Religion is not the answer to our problems

Bill Zingrone
assistant professor f psychology

Rev. Dennis Terry of Louisiana’s Greenwell Springs Baptist Church recently introduced Rick Santorum to his conservative Christian congregation with a fire and brimstone speech exhorting those of us who don’t share his political and religious leanings to leave this country, his America. Google it and take a look. Well I got news for you pastor, your ignorant hate filled ravings don’t go unchallenged anymore.

You can’t hide behind your faith or supposed religious sanctity and get away with that stuff in the 21st century.

There are more than 310 million people in this country now, from all walks of life, differing in ethnicities, politics, faiths or lack thereof and we are all Americans.

We not only deserve to stay in the country we love every bit as much as you: we’re not going anywhere. How dare you demand anyone to leave if they don’t live up to your rather peculiar and repressive minority version of Christianity.

You can go to the hell you think exists and are so sure all of us who don’t share your list of unfounded religious proclamations are destined for. Look among your audience, Reverend, and you will be hard-pressed to find too many in attendance under the age of 60.

Young people are leaving the evangelical churches in droves partly because of the repressive lunacy people like you proclaim and that the vast majority of my Christian friends of any age find utterly appalling.

This is the sort of arrogance that religious thought sanctions in our otherwise increasingly tolerant and enlightened modern world.

Rick Santorum’s over-the-top courting of conservative evangelicals in an attempt to weaken Mitt Romney’s grind to the Republican nomination is only one facet of his own archaic and destructive thought. Really Rick, would you ask your daughter to carry a dead fetus around, running the risk of infection and other complications from the necrotic tissue rotting inside her, just to satisfy some medieval thinking about abortion that a gaggle of old virgin men and their supreme leader who wears a pointed hat think is the way all women ought to behave? This is the sort of idiocy religious thinking promotes.






Another horrible example of similarly incomprehensible barbarism toward women made a splash recently on the Internet as well. A Moroccan judge ordered a young girl who was raped by a young man to marry him as a way to preserve her “honor” for her family. She soon committed suicide. Of the hundreds of comments that piled on within hours of the posting only one truly stood out. Titled “Thank God for the West” a young Saudi woman expressed complete sympathy for the dead girl in explaining how she herself ran away from an arranged marriage with a much older man who disgusted her to her freedom in Italy.

Despite the terror of leaving all she knew, she now lives her life as a free woman; a member of the enlightened world with protected individual rights and respected feelings. She should certainly be welcome in any democracy east or west, but would the good Reverend Terry and Rick Santorum ask her to leave with the rest of us who don’t share their conservative fundamental Christian attitudes and behaviors? Such is the level of insensitivity endorsed by religious thought.

Lest you think Pastor Terry is an anomaly in his medieval thinking, you can attend one of the more conservative Baptist churches right here in Murray and on any given Sunday be enlightened by similar pearls of wisdom based in religious thinking … gems like how women are just better cooks than men. Seriously, makes perfect Biblical sense that men just can’t cook as well as women. Gosh, golly gee.

Problem is, just five minutes on the Food Channel or the internet and American youth can see there are really lots of great male cooks, all over the world and heck, males even do one hell of a lot of the mundane day to day cooking, even right here in the good ole’ US of A.

Only the blindness of religious thought can compel a person to spew such idiocy in the name of some god in the 21st century. And we all, not just the young, know better.

Religious thinking is what we all must question: whether a local preacher’s claim that women are just better cooks, or Rick Santorum’s cruel and imbecilic campaign threats regarding abortion, the Moroccan judge’s insane sentence or Pastor Terry’s divisive righteous cries for exclusion of anyone who doesn’t think like him.

The arrogance of religious thought has no bounds.We must promote the tolerance and reason the New Enlightenment.