Thursday, December 18, 2008

This is an email I exchanged with a professor friend of mine who was raised in the Mormon church but considers herself a feminist and a gay rights supporter. Her article which appeared in the Globe is linked at:

http://webmail.aol.com/40627/aol/en-us/Mail/get-attachment.aspx?uid=1.22321289&folder=OldMail&partId=2&saveAs=20081216084043.pdf

My answer to her is as follows:

I felt the disappointment I thought you feel by the Mormon church's behavior having been raised in a culture which gave you great support. Being a Jew I surely can relate to that. I suspect that your viewpoint now and those who criticize the church now are probably in a distinct minority as are orthodox Jews some of whom actually are trying to debate some form of accommodation with and rationalization of innate sexual orientation. Probably most will have no debate on it but at least some are trying and the other sects of Judaism especially reform perform homosexual marriages. Judaism lends itself to debate which, I believe, is one of its pluses. Some say it's woven into the Jewish DNA.

Religious orthodoxy no matter which genre is, in my opinion, uncompromising and extreme. Change represents a threat to not only the veracity of what they believe (which is usually based on gargantuan myth) but a threat to losing the huge money from the corporate entities they are and oh yes a threat to male control. Bill Maher's "Religulous" said it all. The money making scheme of religion -- all religion -- is really well nothing short of brilliant. They make BILLIONS! Between the Catholic Church, the Fundamentalist Church, the Mormon Church and other orthodoxies together they could probably pay down the national debt or certainly bail out the big three auto companies and save some jobs.

In my opinion religion -- ALL religion -- is utterly phantasmagoric. There is not usually one ounce of truth or very very little, perhaps, historical truth but mostly it relies on faith for its oxygen. What angers me, though, is it puts across that FAITH as truth. Ridiculous. It prays (pardon the pun) on the weaknesses we all feel about the why of things, sickness, old age and ultimately death. Who among us does not fear sickness, old age and death? But fearing it and saying one has the truth about it are, indeed, two different things. I had and still do have an atheist friend who said to me during a time I had my own war with religion, just because you want it to be so does not make it so. She is absolutely right. I also communicated at one time via email with Richard Dawkins who wrote "The God Delusion" -- an astounding and great work by an astounding and great evolutionary biologist and steadfast atheist. I said in my email that I completely accepted what he had to say in the book but that I envied religionists who bathed in great comfort against the vicissitudes of life. He said to me that it was too bad I could not look at the grandiosity of the universe in all its forms and have that be enough.

I saw what he meant. However, when I was in mortal pain after my three femur fractures the last thing I was thinking about was the grandeur of the universe. I was thinking god get me out of this situation. Of course, while I was in the hospital I had so many "praying for me" and, naturally, I said sure why not, okay, pray. Did it do anything .... NOPE. It took as long as it was going take to heal (a year for each fracture) as biology dictated. No god, no supreme being did one thing to ease my pain, my psychic pain or my anger. Hell if it did I would have wondered why didn't it save me from my fate in the first place. Time, biology and I had to do it all. Anything that denies truth, denies science which really DOES tell us the truth. Denying science stifles the beauty of the human brain and its ability to improve and explain man's condition which makes me see red ... well maybe purple. Man's mind to me is the absolute essence of what separates us from everything else. It is the ONLY thing that can look at the universe and seek the answers to why and, indeed, postpone the onslaught of illness and the eventuality of death. Beyond that we are at the mercy of our telomeric DNA and that's the truth.
An Insult: I am angry at President-Elect Obama today. The Democratic Party takes the gay community for granted. When WILL Democrats understand that they will NEVER NEVER NEVER capture that Christian Fundamentalist Republican vote NOR should they. Why should I give $120 bucks of my cash that I have to be so careful with to President Elect Obama who has millions IF he is going to insult gay people by having a non-gay-friendly pastor give the benediction. I resent it. Rick Warren is, I will admit, a bit different than Pat Robertson, et al. He has a small amount more humanity and does not condemn gays to hell but, still, many in the gay community are FURIOUS with the President-Elect that he did this and so am I. SURELY there was a neutral minister who could give the benediction who is perhaps a Unitarian or a Congregationalist like the President-Elect is. Barack Obama is supposed to be about everyone.

I do NOT want him to repeat George Bush's presidential inauguration where Franklin Graham (Billy Graham's son but worse) the right wing fundamentalist fanatic gave the benediction. It was EXACTLY representative of what George Bush's corrupt and inhumane administration was about. Barack Obama was elected for CHANGE. I want to see some!!! I wondered WHO he was going to get for the benediction at the inaugural because it says something about what his administration will be like. Now I know what he is saying. His inaugural may be about some Americans but it's not about everyone.