Over at the Atheist Experience blog there has been a fascinating dialog going on. A Catholic has been banging on about how being gay is wicked. Here is a wonderful take-down to the latest note from this ‘believer’, it pulls it all apart and revels her stance to be complete bullshit. I’ve posted it here because it hits one of my hot buttons. Having previously been a believer myself, I find it very healthy to apply some critical thinking to this arena
Thanks for writing back:
>I understand how this can look like bigotry
You fail to understand, however, that it is bigotry. That’s where the breakdown is happening. Calling something wrong that isn’t wrong for no good reason is pure prejudice in action.
>I used to be an atheist and felt the same way you do
Atheism has nothing to do with homophobia or lack of it. Some atheists are homophobic, some theists aren’t. You, unfortunately, have aligned yourself with theists who are. And you are causing needless harm to good people by doing so.
>Regardless of what your opinions are, when someone holds a belief that to you might seem like it is out of hate or discrimination, (I know right now you are thinking BECAUSE IT IS HATE AND DISCRIMINATION, and I would ask you to bear with me), if they are, as I keep reiterating, sincere in their desire to want what is good, true, and beautiful then their support of this teaching is also out of sincerity.
You seem to have a mistaken impression that it’s your attitude, and not your ideology or actions, I have a problem with? It’s the results you reap I oppose. Homophobic bigotry is harmful and wrong, whether it comes from horribly misguided ‘concern’ or open hatred. I hope that helps you better understand my position. Doing harm, but meaning well, is still harm. And I will continue to try to stop it and speak out against it.
>Therefore, it is reasonable to say that the motive here is not hate
Fine. Your motive is not hate. But your actions are still misguided, harmful to others, and based on prejudice, lies and fallacies.
>Now of course this analogy falls short and in no way am I comparing homosexuality to an eating disorder, but you get my point.
Yes, I agree. Gay is demonstrably not a disorder. And it’s not wrong, harmful or a problem. It’s also not your business or anything you need to be ‘concerned’ about. But you seem to think it’s loving to say it’s a ‘sin’ for fallacious and false reasons. I understand you think it’s sin. I think that’s ill, and I oppose it just as I would oppose bigotry from the KKK or any other brand of unwarranted prejudice from any group or authority.
Please understand that if All-Mighty God himself came to me and told me to call homosexuality a ‘sin,’ I would not agree to it. No authority can simply label benign action as wrong and make it so without justification. It would be immoral for anyone, and that would include a god, to require such a thing as ‘bigotry’ from his/her followers. And I am really not sure you understand that.
I’m sure KKK members are very sincere. I’m sure they think their views are positive and helpful and would be good for society overall to adopt. But they’re clearly wrong, just as you are. And they’re harmful, just as you are. And I will oppose that sort of immorality from the KKK or the Catholic church.
>it breaks my heart to see all this confusion
I assure you we’re not “confused” at AE TV. In fact, the more you try to explain, the deeper you dig yourself in. You’re only demonstrating that a well meaning person can be taught to do evil in the name of religion. And the fact you’re blind to what you’re doing only makes it all the more tragic. You seem to think I think you think you’re motive is hate. What I’m really saying is that I don’t care what your motive is. Your view, and your promotion of that view, is flatly harmful and wrong. You’re causing harm to people who aren’t causing harm to you. I don’t particularly care why you do it. It’s wrong to do it, because you’re hurting people for no good reason. You are on the side of evil when it comes to this issue.
I encourage you, again, to visit the blog.
This Catholic believer a very good illustration of how belief motivates people. Generally good people do good deeds and evil people commit evil deeds, but for good folks to commit evil, you need religion.