November 28, 2006

My Own Moral Authority

Science creates questions that can't always be answered.
Religion creates answers that can't ever be questioned.

I don't recall where I saw first those two sentences juxtaposed, but they've stuck with me.

I was reminded of them when I stumbled across this recent opinion piece entitled "When religion loses its credibility" by Oliver Thomas, a Baptist minister. The theme is Christianity and homosexuality.

In part, he writes of the pomposity of the absolute certainty with which religions avow their beliefs as fact despite contradictory scientific evidence. "What if we're wrong?" he wonders. It wouldn't be the first time.

He feels religious "moral authority" erodes as leaders and practitioners pick and choose which bits of the Bible are to be touted as supreme certainty that God is anti-gay. Nothing says hypocrisy like a little selective interpretation.

Are we homosexual types born this way? Or are we "disordered" human beings as the U.S. Roman Catholics have decreed? Not that they are alone in their zealous classification. There are plenty of other denominations tossing their derogatory verses into the fountain. Pile on, everyone! There's gay hating enough to go around!

I don't agree with Elton John that organized religion should be abolished, but maybe they could just shut the fuck up and hide like they want me to do. That doesn't seem terribly unreasonable.

Or does it?



Rainwolf said...

"I don't agree with Elton John that organized religion should be abolished, but maybe they could just shut the fuck up and hide like they want me to do. That doesn't seem terribly unreasonable."
Ahh, but then they'd lose. They call it persecution when directed at them. They claim it's "God's Law" when they do the same to us.

Anonymous said...

Your comments touched my heart tonight Suzzane. I think we are who we are, and God created us as He wanted us. To deny His creation would be to question His divine will. So many questions we will never have answered in this lifetime.

Anonymous said...

I despise hypocrisy in any form and organized religion seems to breed it like a fungus.

Live and let live. It's really not a hard concept to master.

WenWhit said...

Hell no, it's not unreasonable; unlikely, granted, but not unreasonable.

The recent examples cited in that article just disgust me. I appreciate the author's clarity in looking at our "lifestyle" in a more objective Biblical sense. Thank you, sweetheart.

Middle Girl said...

Organized Religion is oxymoronic. Religion, as we know it today, is a business. A tool weilded by power hungry zealots who have their own agendas to promote.

And it isn't about religion or spirit or loving thy neighbor.

Anonymous said...

A comment from a "religious" poster:

1) Suzanne, you and Wendy would be welcome at my church. Oh, sure, somone might get pissy, but so what? There are always pissy, anti-gay people in the world... they are just like racists... they won't go away.

2) Not all Christians are rampant homophobes.

3) Kristina said "live and let live"... which is essentially the same as "Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you".

4) Please don't confuse the opinions of some people who wear the mantle of religiosity (that is a real word!) with those that belive in Christ's message of love and salvation. If you've read the Bibile, you'll know that Jesus never said one bloody word about homosexualty during his ministry on earth.

Those in the church that condemn homosexuality are doing because they are homophobes... NOT because they are Christians.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm glad to see people with religious "bona fides" speaking out about Christianity's immorality vis-a-vis gays and lesbians.

Anonymous said...

I have written and modified and deleted this comment several times now.
I think my feelings on this are probably to strong...and too raw for this venue.
This is an over cocktails conversation, where we can get properly heated up and passionate about the subject.

Teresa said...

Poverty not a Christian concern, says Christian Coalition

From the Associated Press on Tuesday:

"The president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America has declined the job, saying the organization wouldn't let him expand its agenda beyond opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.

The Reverend Joel Hunter, who was scheduled to take over the socially conservative group in January from Roberta Combs, said he had hoped to focus on issues such as poverty and the environment.

'These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about,' said Hunter, a senior pastor at Northland Church in Longwood, Fla.

Hunter announced his decision not to take the job during an organization board meeting November 21. A statement issued by the group said Hunter left because of 'differences in philosophy and vision.'"

sporksforall said...

Thanks S, for this post. I used it as a springboard on the topic for one of my own. Hope you don't mind.

Meantime, I want to be present for the conversation weese proposes.

Elizabeth said...

Me too, I want to be there when weese gets all passionate over cocktails about religious dumbasses.

Most thinking Christians (and plenty of them do exist) are like GF. All the rest fall under what Deborah said.

I do believe there will come a time when people will think of the opposition to gays in the way we now think of blacks sitting on the back of the bus.


And it will happen in our lifetimes. We may be really old, but it will happen.

Evangelicals are so last year. As for the Catholic church, as a lapsed Catholic I'm so disappointed with the 'disordered' thing. Very uncreative. Hi-ever, as with most Catholic crap, in 20 years there will be an ecumenical council (Vatican MMVI...think of it as the Catholic Super Bowl) denouncing the term 'disordered' as it applies to homosexuals and...they'll once again let everyone know that Jews are not responsible for Jesus on the cross.

WenWhit said...

"And it will happen in our lifetimes. We may be really old, but it will happen." I'm not sure I agree with EB. Maybe it's just too much time in uber-conservative environments but I don't see much change a-comin'.

Well... maybe it'll happen in MY lifetime... but that EB, she's old.

Elizabeth said...

You don't see much change a-comin? You don't think 30 years down the line things will be much different?

Let's see, you're how old? Thirty...something? Think 30 years ago. Ok, read about what was going on 30 years ago. Now compare that to your life today. No change? No significant change? C'mon.

Think of all the change that has occurred in 30 years and now think of all the change that can come in 30 years.

I have a 17 year old son who gives me hope every single day that change will be made.

A lot can happen in 30 years. I may be fucking old but I plan on being around in 30 years.

Unless I slip in the bathtub.

Gina said...

It is so interesting what the "people in charge" of religious organizations come up with. I know as a Catholic (sorta) that there are a million little things the Vatican tells us to do/not do/believe in and most people think it's a nice suggestion, but do what they want to anyway.

I do agree with eb that things will eventually change. I don't know when, but I can't see things regressing at this point, only forward.

Anonymous said...

I think alot has changed.
I remember my wife and I going to our first parent teacher conference around '94. Things are different even from then.

So...when are y'all comin' over?

the determined dieter said...

If you go to Margaret Cho's website, she has something called Bible Verse of the Day, where she puts up bible verses that can be intrepreted as pro-gay. Just thought you might find that interesting.