Fundamentalist Christians remind me of inconsiderate smokers. They seem oblivious to the negative impact of their behavior on others (especially children) or the stink they create around them. Because they live in a hermetically sealed belief system they have no idea of the sensitivities and sensibilities of their neighbors. Because they believe their perceptions of the universe are the only valid ones, they are incapable of an intelligent give and take. That is why their arguments are often hard to make sense of. When your only goal in life is conversion not conversation you feel no need to listen to others.
The release of humanity from the bonds of an absolutist Christianity (and other superstitions) has been a long hard struggle beginning with the Renaissance, continuing through the formulation of the scientific method, the political theories and the social thought of the enlightenment. The U S Constitution was only one milestone in this ascent as it effectively erected a wall (as Jefferson called it) separating government from old-world authoritarian theocrats and their tyrannies.
One of our greatest modern accomplishments has been our liberation from the authority of religious tracts whose only validity flows from their alleged divine revelation. You can only remain blind to the stupidities and contradictions of such documents if you believe they emanated uncontaminated from an inscrutable God who will brook no questioning of His authority. Science has revealed that God was a bumbling unintelligent designer when he got around to creating man. Modern Biblical exegesis has noted that the Old Boy loved contradicting himself and was a pretty bad author to boot.
All this makes a discussion of an issue like women’s reproductive rights with a Bible-thumping Christians akin to arguing microbiology with a first-century shepherd. Their association of early comprehensive sex education, family planning techniques (for single and married women) and free, readily available prenatal and abortion services with moral laxity represents a criminal obfuscation. For these archaic blue-noses, women’s freedom from reproductive bondage can mean only one thing: “Girls Gone Wild!” One has to stretch to fathom the dark workings of such a pornographic religious imagination.
They see women’s liberation and power only as a threat and not a fuller step towards equality for both sexes. The stench of their first century belief system contaminates the very air free men and women have to breathe.
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|Timothy V. Gatto|