I’m really tired of religious fundamentalism. Whether it’s here in the United States, over in the Middle East, or wherever. I was just watching the Young Turks cover a story of a young woman in Pakistan being stoned to death in broad daylight in front of a courthouse. And what was her crime? She didn’t want to marry the man her father selected for her, so she went with the one she loved to the courthouse and they got a marriage license. When they exited the building, she was stoned the death by her own father and family members. The father then stood proudly over the young woman’s dead body and told onlookers that he had no regret.
Other than religion, what else can warp a person’s mind like that? He was so demented by his faith, he lost all natural affection for his own daughter. If that’s not evil, I don’t know what is.
This isn’t rare in the Middle East. Just last year there were almost a thousand instances of this. We don’t hear about it, but if you lived over there you’d hear about it happening three or four times a day. Every now and then you’d go to town and see it happening in the streets. Can you imagine going to get groceries and a man is pounding his daughter’s bloody face with a big rock because she loved someone he didn’t approve of?
Religious folks may tell you that their religion isn’t violent, but history tells otherwise. Just read about torture methods used during the Catholic Inquisition throughout the Middle Ages. Anyone who proposed new ideas or challenged their teachings was burned alive, boiled in oil, impaled, crushed, or maimed. I was actually watching a documentary about the torture devices and just the illustrations were so graphic, I had to stop watching it half-way. I couldn’t take it. I almost vomited all over my keyboard.
For example, one common way to torture a religious heretic was to place a heated box over a person’s mid-section. Hot coals were placed on top of the box and a rat was placed inside. Feeling the box heat up, the rat would desperately want out. It’d begin by clawing at the box walls, but realizing it can’t escape, it would begin to slowly knaw through the person’s intestines, eating its way out through the person’s body. This would take several hours. Can you imagine?
Other people were tied to wheels and each joint in the arms and legs were broken. They were then hung there in the middle of the street, spinning on this wheel out in the heat and people would come by and pelt them with rocks, spit on them, and kick them in the nose.
That’s what it was like just a few hundred years ago all over the world. You question the government or the state religion and you’d end up like that. So this treatment is not unique or new. There are still countless people living with beliefs from the dark ages and it’s scary.
I’ve always wondered what degree religion plays in the hatred of gays. Is it our ingrained fear of people who are different, or is it religion? I live in the heart of the Bible belt and one day I went for a walk with my older brother. A bunch of rednecks in a big truck pulled up beside us and started yelling slurs and spitting at us before driving off. “Fucking queers!” “Fags!” “Dick sucking faggots!” We’re not even gay, but that sort of stuff goes on. Thankfully nothing else happened.
In the end, what you believe in, what you worship, and what you do in your spare time is your business. I couldn’t care less about any of it. My problem is with all the hatred, the violence, the intolerance, the anti-science, the breaking up of homes and families, and on and on.
I saw a struggling Youtuber vlogging about how her religious parents kicked her out of her home because they found out she’s a lesbian. She bums around from house to house, trying to survive. Her parents want nothing to do with her. Whenever she shares the story, she starts crying in front of the camera and I don’t believe she’s faking any of it.
I saw a similar story of a young man who refused to go to church because he didn’t believe in religion. At first they cut off his internet access. That’s because his son created a vlog arguing for a woman’s right to choose. It bothered the father’s conscience that the internet he was paying for was being used to promote views like that. Later on the young man got older and he was kicked out.
Children who grow up in religious homes have very little freedom of thought. They have to hide books they’re reading and keep their thoughts to themselves. If they blog or have a Youtube channel, it’s important that their parents not see the content. Many religious parents can’t handle the idea that their son or daughter is gay, or that they’re an atheist, or even that they hold liberal political views. There are scriptures such as the the passage from Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”, and strict religious parents use that to enforce conformity on their children. If they’re really strict, you’re likely to be beaten with a belt if you even question the beliefs. More likely, you’ll have to endure being preached to about God and the Bible, and that is unbearable. Who wants to live in a home where that kind of drama takes place day after day? I’ve went through that and believe me, you learn to keep quiet.
As I got older, I only once shared a little of my views at the dinner table. I got awful looks and my grandpa started preaching at me for an hour, telling me I was going to hell. “How could you look at this universe and not believe in God? You’re a fool!” I just sat there and had to endure it. I couldn’t get a word in. It was a non-stop barrage of scriptures and, “How can you think that?” Needless to say, I didn’t grow up in an atmosphere where you could have discussions or debate ideas.
Enough religion for tonight. I’m going back to my physics studies. This stuff depresses me too much.