Christians jail gay couple

In overwhelmingly Christian Malawi two men have been sent to prison for 14 years for being gay.

The harsh sentence was immediately deplored by human rights groups around the world, but Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa, in reading his judgment, seemed adamant in his ruling. He said he was especially offended that the two lovers celebrated their relationship in public with an engagement party.

“I do not believe Malawi is ready at this point in time to see its sons getting married to other sons, or cohabitating, or conducting engagement ceremonies,” the magistrate said. “Malawi is not ready to smile at her daughters marrying each other. Let posterity judge this judgment.”

Posterity will judge this judgement precisely the same as the majority of today’s generation judges 19th century America. There is no reasonable justification for what Malawian Christians are doing to Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza – hence the use of religion to bring about yet another horrendous event in history.

The nation’s clergy have been united in condemning the gay couple. “God calls homosexuality an abomination, which is greater than a simple sin,” the Rev. Felix Zalimba, pastor of the All for Jesus Church in Blantyre, said Thursday. He said church and state were aligned in agreement: “These two must repent and ask God’s forgiveness. Otherwise, they will surely go to hell.”

Aww, that’s so sweet. I guess Malawian Christians are just looking for out the spiritual well-being of the couple.

Malawi is a welfare state that suffers from massive poverty. That poverty, as demonstrated here, goes far beyond monetary woes. And while the educational system has improved dramatically over the years, it still lags severely; it’s about what one would expect from a so-called third world nation. This presents a dilemma. Donor nations might be tempted to withdraw funds in protest of such fervent bigotry, but that would act to also cause harm to all the people who just need clean water and enough food.

I say do it.

Remove all monetary funds from the nation. Still donate food and practical goods, but force it to come up with its own cash. No nation of any common sense ought to be donating money that’s going to partially go towards funding prison operations in Malawi.

Better yet, let’s not just give direct resources; let’s also direct funding. Promote secular ideals and education. Make the nation more than 80-some percent literate; the power of the Catholic Church was long centered on the low literacy rates around the world – someone who cannot read is powerless to fight the lies of priests. The Malawian Christian tragedy is no different.

What’s really ugly about all this is just how obvious it is that religion is the fuel to this fire. This is an extension of the sort of religious fire that burns in the U.S. against gays. In Maine it took roughly a decade to make it illegal to fire someone for being gay. (‘You want to work that cash register? No, faggot!’) In most other states, it remains legal to fire based upon sexual orientation. People who hate gays want to strip them of their basic rights – and more importantly, their basic humanity. The only impediment in the U.S. to the criminalization of homosexuality is the civil libertarian strengths of the Constitution. (Not to be confused with economic libertarian strengths: no such thing exists.) Without those influencing the very cultural of America, who knows just how far the religious would take their bigotry? Perhaps a high rate of literacy would help hold back criminalization to this extreme, but it’s difficult to say. After all, a number of states have had laws which made sodomy a crime.

Another significant issue in the bigotry of Malawian Christians is the lack of separation of church and state. Without any barrier, any rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, religious dogma holds an undue sway on government. Those who are silly enough to think freedom of religion somehow doesn’t also inherently mean freedom from religion ought to reflect on the jailing of Chimbalanga and Monjeza. Their fate has in large part been dealt to them by religion and its entanglement with government.

Steven Anderson, the mainstream, and closets

Steven Anderson is a complete and utter nut job. He also holds beliefs which are largely in line with mainstream Christianity (especially the Christianity prevalent in Maine): he hates da gays, Obama, and common sense. He’s most recently known for praying that Obama would die of brain cancer. This isn’t much different from Limbaugh hoping for Obama’s failure. They both want disaster for the country if it proves their ideology. The only distinction to be made is that Anderson wants Obama to die naturally sooner than Limbaugh. They still both think the president will be judged by some tiny-minded, local god and sent to hell for not loving giant corporations and the wealthy.

In the above link is a list of 10 Anderson quotes. This one especially stood out to me.

“Because of years and years of looking at and touching scores of women inappropriately, the male gynecologist no doubt has a seared conscience and a perverted mind… Any doctor that looks upon and touches a woman’s private parts in his office “hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Sir, if you let your wife go to a male gynecologist, you need to get right with God.”

This pretty solidly represents the sexually immature views wrought by Christianity. From Ashcroft wanting to cover the breast of Lady Justice to morons pushing for abstinence-only sex education, Christians have a twisted view of sexuality. Their religion really harms their perspective. It’s unfortunate so many of them can never be healthy adults in regards to sex.

But the silliness of Christians doesn’t end with sexuality.

“If music without drums, syncopation, or a rock beat is acceptable music, then “Yesterday” by the Beatles would be suitable for a Christian. This song has no drums, syncopation, or rock n roll beat – so what’s wrong with it? It doesn’t talk about drugs, illicit behavior, or violence – so what’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with it is the source. It was written by God-hating communist devils. Rock n roll music was pioneered by ungodly sinners like Little Richard, a sodomite filthy animal, and Ray Charles, a heroin addict. The source of rock n roll music is ungodly.”

This is basically a version of the abusive ad hominen attack. It is not valid. Ignoring the inaccurate attacks on The Beatles, music is wide open for interpretation by the listener. What’s more, individual songs reflect different ideas. It is plain stupid to dismiss an entire group’s work on the basis of what some of their art says – or what they say outside their art.

And of course, Christians’ opinions on other media is horribly skewed.

“God, please just help it to be real to us. Help us to realize that David Letterman and Jay Leno just aren’t that funny. The sitcoms and the TV shows and the movies just aren’t that cool. The rock music just isn’t that great anymore when we realize that there is a far greater purpose for our lives; to win souls to Jesus Christ.”

Okay, I have to give Anderson a little leeway. Letterman and Leno aren’t that funny. But I have no idea why he’s so deluded as to think that there’s hardly anything redeemable about television or even movies. Oh, hang on. It’s the Jesus thing again. That ugly little cretin that lacks in any real beauty at all.

Anderson does finally say something that sounds sensible. Unfortunately, he would never know where the sense was.

“And this is what thought entered mind. I thought to myself… I looked over at the closet and I thought to myself, “What if I were locked in that closet for 100 years, nothing to do, nothing to see, the closet is dark.” … And then I thought, “What if you never get out of that closet.” That would be awful, wouldn’t it, just locked in a closet forever and you knew you were never going to get out.”

Yes, wouldn’t be awful if a person was locked in a closet, all alone, even alienated. And wouldn’t it be worse if a bunch of immoral bigots forced a group of people in their own, little closets.

The pride of bigotry

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These are some of the wholly ignorant individuals who are seeking to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage bill before it officially becomes law. They’re actually proud of themselves. It’s gross.

Bob Emrich is a hateful, stupid man. He has absolutely no idea that he’s actually advocating for discrimination against himself. He thinks homosexuality is icky or perverse or just like having sex with a dog or he’s uncomfortable in his own sexuality or he’s just another mook propping up the bible for his own ends (which is easy because that is one of the most morally malleable books ever written) or maybe it’s all of those things. Ultimately, he has no universal justification for denying people the right to marry on the (purely legal) basis of sex/gender. I doubt he’s smart enough to come up with many principled arguments for his beliefs in the first place, but even if he was capable of that, such an argument does not exist for his absurd position.

It’s an utter disgust that people like this are given legitimacy. Why don’t more people just lash into crap like this? Bob Emrich has a lot of bad ideas predicated on a lot of bad bigotry. I hate to be redundant with “bad bigotry” but aside from the grammatical flow, it supports the notion that Emrich doesn’t even understand the true basis for his hatred. He has no idea that through his outright bigoted, hateful views of homosexuals (what did they ever do to anyone?), he is taking legal aim at absolutely everyone. And that’s what this all is: a legal issue. Emrich has no logical basis to be demanding that the state of Maine discriminates against everyone on the basis of what chromosomes they have (again, go here).