Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Devil You Know

You gotta feel sorry for organized religion. Having to continually foist centuries-old screeds onto modern audiences, tirelessly attempting to convince them that a belief system developed to keep primitives in line could still have any relevance in contemporary culture. As I come from generations of Irish Catholics, my frequent tirades on religion are filtered through that particular prism, but feel free to insert any other ancient system of deification; you'll see the same writing on the wall. To clarify, I always make the distinction between the indispensable lessons writ large of the Bible (cast not the first stone, love thy neighbor as thyself, etc.) and the anachronistic minutiae used as an excuse to avoid putting those lessons into practice. It's beyond incomprehensible to me that, almost one decade into a new millennium, we are still hung up on gay marriage. If you investigate yesterday's election results in states which had a gay rights referendum on the ballot, you'll notice that the Catholic Church spent a great deal of time and money upending efforts to pass such a referendum. Of course, that's their job. But, in doing so, they charge themselves with a burden of proof that can never be realized. If it's really their position that gay marriage is harmful to the traditional notion of "the family", then why not wield that considerable voting power to outlaw divorce? Does it still bear repeating that pedophilia (not long ago the scourge of the Church) is infinitely more harmful to the family than having loving parents of the same sex? For a power structure like the Church to be so rife with self-loathing gay men, it has to be a fresh hell for them to work against any kind of equality. Especially when the protagonist of our book was so big on the concept.

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