2008-09-25 11:51 am (local) (link)
I just watched this documentary called "For the Bible Tells Me So," which showed various ways religious folks have used biblical literalism to justify the persecution of homosexuals. It was interesting, it brought up the point that the easiest way for people to feel this sense of belonging in a group was to create an "Other," a group that is supposedly the antithesis of their little moral framework. First the Bible was used to justify racism, then it was used to justify treating women as second-class citizens, and now the LGBT community has been labeled as the "Other." Without someone to hate, the religious right has no sense of purpose...they have to feel like they are on a moral crusade. They're incapable of standing on their own two feet (hence why they're religious in the first place, I suppose) and so they have to have something both to stand for and against.
It depressed me, because it's an endless cycle. Once one condition is improved, they will simply find another group to persecute.
2008-09-25 11:56 am (local) (link)
I've seen that film (I loved it), and you're absolutely right. It's funny though, the same people who sent that terrible hate mail to Gene Robinion are the same ones who claim to be loving folks looking out for the welfare of others. It's ironic and only proves how religion can only harm people in the end.
2008-09-25 12:06 pm (local) (link)
Yes, and the funny thing is you often see these people say things like "No one loves homosexuals more than me! I love them so much, I want to save their eternal souls! I don't hate them, I hate their sin!" Upon any research whatsoever, though, you realize that nowhere is homosexuality called a sin. When people cite the few biblical passage that mention it, they take it completely out of context. I wish there were some world-wide poll, asking how many Christians have actually read the Bible...
2008-09-25 05:31 pm (local) (link)
On your original point, which group will it be AFTER gays, do you think?
2008-09-25 06:02 pm (local) (link)
That's a good question that I've never really thought about, though I don't feel at all qualified to even guess! In the past we've seen persecution based on race, religion, political stance, sex, sexual orientation....what I'm mainly wondering is, will it be an entirely new group, or will we experience some sort of backlash where an already-persecuted group will be the main object of hatred all over again? It really depends, I mean all the aforementioned groups still experience bigotry, the “Other” I think mainly refers to which of these groups is currently in the spotlight. Was there a certain group you were thinking would be the next “Other”?
2008-09-26 06:27 pm (local) (link)
Honestly, I have no idea, and I'm not sure I'd place a bet on any one guess hazarded. If we were to categorize previous groups...
- Race - Usually an outward physical difference, difficult to "hide"
- Religion - Used to be hard to hide when everybody was expected to be in a place of worship on a certain day every week OR ELSE
- Political Stance - An inner difference, which should be able to be "hidden" successfully as long as voting is private
- Sex - Outward physical difference, which people reinforced at one time by passing laws making cross-dressing a crime (heaven forbid, literally, that any woman gain any rights or respect by passing as a man in public)
- Sexual Orientation - An inner difference with outward expression by choice, which seems to encourage the witch-hunt mentality a la religious persecution
It seems to me that the "inner" differences, more easily hidden, are the ones that make the bigots really paranoid and mouth-frothy. (An anti-Asian bigot has an easier time in theory identifying the people they want to avoid than, say, an anti-lesbian bigot.) So it might be something along those lines that next grabs the imaginations of the insecure and makes them scream "think of the children!!" :D
2008-09-26 08:29 pm (local) (link)
Very good points. Often the bigots will also claim that the "inner" differences are "choices" or "lifestyle decisions," and therefore they feel more entitled to hate them (and refer to them as sinful). Really, with the current resurgence of "family values" thinking and all that, I wouldn't be surprised if atheists were the next Other. I think we've got quite a while before they let up on the LGBT community, though, if ever.