Will the gays and women please rise?
- Styli Charalambous
- 11 Mar 2012 11:54 (South Africa)
I follow a Twitter account called “cuntoftheday” which kindly suggests people around the world that I should be adding to my population-culling wishlist. (Before I offend the feminists, I take the word “cunt” as “an unpleasant stupid person” as defined in the SACOD, rather than its other definition as female genitalia.) Each day, mass murderers, robbers, paedophiles and generally nasty people are bestowed with the dishonourable title. So it’s not surprising that Pope Benedict XVI and his merry band of homophobes are often fingered in this daily ritual.
Just this week alone, the Pope, a child-molesting priest and a Cardinal were all awarded the daily or weekly accolade, for their intolerance towards a progressive and liberal society. The issue of homosexual union once again reared its head as the United Kingdom looked to step out of the dark ages by allowing same-sex marriages. Cue outrage from those Catholics and Anglicans that oppose this long-overdue move to bestow couples in same-sex relationships the same rights as heterosexuals.
The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, lashed out at the proposed law change calling it "madness" and a "grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right". Not satisfied with that mild bigoted slur, he went on to compare gay marriage to the slave trade and has previously compared gays and lesbians to captives of their sexual aberrations. Apparently, Jesus wasn’t thinking of homosexuals when he pleaded for us to turn the other cheek.
I would say the madness and grotesque violation of human rights lies with the churches’ principles and not those wishing to see the entire population treating as equals. This is yet another instance of the prejudiced core belief of the church (and I am lumping all Christians into this melting pot here given this unified anti-gay stance). But I’ve since recognised religion for what it really is, and this column is not directed at the papal elders who sip from diamond encrusted chalices while plotting how best to spend the congregations’ tithing.
No, my anger is directed at the many followers who choose to remain silent in the face of such bigotry. Just because some old guy with flowing robes and a funny looking hat says some stuff, it doesn’t make it right. Nor does it make it wise or necessarily God’s will. By remaining silent, you condone this moronic and hateful stance of the church, which in turns makes you as bigoted and ignorant. By remaining silent, you prove you are nothing more than a sheep being fleeced for money and acting as agent of indoctrination. By remaining silent, you’re saying homosexuals do not deserve the civil liberties you enjoy. By being silent, you are acting against the very doctrine your supreme being in the heavens wants you to follow.
Fortunately, there are some among you who have the courage to stand up. Tony Blair has openly defied the Pope by voicing his support to legalise gay marriage. But if Christianity isn’t going to be destined to the historical scrapheap of other indoctrinating cults, more people need to stand up and reject these nonsensical calls opposing gay marriage. More people need to realise that you can still remain religious and criticise the leaders of your faith.
But I suspect if you did, it wouldn’t be long before you throw that particular towel into the ring. Once you realise why most religious doctrine is not open to debate, which is that asking questions will inevitably lead to doubts with which the church doesn’t want to have to deal.
And while you’re at it, would you mind telling the Pope that women are people too? The Orthodox and Catholic churches do not allow women to be ordained as priests because of some “holy decree” that only baptised men may enter the priesthood. My rudimentary understanding of this decree is that God does not view women as human beings of equal standing with men. (For more proof, just refer to “word of God thingy” called the Bible where women are often listed as belongings of men, alongside horses and land.)
Again, I direct this column at you, the church-going disciple who stands and sings hymns of praise to a God who apparently does not recognise the rights of women. Say nothing, and you condone it. I’m not asking you to cross the Rubicon into atheist belief, but rather question why these age-old doctrines haven’t changed to afford modern thinking its rightful due. Saying nothing, means you are happy to teach your children these very policies and continue the outrageous intolerance. And, as for the homosexuals and women who sit quietly in the pews, where is your voice? You must be the most indoctrinated of the lot if you can sit in a congregation that argues against your right to civil liberties and equality.
So before the atheist-bashing response to this column begins, let me ask you why you treat religion with kid gloves. There is no grey area here, you either sit quietly and do nothing in apparent support or speak out against archaic thinking. Is your religion really supposed to be a one-way street of put-up or shut-up? DM
- Read the writing on the paywall
- Balancing the budget, NDP-style
- Harnessing the power: ANC in action
- Operation Mangaung 2012: chaos reigns supreme
- Survivor: Media edition
- South Africa's bittersweet Olympics
- Ernie Els recaptures form - and the Claret jug
- The 50 Shades of Victoria's Secret
- Prohibiting prohibition
- A brief history of rogue bankers
- Boks v England: Dour end to series win
- Meyer and Boks pass first test hurdle - just
- Speartackled: The real story
- First Thing with Styli Charalambous: UN Security Council condemns Syria attack
- My coming-out story
- Dear Heyneke Meyer, April Fools' is no more
- Masters: Bubba breaks South African hearts
- Will the gays and women please rise?
- Don't touch me on my sponsor
- 25 Billion reasons why Apple isn't going away anytime soon
- The Entrepreneur Chronicles: Q&A with Ronnie Apteker
- Entrepreneur chronicles: Snapbill
- The Entrepreneur Chronicles: Dave Blakey & Snapt
- Final whistle blows for Capello
- ANC's mining solutions: a depressing exercise
- Analysis: Facebook's $100-billion reality
- Djokovic triumphs in clash of the titans
- Rugby: Letting the tiger out the bag
- The changing face of cricket
- Australian Open preview: Clash of the Titans
- 2011 - The sporting year that wasn't
- Bridging the funding divide
- Up yours! New Zealand style
- Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best Springbok coach of all?
- What if Zuckerberg came from Sandton?
- Yippee - the Outsurance pointsmen are gone
- Six Nations is Bryce-less
- Kings of Leon: anything but a royal performance
- SA Tennis: no game, no set, no match
- Why the orchids of RWC 2011 reek of onions - An overview
- A generation later, All Blacks are World Champions again
- World Cup farce preview
- End of the Federer era? Don't bet on it
- All Blacks bundle Australia out of RWC
- Sacrebleu! as France stumble into World Cup final
- Where to now, Bokke?
- Australia break South African hearts
- Wales polish off Ireland in Wellington
- Quarterfinal crunch time at RWC
- Weekend of wonder at Rugby World Cup
- Boks bruise their way to win over Samoa
- All Blacks boss France off Auckland's Eden Park
- Bok selections: good headaches to have
- Jesus, the USA and gay rights
- Irish make mockery of the formbook and Australia
- Boks blow Fijians away in Wellington
- Boks scrape through in Wellington thriller
- The time has come: crouch, touch, pause... Engage!
- 'I got World Cup fever; she got World Cup fever!'
- Sonny Bill Williams and Rugby Union: End of a brief but dazzling affair?
- Wallabies beat All Blacks in Brisbane bruiser
- A team of 30, backed by a team of millions
- Hope restored as Boks put All Blacks to bed
- Smith's exit could be Boks' Achilles Heel
- US Open - last chance saloon for the Fed express
- John Smit drops to Bok bench for All Blacks encounter
- Moment of truth awaits the Boks in Durban
- The Global Financial Crisis - a bedtime story
- Blackout at Eden Park, as All Blacks demolish Wallabies
- Tri-Nations decider - a Pacific skirt-lifting affair
- Why I'm betting on the Boks to bring home the Rugby World Cup
- All Blacks blow Boks off Wellington's Westpac Park
- Tri-Nations preview: Winds of Wellington will blow Boks away
- Wallaby display dazzles Bok B-Team
- Tri-Nations: Short-term pain for World Cup gain
- Super Rugby fairytale Crusaders ending ruined by Red devils
- Brisbane promises breathtaking rugby as Reds face off to Crusaders
- Crusaders storm into Super 15 Final
- Serving up more economic empowerment
- LinkedIn: Taking the office Xmas party public
- Analysis: 100 billion reasons for Zuckerberg to smile
- U2 in Johannesburg - the real greatest show on earth
- Tis the season to be jolly, so hush about the church's lolly
- Beware the state of Nanny McUnfree
- Is the Internet is making us stoopid?
- Time to face reality about steroids?
- Cooler than English?
- In defence of Tiger