Saturday, April 27, 2013

Criminal religion, democracy versus theocracy, misogyny versus liberty

PhotoConservatives are not about liberty or freedom; conservatives are all about controlling your life. Their claims about 'smaller government' is code for wanting to be able to control your life - like racist politics, voter suppression politics, controlling your sexuality and sex lives, and imposing their religion on you without your consent -- all bad things that the Constitution and the federal government stop them from doing, so they want to stop the Federal government by calling it 'big government. It's good government, it is the right 'size' government, it is constitutional government, not 'too big' government.

A University of Arizona religious studies student, Dean Saxton, parades around campus with the strident, misogynist message that women deserve rape, if they don't dress modestly enough.  You know - the same reasoning as religious police enforcing the wearing of a burqa, only Christian.  Never mind that babies are raped, young girls are raped, very elderly grandmothers are raped, and what they are wearing or doing has nothing to do with their being the victims of rape.

Boys and men are raped, too. Women soldiers in cammo fatigues are raped.  Modestly dressed Baptist women are the victims of both rape and incest from Baptist men, and their clergy excuse it and obstruct reporting it to law enforcement -- and yes, they try to blame the victims for those crimes too, not the criminals who commit the crimes.

That reasoning is on a par with claiming that uppity negroes deserve being lynched, for not being appropriately subordinate and submissive, and conforming to the appropriate conformity of white male authority.

For all the criticism in the west of Islam, for this kind of foul and faulty thinking, in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, three United Emirates men were kicked out of the country while attending a regional cultural event for being too good looking by the religious police, because of fears that women would find them too good looking.  I doubt they feared the women would become rapists, because that would violate their funny notions of male superiority, but they were apparently worried women might think lascivious thoughts.  But let's face it, it's pretty rare that men punish men for the lust of others. 

It's an old religious tradition, blaming others for things where those who are in the wrong should take responsibility for their own conduct and emotions.  In Genesis 3:12, after eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge, Adam tried blaming both Eve, and by implication and extension, God, with the words (King James version, my preferred translation):
"And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." 
The important part of that lesson is that Adam still got tossed out of paradise on his arse, yet somehow that is not the message that some of the most religious have learned from a careful reading of the Bible. All they learned to do was to be sanctimonious bastards who hate women and who fear and hate human sexuality, who become part of the perversion of healthy sexuality and respect for women, usually to the detriment of women and children, and even occasionally, rarely, of men.

We have Muslim clerics blaming women's clothing for earthquakes, which is on a par with Christian fundies who equally stupidly blamed an earthquake on two centuries old rumors of voodoo rituals by black people.  And of course we have the right wing Christian fundies who blame hurricanes on abortion or homosexuality.  The blame the victims game is inherent in conservative thinking, and it is endemic to religious fundamentalism.

Which is why we need a sufficiently large government to stop the stupidity and the impulse to control people inherent in conservatives and worst in fundamental conservatives of all stripes, and their attempt to infringe on their Constitutional liberty.

Religion can bring out the better parts of human belief, thought and behavior, but so often it does not.  When it is in the hands of the controlling conformist conservatives, too often this is a bad combination that hurts other people, that harms us as a nation, as in this case, contributing to a rape culture by making excuses for rapists.

No one 'deserves' rape, rape is never acceptable, there is no excuse for rapists.  Those who believe otherwise are as guilty of hate speech as those who advocated for lynching uppity black people.  It is wrongly justifying a crime, it is wrongly encouraging a crime by making excuses for it, and by blaming the victims. 

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