A call for reason, not blind faith

Guest Commentary

After reading Dr. Michael Brown’s guest commentary, “Setting the record straight” (Dec. 25, 2010), it is not surprising he still clings to the notions of “lifestyles” when espousing his convictions and judgments against the LGBT. He does deny comparing homosexuality to pedophiles, but goes on to justify this comparison. Just as I wouldn’t compare someone who uses fire to cook or heat with an arsonist, we shouldn’t compare homosexuals to pedophiles. Using an extreme to enable criticism of a group is not only being unfairly judgmental, but denies fundamental facts of humanity that show Dr. Brown’s doctorate is definitely not in biology.

Biologists who study sex, sexuality and gender, have found variations in many animals, not just humans. Evolution teaches us we should expect such diversity. As to pedophiles and other personality disorders, these may well have physical traits as well as external factors that encourage this unacceptable behavior or action, but as a society we continue to try to find answers to these problems. We should not be tying together disorders that are harmful to general society with physical traits that are natural and a part of biology. Unfortunately, the biggest problem with this debate by Dr. Brown is his religion.

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It is religion, over the centuries, which has given excuse for slavery, racism, sexism and now the current scapegoat of some religions, people who identify as part of the LGBT. Even though I was brought up in a fundamentalist church, I have realized that it is all myth and legend developed by a superstitious people in a primitive time. One only need study the surrounding religions to see the influences on the stories and legends that became part of the Bible, or better yet, read the Bible, void of preconceptions and blind faith, but rather with a critical eye, or as Benjamin Franklin called it, “the eye of reason.” The contradictions, errors and false prophecies are so abundant as to be impossible to list in such a short response. With studies in geology, biology and paleontology providing a picture of how the earth began and evolved, we are shown the true mythic proportions of the creation story and detrimental to most religions the fallacy of original sin.

As to the main character of protestant religions, Jesus, at best, was an apocalyptic Jewish preacher. The four gospels based on timeline should be Mark, Matthew, Luke and John and the original Mark ended at the empty tomb. Also, consider the 10-year discrepancy in Jesus’ birth year, the conflicting family tree and the conflicts in the most important element of all — the crucifixion story. None of the gospels agree on the details for the crucifixion and subsequent events. As the miracles associated with Jesus became more grandeur and supernatural from the writings of Mark to the later writings of John, this shows not a historical series of events, but rather the creation of a legend. Historically, no reliable documents of that time period have any mention of the events associated with Jesus as described in the Bible. The few sentences in Josephus’ writings that mention Jesus have been shown to be later additions of some copyist.

But, let’s step back from the particulars of the issue and consider the big picture. Do we really think a god who supposedly can defy time and space itself and is supposedly all powerful and all knowing would require a human sacrifice or the primitive rituals of a submissive worship? Christians can not even agree as to the character of this god, for even the Bible is contradictory. Is he merciful and loving or is he judgmental doling out eternal punishments of immoral cruelty for minor violations? Can we really believe a perfect god would create a world where his first two humans were failures? The failure as I see it is in not recognizing how manmade our religions are and how they divide us, allowing us to demonize others and give support to some of our most base prejudices. History is full of religious wars and abuses in the name of God. The Inquisitions, Martin Luther’s bigoted writings against the Jews and Hitler’s subsequent following of those writings in his holocaust against them are a few examples.

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So, Dr. Brown, I can understand how you can hold such beliefs, but in the 21st century it is still shocking how primitive and irrational humans can be, especially in living with blind faith. It is time we look to reason and understand the diversity that is us humans and learn to live a good life without prejudice. : :

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2 Replies to “A call for reason, not blind faith”

  1. While I appreciate the end message and learned something new, I think this article is a bit too mean-spirited of an attack on religion to actually change anyone’s views. It is more likely to motivate people to be spiteful more than to bring them to an understanding.

    I believe that the majority of those who belong to a religion rely on traditions and cultures of their ancestors and indoctrinations as a youth to build their faith, not on whether there are inconsistencies in the Bible. Sad truth. I lived a religious life for over 20 years and throughout it all, I felt that there was an explanation for everything, even if it was not immediately apparent. That is what is called “faith.” It is the greatest trump card to play. I finally came to the realizations that my faith was doing more damage to my spirit than it was doing good and I sought other sources of hope and happiness…and found them. Others will have the completely opposite story.

    I hope the gay community does not think attacking religions is the best way to gain equality. It is fuel to the fire for religions. I would hope the gay community respects others’ religious faiths as much as it expects the same respect back. You know, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” See, religion does have good teachings.

  2. Thanks, Darryl. It’s nice to see religion attacked in this contest. If it weren’t for religion, homosexuality would already be an excepted part of society. I’m glad some are critiquing the basis for faith – the faithful have certainly done enough criticizing of LGBT people! Perhaps more people will recognize religion for the farce that it is and dump it. Then they’ll have no reason to discriminate against alternative lifestyles.

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