Yesterday I did something that made me unhappy. I am an outspoken person but over the last few years I have evolved certain standards. I have no reservations about saying any and everything that comes to mind on this blog. However, I don’t know that negatively commenting on people’s Facebook posts is appropriate. And this is exactly what I did last night. One of my hyper-religious friends posted an article on Stem cell research and made a comment on it that drove me crazy! Religion is by far the biggest source of frustration in my life. It makes me feel so helpless sometimes that I want to cry. I hate being lied to and I feel that Religion is the greatest lie in human history. I can’t stand to see my friends trapped by it’s spell and I can’t hate when my enemies use it for evil. As out-of-my-mind fucking insane that this post made me I admit that I chose to scan the Facebook wall and specifically pay attention to this one post. As out-of-her-mind fucking insane I think she is I still think she is a nice person and she certainly has every right to say whatever she wants. If it is any of my business to discuss such matters with her it is certainly not on a public forum. I could have sent her a private message or I could have posted my own thoughts on the matter separately (though I really prefer this blog format as people have to actively seek out my opinions rather than simply stumble across them and be unwillingly subjected perhaps).
Anyway, I’m glad to get that off my chest. To that friend I say I am sorry for HOW I said what I said. However, I am in no way apologetic for WHAT I said and I will continue to lambast you now. I think anyone who decides matters of significant moral magnitude based on FAITH is an idiot. Furthermore, anyone who actively imposes those faith-based beliefs on others is absolutely bat-shit crazy and a bad person! I do not have a strong stance on abortion, I have a bit of a stance on stem-cell research, and I have a firm stance on assisted suicide but I do treat every situation as unique and I use critical thinking to evaluate what I believe to be moral or immoral. I can have a rational conversation about whether or not it is okay to take someone’s life if they are consenting. People who use Faith as their trump card cannot. Faith is not subject to criticism, period. There is no standard by which you can say one person’s faith is correct and another’s is incorrect.
Take for instance the case of blood transfusions. Jehovah’s Witnesses will not consent to this form of medicine, even if it means saving a young child’s life. (FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU SO HARD! HOW CAN YOU BE SO IGNORANT AND SELFISH!) This is because they interpret the Bible in a way that suggests that such an act is an abomination. My Catholic friend, the one who posted about stem cells, believes no such thing, though she derives her beliefs from the exact same text as the JW. In this case, both my Catholic friend and I could be in the same hospital room begging the parents of a sick child to allow for the necessary treatment. Nothing we say could influence these people because they would play their Faith trump card and that would be that. My Catholic friend may say that their Faith is wrong and that God really is okay with modern medicine (except when it imposes on her faith of course, as we shall see later). But how can she say this? upon what basis would she decide that the Faith of JW, or Muslims or Hindus or Mormons is fallacious? Oh that’s right, the same criterion that convinces those people that they are correct, FAITH!
I feel like I’m the only one who gets this! WHY!? Observe the following, hypothetical conversation.
Christian: I believe Jesus Christ is Lord
Jew: I believe Yahweh is Lord
Christian: Well, I was raised to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and I have Faith that he is.
Jew: That’s very cute, but I was raised to believe that Yahweh is actually Lord and I have Faith that he is.
Christian: Ok. But archaeology demonstrates that most of the events of the Old Testament didn’t actually happen. Your religion is allegorical tales. You are mistaken.
Jew: My Faith does not require physical evidence. And besides don’t you know that the Gospels are historically inaccurate and conflict with each other on important details? You must be mistaken.
Christian: My Faith does not work that way. I believe whole-heartedly that the Gospels are true but not that they can ever be shown to be true or need to be. I just have Faith that they are.
Jew: Well, my religion gives me comfort.
Christian: So does mine.
Jew: Yahweh loves me.
Christian: Jesus loves me more.
Both: How do you know that?
Blah, blah, blah. This is just a stupid example that really harms no one. But what if a hot topic that can harm people comes up such as stem cells, abortion, transfusions, antibiotics, etc. No one can say anything to religious people on these matters and that is very very scary.
Catholic friend. I know you generally mean well and you don’t want precious pre-babies to die. But your belief in souls and other non-demonstrable things deludes your view of a bigger picture. This belief generates a great amount of suffering, whether you know it or not. This same belief engine drives anti-gay protestors to picket funerals or terminally ill patients to suffer needlessly when they could be relieved of their lives, or rape victims of Catholic Priests to have to go through with unplanned pregnancies or children to die from lack of medical care, all because these things conflict with some people’s Faith. I am not saying that abortion is right in all cases but I am saying let’s talk about this rationally.
I will give you one more example from my own life and then I will digress. My grandfather recently died after a long struggle. He had a stroke and could no longer process an I.V. Since outspoken religious groups have implanted the idea that assisted suicide is an abomination society now says that the only moral thing to do was to let my Dad’s dad lay in bed for 5 days and starve to death. If anyone did this to a dog they would be put in jail. But to do anything less to a human is outrageous because of God and souls. Neither of which can be demonstrated. You know what can be demonstrated? Physical and emotional suffering and people who consent to a painless, assisted death. I, as a free person would want to be able to decide my own fate come check-out time. You, as a religious person say that this is unallowable and actively impose this restriction on me. And guess who has all the power right now? People who believe that Zombie Jesus rose from the dead and appeared before a bunch of illiterate whores, or those devil-whorshipping humanists?
I won’t post on your Facebook again. Again, I apologize. Don’t read my blog if you don’t like it (especially come Passover).