The Heterodox

The Heterodox


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The Moral Necessity of Queer Atheism

September 1, 2010 , , , , , , , ,

One of the reoccurring themes in my noetic endeavors is the contention that atheism is a cardinal moral necessity for gays and lesbians. Firstly, it should be known that I view antitheistic philosophy as a moral necessity for everyone and not just for lesbians and gays. Secondly, the main reason that I assert the choice of antitheism as necessary is due to the fact that I view this philosophy as the essential footing from which we gays can efficaciously battle for our elusive equality within this society. Why do I think this? Ever since the arrival of monotheism, denigration of gays has been an implicit maxim along with the extirpation of the rights and considerations of women, animals, and foreign peoples. Not only do the vile texts of these religions make it licit to engage in these excoriations, it also gives the perpetrators of these crimes a regnant righteousness due to a perceived divine warrant and sanction. A sickly apologists’ defense always seems to manifest when ever I debate someone on the matter of religions unethical obdurateness and general wickedness, and I can also reliably expect to encounter an anemic relativism (and other such postmodernist tripe) as well. The retort tends to be always along the lines that it is not the religion itself which is to blame for religious misbehavior, but instead it’s the extremists and fundamentalists who are invective and create the tarnish on theism with their misguided hermeneutics. Let us scrutinize this contention a little closer shall we.

Up until the recent past, all of the monotheisms had an absolutist take on their dogma and to the adherence of their fiats. It is disgustingly shameful for anyone to disregard the millions who have died on these very matters of religion over the millennia, and I will not allow for this convenient amnesia to be used as a defense for religion’s legitimacy. This excuse is also inane in another regard. Religious people who engender violence and hatred do not commit these acts in the name of religion as is so often touted, they do it because of the religions themselves as proffered by their canonical foundations; they are not misrepresenting or perverting their religion in any way. Fundamentalists are just that, they adhere to the fundamentals of the faith. They have an absolute and defensible case for their religious belief and actions because these texts say what they in point of fact say. Even a cursory study of the lexical makeup of these tomes illustrates that there is very little if any conjecture possible with this contention unless you are consciously and cynically manipulating the text for your own perfidious purposes. The salient biblical example here is found in Leviticus 18:22 which gives the proscription against homosexuals. There is no way you can tell me that this injunction is a metaphor or that one is taking this passage out of context when citing its judgement of homosexuality as an abomination. This contingency is especially true if you assert that these books are the word of god, which you must if you say you are religious. C.S Lewis was quite right with his assertion that there is no relativism extant when considering the validity of religion and its metaphysical claims. Religion is either true or it is not, period. And maintaining this view or not is what makes one religious to begin with.

Then there is the belief that these religions can some how undergo an attenuation and become domesticated; this belief is also absurd. The monotheisms all have a through line between them which is a totalitarian essentialism and view of human existence. This can not be reconciled with a open, pluralist, and skeptical view of life in any manner. And let us not forget the issue of faith itself. The preference for credulity combined with the hatred for evidence over reason and inquiry is ultimately a dangerous affectation and must be nullified for the survival of our species.

Going back to my original point and gravamen of my argument, Gays have a need for atheism more than any other group not only because of the past enmity that the religious have dolled out to gays, but because the greatest impediment to our equality in society today is still theism. There is no way around this fact. Whether it comes from the promulgations of eschatological Christianity or jihadist Islam the danger an malign intent is the same. As gays, our deaths are yearned for more than anyone else’s within the mendacious gaze of theism. A heady example of this is to be found in the proposition 8 debacle here in California where the overwhelming majority of finance for the proposition was provided by the Mormon and Catholic churches. The political intervention of these churches was and is an outrageous abdication of the First Amendment and deserves a recriminatory rebuff. I can not get into this issue within the scope of this essay but it is very much a topic deserving of its own inquiry from any ambition lawyer, gay or straight.

As for the gays who feel that their existence can become concomitant with religion, they are either fooling themselves or may be even cynically trying to fool others. There just is no way possible to mollify the invidious mentalities hurled towards gays which are made tenable by the foundational texts of religion. Besides being totalitarian, ultimately the wish of all religion is the wish for self-abjection if not abnegation. Faith abhors inquiry, knowledge, independent thought and skepticism, all the things that improve and expand our understanding and existence. This is why I believe fighting against religion in all of its forms is essential to human growth and more importantly, survival. Nothing could be more simple.

In closing and also in response to some of the critics of these views, it should be known that all human needs for consolation and introspective insight can be garnered from philosophy, which has been the case for thousands of years. It is in these areas that I also see religion being negligible. The study of Philosophy demands work and self discipline as well as the study of more than one book. In consideration of human laziness and apathy, this is perhaps one of the contingencies which gives religion some of its appeal. But it must never be forgotten that religion’s false consolation is inextricably psychologically nocent, most especially if you are queer (which I hope I have illustrated). All empirical evidence clearly points to the fact that god did not create man but instead that man created god, out of his own ignorance and solipsism. What else could have been expected from a species as selfish and self-deceptive as ours?

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