Recently I overheard a discussion between a 'believer' and another person and the conversation compelled me to speak up.
The church going individual was explaining how their church struggles with how to accept "gays". Coming from the standpoint that their church is taking the moral high ground, he said that their church also allows alcoholics to attend and that they are looking at treating "gays" the same way that they treat alcoholics who attend their church.
Now they could do as the Catholic Church has been doing and instead of calling them "gay", they could call them "Priest", but this particular person (seemingly an elder of sorts at the church he attends) said they would allow "gays" in but they would not be allowed to promote their lifestyle as alcoholics are not allowed to.
"Great," I thought. They've come up with a great solution - if they want to be called BIGOTS.
I couldn't let it go - I'm sure you can think of many reasons to be upset with such statements and approaches - I had to say something.
I joined the conversation (if you could say that), with a point about tolerance and how ignorant his comments were. "Gay" isn't a choice and I've never heard of "gay" people trying to convert people or to encourage "straight" people to choose their lifestyle.
Sexual oppression and control is at the center of Abrahamic religions and the result of it controls how many people vote in US elections. Abortion, gay rights, the definition of marriage, planned parenthood, birth control, death with dignity and stem cell research are divisive not because they are moral/immoral or ethical/unethical but because people believe the bible (inerrant, yet full of errors, word of god) commands its followers to take a particular side of the issue.
I suggest that if more people spoke up against such acts of hate that we’d be headed in the right direction. With the churches and its members receiving undue respect, especially in situations as these, people are afraid to speak up for what is right. If the bible suggests that homosexuality should not be tolerated, it is the bible that is wrong. If the bible suggests that birth control should be forbidden, the bible, again, is wrong. If the bible suggests that women are servants of men, the bible is wrong.
(I am not "pro-woman", I'm not "pro-gay", I'm "pro-shut-the-fuck-up-about-shit-which-should-not-matter-to-you" with a side of "pro-reduction-of-suffering" and two tablespoons of "stop-oppressing-people".)