Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beauty Gone Amok

When I opened the verticals this morning this is the sight that greeted my eyes.  What a beautiful world we live in until nature wreaks havoc, like the terrible earthquake that ravaged Haiti.

We cannot always control nature, but why must man ruin his environment with war and hatred?  An age old question that has yet to be answered. The Rev. Pat Robertson said that the earthquake in Haiti was the result of God’s wrath at the Haitians for making a pact with the devil to get out from under French colonial rule.   Enough has already been written about this inane statement, but it started me thinking. 

Since man found religion he has executed the most terrible atrocities in it's name.  We all know about the Christian atrocities; the cruelty of the Crusades, the Inquisition, the drowning of the Huguenots, the Salem Witch trials, and so many others.  The tragic part of this is that many of the perpetrators believed they were doing God's work.  To say they were misguided is an immense understatement.  Whether the sanctimonious men  were just plain evil or deluded is irrelevant; the atrocities were done in God's name.  

It hasn't stopped.  In Uganda Homosexuals are beaten, blackmailed, threatened with death and subjected to "correctional rape".  These atrocities were fueled by three Evangelical Christians who teach that homosexuality can be cured.  Their teachings have been disproved here, but are believed by the government in Uganda. 

The three, Scott Lively, Caleb Brundige, and Don Schmeirer have given talks to teachers, the police and politicians claiming that homosexuality is a threat to Bible based family values.  I wonder what kind of families these three hate filled men came from.  Certainly their values are none that my family would recognize.

Their misinterpretation of the Bible's teaching has led to the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.  This bill being considered would punish lesbians and gay men with death or life imprisonment.  And this is done in the name of Christianity.   To his credit, the televangelist, Rick Warren, has denounced the bill saying that homosexuality should not be criminalized.

While we piously denounce the Taliban for their extreme interpretation of the Koran we have their version in our midst with the right wing Christians who, through ignorance, preach hatred and the evils of 'their version of sin' on a daily basis.  Like the Taliban, they have an extreme interpretation of the Bible.  What is frightening to me is that so many listen to these charlatans.


Granny Annie said...

Atrocities have been committed throughout civilization (and I use that term lightly) in the name of every religion by zealots who tend to twist their beliefs to suit their own gain. Meanwhile good persons of faith as well as good persons who claim no faith manage to help in more ways than the world ever gets to see. I truly believe that the nuts get the press and yet they are small in number compared to the good will that is spread by donations, acts and deeds to those in need.

20th Century Woman said...

As always, Darlene, you write with clarity and sanity. You are right that religious extremism seems to ge gripping the world. How sad it is that people who claim to be Christians espouse beliefs so antithetical to the teachings of Christ.

Darlene said...

*Granny Annie - Yes, there are more good people than evil and you are right: the nuts get the press. But when the nuts are responsible for multiple atrocities they should be exposed by the press.

*20th Century Woman - It is a mystery, isn't it? How can they justify their 'judging' and hate filled words if they believe in Christ.

la peregrina said...

Good post, Darlene, I felt myself getting angry while reading it. So many people who call themselves followers of Christ do not seem to have ever read his words.

(You will love this, I did not type the verification word correctly so I was given another one. That word was "prays.")

Darlene said...

*la peregrina - Now that is just downright eerie.

Looking to the Stars said...

Good Post! I hadn't heard of this bill, thank you for keeping me posted.

This is terrible, these people have no right to call themselves christians. They know nothing of the true translation of the Bible.

I know that anybody who has read anything about Colo. Springs the last few years, knows Pastor Ted of New Life Church (ex-pastor) is gay. I met Ted when he had his church in a little store front on Garden of the Gods road.

The very first time I met him, I knew he was gay. I told the people I came with that they were very open minded and I thought they were very enlightened to have a gay pastor.

They denied it (they knew) but Ted did a lot of good things for people from all walks of life here in Colo. Springs. He has a good heart and he is a good man.

People need to look past things. As far as Pat Robertson (who is a son of a senator), he needs to quit putting his foot in his mouth.

Love the pic :)

Kay Dennison said...

I agree Darlene -- and to think we almost had one a heartbeat away from the presidency is horrifying!!!!!

Member said...

Hi Darlene . .

This was one of your best essays. Really good, thoughtful, and disturbing. Way too many terrible things have been committed by intolerant religious zealots.

The Holy Bible is filled with many awful passages that modern Christians long ago disregarded or threw out. No reasonable Christian tries to use those passages to excuse murder, abuse, torture, and so forth.

The Qu'ran however, also contains some awful stuff. Unfortunately, RADICAL ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS have cherry picked the worst of these passages to justify their evil activities.

Now, in 2010, a relatively small number of Islamic extremists HAVE GAINED CONTROL OF ISLAM. They have managed to so thoroughly intimidate the moderate and peaceful believers that there is no sign of real resistance.

Mega churches and television star Preachers are not going to solve this one.


Friko said...

Oh Darlene, this world frightens me. I hadn't heard about Pat Robertson's remark here in England. When you called it inane I think you left out the 's' after the first 'n'. This desperately evil view of humanity, this callous disregard for suffering in the name of his own personal god truly proves P.R. and his ilk to be truly inhumane.

Amongst the first to flee from Haiti after the earthquake was a bunch of healthy, young, well-fed, Christian Aid workers (i.e. missionaries) from the US.
They didn't even stop to see if anybody needed their hand held or a child needed digging out of the rubble. Where was their Christianity? Not only that but they also took up valuable resources and air space when these were at an absolute premium.

I get so made and frightened sometimes, but sticking my head in the sand doesn't help anybody.

Anonymous said...

Personally, as an atheist, I've never figured out the right response to someone else's statement that I, Cop Car, am a better Christian than most of the Christians they know. It would be extremely ungracious of me to be offended, wouldn't it?

Darlene said...

*Looking to the Stars - I didn't know that Pat Robertson was the son of a senator, but you are right. Figures!

*Kay Dennison - Yes, and to think she may run again. I doubt that it will happen, though. She has already bombed on Fox and her ignorance will do her in long before the next election. Even some Repubs see her as an ignorant hottie.

*Dixon - Thank you for your visit and comment. Radicals of any religion can prove their twisted version of their religion by taking verses out of context or selectively taking passages from a book to prove their point. The Old Testament is really bloody.

*Friko - Good one! I will insert the 's' and call it insane. It is far more appropriate.

I would love to make the world go away, but you are right. Sticking our heads in the sand will not solve anything.

*Cop Car - That's a tough one,isn't it? I guess I would say, "I know you mean well, but being a good person is not confined to being religious."

Rain said...

You said it all. It is fundamentalists for any or all religions that have the ability to do this kind of thing and have done it. It breeds ignorance and worse.

Baino said...

You're so right Darlene, then you usually are. Fundamentalists exist in all religions and none do any good I was also crankly at the Vatican recenty who asked the word's Catholics to 'mobilise' and raise funds for Haiti. . where was the Vatican's contribution other than rhetoric? As for that Pat Robertson twat he's been berated by every blogger I know the idiot. I can't believe people are still suckered into this rubbish. I hope an interventionist god strikes the nitwit dumb.

Darlene said...

*Rain - Fanatics are usually ignorant or criminally self serving.

*Baino - My kids would not agree with you that I am usually right. ;-)

Lydia said...

Great post Darlene. I passionately agree 100%.