Religious Tyranny

Religious Tyranny May 15, 2020

We have some friends who are nondrinkers. When we meet them for dinner, we have a glass of wine. They are not upset by this. We drink, they don’t. No big deal. Even though they might think that alcohol abuse is a major problem in the country, and drunk drivers threaten them when they are on the road. It’s legal to be a drunk, but illegal to drive drunk. Live and let live.

We are nonsmokers. When someone near us is smoking, we try to move away because we find it unpleasant. Second-hand smoke is not healthy to breathe, but neither is the polluted air in many cities caused by countless vehicles spewing toxic crap into the air. A little second-hand smoke is not worth making a fuss about. Many states have passed laws to prohibit smoking in public buildings and other places where people gather. But smoking in private is perfectly legal, and we have no problem with that. Live and let live.

There is a basic principle here that is part of our worldview: Things that people do that we wouldn’t do, but don’t harm us or anybody else are none of our business. But a lot of people don’t agree with that. Especially self-righteous people. Confidentially, just between you and me, I have noticed that some religious believers, mostly the fundagelicals, are just a tiny bit self-righteous.

You probably see where I am going with this. Consider same-sex marriage. I happen to be a happily married heterosexual. How does the marriage of a gay couple harm me or anyone else? Now, consider abortion. The couple next door decides not to have children. Doesn’t matter why. Could be a medical problem, or an emotional problem, involvement in a career, or maybe they just don’t want to be parents. Normally, we would not even know if they got an abortion. We would have to be real busybodies to ferret out that information. Why would we do that? What purpose would it serve? How are we or anyone else harmed by it? Even if we would not consider having an abortion for whatever reasons we think are important, our neighbors’ actions are none of our business. And none of your business or anybody else’s business.

Unless your religious belief teaches you that abortion is immoral. Then, you make it your business by supporting political organizations that advocate prohibition of abortion. Or if those organizations can’t make it illegal, they try to discourage women who are considering it by influencing state and local governments to enact mandatory waiting periods and unnecessary medical procedures, and “counseling” them with all kinds of scare tactics and disinformation. Because, you know, if it’s for a good cause lying is not a sin. And if it is a cause justified by your religious belief, then it is, by definition, a good cause, right?

Hmmm. I thought the Bible said lying was a sin. Let’s have a look….

Oh my God! I found a list of about a hundred quotes from the Bible that condemn lying. Have a look:

I couldn’t find a single quote in that list that suggests that lying is okay if it’s self-righteous lying to support your religious belief.

That is religious oppression. You want to impose your will on people who do not agree with the doctrines of your religious faith. And now, you have found an individual who will pander to your bigotry and you are happy to ignore the fact that he is a moral dirtbag. A recent poll shows that 49 percent of weekly churchgoers now believe that Donald Trump was chosen by God to be President.

It is a sad time for our nation.

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