Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Gay rights isn't the only civil right to be impeded by religion

The 1960s civil rights movement is against the bible:

"I'd sure like to help the colored, but the Bible says I can't."

- Senator Absalom Robertson to Senator Eugene McCarthy when asked to support some mild civil rights legislation in 1960s

The abolition of slavery undermine's God's covenant:

1832 Thomas Dew of Virginia argued that many of the patriarchs of the Old Testament, God's chosen people, owned slaves. God's covenant with Abraham was an agreement with a slave owner. God even rewarded him by giving him more slaves.
In the experience of Frederick Douglass, the former slave and abolitionist, religion served only to harden the hearts of slaveholders. In his Narrative (1845), Douglass recounted how one of his owners tied up a lame young woman and whipped her naked shoulders until they bled, all the while quoting scripture: "He that knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes." This was a close paraphrase of Luke 12:47.

Women's rights undermines the Christian marriage:

"The whole order of Christianity, its constitution, we may say, is based on the relations of the conjugal ordinance. When we level up the woman, we mean, take her out of the established order of God’s arrangement, we level down man; and we level down Christ. For the gospel affirms and reiterates the regular sequence, in various modes. As a dogma: in the declaration “that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God; ”...As a command: “Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands. ”...As a mystery: the beauty of the allegorical marriage in the Revelation, is wholly in the understood moral relation between bride and bridegroom. “The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. ”Again: “The holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. ”The church of God is in these verses declared to be in the same relation to Christ, as the wife to the husband. Destroy the integrity of the Christian marriage, —and the symbols employed to represent to us the dependence of the church and the providence of Christ, lose their whole significance."
"Even at the fall, it is woman only who is addressed "in the declaration: “He shall rule over thee;” the man is not told to exercise his authority as a punishment..."
-John L. O’Sullivan (Feb. 1852 edition of ”The Democratic Review"

Of course, if you want to go really far back, the bible was used to defend the divine authority of kings and to argue that seizing land from the Native Americans was ordained by God.

Perhaps I should clarify the purpose of this information. I view the bible, written by man, inspired by man, to be a reflection of ourselves. It displays our courage, and our fear, our selflessness and our selfishness, our good and our evil. From this perspective it is a relic of culture and history. If, however you view it as a divine work filled with the intentions of a deity and a moral code, it causes much pain and suffering. The people who used it to defend these contemptible acts probably viewed themselves as moral; their righteousness unquestionable and intentions admirable. Yet, their misplaced faith turned them into instruments of suffering as they echoed a moral code built in the iron age, and last refined during the Roman empire.
Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham.
Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will.

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion." -Steven Weinberg.

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" -Blaise Pascal