Tag Archives: human rights

Christianity and Homophobia: Pastor Sean Harris

Pastor Sean Harris, a senior pastor at the Berean Baptist Church, is one of the many examples of homophobia in the Christian community.

Excerpts of his sermon:
Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see that son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give them a good punch. OK? You’re not going to act like that — you were made by God to be a male and you’re going to be a male.

And when your daughter starts acting too ‘butch,’ you rein her in. And you say, ‘Oh no. Oh no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play ‘em, play ‘em to the glory of God, but sometimes you’re going to act like a girl and talk like a girl and talk like a girl, and smell like a girl, and that means you’re going to be beautiful, you’re going to be attractive, you’re going to dress yourself up.

Here’s the audio clip: [http://www.goodasyou.org/player.swf]

After the sermon went viral on the internet, Pastor Harris, the homophobic hate-monger, is claiming he was only joking, would never even touch a child, “would never ever advocate” hitting a child, and says his parishioners — many of whom shouted “Amen!” when Harris said to punch a four-year old – know he would never advocate child abuse. Harris also claims there was ”not an ounce of hate being communicated” in his remarks in church on Sunday, focused on the evils of homosexuality in hopes of ensuring parishioners vote for North Carolina’s Amendment One, which would write anti-gay discrimination directly into the constitution, and would define as the only legal relationship a marriage between one man and one woman. Amendment One would also  immediately make domestic violence victims ineligible for protection orders and would even remove children from their unmarried parents’ health insurance.

However, being a man of god and faith, he defended his homophobia, saying,”If I had to say it again, I would say it differently, no doubt,” Harris said Tuesday. “Those weren’t planned words, but what I do stand by is that the word of God makes it clear that effeminate behaviour is ungodly. I’m not going to compromise on that.

Yes, folks, this is what they teach the sheeps at church. And let’s not be fooled by the hoards of moderate Christians who would claim that Pastor Sean Harris isn’t a true Christian. No, read the bible, that holy book is a hateful, homophobic, ancient scripture that does nothing but promote persecution and oppression.

Pastor Sean Harris is a man of god indeed, a man created in the image of god.

Religious authorities must be held responsible for promoting child abuse, this isn’t a LGBT rights issue, this is a human rights issue. The blanket of immunity the government give religious leaders must be removed for humanity to eradicate unfounded hate and persecution.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Religion: Of Mockery and Respect

Over the past two weeks, I was sounded out a few times for my lack of respect shown towards religion. Of the three incidents I could recall, two of them were Christians, demanding a little respect for Mr. JC and his sycophants. I made a couple of Easter jokes on Facebook and Twitter alike.

Exhibit A
I wish I had an epic weekend like Jesus did.

“Huh? Where am I? What am I doing in a cave? Oh my father, did I pass out for 3 days? I knew I shouldn’t have had that last tequila shot with Judas…”

RESPECT, is derived from the Latin word “respectus” meaning regard; as a noun, the word describes a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. As a verb, it’s the action of admiring someone or something deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Contemplating on the word admiration, respect is something undoubtedly positive, a humanistic elucidation of deserving praise.

Respect is earned, very much like any other societal concession; religion has done nothing to deserve any respect – pedophilia, homophobia, misogyny, murder, and rape are just a few arguments against this morally-corrupt system of belief. Religion, like politics, is not beyond mockery. If religious people want society to respect religion, the first step would be to sort out the ascertained flaws within the system they adhere to. Theists are keen to demand respect and tolerance from outside, but religion has done nothing to reciprocate the same level of respect and tolerance for basic human rights.

Granted, like all system of beliefs, we will find moderates and extremists residing within the same contextual parameters. Many moderates would argue that they do not condone the extremist stance of others within their organization, hence, demanding that their moderation be respected for its positive characteristics. Unfortunately, I will politely decline that notion. First off, why don’t the moderates focus that celebrated moderation on ensuring the collective they belong to demonstrate respect and tolerance for others, instead of whining and moaning outwardly, pathetically begging for sympathy from a society that has been diversified through education and rationality? Secondly, Christianity and Islam (for example) have a begrimed relationship with the LGBT community while struggling to respect a woman’s right to equality – these are just simple examples sans any elaboration and details. If so, What am I disrespecting? I would not respect a homophobe, I would not respect a rapist, I would not respect anyone that infringes upon the basic human rights of fellow human being. Aforementioned homophobic/rapist could be the most prominent philanthropist in modern history and I would still refuse to show that individual any form respect. Religion as an entity has proven itself to be a perverted despot seeking to control and manipulate the masses, while committing and advocating countless acts of terror throughout history. What about it proves itself worthy of respect?

Until then, I shall leave you with a pleasant joke I stumbled upon through my misadventures on the internet.

My town’s too poor to have a priest. Our nun has to use a strap-on.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Militant Atheist

I was accused of being a “Militant Atheist” recently, a label which I won’t object. There is this idea that being a “Militant Atheist” is no different from any religious extremist, I would beg to differ; allow me to explicate my stance.

Politics Without Religion
I couldn’t care less if you believe in some sky god – may he be Jewish, blue, or a fat bloke that sat under a tree a little too long. That’s your prerogative, as childish as all the stories are. However, religion should not be allowed to leave your doorstep. It should not encroach into anyone else’s life, especially in the political realm. I live in a highly religious and political country, Malaysia, with ethnicity and religion dictating the political arena. The once great nation of America is currently battling to maintain some sort of Secularism within its government. The simple fact that Rick Santorum, a politician exploiting Christian extremism, is given a podium to stand on is a joke. But beyond the laughter, lies a worrying problem – the sanctimonious claims of religion over politics. Religion, along with all its evil, has no right to determine policy-making of a nation. The first litmus test of any government is reason and rationality. Religion has failed that test miserably time and time again. Yet, despite lacking any reason or rationality, religious people are hell-bent on influencing politics and governments. Homosexuality, women rights, abortion, and even contraception, which shouldn’t even be debated on the basis of human rights, has become major political issues due to religious influence. I will not stand by as millions of people are oppressed through the hammer of religion, while being govern by them politically. In Saudi Arabia, women are marginalized, treated as second-class citizens because of Islam. Homosexuals are bullied and battered because of religion, even in first-world nations. If you can stay silent, go ahead, no one is judging you, but don’t judge me for wanting to fight against oppression.

Science Without Religion
When I was in school, I barely knew about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. It was only when I grew older, and gained the blessing of the internet that I started building my knowledge of evolution. The creation-versus-evolution debate has been long drawn out, and I shall refrain from contributing to it here. But life is rather simple, the theory of evolution has been proven to be true, while creationism stems from unsubstantiated fairy-tales. Religion has no right to hinder the progress of Science. Galileo was persecuted by religion for his support of heliocentrism, which is an absolute truth. An example in today’s world is religion’s hindrance of stem-cell research. I am sorry, but I support Science’s endeavours in finding the cure for diseases, because my utopia, which was formed without the delusion of religion, involves people NOT dying from cancer, AIDS, and any other diseases that might be curable someday. I am not saying this is the answer, but if this could be the answer to reducing human mortality, then we must pursue it scientifically until we reach an absolute conclusion. If there is no evidence for your nonsense, shut up, move to the back of the room, and let those with some form of answers find more answers, for the sake of humanity.

I maintain my stance that for now, I must take this Militant route. Someday, I’ll have children. And what if my son is born gay? Science says that 10-20% of the population are homosexuals. I don’t want him to grow up in a prejudice, hateful world, where he has to feel as if he doesn’t deserve the same basic human rights as heterosexuals. For my future daughter, I must ensure that she is born into an fair and equal world, a world where mind-numbing religious idiots aren’t trying to dictate women’s rights. I want the best for my children, selfishly; and I want the best for the every child that’s born into this world. I will not apologize for being crude and verbally violent about your religious beliefs, as long as they are found loitering and lurking around the moral fibers of society. I will not silence my criticism, as long as there are innocent people being abused in the name of religion. Frankly, I couldn’t give two pancakes worth of care about you or your religion, but keep your “morality”, your faith, your beliefs, your god, and your nonsense in your own pocket. You shall not control and manipulate the socio-political system to please your imaginary friend, and as long as you do, don’t expect rational people to sit down in silence.

Besides, when was the last time you heard some one flying a plane into a building because of his Atheist beliefs, or waging a war due to Atheism? Militant Atheists rough it out on the battlefield of intellectuality, the one battlefield religion can’t seem to get a grasp of.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Atheism, is it a religion?

A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate’s rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.

“Atheism is [the inmate’s] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

The court decided the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, called the court’s ruling “a sort of Alice in Wonderland jurisprudence.”

“Up is down, and atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion,” said Fahling.

The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described “secular humanism” as a religion.

Fahling said today’s ruling was “further evidence of the incoherence of Establishment Clause jurisprudence.”

“It is difficult not to be somewhat jaundiced about our courts when they take clauses especially designed to protect religion from the state and turn them on their head by giving protective cover to a belief system, that, by every known definition other than the courts’ is not a religion, while simultaneously declaring public expressions of true religious faith to be prohibited,” Fahling said.

Taken from WND.com.

Is atheism a religion?

According to Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.”

I am sure there are long, drawn out arguments regarding the issue, often with the semantics being manipulated to suit the case.

I am a staunch believer in Occam’s razor, which states from among competing hypotheses, selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions usually provides the correct one, and that the simplest explanation will be the most plausible until evidence is presented to prove it false. My stance on religion is rather simple and straightforward: Religion refers to the belief in a supernatural being, which in and of itself has some form of afterlife may it be the Abrahamic heaven and hell concept, or Hinduism-Buddhism reincarnation cycle. These are all elements I reject, without having the need to dwell on the semantics and the complexities of the definitions.

Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

Belief: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Atheism: The belief that God does not exist.

As an anti-theist, I follow no specific philosophical creed or code, and almost every aspect of my life principle stems from my humanistic journey in life thus far. Granted, there are plenty more out there for me to experience – it’s a work-in-progress.

Therefore, I reject any notion that atheism is a religion, or remotely close to anything resembling it.

As the famous line goes,”Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour.”

What do you think? Atheism, is it a religion?

Tagged , , , , , ,