There is a quote by Carl Sagan regarding the irony of us placing a plaque on the moon stating that ‘we came in peace for all’ whilst America were dropping bombs in Vietnam and racial struggles were prominent in the States at the time. I think it is too often that we think of ourselves as civilised and better than the previous generation without that actually being true. Whilst the war in Vietnam was in full swing and only a year previous Martin Luther King was assassinated for rallying for equal rights for African Americans, the powers that be were placing idealogical messages of peace and unity in space. It is within this parallel that I focus todays blog on. Once again I feel compelled to touch on the rights for homosexuals that seems to garner so much criticism and hate that I can’t fail but to see the parallels between the fighting for sexual preference equality and the fighting for ethnic equality.
I have always considered myself accepting of all walks of life regardless of gender, religion, class, skin colour, political ideologies, musical tastes and sexuality. (To name a few) I still do find it quite confounding that a persons life choice or natural state of being can cause so much bitterness and down right hatred by people not even directly affected by it. When I read of men and women being beaten to death for committing no crime other than being in love with another person who society deemed distasteful, I feel sick to my stomach. Or of victims of HIV who have their funerals picketed by hate groups holding placards condemning the person and joyfully judging the person into hell in front of their grieving parents, I can’t help but to feel a disconnection from the human race. To me it mirrors a mostly forgotten age of similar beatings to death by racist individuals/groups of black men/women in America and/or the picketing of their funerals or even worse the almost arena-esque attendance of their lynching. Few people today would ever dream of or want to be in a time were black people were outcast at best and killed at worse, no, we have come (through time) to realise that we are all human regardless of skin colour. However, we are in danger of mirroring the past by once again segregating people based on their perceived difference to the ‘norm’. Never in the entire human history has segregation worked, it only serves to deepen distrust and engrain hatred into people who should have no reason to hate another human being. History shows this, you cannot deny it, blacks, jews, indians, poor, whatever the label given to those we deem not worthy to mingle with – segregation does not work. Now I am not saying homosexuals are being physically segregated as in apartheid segregated but I am speaking of a more socially outcast, invisible border sort of segregation. Labelling people and their lifestyles, showing them hate and distrust.
I am not a homosexual, but I don’t need to be to understand or feel obliged to stand up for their rights. No more than I would need to be a woman to believe that women are equal and should be treated equally to men. No more than I would need to be a black man to believe in equal rights regardless of skin colour. Empathy is what some would say is what separates us from the animals and I have a huge amount of empathy for the downtrodden, the poor, the outcast, the lonely. It angers me to see people judging other people and making that other person feel like they are wrong or broken because they do not function according to the norm and this can apply to anything, not just homosexuality.
Hardcore christian groups like the Westboro Baptist church in America sicken me with their messages of hate towards these people even in their death, they blindly cast aside the messages of Jesus stating that we should love our fellow man and do onto others what you would like done onto you. I do not believe in a divine Jesus but I find solace and comfort in some of the principles he taught even if some of his followers seem to forget it. If you believe that homosexuality is a sin then why don’t you just preach tolerance and let the Lord judge the sinner, love the sinner and hate the sin. You are committing evil in yourself with openly judging and promoting hate of others when the bible strictly expresses you not to. Isn’t even thinking of a mans death the same as actually killing him yourself? Yet they hold signs willing death to come to the sodomites, the devils faggots. Sickening excuse for humans. Muslims are just as guilty of this as well may I add.
As an Atheist and Humanist I follow my own version of the golden rule. “Do what makes you happy in life whilst bringing the least pain to your fellow man and gifting the most joy to your fellow man.” Outcasting people because of their sexual preference or sexual lust (because I don’t believe many CHOOSE to be gay), is going to lead us back onto a path that we so admirably tried to take ourselves from. Ask yourself this, does two people of the same sex being in love affect you in any way? If you believe in the whole sanctity of marriage thing then don’t you realise that it wasn’t that long ago interracial couples couldn’t marry either? Does that not seem medieval that people would consider two people of different ethnicities a violation against the sanctity of marriage? People should be free to love, for love is the meaning of life and who are we to take a persons love for another and condemn it?
We certainly don’t need the stigmatisation, the victimisation that leads to the playground bullying when people say: “You’re a disordered, morally evil individual.” That’s not nice, it isn’t nice. – Stephen Fry