Teleology

The title is a word which means assigning invalid motives and results.  It is done far too often.  It can range from the small to the large.  A guy says to his woman, “Gee honey, that outfit looks great on you.” and she replies, “Well, if you think you’re getting lucky tonight, you’ve got another think coming.”  Maybe he was hoping to get lucky.  Maybe he was just trying to be the thoughtful, caring, supportive mate she says she wants.  Either way, it might be a long time before he compliments anything of hers again.

The small stuff can just be irritating, but this process is often carried on by politicians and religious rulers.  It can be most dangerous when the two come together.  It is usually driven by egotism and insecurity.  After the recent meteor which streaked over Russia, the leader of the opposition party (Who apparently is the majority stockholder in a vodka firm.) released a statement saying that the phenomenon was caused by “a secret American weapon”.

So, this couldn’t be just a case of God shaking the dust from His sandals over Russia.  Something that left only a dust trail in the sky, and an ice-fishing hole in a frozen lake, had to be a weapon, an American weapon, and a secret weapon.  It would break Igor’s ego heart to know that the Americans haven’t taken Russia seriously since 1991.

Two recent related political/religious stories have me gnashing my teeth.  Two insecure, egotistical pols in North Carolina are trying to establish Christianity as the State Religion.  Ignoring the edicts and directions of the founders of a country offering freedom and tolerance, they are using the best psychological bases to achieve their ends, by wrapping this endeavor in the name, Defense Of Religion.

It simply is no such thing!  It is not defense of Islam, or Judaism, or Shinto!  It might be Defense of a Particular Religion – Christian – but it’s not even that.  As in my Aug. 14/12 post, A Gored Ox, they had been asked nicely, not to begin State Legislature meetings with a Christian-only prayer, in legal contravention of the “Separation of Church and State” directive.  Now they want to pass a law which allows them to do just that.  The only thing that this law will defend is Christian religious monopoly.

I can smell the insecurity from here.  People like this amaze and anger me.  If they are as sure of the monopolistic validity of their beliefs as they would have us believe, why are they so adamant to silence opposing views?  If you ain’t one of us, you ain’t welcome!

The other legal/religious situation which irks me, is the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA!  Like the above, this is a carefully crafted psychological crusade to conceal the fact that it isn’t what it says it is.  If two homosexual men are allowed to marry, not one heterosexual couple will be forced to divorce.  If two lesbians are allowed to marry, not one heterosexual couple will be prevented from marrying.  No man will be forced to marry another man!  No woman will be forced to marry another woman!  In other words, if gays are allowed to marry, the only change – the only thing that Bible-thumping, Good Christian, heterosexuals will lose – is the morally highjacked right to the monopolistic use of the term, married.

I am glad to see that the American Supreme Court has finally ruled against DOMA.  This is not the end.  The Westboro Baptists and their like will still need their daily doses of ego and insecurity to feel good about themselves, but it is, perhaps, the beginning of the end of this moralistic bitching.

To justify not allowing gays to call their unions a marriage, they say, “We never have in the past.”  I’d like to call this circular logic, but there’s no logic applied, just exclusionary emotion.  There is no need to Defend Marriage!  It is not under attack.  Many gays, having been clearly and pointedly shown that they are not welcome within their previous religious groups, opt for a civil ceremony.  Others marry in churches with more open, accepting rules.

As citizens of democratic countries, they want what all other citizens of the same country legally receive.  Why don’t they call it a Civil Union?  It’s the same thing.  If it’s the same thing, why don’t you let them call it a marriage?  Civil unions, especially in areas controlled by moralists like these, do not always accrue the same benefits as marriages.  Companies do not provide spousal benefits.  Long-term partners are not granted care decision-making in hospitals, or burial arrangements for deceased partners. Unlike even common-law partners, in the event of a split or death they do not receive a fair portion of shared assets.

Many of these same Good Christians rail against the attempted application of Sharia law for Muslims, yet feel they are justified in forcing their opinions into law against those they morally resent.  They want to apply religious law in countries which are supposed to be secularly governed.

Not letting you push Christianity and your, perhaps mistaken, opinion of Christian morals, down my throat is not an attack on your religion.  It is my Defence of Freedom!  Christ was accepting and inclusive of many who might be called fallen.  It would honor Him and His teachings to do the same!  Let some of the pressure out of your self-important ego, stop jumping at every imagined religious slight, and get on with it.  I’ll let you do your thing, as long as you let me do mine.

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My Sauce Got Goosed

Here in Southern Ontario, we recently had two men charged with terrorism.  They were Muslims who had immigrated here, gone to the trouble to become citizens, and then allegedly plotted to load a train passenger car with explosives.  The Big Bang was to occur when the train was half-way across a railroad bridge above the Niagara River, on its way to the United States.  The loss of life and property damage would have been horrendous.

Fortunately, police got wind of the plot, and arrested the two before they could proceed.  One of the pair immediately lawyered up, and denied the whole thing.  The other genius is demanding a lawyer who will argue that he should be tried under Sharia law.  He claims that the laws of the country should not apply to him, and that the Koran should be the only book to judge his actions.  Good luck with that!  Even Muslim lawyers are backing away, because they know that the Canadian Penal Code must be the one to apply.

Opinions online, and in op-ed letters are unanimous.  How dare you think that you can use your religious beliefs and your holy book to justify illegal activity!  You live here in Canada.  You have to obey the laws of Canada!  Okay now, come along with me.  We’re going to take a little trip to visit KayJai, in Newfoundland, for another lesson in religious entitlement and intolerance.

Several years ago, the Province of Newfoundland did away with Catholic separate schools.  They were rolled into an all-encompassing Provincial school system, and the pertinent laws stated that no religion would be allowed to display any religious symbols in the now-secular schools.

Recently, a parent filed a request to the Provincial School Board, to have a Christian cross removed from above the door of a previously Catholic school in St. John’s.  Saint Matthew’s School, if you care.  The school board has acceded to the legal request, but, oh, the howls of Christian anguish.

In an attempt to stick a finger in the dike, to keep special religious treatment and benefits from leaking away, the female spokesman       (-woman?, -person?) for the parents association has started asking stupid questions.  “What harm is a cross doing to the student, or the complaining parent?”  The same, but opposite harm that taking it down would do to you.  The complainant does not have to give a reason, but you must obey the law.

“Why do we have to take down our cross, when only one person has complained?”  For the same reason that I have to stop robbing banks, even if only one bank manager has complained.  It’s against the law, and you don’t get to obey just the laws that you like.  “What’s next?  Will we have to take down our Saint Matthew’s name, too?”  Well, if you keep bitching and dragging your feet on this request, that might indeed be next.  Cut your losses and play nice with others.

I’m not saying that hanging a cross and blowing up a bridge are equally serious offenses, but they’re both firmly planted on the Yellow Brick Road of religious intolerance and social disobedience.  If attitudes and actions are not modified, it doesn’t take much to proceed from one to the other.  I am reminded of the book-burning scene in the movie, Footloose.

I am both amazed and disgusted that Good Christians will decry and deny application of Muslim sharia law, and the validation of the Muslim holy book, but will haul out Catholic benefits and the Bible to justify their own selfish and illegal behavior.  They both equally feel that the laws of the country should not apply to them, and their holy book should supersede Provincial legislation.

The Bible may be a great book, and Christian principles may be grand, but, they don’t hold a monopoly.  They should not be shoved down others’ throats, just because they’re nice.  Everyone has the right to go to Hell in his own way.  In the Bible, Jesus ordered that we are to “Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.”  Cast off your feelings of inferiority and insecurity!  Live, and let live!

End of yet another anti-bureaucratic religious rant!  We will return you to your regularly scheduled program of fun and foolishness in a couple of days.

In a sad post script, a Good Christian couple in Pennsylvania believe in “Divine Healing”, but not in obeying Man’s laws.  They have caused the death of a second son in three years from pneumonia, by not taking them to a doctor or hospital.  Accommodation of religious beliefs does not extend to allowing the death of children, even your own.  They have been charged with third degree murder, for failing to provide the necessities of life.