Morality and Persecution | Matt Gemmell →

January 17, 2012 |

Terrific essay by Matt Gemmell, and a scathing critique of Pope Benedict XVI’s recent declarations against gay marriage:

The idea that a consensual relationship, between adults of sound mind, could be somehow immoral is itself repugnant. If the charge of immorality arises from nothing but the sexual orientation of those people, we must upgrade that judgement to literally criminal. To even make the association, much less to openly invite others to adopt it, is bigotry - and to create or perpetuate a system where such people’s actual rights are negatively affected, is another thing that religion has long and rightly been accused of: persecution. I find it quite impossible to understand how an ethical, enlightened person can read His Holiness’ appalling, scurrilous and slanderous statement without repugnance. I also strongly doubt the character, moral fibre, and critical faculties of any person who would defend it.

More than criticizing the Pope’s views, Matt is reflecting on religion itself, be it Catholic or otherwise. So much of what he so skillfully says resonates with my own views on the topic, so much of it feels right, that I cannot help but beg you to read it in full.

The legacy of religion is not peace, or morality, or comfort. It is war, and terror, and persecution. The legacy of religion is the Crusades, and tent-revivalist preachers stealing from the poor, and Afghan women who can be imprisoned for being a victim of rape, and can then be murdered by their own families if they will not then marry their rapists. Such a legacy is clearly subhuman, and part of humanity’s fading childhood. It is to be discarded, after it has been fought to extinction. As a thinking, enlightened, rational person, I’m compelled to be its enemy.

Thank you so much for writing this, Matt.