Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bullying in the Name of God

E. Harrison wrote a letter to the local paper in response to the bullying being carried on in the name of God:

Judge Not

I read with great interest the article in the Burnaby NewsLeader called "Anti-homophobia debate packs school board meeting" (April 29).
My first thoughts were, "Can anyone believe there could be a debate on this issue?" and "What is there to debate?"
I could not quite fathom that someone would protest protection against bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer (LGBTQ) folk.
Having belonged (in the past) to a fanatical religion I knew at once there is only one segment of society that would protest protection of LGBTQ folk from being bullied: the religious fundamentalists. I recognized the spin, having exited such a group — in my case, the Jehovah's Witnesses. They claim to be a "moderate" religion concerned about preserving their narrow definition of "family" — family, of course being defined as husband (man), wife (woman) plus any children resulting from said union. These so-called "special interest groups" spew hate directly from the church/kingdom hall platforms and even quote scriptures such as found in Genesis Chapter 19 to support their twisted reasoning. For example, they use the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by God as a precedent that "proves" the God of the bible destroyed these cities because the men desired sexual relations with other men, rather than the women.
After leaving the religion, I am now feeling concern about the constant cry for more "religious freedom" emanating from these fundamentalist groups who will not openly acknowledge that they are religious in nature. They turn around and persecute and marginalize human beings who desire the same freedoms to choose their private life course. Yet our modern western society seems to put religions on a pedestal that no one is allowed to touch, lest these individuals be called bigoted. Yet, it is these very religions that are spewing the hate and propaganda that marginalize folks they judge. These religious groups feel that they speak on behalf of God, and therefore are above the law.
Fundamentalist religions probably don't like to be put in the same box as the Jehovah's Witnesses, but I say why not? — their spin on family values is the same. How fundamentalist religions treat other human beings will come back to haunt them. What goes around comes around. These so-called moderate religious people do not appear to be heeding their own scripture: "… For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap." — Galatians 6:7 (New World Translation).
I suggest we treat all humans with respect, allowing each individual their exercise of "free will" to choose what is appropriate for themselves without interference, judgment, persecution or marginalization, lest it come back to haunt such self-appointed judges.
This article appeared as:
Judge ye not, should apply in this case
Burnaby NewsLeader
Greater Vancouver
Published: May 19, 2011 9:00 AM
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