Here’s the deal — almost every thinking person thinks the Westboro Baptist Church is completely full of shit. They are evil, intolerant little fucks who put words into God’s mouth and act as if they have the complete and utter backing of the most supreme being in the universe, even as they spread hate and intolerance throughout the nation.
The problem is — they are no different from any other religious sect. ALL OF THEM make assumptions about what God wants and what God likes and doesn’t like. I don’t believe that any of you know what God wants. I don’t believe that any of you have some direct line of communication to God and I don’t believe that an ancient, tortured text like the Bible includes the true word of God in any way, shape or form.
So religion is arbitrary. It’s made up.
Now if you take as your initial premise that there is a God and that he did create and does interact with us pitiful humans, things get complicated. If you pull this initial premise out of your ass, it changes how you think about this stuff. You are assuming there is truth and you need to find those things which support it. You pick and choose from the Bible and make your own cafeteria-style faith based on your intuitions. It’s still just as arbitrary as the Westboro Baptist Church.
People accuse atheists of being moral relativists, but really it is religious people who invent a confused and contradictory morality out of thin air. This is why we have extremist Islam, fag-hating Christians and cults like the Mormons who have sex with minors and systematically abuse women.
Yes, many religious people are good people and many religious organization do good things in the world. But it’s all based on a house of cards and a fictional God and we are right to reject it.
2 thoughts on “The real lesson of the Westboro Baptist Church”
I wouldn’t even say that “many” and certainly /not/ “the overwhelming majority” of religious people are good. I don’t think you could draw any meaningful correlation, much less causal relationship, between Religious People and Good People. And even if you could draw a direct correlation, I would posit that most of these “good” people are good for the wrong reasons or at least only superficially.
If there is any kind of relationship, I would wager everything I own (which, happily, isn’t much), that it’s an inverse relationship. Religion is so ubiquitous in our society that to be non-religious, it has to be not only a conscious decision, but a perpetual conscious decision. For anyone to bother with all of the hassle people will dump on you when they know you’re non-religious, you have to do it for a good reason–you have to think about it. And when you actually have to deal with the reality of the world in its own terms and decide that you do want to be a good person, you tend to be genuinely much better at it than those that are “good” because of some noxious combination of guilt, shame, rote, decree, tradition, pride, vanity, and group identification. When you cut all of that bullshit out of the equation, you have to actually learn to deal with real people and real emotions–you have to master yourself and master empathy. Therein lies true goodness.
Agree with everything except I would re-write your penultimate sentence to “The overwhelming majority of religious people are good……
and of course who is to decide between fiction and fact in dealing with faith and belief systems?? you should decide for you and I should decide for me and the Westboro Baptists should eat a cold lizard in hell.