Sunday, August 26, 2012

To Professor Roughgarden

Professor Roughgarden, the participatory experience you praise as the true meaning of religion (as opposed to superstitious faith,) includes far more than you will admit.

It includes the Sunday segregation hour.

It includes the religious schools that don't just get around segregation laws but teach creationism as science.

It includes the megachurches whose missions in Africa exorcise demons and support politicians who legislate punishment for immoral people.

It includes fraudulent Christian counseling for individuals and families, purporting to help but in fact pushing their reactionary morality.

It includes teaching parents to reject their gay children.

It includes teaching ignorant people that Palestine belongs to the Jews instead of the Palestinians.

It includes teaching that America is Chosen.

It teaches that God is not just an American Patriot but a Conservative, if not even a registered Republican.

It teaches that human nature is not just sinful but immutably sinful and that only God can change things for the better.

It teaches that the world will end at God's will and we cannot shape the future for our posterity.

And especially it teaches that if you are so depraved as to really notice what religion offers besides promises of magical rewards is the warmth of being in an in-group that is holier than the others, well, it teaches that all you have to do is use your own personal moral superiority and better taste to just pick another, better church or religion or synagogue. It teaches that it is reasonable to deny that anything other than personal preference stands as a legitimate critique of religion.

Someone I love is suffering not just from lung cancer but from the belief that God is punishing her for her sins. In despair she has missed appointments, delayed treatments, failed to comply with therapy. seeing this I'm reminded that the enemies of humanity are not just in pulpits but include people like you, who've elevated your self-regard for your own social manners to the criterion of moral principle. It is a hateful and contemptible principle.

You're not one of the good guys, you're one of the villains.

Attempted to post above at Rationally Speaking, which I keep forgetting is a fake forum.

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