This means that your religious freedom to feel offended by certain forms of love is fine by me, however you trying to extend that religious freedom to have negative effects on someone else's religious or personal freedoms is unacceptable. I don't care what your personal beliefs, as crazy as they may be, are as long as you don't try and use them to remove nor restrict rights and freedoms of others.
I hope that we can all use our brains when we look at the world around us and examine the evidence that exists to support our beliefs and/or hypotheses and - and this is the important part - alter our beliefs and/or hypotheses based on the valid, verifiable, falsifiable evidence we find or don't find. That's the true gift science has given us - the ability to posit ideas, design experiments/observations, look for valid evidence and change our ideas based on the results of these experiments and observations to better suit the evidence, then continue the cycle - not to ignore some evidence so that we can "confirm" our preconceived ideas. Good science involves being aware of the confirmation bias we all have and making sure that we design experiments with falsifiable results - results that can go either way to prove or disprove our hypotheses.
"God hates fags" say the Westboro Church members. OK, so where's the evidence for this? First, where's the evidence for your god, then where's the evidence s/he hates fags?
"The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women," says police spokesperson Wendy Hleta in Swaziland recently after miniskirts and midriff-revealing tops were banned. So, women's clothing is responsible for men not being able to control their dicks? Here's my hypothesis - if we better teach men how to behave and what's morally acceptable, we should reduce the likelihood of rape regardless of a woman wearing a miniskirt or a burqa. It is the men that are responsible for rape and who should therefore be held accountable for their inability to control their actions.
Swaziland, by the way, is a country dominated by the christian religion. According to UNHCR, "The population is approximately 35 percent Protestant, 30 percent Zionist, 25 percent Catholic, and 1 percent Muslim. The remaining 9 percent is divided among the Baha'i Faith, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Judaism, and others." Maybe their religious beliefs are encouraging men not to take responsibility for their own actions and instead blame them on a third party? That's an ongoing theme in the christian bible.
Remember Malala Yousafzai:
Malala is the Pakistani school girl who was shot in the face by her muslim brothers for daring to educate herself? Have a read of this for a refresher. She was being taught a lesson that the Taliban felt was more important than a tradition education - that women should know their place, and that place is to remain uneducated and be subservient to men. DAFUQ? Not to mention that in the muslim world, women need to cover up so as not to incite men to rape them. Obviously, muslim men have no ability to control themselves. Well, that's quite apparent, unfortunately.
And as to the recent, horrific gang rape and murder of a 23 year old Indian woman on a bus in New Delhi this past week, there's nothing I can do but weep for her and the women who knew her - it could have been any one of them. or their friends. Or their daughters. Or any other woman. Or the daughter, wife, girlfriend, friend or associate of any of her family members. But it was this poor woman. Disgusting.
"We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45am 29 Dec 2012," Kelvin Loh, the chief executive of Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said in a statement.
Peacefully? There's nothing peaceful about dying from a gang rape and the associated beating that left her with severe organ failure and brain damage. We're yet to find out more about this horrific event, but there sure was no equality nor love in there.
And to add more to the current issues in India, the last sentence of that article reads:
Police said on Friday that a 15-year-old schoolgirl had had her throat slit after being gang-raped in the Pali Muqimpure area of Uttar Pradesh state. A hunt has been launched for three youths after the attack the previous day.
I just don't know what to say...
So, how about we look at giving up these childish beliefs in imaginary friends and look at reality for what it is - the amazing, awe-inspiring reality that we live in. As Tim Minchin said:
Isn't this enough?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
that we have to diminish it
with the invention
of cheap man-made
myths and monsters?
Let's all live, love, learn to use our brains and develop our reasoning skills.
Reason's Greetings to all - in the hope we can avoid horrendous acts of unkindness and "unreason" as I outlined above.
The Outspoken Wookie