Sunday, November 6, 2011

Video Sunday: Yep, it's bigotry

And no, your religion does not have the power to legitimize bigotry. Bigoted beliefs do not become excusable just because a church or a book endorses them. You don’t get a pass on bigotry by claiming that a god agrees with you. People came up with the very same justifications for all kinds of prejudice. It changes nothing. Like it or not, your religion will evolve. It might deny this, it might lag behind, but religions are dragged along with the moral climate of society at large. The Catholic Church doesn’t hold trials of alleged witches anymore. Mormon leaders decided that God changed his mind about allowing black people to be ordained. And some day, you will have to face the reality that your 2,000 years of moral theology are helpless next to a moment of moral reflection.


Want Some Wood said...

Judging from the quote, this video is actually a bit discordant with what has been argued already on this blog. It says that "(b)igoted beliefs do not become excusable just because a church or a book endorses them." I agree, but isn't the idea that Christianity isn't necessarily anti-gay and doesn't have to be one of the theses of this blog? Also, it's not always true that "religions are dragged along with the moral climate of society at large;" at least as often, society at large is dragged along by religion. Much of the progressive change of the 20th Century--minimum wage, the safety net, African-American civil rights--happened with progressive Christian and Jewish activists in the driver's seat.

Want Some Wood said...

Lastly, I don't know that "2,000 years of moral theology" is valueless or exclusively "bigoted," or that somehow "theology" and "reflection" are incompatible. After all, where does theology come from if not from reflection?

IT said...

I posted this because I thought it was an interesting way to articulate the argument, not because I necessarily endorse the beliefs expressed. I like exactly this kind of conversation provoked by this speaker, WSW, so thanks for your comments, which I think do point out the weakness of the approach.

Obviously she is directing her remarks at a particular segment of (mostly) Christianity. And that segment is unabashedly endorsing bigoted beliefs and justifying them from their interpretation of their faith.

Let's face it, the majority of opposition to marriage equality is from conservative Christian groups. It's those people the speaker is addressing.

You are right, it is a principle of this blog that Christianity overall is not necessarily anti-gay. As a distaff member of a progressive Christian community, I can attest to that personally. So I in no way belittle the contributions of progressive Christians, gay and straight, to this battle--and the progressive Christians before them who worked on other civil rights battles.

I would put it to you, then, that many of the beliefs endorsed by "books and churches" as invoked by the speaker, are not OF Christianity, but represent a warped interpretation thereof. This video is challenging their right to impose those beliefs on secular society. It's up to the progressive Christians to address them on the religious ground and expose how those beliefs are incompatible with what they would call the radical love of God.

Even in the civil rights movement, many so-called "Christians" actively opposed integration, etc. These are the "Christians" whom we see personified in the likes of Michelle Bachmann who is not only anti-gay, but believes that there should be no social welfare safety net for anyone. I think that's a perversion of Christianity too.

But I also think it's unjustifiable as social policy, quite apart from the religious aspect.

Want Some Wood said...

Thanks and no problem! I always enjoy this blog.