Friday, December 3, 2010

Hate Under The Cloak of Anti-Religion

After reading an article in the L.A. Times, I thought that I needed to post a response and turn the arguments of the author back against him. If you would like to read the original article, click here. If you don't want to read the full article, I'll summarize a bit as I write.

First, the article author, Tim Rutten, details an incident where The Southern Poverty Law Center has defined the Family Research Council, a group that promotes traditional marriage and opposes gay marriage, as a "hate group" -- basically lumping them in with groups like the KKK. The author then explains the outraged reaction of the FRC and their demand for an apology and dismisses them by saying that the FRC "goes well beyond the limits" that he considered acceptable for a group opposing gay marriage. Rutten goes further to criticize a particular publication that the FRC puts out and some of the statistics cited in the pamphlet (without offering statistics or studies that refute their position) and equates their opposition to . . . wait for it . . . segregation against blacks in the civil rights era. Rutten then finishes by whining about people teaching religion outside of the churches (as if belief stops at the church door) and basically says that if the religion dares to preach outside of church, they're subject to attack.

The first thing to note is how much gay rights activists love to use false analogy when they're criticizing their opponents, especially as it relates to blacks in the U.S. during the civil rights era. The oppression of blacks during that era was related to race -- an intrinsic human characteristic that a person can no more change than they can flap their arms and fly to Mars. The opposition to gay marriage relates to the personal choices of an individual AND the effects of those choices on society. Personally, I couldn't care less if someone wants to engage in homosexual sex in their own house -- none of my business. However, when they start to mess with the institution of marriage, something thousands of years old and ubiquitous throughout the world, I start to get a little upset. I like the institution of marriage (including mine), and I think that society would be dramatically worse off if it were to disappear, as I have explained in some previous posts.

Second, I find the undercurrent against religion in general. I think it's the "vogue" thing right now, especially among 20-somethings, to swear off religion and embrace the militant pseudo-religion known as New Atheism. One of the undercurrents to this article, and others like it, is an implied message from the author that the ideas of the opposition are bad not because of logical reason X or Y but because they're based on a belief in God that isn't weaker than a wet sheet of newspaper. Rutten and his ilk tolerate religion -- just not if they actually believe anything substantial or try to apply those beliefs to the world around them. If they do, they lose their "exemption" as he puts it in the article -- code for a call-to-arms for persecuting the religion in question, similar to what happened to the Mormons after the Proposition 8 vote in California. To me, this is a level of bigotry that matches even the most unfortunate extremes found in history.

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