Friday, February 17, 2012

The Final Word(s)

In response to a back-and-forth chat between a pro-choice fundamentalist with a barely-concealed homophobic streak,  and a few other people,  a friend of my son had this to say:
Anyway, look, the world is tiny. It's a speck of nothing in a universe of predictable mathematical function. We don't know how it started. That's irrelevant. It exists, we can prove itdoes, end of story. We all agree upon the existence of dirt and the existence of air and the existence of an amount of matter that we simply are not capable of mentally visualizing that lies beyond the razor-thin atmosphere of our rock. That matter is a tiny percentage of the universe. We are nothing. It's not a secret or a plot by grumpy scientists. It is there and anyone can test it themselves using the same methods the researchers did. It's openly available knowledge. No political bias, no spin. Look for yourself.

What isn't there is any evidence of God. At all. Not inconclusive evidence, not evidence that's up for debate--nothing. Apparently God acts upon the material (read: physical, testable, intrinsically falsifiable) universe to have his will be done and yet, in touching things, he leaves no fingerprints. The only thing in the entire universe that supports the existence of God is the opinion of a portion of a collection of primates living in a tiny habitable region of a tiny little planet orbiting an ordinary star in a galaxy among legion.
That, and a "feeling" in your heart. Or, better yet, your brain. The same place that every other one of those primates felt feelings and convictions. All of them--think about that--every last one. But it doesn't matter if we are going to keep agreeing that the universe exists. It exists because all of the humans can test it individually and come up with the exact same results every single time. That’s the kind of thing you build policy on.

I can't take away your right to believe in magic spells. You are firmly within your constitutional rights to believe in Zeus or Allah or Superman and cite their respective texts as evidence that they are real. You can cite your feelings as proof enough to have the moral impetus to say policy should be decided on the Word of DC Comics. But you are wrong. If there was a Creator, he is not here. Bushes didn't catch fire and talk and magic lightning bolts didn't carve commandments into stones. Jonah didn't live in a fucking whale. Jesus didn't perform miracles. It's bullshit like every magical legend of Gods and demigods ever told, only you believe *this* story. You "feel" like this one's the right one. I mean, fuck Aristotle for existing too early. Tough shit, dude.

I cannot, in the slightest and on pain of death, quietly allow ignorance, superstition, paranoia and ritual to ever again dictate to other people on this tiny rock how to live their lives, either actively through coercion or passively through talk of "teachings." Keep your ritual cannibalism and your fancy robes and your castles for old men with interesting gilded hats, please. Exercise your right to your own religion. But you're wrong. You're painfully wrong and it should be obvious because you are telling someone else that they are going to burn for doing what makes them happy. You are telling them to feel shame. You are telling them whether it's a choice or not. That should scream wrong to you. It should keep you up at night that you are entitled to cast these stones. Fuck your church. Fuck your beliefs.

How's that feel? You angry yet? Offended because I'm coming out of nowhere and challenging you on the level of what your heart tells you is true? Well, welcome to a club that often waves a rainbow flag, dude, because your high-and-mighty-hide-behind-the-scriptures bullshit is the reason kids get bullied to suicide for liking the wrong genitalia. Just for that. And by the way, I’m not gay. Not bi, or trans or any of that stuff. I’m comfortably straight and it is none of my business to judge. If you believe in the Christ then you should stand right up and tell the church to fuck itself sideways. God gets to judge, not you, so if Christ’s teachings mean anything you should be fighting tooth and nail for each and every human’s right to happiness as they feel it in their hearts, just as you are arguing for your right to your own.

Thank you, Jack!
reprinted with permission from Jack. Have a look at  Jack's Blog for a look at the disappearing art of the paragraph-long sentence! 

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