I probably should have brought this up a while ago, but got distracted for a bit and was living off of older written posts while I sorted things out. Some pretty scary things have been going on lately, haven’t they? No, I’m not talking about all the B movie horror stuff like mailed body parts and drug crazed zombies eating off people’s faces. I mean the wave of videotaped hate messages spouted by “respectable” people in authority. Pastors of all people! The living embodiment of Jesus here on earth, or something of that nature; I was never sure how that worked exactly. Also not sure who trumps who when proclamations of what the grand divine will is, as there doesn’t seem to be any kind of recent endorsement more credible than the ‘South Park’ episode where hippo-god proclaims the Mormons to be spot on.
The viral videos that keep popping up have to do with ringing endorsements of seriously bad treatment of homosexuals, and by extension I would imagine, trans people. Even if not the latter, I’m not one bit less incensed about it. It’s not really a good sign when people whom other people give up a splendid Sunday morning to listen to for some reason start advocating violence against children, Nazi style concentration camps, and train young kids to sing nasty little anti-gay songs as they look on approvingly. I know it’s way overused to compare anyone we disagree with to Hitler, but after all these decades of doing it for any old reason, I think we finally have a good contender. And these are just the instances being leaked! I imagine this probably goes on elsewhere as well where the sermon is smartly prefaced with an admonition that broadcasting this copyrighted material to non Manson family members will get you holy hell.
When busted, they offer a lot of excuses. “It was taken out of context!” I haven’t yet heard the context where “the government should kill all gays” can be properly inserted and make the message OK. Maybe, “the government should kill all gays, or wait, better yet, treat each member of the LGBTQ community to chocolate Frosties at Wendy’s so they know we still love them”? I’m not one for bets, but I’ll send you my very favorite shoes if you get me a hard example. It’s OK, I got them at Payless, so it’s not that big a deal. I also like “we don’t hate the actually sinners, just the sin!” I know this is followed up with a muttered rumble of, “unless of course the two are inextricably linked and then well, just fuck them both.” You know it’s there.
The reason for all this is that we are finally getting some wins under our belt. Gay marriage in 7 states with more coming. GENDA type protections in both states and individual municipalities. Positive media exposure. Glee. JC Penny. And finally a kind of half assed endorsement from Obama, but still, way better than we got from any other president. Think about it. This is seriously fucking up a sizable demographic of people who think things have to be exactly a certain way or it’s going to be bad; really bad. Forcing people to live by their very specific brand of religion is all they seem to have to hold it together. I’m not saying it’s the same thing, but I think we are seeing the same effect as if we banded together to start dressing sinister and following around clinical paranoids. The real difference is that we simply want to be recognized as people with equal rights and protections under the law. It’s not our fault that it’s making these folks batshit, but now we are seeing the rabidity of the response.
The APA has finally gotten around to inserting ‘Religiosity’ as a recognized mental issue. I think this is a very good thing and follows right in line with the common sense thought process that clearly links nonsensical hatred, death threats, and even denial of rights of a population segment to sheer lunacy. Can you imagine if I took a public stance that ethnic Danes should be rounded up and deported after receiving enhanced interrogation techniques because my dog told me it was right? You can’t conclusively prove she didn’t give me that message. I mean she’s right there where you can see her. Isn’t that enough? Yeah, well, what if lots and lots of people believed she gave me that message, and more importantly, prefaced it with the mark of being sacred. That should count for everything! Plus, she’s a very good girl. Yes she is, yes she is a good girl! Who wants a treatie? Who is that? … Sorry, got off track, but she is a really great dog.
I know there are many who are going to feel that I stepped over the line here. I’m going to have to disagree with that. I think it’s fine that people have their sacred beliefs, and if there are many others like them who want to share their worship and come together as a community, I think that is a wonderful thing. When they try to thrust these beliefs into legislation against people who don’t share them, I have a real problem with that. When they go even further and start spewing these dangerous messages to captive audiences, I think it’s time to sound the alarm.
I understand they are scared. I understand they are deeply enmeshed in a belief system that predicts apocalyptic doom on the nation when changes occur that don’t line up with their biblical faith based paradigm. I understand they may be suffering from bona fide clinical mental disorders that drive them to this. For the whole of the nation to accommodate this, and allow for millions of citizens to be threatened with such heinous, inflammatory rhetoric, well, that’s just crazy.