers of people who are too intellectually lazy to see beyond the limits of tolerance these so-called leaders or communicators impose in the name of “the one true religion”.

In terms of attacking Christians, I engage in no such exclusivity. I treat Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddists, Jews, Confucians, Shintoists and Christians with eminent equality. As long as they don’t engage in extreme behaviour which adversely affects my safety, freedom, serenity, acquired status or personal legal pursuits, I have no quarrel with any of them and their religious beliefs or faith are of no consequence to me. In fact, I have friends who individually subscribe to all of those religious beliefs.

However, if, in the name of a specific religion, there is an attempt to marginalize any person or group on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, race, colour, differing religious beliefs or non-intrusive behaviour, you will have to face what I have to offer and that will be a determined and single-minded attempt to stop you. If a religious leader attempts to increase the power of his/her religion or cult by infiltrating the secular institutions of this or any other country you will see me, right along side this guy, leading the charge to bring that person or persons down by employing any method possible which does not exclude the possibility of a swift kick to the genitals. (Of course certain religious leaders view this resistance to acquiescent acceptance of Christian dominance as “persecution” and preach so to their followers.)

If you want to believe that Earth was created six-thousand years ago based on the writings of authors whose existence is questionable and whose scientific knowledge was limited to the manufacture of salt from seawater, please, knock yourself out. If you want to fall to your knees and pray in the middle of a Walmart parking lot, I will do nothing to stop you. But, if you attempt to interfere with the right of a woman to chose how she is going to deal with her body, or attempt to marginalize a man because he has a sexual relationship with another consenting man, or publicly vocalize that a Muslim is damned because she doesn’t extract the tenets of her beliefs from the same arcane publication you do, I will defend them, and I will do it by attacking you.

Did I attack Harper? You bet I did. Did I do it because he’s a Christian? Hardly. I attacked him because he allied himself with Tristan Emmanuel, a bigoted, homophobic, patriarchal, religiously intolerant wank.

So, if you want respect, dear commenter, earn it. Bring your intolerant so-called religious leaders into line and demand that they keep your religion out of my house, out of my government and to themselves. Until then, as long as you continue to defend the intolerant behaviour of those religious leaders, you will get all the respect you are due from me – none.

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