Monday, May 30, 2011

Anti-theist complaints: Mormons, gays

When Lent started, I figured I would do a whole bunch of "Snarky Theology" blog posts, followed by "Evil Religion" blogs. And, while I was at it, I asked Matt, friend of this blog, artist, anti-theist, and a few other things, to generate a list of what he found to be problematic with religion. He gave me a few.

I promised him I would use it. And I keep my promises

This is the last week I'm doing what my friend Jason calls "high-intellectual" blog posts. They are time consuming, draining, a lot of work, and I'm not sure they are at all entertaining. They've garnered some response, much of it hate mail.

My replies are long-winded, so this may take a few posts.

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Anyway, onto the complaint ....

-Mormon (and other sects) mistreatment of homosexuals

Mormons, I hate these guys … I've been to Utah, and the Stepford Wives effect is creey as all hell.
However, I think that religion has nothing to do with the overall question...

Bear with me.

I'm going to define "mistreatment" rather loosely. I've heard mistreatment as being everything from stoning to simply not being married in a Catholic church. I'm going to go with the lightest definition of mistreatment, where you can define it as simply being considered "other."

Let's start by removing religion from the equation, shall we?

According to Dr. Konrad Tuchserer of St. John's University, African tribesman think that homosexuality is a creation of Western Culture; they think it's unnatural, and they seem to be more interested in tribalism over religion.

In China, gays “do not exist.” No one has said that, but there is no active gay subculture that will pop its head out into the light. Why? Because it's China. Atheist, pseudo-fascist, China.... so, blaming religion doesn't work well there.

And "mistreatment" … you mean like how psychology, the most atheist profession on record, had homosexuality down as a disease until they voted out of the DSM in the 1970s? Is that how you want to talk about mistreatment?

Aside from Greece, which had pederasty, I don't know of any culture that ever encouraged homosexuality.

Take out religion, it just becomes a matter of the local community forming a lynch mob against “the deviant,” something they've done since, oh, Socrates? His crime was more a matter of showing people how stupid they were, so let's have him swing from the nearest yardarm .... okay, hemlock. Be picky....

Modern mistreatment of gays is usually in backwaters, fueled by cultural stupidity .... and substance abuse. Please note that the most publicized incident of a "hate crime" against homosexuals in the last few years was an incident in Texas in the late 1990s.  It was not religious-based, but the result of two meth-heads on a week-long rampage.

I'd love for someone to point out a point in time (any point, any time, before the rise of Greenwich Village) where homosexuality was generally accepted as a non-deviant subculture. I've already pointed out Greece. The Atheist governments of China and the Soviet Union weren't fans of anything non-standard, and the Atheist government of the 1792 French republic didn't seem to like anyone, really .... I would like to say that the British have been accepting of homosexuality, but then there was Oscar Wilde. Their attitude on the subject confuses me.

The short version: Anthropologists have pointed out that "the other" is traditionally defined by their appearance, or by their behavior. 

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