Sunday, December 18, 2011

Knowing What Is Morally Right

Knowing What Is Morally Right

Much of my disdain for religion comes from the age old problem of theists using the bible to persecute, marginalize, discriminate and spread hate towards others. In the free world, the bible is used as a sledgehammer to oppress minority groups and in particular those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT).

Two passages spring to mind, but there are others :

Leviticus 18:22 : You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.

The vulgar book is fairly clear, but is this all we have to know what is morally right in this situation? No.

Frankly, I've never really concerned myself with the sexuality or sexual orientation of others. Recently though, I have come to understand that sexual orientation is not a choice. I don't remember making a decision to be a heterosexual, I just am. I am sure others didn't choose to not be heterosexual aka gay. Nobody in their right mind would consciously choose anything other than heterosexuality, especially considering the shallow and pathetic discrimination shown by society, and in particular, the religiously minded. I will say it again, nobody chooses.

Given that I know people that are lesbians and I know people that are gay, do I judge these people as abominations after reading a single passage, from a single book? No, and to do so, would be absurd. 

Even without discussing the characters of these individuals, the contributions they make to our society, the churches they attend, the love they give to their families and the love they give to their consensual adult partners. I would still say no. Concluding someone as an abomination without knowing their character and their life is ludicrous. 

Anyone using the bible as moral guide, is effectively ignoring over 2000 years of human moral progress. These people are living in a modern society but still want to project ancient and morally questionable practices and statements onto the innocent. An attempt to limit the freedoms of others through questionable divine authority. An authority who always seems to align with the bullying party. 
An authority whose statements cannot be verified as divine in nature and therefore cannot be trusted. An authority who hasn't released a second edition, let alone a first.

We don't need a book to tell us that discrimination is wrong and there are countless examples throughout history, funnily enough, many enacted by the religious. A woman who wants to be a priest. A black American or African who wants to ride the bus. A woman who wants to vote. A slave who wants to be free. A gay female who wants to get married. We only need to imagine discrimination to understand why it is wrong, but to be subject to it would be devastating.

In my mind, there is no reason to discriminate against gay individuals. My own freedoms are not limited by the freedom of others whose relations are consensual and sexual. I am not homophobic. I have always found gay individuals to be good people and they, just like me, are motivated to speak out against all forms of discrimination. Even if I was to find the act of gay sex disgusting, it would not change my mind about discrimination and I certainly wouldn't use a childish excuse like the bible, to hide my true opinion.

I turn the gauge around and say that individuals using the bible as a moral guide is in itself an abomination. Those individuals claim divine correctness by forming moral arguments that discriminate against others and limit their freedoms. It is a pathetically one dimensional view of the world that cannot be verified as correct and effectively ignores thousands of years of human societal progress. Typically, unable to form their own opinion, people turn to the bible, due to fear of hell and the reward of heaven.

In any case, anything but the rejection of the bible as a moral guide, is absurd.