Friday, May 25, 2012

Cults of Intolerance

I’ve been sitting on this one for a little while because I didn’t really know how to begin. This religion-influenced ignorance burns me the fuck up. Organized religions are nothing more than cults of hate and intolerance. All organized religions.
“But, Bill,” you might argue, “Religious people are good people. Don’t single out the extremists as the norm.”
“No,” I reply, “Religious people are not good people. They are hateful, intolerant people and consistently use their holy books as an excuse to spread their own ignorance, hate and intolerance. That is their norm. There are no religious people who are good, however, there are good people who are also religious. There is a big difference.”

Let’s take the GOP Representative for deep south Mississippi, Andy Gipson, my inspiration for this rant.
Little Andy Gipson
Little Andy is a person who breathes, eats and shits religion every second of every day. Everything else in his life is governed by his little interpretation of the Bible. He is one of those little people who believe that religion should guide government policy – something that is expressly forbidden by the Constitution, no matter how much little people like him deny that unmitigated fact.
Upset by President Obama’s support of marriage equality being extended to the LGBT community, Little Andy posted this on his Facebook page on May 10:
“Been a lot of press on Obama’s opinion on “homosexual marriage.” The only opinion that counts is God’s: see Romans 1:26-28 and Leviticus 20:13. Anyway you slice it, it is sin. Not to mention horrific social policy.”
See what I mean about religious people being hateful and intolerant? Little Andy just used the Bible to condemn what he doesn’t like. Also, the Bible has no place informing government policy. You know what does? The Constitution. That piece of paper that the government of the United States of America is supposed to be based upon. Remember that part about the truth being self-evident that all men are created equal? Well, Little Andy doesn’t care about what the Constitution says. Little Andy only cares about certain parts of the Bible that he uses as an excuse to spread his own hate and ignorance. He did, for a fact, say “the only opinion that counts is God’s.” Little Andy is religious, after all. I think Little Andy would be a more effective politician if he represented his current constituents instead of representing his version of a 2,000-year-old book of outdated, conflicting fables, sewing patterns and dinner recipes. 
Let’s continue, shall we? You didn’t think Little Andy’s Adventures of Religious Intolerance, Ignorance, Hate and Hypocrisy ended there, did you? Oh, we have so much more to cover.
Naturally, there was a large amount of criticism to Little Andy’s religious-inspired statement of hate. Much of it by those good people who are also religious. Rather than apologize or amend his statement, Little Andy felt he needed to not only reaffirm, but double-down on his hate. Or, triple-down, as the case may be.
“Sorry I’ve been busy and not had a chance to reply. David, in addition to the basic principal that it is morally wrong, here are three social reasons it’s horrific social policy: 1) Unnatural behavior which results in disease, not the least of which is its high association with the development and spread of HIV/AIDS; 2) Confusing behavior which is harmful to children who have a deep need to understand the proper role of men and women in society and the important differences between men and women, and fathers and mothers; and 3) Undermines the longstanding definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, a definition which has been key to all aspects of social order and prosperity. Anytime that definition is weakened our culture is also weakened. And yes, that is also true for other conduct which weakens marriage’s importance in society.”

Oh, where the fuck do I begin?

“At number one, Bill.”

No. I think I’ll start before number one.

“…the basic principal that it is morally wrong…”
This is according to little-minded people who believe only they have the right to impose their own morals upon society and no one else does. Simultaneously crying that they are being suppressed for not being able to impose their beliefs upon society while not wanting to allow the beliefs of anyone else to be heard. I believe I just described a whiney, loud-mouthed, hypocritical bitch.

“…it’s horrific social policy.”
No. This, as a fact, has never manifested itself in any way as “horrific.” There are plenty of examples within this country, not to mention countless more in many other countries where it has turned out quite well and socially beneficial. The only “horrific” policies regarding homosexuals are the ones against their rights. You know, the ones where they’re imprisoned, tortured or executed just for being gay. All religious-influenced policies, I might add.

Now, Number One: “…unnatural behavior… results in disease…”
First, if it’s unnatural, why has it been discovered to naturally exist in about 500 species? Oh, but I guess you’d have to accept and understand the concept of scientific research, first. And of these 500 species, do you know how many of them A.) use outdated books as an excuse to spread intolerance and B.) display homophobia? I do. Second, if it’s gay sex that results in disease and the high association of the development and spread of HIV/AIDS, then boy, am I sure glad I’m straight and don’t have to worry about any sexually transmitted diseases.

Number Two: “Confusing behavior/harmful to children/proper role…bla bla bla…”
First, kids don’t learn gay. Gay is something you are, not something you learn. Just as being straight is what you are, not something you learn. Second, children do not have a “deep need to understand the proper role of men and women in society and the important differences between men and women, and fathers and mothers.” Only adults with giant, pretentiously homophobic sticks up their asses think that. Children have a deep need to watch TV and play with their friends and draw on walls with unwashable wax crayons. Third,

And Number Three: “Undermines the longstanding definition of marriage/weakens our culture/marriage is important to society…”
First, the longest running definition of marriage was that of ‘one man and as many fucking women as he goddamn wanted.’ The oldest and second-longest running definition of marriage is that of ‘parents of the bride and groom prearranging it for purposes of property exchanges and the strengthening of neighboring tribes.’ There are plenty other definitions. The ‘one man/one woman’ version is only the most current and shortest running version. In America. Asshole. Second, just saying one man/one woman marriage “has been key to all aspects of social order and prosperity” doesn’t make it magically true. Especially when there isn’t even one fact or example to back up that claim. Not that you need facts to back up your bigotry. Mark Zuckerberg was single when he sort of became a little prosperous after inventing that Facebook thingy. And his social standing was a little high as well before he got married. Many other prosperous people with high social standings are single as well. So, fuck that theory of yours, Little Andy. Fuck it right in the ass. Third, how does marriage equality weaken our culture? It weakens the culture of bigotry and the suppression of liberty, if that’s what you mean. Society as a whole will be stronger by becoming all-inclusive. When everyone is included, THAT is a strong society. “E pluribus unum.” That’s been printed on our money a lot longer than “In My Version Of God I Will Force You To Believe Because Of The Fear Of The Red Army Invading America in 1953.” Or whatever. It is your enforcement of bigotry that weakens us, Little Andy.

But let’s go back to Little Andy’s original religion-inspired intolerance post:  
“Been a lot of press on Obama’s opinion on “homosexual marriage.” The only opinion that counts is God’s: see Romans 1:26-28 and Leviticus 20:13. Anyway you slice it, it is sin. Not to mention horrific social policy.”
If any of you reading this rant do not know what is described in the “only opinion that counts,” according to Little Andy, let me enlighten you. Romans 1:26-28 blathers on about ‘being gay is bad.’ It continues on to verse 32, where it says ‘knowingly going against god is worthy of death.’ And Leviticus 20:13 (NIV) says, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” So, Little Andy, who asserts that the only opinion that matters is his God’s, clearly states that gay people should die. And it’s only gay peoples’ fault for having to be put to death.

Let me be clear, Little Andy is blatantly calling for the deaths of one group of American citizens that he personally doesn’t like. The coward is using the Bible to hide behind as an excuse for his own bigotry. ‘It’s not me, it’s God.” He doesn’t even have the balls to admit it is he himself that hates gay people. He would love gay people were it not for what God says. Also, he is using religion to influence government, which is in direct violation of the Constitution. Politicians take an oath to defend the Constitution, written in America by Americans for America. They do not take an oath to defend the collection of 2,000 – 10,000 year-old infinitely contradictory Middle Eastern desert campfire stories that have been re-interpreted countless amounts of times by many different culturally-influenced interpreters which have fucking NOTHING to do with America since America was still 2,000 years away from being born.

Not so fast. Little Andy’s Adventures of Religious Intolerance, Ignorance, Hate and Hypocrisy still aren’t done.
Unity Mississippi, an organization fighting for equality for the LGBT community in Mississippi (I like spelling Mississippi.),  sent a petition to Little Andy via email asking him to apologize for calling for their deaths. Little Andy responded on Facebook:
“To be clear, I want the world to know that I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God’s Word. It is one thing that will never “change.” Anyone who knows me knows I also believe that all people are created in God’s image, and that all people are loved by God, so much so that He gave us the truth of His Word which convicts us of the reality and guilt of our sin, and He gave us His Son Jesus who paid the full penalty for all our sins, by His grace through our faith in Him as we repent of our sin. John 3:16. It is this message that I preach every Sunday. I sincerely pray God will reach someone through this message.”
Let me interpret: “I don’t want to murder the gays. God does. I won’t apologize for His response to the gay problem. God clearly loves everyone except the gays because He created everyone except the gays. That is not contradictory at all. I sincerely demand you blindly follow this not at all complete lack of logic. I’m just going to ignore the part in the Bible about not wearing clothes made of a blend of fabrics, though. That’s just silly. This cotton/polyester shirt is SO comfortable!”
No, folks. Little Andy’s Adventures of Religious Intolerance, Ignorance, Hate and Hypocrisy STILL are not over.
After a few days of posting how proud he is for Mississippi Republican politicians blocking more women’s rights in Mississippi (effectively banning all legal abortion in the state without going against Roe vs Wade - Thank God for their "moral values.") - because it says so in the parts of the Bible he’s choosing to follow - he posted this:
“Well it's been an interesting day to say the least. Here at home I've received several threats in one day, to me personally, via email and on the phone, and at least one apparent death-threat left on the answering machine to my whole family. Apparently the Huffington Post (a California-based liberal blog) ran an article falsely stating or implying that my facebook post citing Leviticus 20:13 was to "suggest" that gay people should be put to death. I reject and resent that accusation; I have NEVER condoned or requested the killing of ANY PERSON. I believe all are created in the image of God, and one of the 10 Commandments is "Thou shalt not murder." What I did intend and did say is that the Bible clearly defines homosexual conduct as morally wrong - a sin. I cited this and another scripture for the purpose of pointing out that the conduct is sin, in defense of my stance against same-sex marriage. What I find amazing is that the same people asserting the virtue of "tolerance" will tolerate all views except the view of Scripture - and, as evidenced today, will call and threaten me for referring to a Bible passage! Of course, we are all sinners, all in need of God's grace. Only Jesus Christ can provide the grace we all need, including the folks who left those hateful messages on my answering machine. I pray for them that they would see and understand the truth.”
I’m going to have to take him at his word that there were any death threats to himself and his family since there is no evidence but his word. I do find it interesting he would take it so casually and not mention involving the police in the matter. No, actually, I’m saying I don’t believe him at all about the death threats. I believe he was just trying to make himself out to be a more sympathetic character. I believe he is lying.

So anyway, after citing the part of the Bible that CLEARLY demands the murder of gay people, Little Andy uses the standard Republican fallback lie: “The Liberal Media Did It.” In order, this is what went down – Little Andy cited Leviticus 20:13, which specifically and only states that gay people must die. The media reported Little Andy’s advocacy of murdering gay people. Little Andy blamed the media for simply informing us of what he said. Then, Little Andy complains that other people have to be tolerant of his version of religion but then gets upset at the notion of him having to be tolerant of other peoples’ ideology. In this case, I should be tolerant of Little Andy’s desire to kill gay people, but Little Andy gets angry at my desire for equality. I believe I just described a whiney, loud-mouthed, hypocritical bitch - again. 
Then, there were the replies to Little Andy’s rewriting of facts. (By the way, Little Andy removed his original post so you couldn’t go back and read that he WAS FOR A FACT advocating the murdering of gay people. Now you only get to see his rewrite where he blames the ‘liberal media’ for lying about it. Leviticus 20:13 still says gays must die, "any way you slice it," so how what he said isn't what he said is beyond me.) These are precious:
“Praying peace n protection over u n ur fmly... Thx for sharing these threats.. Shine light on the bullys... Stay strong AND locked n loaded..”
Thanks for sharing these threats? Shine a light on bullies? Little Andy was the one who bullied and threatened the murdering of gay people. Why is that OK, but alleged retaliatory threats are the problem? Let’s be clear, no one should advocate murder. Mostly. But my favorite part is the “locked n loaded” button on the end. Isn’t it violence what started this?
“Gays have rights... Christians don't. Praying for you and your family, that God's peace, comfort and protection will encompass you.”
Yes, I forgot that it was the Christians and their rights who are under attack, not gay people for DEMANDING TO PUT GAY PEOPLE TO DEATH.
Its okay for people to have opinions as long as those opinions agree with everyone elses opinions. No one accepts freedom of speech unless its speech that agrees with them. You stand up for what you believe in. You have the right to say & express your beliefs & opinions just like they have the right to disagree but they seem to feel that only their argument is what really matters. Makes no sense to me. Those of us that know you & your family know your heart & what's in your heart. I might not totally agree with everything said but I respect you & the integrity with how you conduct yourself!!!! Stay strong my friend!!!”
This cognitive dissonance these people have is truly astounding. Everything this person said only applies one way: the religious way. I have to accept that you want to murder people you don’t like, but you have a problem with me wanting equal rights. And calling for the murder of people doesn’t fall under the Freedom of Speech banner. It falls under the Inciting Violence and Investigated by the Law banner. For fuck’s sake.
“Andy, thank you for your bold Christian leadership. You and your family are in my prayers. Be encouraged to defend the faith and for being in the fight for His sake. Blessed are those who are persecuted...your reward is great in heaven.”
“Christian leadership.” That belongs in the church, not in the government – like the Constitution says. “Blessed are those who are persecuted.” Since it was Little Andy persecuting gay people, whom exactly does she believe is blessed? Note the cognitive dissonance: Hating gay people is OK. Condemning Little Andy for it is persecution.
“That is exactly what you said. I read it. You know how the media is.”
Yes. When Little Andy cited Leviticus 20:13,  specifically saying of gay people, “They are to be put to death,” it was the media’s fault for bringing it to our attention. I know how the media is. Damn liberals.
“There are people who want you to be "tolerant" of there beliefs, but if you have a different belief from them, then they want to kill you! Rediculous!”
 Do I have to explain again why that cognitive fucking dissonance is “Rediculous!”
“Death threats over an opinion! This has gone too far. I would appreciate it if you would call your lawyer and the police unless you want to end up like an abortion doctor. People taking their viewpoints to the point of physical violence should be a federal offense. Now, Biblically speaking, when Jesus died on the Cross the temple curtain "was rent", making the old laws null and void and the laws of Jesus time the law. Or at least that is what the Church I was raised in taught me. If their interpretation is right then what is said in Leviticus is null and void and no one should be treating you this way over something from Moses' time! Jesus words, though written out by someone else, are the laws of God. And Jesus said that the greatest commandment above all was to love one another. Love these people, respect their opinion, and call the Police now about the threats. If you can get a recording that would be good evidence. Bless your heart and your family and when I take The Lord's Supper this morning I will pray for you and your many enemies. When are people gonna lean that war, hatred, violence, closed minds, jealousy, and greed are the wrong life paths!”
Ohboy. “Death threats over an opinion! This has gone too far.” Little Andy made the death threats.

“…call your lawyer and the police unless you want to end up like an abortion doctor.” It’s these very fucking people who are murdering abortion doctors because of religion.

“People taking their viewpoints to the point of physical violence should be a federal offense.” Um, Little Andy’s viewpoint is murder. Sorry, I mean God’s viewpoint is murder. Little Andy was only expressing God’s will, not his own.

The bulk of the rest of what this nut says is gibberish to me until this: “When are people gonna lean that war, hatred, violence, closed minds, jealousy, and greed are the wrong life paths!” Little Andy is the one with the hateful, violent closed mind. Remember Leviticus 20:13?
“Thank you for your stand. Amazing when we stand for what is right we are infringing on someones rights but Christians are expected to look the other way, accept, and ignore what God has told us is right so that we won't offend anyone. No wonder the world is in the mess it is in!”
Again, wanting to murder people you don’t like is not a “right,” you hypocritical moron. And did she just say Christians have the right to do anything they want, no matter who it offends, because “God” said it was OK? And God didn’t tell anybody anything. Man did.

Hey, guess what? Little Andy closed his old Facebook page because it was “sabotaged,” and started a new one. By sabotaged, I think he means people were posting their feelings about his backward thinking hate speech. I guess he doesn’t like being persecuted for his way of life. Sucks when people express their opinions that you don’t agree with, ay, Little Andy?

I wonder how people will ever find his new Facebook page to sabotage since it’s under the new, top secret name “Andy Gipson.”

I would like to clarify what I said at the start of this rant. I said there are no religious people that are good but there are good people that are religious. I was speaking of all organized religions, not singling out any one in particular. This rant just happens to be about the one most prominent religion in America since it is the most obnoxiously loudest at the moment.

From my experience, there are the religious people; weak, little people full of nothing but hate, ignorance and intolerance. They seek out religion like joining a street gang and use a particular religion’s holy book as a shield, use it as a way to justify their hate, ignorance and intolerance. They use religion to shift the blame to that religion’s version of a god. They pick out all the heinous parts of a holy book and tout them as unerring truth to be upheld at all cost. They condemn anyone who doesn’t fall in line with them. They ignore all the parts of the holy book they don’t like; the parts about loving and caring and helping and sharing. These are mindless people like Little Andy Gipson and his little mindless followers who shout, ‘My way or the highway!’ Quickly followed by, ‘I’m being persecuted because people are trying to stop me from spreading my hate and intolerance!’ Little mindless people like North Carolina Pastor Charles Worley:

Then, there are the good people. The good people seek out religion as a way to join a community; as a way to help more people than they could if they were alone. They seek out all the parts of the holy book about loving and caring and helping and sharing. Of course, they too, must ignore all the parts of the holy book they don’t like – they just ignore all the heinous parts. For they were already good to begin with. Like Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP:

It seems to me that no one needs a book to tell them to do good, that comes naturally. But cowardly weak people hide behind it to justify their evil. Therefore, the book as a whole is useless.

I hope nobody that read this rant is wearing a shirt made of a blend of fabrics or has a garden with both tomatoes and cucumbers in it! SINNERS! Leviticus 19:19

Ahh, religion.

 Good day.

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” – Albert Einstein

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