I recently took some bait. The bait was in the form of a question asking for discussion about the basis of morality. It is not possible to determine the tone of voice in a post. So, when I saw that my tone of voice was being misinterpreted, I dropped out of the thread… hoping to leave the door open for future friendly relationships.
This is one of my own observations. The Bible is referenced in a very selective “picking and choosing” manner by someone critical of the Christian position. Then, at the end, a new critic joins in to say that Christians are the ones “picking and choosing” scriptures to suit their own agenda! If the anti-Christian voices can pick and choose, why can’t the Christians do the same? It is their book after all.
Trudy: Can someone please explain to me why you feel that being gay/transgender/etc, is wrong? I don’t get it.
Oh, and you won’t convince me otherwise. It is none of my business who you are sleeping with, as long as they are consenting adults. Nothing else matters.
Candace: Couldn’t agree with you more! Usually it is a bible reference that people quote saying it’s wrong. But the bible also says judge not lest ye be judged!
Dana: Being transgender isn’t even an issue of who you’re sleeping with. I don’t get why everyone makes such a big deal out of what’s in someone’s pants when they don’t have a valid reason to know.
Trudy: You are right about that aspect of it. What part of NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS do these people not get?
Dana: Evidently, the “none of” part.
Selena: I love your reasoning Dana. Private things are private things and that’s that.
Hannah: I agree, Dana, I really dont care what is anyones pants – yuk! glad no one wants to see inside my pants! Seriously I find it unaccptable that anyone should be bothered – it’s about time everyone got on with thier lives and left the rest of us to get on with ours.
Selena: Thank you Trudy; I love this post and feel so touched. You are teaching society to be more accepting of LGBT people, which is definitely what we need in this world.
Me: I guess that depends on what you mean by “wrong.” If we only measured by human standards maybe nothing is “wrong”. On the other hand, if morality appeals to a higher standard, then maybe we should ask Him what is right and wrong.
Dana: While I don’t want to start an argument, especially since we haven’t communicated before and I do respect other people’s religious beliefs, I’d like to ask you something. Most people think that a god would consider things such as being LGBT, autistic, atheist, and so forth to be “wrong”. But people also say that a god would be loving, compassionate, and accepting. There’s a flaw in this logic; if a god is compassionate and accepting, why would that god pick out people who are different, label them as “wrong”, and then permit them to exist in the world anyway? Alternatively, if the god was cruel, disparaging, and probably not something most religious groups would want, who’s to say that what’s considered “wrong” by this god isn’t the fact that humans came to power in the first place, the fact that we have our own opinions?
Again, I do respect your own beliefs, but this is just how I see it, and I want to know your opinion: if a god thought something was “wrong”, why would they allow it to exist?
Me: I don’t know anything about that kind of small “g” god that forces himself on everyone and everything. The God that I have known is loving and holy. He asks me to choose “right” and provides a clear definition of what that means.
Dana: I was referring to all gods, not the Christian “God”. Now I have to ask, since you didn’t answer my original question: if your “God” asks you to choose what “right” is, then what do you define as “right”?
Trudy: And why is one religion’s ‘right’ more, or less, valid than another religion;s ‘right’. This is, by no means, not an attack on christianity. This applies to all people’s belief in what the ‘book’ says. For me, anyway.
Me: Dana , I cannot answer a question about “all gods” since only one true God exists. I don’t know anything about imaginary gods. I could answer with a question, if God exists, shouldn’t we choose to live His way?
Me: Trudy , I think that would make a great “comparative religions” study. I have been in several.
Dana: So riddle me this: I’m an atheist. I don’t think there’s any god. I’m transgender, bisexual, and autistic. There are many other people who believe in gods other than the one YOU do, or don’t believe in them at all. There are many other people who go against the rules of Christianity, of your “God”. So because I, as well as millions of other people, don’t believe in the exact same things that you do (whether it’s due to cultural belief, logical fallacies, or more), and don’t behave in the same way that you do (whether because of religion or because of other things, such as disability – cough cough autism cough cough – or gender or sexual orientation), what they do is “wrong”?
Me: I don’t know why you list “autism” and “disability” as something that is “wrong”. Where do you get that idea? I’ve never heard of it before.
Me: Trudy, I did not intend to hijack your thread. Sorry. You can stop me anytime.
Dana: You’re conveniently not answering my other questions. But in response to what you just asked: the anti-MMR vaccine movement is because of (discredited and fraudulent) beliefs that autism is caused by the MMR vaccine. People would rather not have autistic children than protect people from outbreaks of diseases that could easily be prevented. People would rather let other people die than supposedly have autism “develop” in their child. And Autism Speaks, a supposed advocate group – one of the women who runs the company (or ran it, not sure if she stepped down) said that when her daughter was diagnosed with autism, she wanted to drive herself and her daughter off a bridge. She would have rather killed herself and her daughter than loved an autistic daughter.
Another example: Downs syndrome. When someone who’s pregnant is told they’re going to have a child with Downs, they’re given the option, sometimes even pressured, to abort their child. (Don’t even get me started on the whole abortion debate.) Just because someone has Downs doesn’t mean that they’re less of a person or not worthy of being in the world.
Actually, disability in general. If a disability can’t be cured, the person who has said disability is often written off. People are always automatically assumed to be able-bodied, able to communicate verbally, and they’re expected to function in the “real world” without any help. It took decades for ramps to be installed on buildings or vehicles to allow those with wheelchairs, walkers, or even crutches to access them. We didn’t have IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) until pretty late in the game. Many autistic individuals are misdiagnosed because autism is forced away as “not real”, and autistic people who have trouble with executive dysfunction or certain environments are brushed off as childish and “having temper tantrums” and “picky eaters”. Learning disabilities? You don’t hear about those outside of elementary school. I could go on, and on, and on.
Long story short: disabled people are not treated well, and many parents would rather have had a healthy child than a disabled child.
Trudy: Zachary B. Rainey I am trying to start a dialog. Not just between you and I or anyone, but to help others that might be searching.
Me: Dana, Autism isn’t immoral. Down’s isn’t immoral. Therefore, I can’t answer questions based upon a premise that a disability makes a person right or wrong, moral or immoral.
Dana: But you still conveniently ignored the other questions I asked you. What do you think is immoral? And why do you think that everyone believes in your god?
Me: Dana, Nope. That isn’t what I believe.
Dana: Okay, I’m not even bothering anymore, because you’re still ignoring the other questions I ask you. My guess is that you have a problem with me, and just don’t have the courage to say it.
Me: Ask Trudy about me. I’m not like that. She has met me.
Trudy: Zachary is a great guy. I really like him. Nothing wrong with a belief system. This isn’t directed towards you, Dana. He is discussing various parts of a concept/question/belief.
Dana: But when I’m continuously asking questions, and they’re not being answered, I become inclined to believe that the reason they’re not being answered is because the person has some issue with me.
Trudy: Why is it morally wrong? Says who? A book? Written by people (with an agenda), translated by people (with an agenda), rewritten by people (with an agenda), read by people (with an agenda). Don’t get me wrong. I am not denigrating a belief system. Just people acting like the bible is made up of words directly from some’body’s’ mouth.
Candace: “Maybe we should ask him what is right and wrong.” Unless you have a direct pipeline (and I’ve never met anyone who did) you are relying on a book written by men with an agenda. Not for us to judge; in that same book we are told not to judge; and Jesus gave us many examples of loving our fellow people.
Me: No. I don’t agree.
Me: I don’t agree with the bad logic of dismissing the teachings of Jesus Christ so quickly. I personally have decided to keep an open mind as I study the person of Jesus and His teachings about life.
Trudy: I support your believing what you believe and admire you for it. But I don’t believe in the ‘one true god’ or religion, or whatever. That is my belief.
James: It’s not bad logic. It’s that some people believe, and some people don’t. Bad logic is picking and choosing which bible verses or “versions” of G-d (the spiteful god, the loving, compassionate god, etc.) you want to use to justify whatever subject is being discussed. That’s how modern Christianity can somehow condemn homosexuality and in the next breath, justify capital punishment.
Trudy: If people are happy with themselves and their life, and if that is with someone of the same gender, or not, means absolutely nothing. How in the world that is considered ‘immoral’ is simply insane. Why do religions have anything to say about it…any religion.
I changed the names except my own. At least one of these was a pre-teen, not a “consenting adult.”
I liked the part that goes something like, “I respect your beliefs, but I’m gonna de-capitalize God’s name and say mean things about Him.”
It’s sad to see the comments about autism, Down’s syndrome, and other disabilities. They do not belong in this discussion. Maybe it was a failed attempt to force the “born this way” argument? Not sure.