"I just made you up, to hurt myself..."
Or how Religion makes the world a worse place to be. - Part I.
The interesting thing about religion growing up is how innocuous it seems. I, unlike the other half of woman in comfy shoes, was not raised in a particularly religious manner. For better or worse it gives me a differerent angle to tackle the question of relgion.
I judge Christianity overall as a negative influence in our modern society. I agree with Bertrand Russell and his general analysis of what Christianity has brought to the table. Russell said in his essay ‘Why I am Not a Christian’, “[The church] … is in its major part an opponent still of progress and of improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world…” I see this going on in our society, the constant fight against progress and for the maintenance of the status quo. I look at such organizations as the Promise Keepers or Vote Marriage. Briefly investigating these two organizations reaffirms to me the prescient nature of what Russell has to say about the immorality of relgion.
Taken from the helpful excerpts section on the Canadian Vote Marriage Web page:
"The deconstruction of conjugal marriage in Canada has not been driven by democratic demand. In fact, the ongoing legal “reform” of marriage has been imposed from the top down. There is a sociological divide on the marriage issue, with support for same-sex marriage coming disproportionately from elite sectors of society – the academy, the legal community, the upper echelons of business and government – and from the media."
What is seen here is the reversal of traditional roles in this statement. The religious right (a.k.a zealotry) have take the role of the oppressed minority arguing for “equality and freedom” when in fact they arguing the exact opposite. This is a very scary addition to the Canadian political scene as this brand of rhetoric can be devastating to the body politic. I wrote in my post about Kansas how polarizing and divisive this strategy is. We need to reclaim this argument from them and refute its paradoxical nature, because frighteningly enough, it works.
The Promise Keepers are a whole different brand of Mordor-esque evil scariness. They purport to follow and promote the pious ways of Christ etc. but really are have a radical reactionary agenda mostly against women and their rights. I found a thoughtful and useful anti-PK page *. Gleaned from the website was a quote from the book called The Masculine Journey written by Robert Hicks, and it was a recommended read at a PK rally in Colorado at Folsome Field. Hicks said:
“Possessing a penis places unique requirements upon men before God. . . . We are called to worship God as phallic kinds of guys, not as some sort of androgynous, neutered nonmales, or the feminized males so popular in many feminist enlightened churches. We are told by God to worship Him in accordance with what we are, phallic men.”
It is hard to find a starting place when faced with such overawing stupidity. The politics of gender are more Tricia’s forte but I’ll see what I can do to shed some light on our beloved Promise Keepers. We need to look at their CORE VALUES and then compare them to what they really do. It is illuminating to see such finely tuned propaganda in action. The amount of material here really warrants a separate post, perhaps with additional insight from T. But I’ll put the initial offering out here to wet our collective whistles as we sally onwards towards the dark belly of the beast.
*note: The anti-pk link is not a particularly reliable source. Check here and here for more information on the Masculine Journey. Both sources are also religious in nature but generally affirm that indeed, The Masculine Journey is balony(dangerous balony).