I’ve been an atheist for a good while now, but for the first 40-some years of my life I was an old-fashioned American Christian. It’s where I developed my original sense of what kind of place the world was, and what the difference is between right and wrong. And I think that’s why part of me is continually astonished by the continual rabid lust Christians have for persecuting people who are different in harmless ways.
It’s as though all the civil rights advances of the past 80 years have been putting the Christian faith under more and more pressure by denying them an outlet for their desire to hurt people. And now, with a black guy in the White House, and gay couples being allowed the same privileges as heterosexual couples, believers have had enough.
It all seems so wrong, and also self-defeating. The most vicious anti-theists, on a calculated campaign to discredit Christianity, could hardly do better to brand evangelicalism as a religion of hate and oppression. North Carolina passes a law requiring transgendered women to use the men’s rest room, where they’ll be fair game to bullying bigots. Mississippi legislators pass a bill to protect Christian “rights” to discriminate against gays, transgendered, and anyone (by the way) they think might be having sex outside of marriage. Not necessarily including adultery, of course.
Seriously, what kind of religion needs a “right” to inflict suffering on others? Oh wait, I remember: the kind that only exists in people’s minds. It’s ironic, but Matthew 12:34 got this one right. “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” Their hearts are filled with hate towards harmless minorities, and so their faith is too.