Sensitivity

One of the atheist pages I follow posted this image on the right.  I started participating in the discussion in the comments.  One woman, who claimed to be an atheist, was defending Christianity and saying how this statement is insensitive.

Many of the things I have said on my blog and on my Facebook wall I have been told are insensitive.  And many of the things I say really are insensitive.  However, if you think that this particular type of thing is insensitive, then you do not understand the motivation behind saying it.

I value life.  I value human life very highly.  I value independence and freedom very highly.  I value individuality and individual expression.  So, when I see an institutionalized attack on life and on individuality, I am offended.  I am incensed. I am infuriated.  I consider it an insult to humanity.  I consider it an attack on morality.  And such an institutionalized attack has occurred and is still in the process of occurring.  And the guilty party is religion.

We'll stick with Christianity, since it is the religion mentioned in the meme, but the same applies to many other religions, especially Islam.  The Christian Bible calls for the death of homosexuals.  (See Leviticus 20:13.)  Throughout the ages, Christians have waged war on humanity.  They have waged war against homosexuals.  Gays have been beaten, killed, shamed to the point of suicide, emotionally and psychologically ravaged.  All at the hand of Christians.  All in the name of preaching the gospel of Christ.  All because of the Bronze Age belief that being gay is evil.

I have compassion for those who have been oppressed.  I have compassion for people who have been and are every day assaulted because they are gay.  I have compassion for people who are ridiculed by their classmates.  I have compassion for the teens who are made to feel that their only recourse is to end their own life.  My heart goes out to all those who have been made to suffer.  And this is why I share thoughts such as that given above.  This is why I criticize Christianity.  This is why I say the things I say, which so many people tell me are insensitive.  The way I see it, those who are Christian or who support Christianity are being insensitive.  They are insensitive to those who have suffered at the hand of Christianity.  They are insensitive to all of the lives lost in the name of the "law of God".

To me, the greater offense is in excusing or allowing that kind of behavior.  The greater offense is in attacking gay people, in oppressing us and taking away our rights and our happiness.  The greater offense is in passing laws which make homosexuality punishable by death (no, not here in the USA, but in some countries that is sadly the case).  For me to say nothing about these offenses would be insensitive.  For me to say "Well, but Christianity does so much good and it makes people feel warm and fuzzy" would be insensitive.  It would be to dismiss all of the harm and damage that has been done.  It would be to dismiss all of the lives lost.  It would be to conceal the gaping wound that has been placed on humanity.

If you belong to a Christian church, you subscribe to the teaching that homosexuals should be killed.  That is written in your holy book.  If you pay tithes to a Christian church, you are supporting the oppression of gay people.  You are endorsing the restriction of rights of others.  You are part of the problem, not part of the solution.  Set aside the bigotry of ages past.  Be enlightened.  Be kind to your fellow humans.  Be tolerant.  Be loving.  Be compassionate.  Be a humanist.