Okay, bear with me and forgive me if I ramble. When I think on things that confuse me, my thought process seems to wander like a deranged Pac Man trying to find his way out of a maze. The last few days there’s been Indiana, with the governor signing a lovely little thing that authorizes
people business owners to refuse service to customers based on their own religious beliefs. While I can understand the basics of that, I ponder on its wisdom.
In Arizona, Sylvia Luke thinks it would be a good idea to make church mandatory. In fairness, she did add that that would never happen, so instead voted merrily on the conceal/carry law that was actually on the floor.
And they do it in the name of Christianity. I don’t get that. No, really, I don’t. How do you take God’s love for everyone, even the prostitutes, and turn it into, “I’m a Christian, but only for these people here on my list.” and who makes up the list? Being a good Southern woman, I’ve been to Bible School, been to church, been to places where people have talked about God’s love. I’ve seen preachers take what, to me, is a clear order to love everyone, not just the ones that make you comfortable, and turn it into a sad thing.
The Bible doesn’t say, love everyone except for the ones that make you uncomfortable with the way they’re built. It does say no tattoos, no touching pigskin, wives are slaves and children can be sold and feel free to stone adulterers (except on Sunday).
But there’s a caveat, though it’s implied I think. The thing with quoting the Bible to make your argument is you can then turn around and find other quotes that dispute the first quote. I love the language of the Bible. As a writer, there’s something ethereal about it to me that appeals. What I don’t love is that it is a book of contradictions. Written by men (apparently women were too busy doing other things to put ink to parchment back in the day) and therefore makes me reach the logical conclusion that the book, written by men, not God, is flawed. No, this is not a slag against men, I sinceriously don’t get it. How can you put all those chapters and verses in a book, proclaim it is the word of God and use it to make other people irrelevant? Especially when one chapter contradicts the next? It makes God look like he’s schizophrenic and in dire need of medication.
There’s been a meme going around for a long time that has an arm tattooed with a quote from Leviticus about men not being with men. (18:22) and not too much further down is the one that says don’t get a tattoo (19:28), so quick question. When he gets to the gates, do they let him in because he believed 18:22 or send him downstairs because of 19:28? That’s where my conundrum lives.
How do you take Mark 12:31: The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. and turn it into a law that makes it okay to shun people because of the way they were born?
or 1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. and use that as a way to justify denying their humanity.
You cannot, in my humble opinion, use religion to beat somebody else up, whether you’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual or Vulcan. When I was little, my favorite show was Star Trek. Not just because it had spaceships and space travel and cool things like transporters (but they did factor in). It was because that world was one where it didn’t matter if you were a geek (which I still am) or a hot Captain (though let’s face it, Kirk was a man-ho). I thought that was what the world was supposed to be, people saying I don’t care if you have pointy ears or live in a cave, it’s cool.
There is enough desperation and hate in this world as it is. I want that Star Trek world where, if I were a lesbian,it wouldn’t matter. Where, if I were a man trapped in a woman’s body, it wouldn’t matter, or if I worshipped the orange tree in my backyard as an almighty deity, it wouldn’t matter. As long as I was a good person, who respected others and didn’t pee on people in public, that I would be treated with the same respect I showed others.
I know that’s a simplistic view of the world, but that kind of is how I feel. Would it be so difficult not to use religion as a bludgeon against people who are different?
So, I’ve figured it out. I’m just gonna not hate people who are different from me or try to pass a law that says, you don’t think like I do, so get out.