Wednesday, January 7, 2009

On Religion and Morality

Okay, I'll be honest-this post is primarily about my opinions of Christian morality. It's not that I have a beef with Christians in general, just with the ones who are assholes. But I hate assholes of any faith. This rant in particular is about Christians who want their morality legislated.

In almost any discussion that touches on moral issues, especially where stuff like sexuality is concerned, you'll get someone coming in saying "the Bible says blah blah blah." You'll get told that a given position is wrong because the Christian god says it is.

Let's get something straight here. When a belief or action is dictated in the scripture of a certain faith, that mandate is for the followers of that god and adherents of that faith. Your god says "only have sex with members of the opposite gender within a legal marriage," mine says "only have sex with adult humans who have consented to have sex with you."

Hindu people don't eat beef. Jewish people don't eat pork. Have you ever seen a Christian arguing that no one should eat beef or pork, because a god said in a holy book that they didn't want their followers to do so? I sure haven't. Usually I hear Christians saying that they can eat what they want because their god said so. Hell, a lot of them even apply that concept to the different parts of their own scripture! I've never heard a Christian saying they don't eat shrimp because the Bible says not to, even though it clearly says so in Leviticus 11:9-11. The common justification is that "those laws were for the Jews-there's a new law under Christ." Okay, so if you don't have to follow the Jewish law, then why should people of other faiths follow your religious laws?

I'm sure there are people of other faiths doing this, but the fact is that I primarily see it coming from Christians. That's probably because Christianity is the socially dominant faith in this part of the world, and when you say "god" in North America, people tend to assume you're talking about Yahweh. Even with that assumption, though, I don't see Jews doing this, and they worship the same god. I have Jewish friends who keep Kosher, but they've never told me I'm going to be struck down for liking bacon on my cheeseburger. They seem to have pretty much the same idea that I'm trying to get across here-that their god has told them not to eat the little piggies, and therefore they won't, but until my god tells me what I should and shouldn't eat, I've got nothing to worry about.

That's all I really had to say. It just frustrates me when I try to talk to someone about an issue from a legal standpoint and they keep bringing up what their god thinks about it. I imagine the people doing this wouldn't be very happy to have Hindu dietary law passed into secular governmental law-why do they think it's okay to demand that their religious morality be legislated?

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