This post is not about our slimy PM, though. Well, not directly. The Regressive Conservatives partly attained their minority government by fusing the slightly right Conservatives with the far right Reform-Alliance party that relies upon Canada's Bible Belt for power. Part of the Regressive platform relied on pandering to religious bigots who are upset about the fact that several Canadian provinces have OK'd gay marriage.
An earlier, far superior PM, Pierre Elliott Trudeau famously said in 1967, "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." The statement caused a tidal wave of controversy that rippled across Canada. "Trudeau’s Omnibus Bill brought issues like abortion, homosexuality and divorce law to the forefront for the first time, changing the political and social landscape in Canada forever."
Forty years later, most Canadians are quite accepting of gays and gay marriage–we have had popular openly gay politicians for years, and two prominent politicians have recently married their long-term partners, with a mostly positive public reception. Most Canadians believe that gay marriage does not affect them personally or Canadian society negatively.
Any damage to the fabric of society that results from 'moral' questions such as gay marriage seems to stem from the negative attitudes of bigots who make a stink about tolerance and progress. I think that the chief point behind any moral guidelines concerns the question of doing harm. Because religious bigotry intends or actually does harm to others, then religious bigotry is immoral.
Some religious bigots are quite open about their hatreds–many of Canada's imported Muslims and Sikhs, for example, openly attempt to drag our nation backwards to fit their rigid beliefs. The Regressive Conservatives woo their votes because both groups prefer narrow, regressive moralities that ignore sociological realities. Canadian Christian bigots mostly try to hide their prejudices and hatreds behind platitudes, scriptural quotes, and fallacies of logic such as slippery slope arguments. American Christian Bigots write books decrying any socially contracted morality that does not adhere to their Absolute Moral Interpretations of the Bible, labeling all non-absolute moral systems as selfish, laissez faire immorality, and warning of supposed danger to society in inviting moral mayhem.
Here's a typical rant from a religious bigot:
"With all due love and respect and with the risk of being hailed as a religious bigot, I fail to understand why gays should be allowed “to act according to the proclivities with which [they] are born.” It is the nature of fallen sinful man, when he gives into his natural proclivities to try to get whatever he wants in life, not caring who he hurts and treating people like objects. One sick comment that makes my skin crawl is when some sexist jerk says “women are just a like support system for a pu–y.” Another insensitive one would be the bumper sticker that says “No fat chicks.” This is usually on beat up pick-ups with gun-racks driven by inbred people name cyrus or homer whose teeth are green from chewing tobbacco. The point is, we humans often tend to be egoistically self sentered. BUT not everyone gives in to their baser desires. True a bunch of Los Angeles cops were disciplined for having sex with 14 year old girls a while back. True the perverts of NAMBLA feel its okay to have sex with little boys while spouting “sex before eight before its too late.” True that hate mongers like the KKK and the Black Panthers feel free to vent their venomous hatred. Yet it, even though it may result from following their natural proclivities, isn’t right. We have a responsibility to control our behavior. Women are NOT the property of man and Moses, the leader of the Jews who got the law from YHWH married a black woman. Divorce should be using sparingly as a last result. It can hurt children who often blame themselvs for their parents splitting up. Homosexuality has been a negative force, one that nihilistically erodes society. biblically it is wrong and from an evolutionary viewpoint it is not good for the survival of the fittest. I believe in treating gays with dignity and love but I will NEVER say its okay to be gay. Normal heterosexual men don’t freely give into their urges when attracted to young teenage girls. You don’t just steal things when you want them just because you might not get caught. We need moral standards." ¬ comment #2.
"With all due love and respect" is a typical religious-bigot opening that translates as, "with prejudice and lack of respect for the rights of others, but I just don't want to admit to such unchristian sentiments." The problem, of course, is that most Christians are not particularly christian; instead they attempt to try to cloak their prejudices in the disguise of scriptural morality.
We do need moral standards, but whose moral standards? Those of this bigot? The narrow prejudices of ancient tribesmen? The narrow standards of religions based on the supposed existence of supernatural deities?
How to define morality? How about primum non nocere? First do no harm.
Puffing on about not subjugating women or listing harm-to-others acts does not convince me that he is not a religious bigot. Acts such as pedophilia and racist violence have no bearing on the activity of the gay couple down the street who are committed to a loving relationship, or even to those gays who have casual, protected sex. He claims that he "believe[s] in treating gays with dignity and love", but I don't for one moment believe that he would actually do so in view of his vitriolic rant that lumps gays together with the pedophiles and the KKK.
He displays the type of hysteria that seems to be lamentably typical of religious bigots–these people don't think matters through logically, they merely emote out of their desire to control others. I'd sooner live down the street from a gay couple than the likes of this nasty, bigoted man.
bigotryChristianityfallacies of logicIslammoralitypoliticssociology
With thanks to qtr for the cartoon.