Monday, 11 June 2012

I hate a lot of people, but not for being religious

I got into an argument the other week about this dickhead. The guy thought he could play around with deadly snakes because he was fucking stupid. He could not play around with dangerous snakes and he died, serves him right. I was criticised for saying “serves you right” by someone who was annoyed at me “hating religious people”.

There's a failure of categories going on here. I want to explain with one example that I do not hate “religious people”. Consider my friend Beth. I've spoken to Beth at some length. We've never, to my knowledge, had any significant disagreement about any question of fact. Nor have we had any significant disagreement about questions of ethics. I want to state this clearly, she and I do not disagree about anything factual or ethical. She calls herself “religious”. To say that because she is in the category “religious” I must hate her is absurd. It's really really hard to hate someone if you dont disagree about *anything*.

And yet when I post things attacking dickhead de jour I'm told that I'm attacking “religious people” and that the person commenting (because they are “religious”) is offended by this. Humans argue by drawing up sides and then joining one or the other. Are you a bigendian or a littleendian? This is generally not a problem, but when you draw the categories wrong then you get into stupid arguments.

I hate a lot of people. And I'm not even a little bit sorry about that. I'm a man who has had sexual contact with a man, there are millions of people who think this makes me evil, they think I should be killed for this. I'm sorry, if you think I should be put in a concentration camp and killed then damn right I'm going to hate you. If you think that I ought to be harmed because of who I choose to sleep with then I hate you. I'm not sorry about that.

If you think that praying for a child who is ill means that you shouldn't give them medicine then you're evil. If you're putting a child in harm's way like that I hate you and I'm not sorry that I hate you.

If you think that people should not be allowed to engage in safe sex or that they should be harmed for trying to protect themselves, then you're evil. I hate you, I'm not sorry about that.

If you think that your children should be taught lies in science classes because you're too stupid to understand evolution then I hate you. I'm not sorry about that.

If anyone here reading this looks at that list and thinks, “yep, that sounds like me” then I'm not even slightly sorry for saying I'd like you to go die in a fire. I hate you. That's not unreasonable. All of these people are BAD PEOPLE.

The categories that matter are “are you liberal in your ethics” and “do you act in ways supported by science”. To try and pick teams based on factors other than this is not conductive to good conversations. If your identity as “religious person” is more important than these categories then there's something wrong with you. If you're happy to defend someone who is wrong about ethics or wrong about facts simply because you happen to agree with them about the number of gods there are then you need to watch out for your friends. 

Jefferson is right "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." What does do me an injury, what does everyone an injury is for people to be wrong about ethics and facts. If your god is liberal and if your god teaches your truth about the world I give not a damn. If your god is conservative then I hate your god as much as he hates me. If your god is wrong about facts then I hate your god for putting people in harms way.

I dont understand my friend who (to my knowledge) isn't evil in the obvious ways I listed, but who still wants to side with these people. Someone who says “all these people are religious, that's my side, so I'll support them”. Umm, no. If you see a list of evil people and say that you are on their side then you need to go look at yourself. Because I dont think that's actually the way you want to break up the world. And if you do, if that's really how the world looks to you? Then go die in a fire. I hate you, and I've no hesitation in saying so.

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