Quote for the day

Abraham is the father of our civic sicknesses

It’s 2018, and you see how open-minded many parts of the world are. But there are also many parts of the world where being gay is punishable by death, punishable by jail time. It’s a new world, and it’s also not, and I think that the only way to change perception is through visibility, through representation, and the more that we have that, the more normalized queer becomes, the easier it is for people to wrap their heads around it, and I think that the more we’ll see positive change.

Gus Kenworthy, gay Olympian

Kenworthy is pointing toward an observation I’ve made many times over the years: Much of our domestic and international turmoil arises from the loss of influence by the Abrahamic faiths — and gay rights is one of the big flashpoints for reaction by the devout.

We all know the story of Abraham. Ordered by Our Invisible Friend to make a blood sacrifice of his son Isaac (Ishmael in the Muslim version of the tale), Abraham went to what is now the Temple Mount and prepared to sacrifice him. He raised the knife. But then a celestial messenger tells Abraham that his willingness to do something so perverse, so unnatural, so anti-life, is enough to satisfy the Invisible Wizard Who Lives In The Sky, and Isaac is spared. Isaac is spared because Abraham’s manhood is broken and he has become a mere thing that obeys — an unthinking robot, an obedient dog.

This, according to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism, is the ideal toward which men should strive.

I’m with Hitchens. The Abrahamic faiths rest on perversity and sickness, on self-abnegation at a level that can only be described as a death-wish, and I want nothing to do with them — or the debased and squalid people who admire Abraham’s surrender of his manhood.

The progress of gay rights is especially annoying to the devout, and much of the turmoil in the world arises out of their reaction against it, out of their accurate sense that they are losing control.

Let’s think about that for a moment. Somebody penned Leviticus, and ever since gays have been executed, or imprisoned or, at best, condemned to the outskirts of society. But scientific research has shown that sexuality — which is more than just plumbing — is innate, an expression of the interaction of our genes with the chemical environment of the mother’s womb. You are born gay, or straight, or transgender, and there is nothing to be done about it: That is who you are; you were born with those traits, and it bespeaks no moral failure.

The moral failure lies in giving primacy to the words of some Bronze Age anonymity over objectively collected facts and relying upon that to justify constricting the Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness of your blameless neighbor. There is the character failure that is at work here, and we need to get over the cultural insistence upon being polite to it, and instead call it what it is. Though Leviticus might have made a kind of sense in an age when humankind lived in tribes, and the tribe’s very survival and perpetuation relied upon regular reproduction, that teaching has been overtaken by science, and circumstance, and is now an instrument of needless pain.

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