Religions claim to be the authority for how we live our lives. They claim this authority from God. Most religious organizations depend on donations from their faithful believers in order to stay in business. There are all sorts of religions, claiming to speak for / to God. Their business model consists of being paid to tell people what to do in life. Their revenue stream is tied directly to their credibility as a source of right-living advice. If people allowed to make up their own minds about their sexuality, then they are likely make up their own minds about a whole lot of things. This is what scares gay-bashing religions most of all.
It should be noted that no one can actually see God. Some people claim to do so, but they cannot prove that at all. Some people claim to represent God. They also have no proof that God exists and furthermore, they have no proof that they actually speak for God.
So, here are these religions that preach a narrow path of right living. Their desire is for lots of people to believe that this religion actually does speak for God, come to church and give them money so they can keep tell more people who will in turn, give them more money. They want everyone to get their advice on how to live, from that religion. Remember, that a religion is most often, some men who claim to be God’s very special friend. These religious leaders do all right for themselves, with all the esteem and wealth they get. Some cynical people like myself might think that the glory and the wealth is all they’re really in it for anyway. But, that’s just me.
The great hypocrisy in the rats’ nest of hypocrisy in religions that divide people is this paradox. They claim that God wants us to love each other. They claim that we are all God’s special children. They claim that being kind to another person is service to God. But, they insist that God only meant for certain people to love each other. Not only that, God seems to want us to be mean to the people that break God’s ‘rules’.
So…why do we listen to these people? They tell us to be afraid when our neighbors Bill and Dave are having sex, kissing, holding hands or getting married. I mean, their track record is kind of weak. Every time we go to see them, it costs us money and when they’re done talking, we are supposed to go out there and be mean to people that just want to love each other and be nice to each other for the rest of their lives.
Well, the short ugly answer is that we’re chicken-shit and we look for easy answers. The world is a frightening place and it can be so overwhelming. When we do not know what to do, we look for some authority to tell us what to do. We often turn to spiritual reflection and an organized religion. We want to believe that these ‘agents of God’ know something that we don’t. So, we pay them for advice and consolation and advice they have – in spades. It becomes part of our culture, our family history and part of how we identify ourselves in the world and in our own minds. Of course, these leaders start to make a living off telling everyone what God wants.
Of course, most personal crises pass or resolve themselves. How do they get us to come back with more money, if our crisis has passed? Religious advice givers need us coming back, so they kind of ramp up their conversations to scare us into believing that there are really, really, really huge problems out there. These problems are so huge, that we should just plan on it taking several years. Problems like Abortion and Gays. Coincidentally, abortion and homosexuality have been part of the human experience for thousands of years. There is no indication that they will go away ever. So, (here’s my cynical side again…sorry) what a perfect excuse to keep everybody coming back to the intolerant religious leader, week after week, year after year, dollar upon dollar.
In reality, there are no quick easy answers. I will venture to guess that no one knows more about you or what is right for you – than you yourself. You sell yourself short when you turn over to someone else, your ability to decide and choose for yourself. It is the abdication of responsibility. Sometimes, it is frightening and sometimes the right choice is to ask for help from someone that knows an answer. However,if someone tells me that God hates two people loving each other and wants my money or my help in hating them, then that person knows nothing about God. How can any God worth believing in, tell people to band together and abuse, malign, dehumanize and hate other people?
When religious leaders are telling you that gays are your enemies, remember this: grifters have a saying; “If you can’t see the mark, then you are the mark”.