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General News    H2'ed 12/29/20

Religions Set Us Up For Failure

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Leviticus 20:13
Leviticus 20:13
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On December 16th a declaration calling for the end of bans against same-sex relationships and ending gay conversion therapy, signed by nearly 400 members of the clergy from 10 different religions and from 35 different countries, was publicly announced. The various religions the clergy represented include Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, among others.

Currently 69 nations outlaw non-heterosexual sex, and only four nations ban conversion therapy, which involves trying to force a gay person to be straight. This often results in psychological harm to the "patient" and even to suicide.

On the surface this declaration appears to be good. However, it is set-up to fail in the long run. This is because the world's largest group of "revealed" religions, the Abrahamic "revealed" religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which combined have approximately 4.5 BILLION followers, all contain teachings that are strongly anti-gay and which claim God commanded the Jews to murder gay men (Leviticus 20:13). Since Christianity and Islam sprang out of Judaism and include the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament as being part of their "holy" scriptures, this ungodly command to murder gay men is part and parcel of Christianity and Islam.

The declaration admits that many religious teachings through the centuries have caused, and continue to cause, much pain and suffering of LGBT people. HOWEVER, it does not even mention the obligation people have to evolve out of the ancient, ungodly and cruel teachings of the "revealed" religions which cause the pain and suffering. As long as the hate-based scriptures remain, the hate will remain.

This situation reminds me of the issue of slavery. As Deists know, the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the Christian Bible and the Quran all promote slavery. Thankfully, people have evolved out of that mindset and have abolished slavery. Yet, the slavery promoting teachings in the "holy" scriptures, are still there. Mark Twain did a wonderful job of pointing this out when he wrote:

"We began to stir against slavery. Hearts grew soft, here, there, and yonder. There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but onethe pulpit. It yielded at last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the processionat the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all."

We need a clear and clean break with the "revealed" religions, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because our existence can very well depend on it. We must evolve our thinking out of and past the genocidal pages of the "sacred" scriptures and their ungodly images of God being a war-god pushing and prodding people into committing acts of religious violence. We must take to heart and act upon this sober warning from Albert Einstein, which he made based on his concern for the survival of humanity now that we are in a nuclear age:

"The world that we have made as a result of the level of thinking that we have done so far, has created problems we cannot solve at the level of thinking at which we created them . . . . We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humankind is to survive."

Reason-based Deism has all the necessary qualities for the new manner of thinking Einstein was writing of. We need to give Deism a chance!

 

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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
 
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