I noted the other day the similarities between some ancient South American religions and modern puritanical Christian fundamentalism. This is of course, only my conclusion - but feel free to take it all with a pinch of salt (and, if it is your "world-view", light):
The Maya, Toltec and Inca practiced human sacrifice of their enemies to satisfy the wrath of their blood-thirsty gods. Oddly enough, despite this minor shortcoming, we miss the contribution their cultures made to the body of scientific knowledge we as a society would have benefited from today. For one thing, their method for predicting the end of time and all life on earth by December in two years time, would've been quite nice (thank you, Mr Cortez). It would have been nice to know if they were accurate, scientific - or just smoking their orchids at the time. I am sure there will be some people who will actually give away all their worldly goods a day early and go sit on the nearest mountain to get a good view of the end of the world. I hope they remember to take pop-corn, if anything to make the trip worth anything.
Sadly, the records and knowledge of these ancient and (in some ways) highly civilized cultures were all but completely destroyed by the Spanish marauders when they conquered South America. Today we know they indulged in practices such as genocide and "ethnic cleansing" while under the mistaken impression that they were doing "God's work", while stealing land and hunting treasure. I don't wish to be a pain, but this seems strangely familiar, don't you think?
Christian fundamentalists today may not actually kill the people they don't approve of, or consider their enemies in their temples - but they certainly do make the gesture by destroying and endeavoring to destroy their lives in the world outside their churches.
I actually prefer the old ways - at least they are more honest. None of this business of slander and character assassination in the media, no wars of words about who is twisted, evil and a danger to society, while pretending they are the good guy. But then, if things were still that way, we might be on more of an equal footing - and they could also get cut by the other edge of what would be a double-edged sword. And we all know how much the religious right loves a level playing field and fairness - about as much as having a transsexual woman singing in the church band (ask me, I know).
And sad to say, I have doubts about any future civilizations actually missing today's religious extremists for anything positive they might have contributed to the world - and didn't.
If it's fair, just and level, they can't get their way - and they know it, which is precisely why they do their best to load the dice, and to stack things up as unevenly as possible in their favor in order to make their victims look like the aggressors and threats they so often waste media bandwidth on by crying "wolf". Naturally, every so often it is actually refreshing to see them in the news - such as when one of them comes tumbling out of the closet - very publicly, while still clinging onto the hangers for dear life.
This is not one of those times however, at least not yet. Right now we are facing a very serious problem in the battle for human rights and equality for women and for the pink community. If ever there was a time that the need for unity and co-operation between GLBTIQ and feminist advocacy groups was apparent, it is NOW.
It seems that certain "treatments" have been made available lately to "prevent" female fetuses from developing masculine characteristics in the womb - or from "being potentially born gay" or "uppity". How true the latter is, is still debatable - and this whole drama raises more questions than anything else.
For one, how do they actually know the fetus would be gay if left "untreated"? Are they unintentionally admitting to the world that homosexuality is finally being officially recognized as a fully natural and biological state? Coming from them, that would certainly be something. Of course it doesn't take much of an IQ to realize it would take nothing short of having something up their sleevies before they would actually admit to this. Are they contemplating the same kind of "treatment" for male fetuses - and how long before these are pushed into "family" clinics?
And what about ethics? And human rights? Or are they going to reverse their own "moral" position as held on issues such as abortion - in which the religious right claim that unborn fetuses are "babies" and that human rights laws should also apply to them? And lastly, is there ever actually a limit to their hypocrisy?
Yup - better artificially straight with who knows what side-effects, than naturally gay, happy and healthy... typical.
Of course, you realize what this will mean, don't you? It means that people who now think they can prevent having gay babies or "change" potentially gay babies straight in the womb, will not be satisfied with this only - they will next try to find a "cure" for those already born - other than the more traditional methods of actually killing them - or making their lives so unbearable that they save them the trouble, and do it themselves.
Give them some time and we may yet find ourselves being herded off to clinics by armed police to get our "shots" to "cure" us of our "sinful affliction". No more fussing about with campaigns to repeal anti-human rights laws, or laying on of hands in "ex-gay ministries" - they would just switch to a few quick jabs with a needle in your nearest "family friendly" clinic.
It sounds like Errol Naidoo's dream come true - no more gays. This would in turn mean no more gay rights, no more pesky gay rights movement, and no more diversity. Of course, in the end, it could become something of a nightmare for the fundies - after all, who would they hate next?
Instead of wasting money trying to fix people that aren't broken, they should rather try to figure out how to fix bigotry and prejudice instead. Something to cure men's obsession with sex and their own tools would be nice. Is it really all they ever think about? LOL.
I sometimes think I'm being unfairly biased by thinking so - but every time I stray onto a dating site (against my better judgment) the experience convinces me I'm right on the money. And just as most men seem to be obsessed with sex, even married men cruise these sites - it also seems to me that fundamentalists are obsessed with sex too - only with whatever is going on in the private sex-lives of other people they don't even know! Perhaps, they are jealous because they just aren't getting any? But then, who really knows what goes on under those steamy hot quilts after church on Sundays?
The religious right sees every group trying to achieve equality with them as a threat, because obviously if they become equal to them, THEY won't be able to stomp all over their human rights anymore. Duh.
For them, being equal to us is some kind of come-down, a demotion - as opposed to the actual meaning of equality - meaning ALL equal. Yes, to them, us and our civil and human rights being made equal to them and theirs, somehow elevates us above them. Crazy.
Aside from challenging the currently agreed upon and accepted definition of the word "EQUAL" - which effectively defeats any of their arguments on this point, equality for the religious right in reality does not mean giving "special rights" to other groups - it actually means relinquishing THEIR special rights to come down to the same level as the rest of us grunts.
So what they really mean when they say "No special rights for sexual deviants and perverts" is actually "No, we're not giving up OUR special rights to be equal to those we look down on or hate".
To them, the Constitutionally enshrined right to "freedom of religion" only applies if THEY happen to agree with what YOU believe in, are affiliated to, or say or do. And since they feel they do (or should) have a say in everything, or control everything - and everyone else's private lives affect them - and that means YOU and YOUR private life. Everything that falls outside their narrow definitions of "morality" gets tarred with the convenient brush of "immorality" and painted as a "threat" to "Christian society" - which they are somehow still convinced we ALL happen to live in, no matter how many more moderates, atheists, agnostics and people of other religions surround them.
Giving other people equality WITH THEM, in their minds takes something away from THEM - POWER - and that TERRIFIES them. It scares them shitless.
What better way to keep the illusion that this world remains the domain of heterosexist patriarchal males, than by getting women and gay or trans people to agree with their misogyny and to oppress themselves?
This is to my mind a pretty good invention, one worth noting - something at least as momentous as the self-cleaning mousetrap.