Another Blast From The Past

Saturday, 10 Falltring 2103

Here’s another bit of nostalgia courtesy of the Funny Farm Archival Retrospective Tracking System:

Originally published on Humpday, 17 Premise 2008. Most of the links are bloggered

If you’ve been visiting the Funny Farm on at least a semi-regular basis, you probably might have guessed by now that the abuse of individuals’ spirituality and faith by the various religious organizations out there is somewhat of a hot button issue ’round these parts. Being a (very) orthodox Catholic during my formative years might have something to do with that, as it enabled me to get a first hand perspective on the situation. Many have taken that to mean that I’m down on religion per se. That is not the case – if you want to believe that robots are stealing your luggage or that alien souls have been implanting themselves in human hosts for the past 75 million years, feel free to do so. Go ahead and have faith in whatever you think you should.

Having said that, the part that frosts my cookies is where those who are ostensibly leading their religious flocks start abusing that power in order to enrich themselves, persecute others, and/or justify their actions. Those that do this sort of thing, as well as those who (seemingly) are blindly following the dictates of their religious leader (when that religious leader starts engaging in this sort of behavior), are the ones that I refer to as the religiously insane. I have gotten a lot of grief from many who seem to be taking these kinds of statements personally. To them I say: if you are allowing your religious beliefs to influence your business activities, your willingness to obey the laws of the land when they do not agree with your religious beliefs, or your personal interactions with those who do not believe the same way you do (or engage in activities that your religious beliefs say require you to kill/ruin/persecute them), then, in my opinion, you are engaging in religiously insane behavior.

Quite frankly, one of the problems I have with those who I do not consider to have gone into teh gawd madness is that they don’t seem to be too concerned with those who have been abusing their faith. This tends to make me think that they are somewhat in agreement with the more radical elements of their faith, and by and large wish that they would tone the rhetoric down (as opposed to wishing that they would discontinue it altogether). This, in my opinion, gives the more radical elements tacit support for their actions. A good example of this is the anti-choice position held by most religions. We’ll be getting to some extreme examples of their current activities, but for now let’s just say that, because the majority of christians do not condemn these people for their militant (and borderline illegal) activities, those radical elements are not being pressured to stop pushing the boundaries of socially acceptable behavior. And so they continue to harrass those who activities they don’t agree with because they think their Invisible Sky Fairy told them to.

Here’s an example to show you when I consider this type of activity has crossed the line:

One of my siblings has told me, and I suspect the majority of the rest of my family would agree with him, that he thinks that Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ is just as factually accurate (if not more) than Michael Moore’s Sicko. This is not religious insanity in my books. I do not think he is correct in his beliefs, but I don’t think he’s religiously insane because he believes what he believes in this instance. Now, if he were to be a member of the US House of Representatives, and he were to sponsor a bill that would legally define these two movies to be equally factually accurate, or he were to force others to watch either or both of those movies (for edumacational purposes), then he would have crossed that line and gone off the deep end.

Now, here’s what has appeared on my radar this week which I would place in the category of religious insanity:

Apparently someone murdered her children because she thought they were possessed by demons;

A man cut off his hand and them put it in the microwave because he thought it had the mark of the beast on it;

A man killed and cooked his girlfriend because he thought God told him to do it * -;

A number of counties in Florida are trying to put religious dogma into science classes because they believe a “theory” with no scientific proof should be considered the same as a scientific theory with over 150 years of scientific data that supports it;

and, finally, in Orlando, Florida, anti-choicers put a billboard up displaying a dismembered foetus a few blocks away from the local abortion clinic. Just to drive the guilt meter up a few notches for those loose strumpets who dare to exercise their legal rights. A few anti-choicers have defended this practice by saying that, even if it’s just one person that they can harass enough so that they’ll be forced to bring a child into the world, it’s worth all the nightmares that innocent children who have to look at their crap suffer from for the rest of their lives. If you don’t want to have an abortion, then don’t have one. But please don’t foist your definition of life (based on what you think the Big Book of Christian Fairy Tales says it is) on anyone else. Thanks in advance…

Please note that this is only a sampling of the relatively well-published stories of one flavor of religious insanity over the last week. I’m relatively sure that I could include items from most of the major religions, and probably quite a few of the minor sects, too…

* – funny – I had to search through multiple articles about this horrific incident before the little tidbit about God telling him to do it could be found. And after seeing it in the majority of articles I read earlier in the week – almost as though the mainstream media is trying to get us to forget that this nutbar was Jeebus inspired…