Friday, 8 February 2013

Slippery slopes

Lately you hear a lot of “slippery slope” arguments from the loony right, when they try to block gay marriage.

“Well, dammit, I believe in the Bible, and the Bible says homosexuality is an abomination. We allow gay marriages, and it’s a slippery slope -- next thing you know, we’ll be allowing pedophilia, and bestiality, and polygamy, and sacrifices, and cannibalism, and….”

Well, let’s unpack that, shall we?

First of all, despite decades of horrific warnings from the loony right, there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia, or any of these other practices they’re so worried about.

And second, slippery slopes can slide both ways. What if we applied it to…observing Biblical law?

“Well, dammit, you let these religious kooks use the Bible to justify their opposition to gay marriage laws, what happens next? The next thing you know, they will be using the Book of Joshua to justify genocide, ethnic cleansing and rape. They’ll be using the Bible to justify slavery, stoning women suspected of sleeping around, killing disobedient children, killing people for working on Sunday, killing, killing, killing….”.

And using religion to ram your views down other people’s throats, can lead to this…

And this…

And of course this…

And of course the most famous example, in history, that religious guy Caiaphas guy used scripture and Biblical law to demand this…

Excessively rigid interpretations of religious law can lead to crucifixions, terror attacks, all sorts of unhandy stuff. Crusades, inquisitions, burning Joan of Arc alive, hanging thousands of innocent women for witchcraft, putting Galileo under house arrest for the rest of his life because he pointed out that the earth travels around the sun….

Of course, this slippery-slope illustration is flawed, because it puts religion and homosexuality on the same moral plane, and they’re not equivalent. Rigid religious belief is a delusion that can get a lot of innocent people killed. Homosexuality is harmless and nobody’s business. So I’m being unduly generous to the immorality that is inherent on religious intolerance.

I notice these things because my daughter has albinism, and people with this condition are regularly murdered or dismembered in Africa because tribal religions assert that their body parts can bring good luck. To everyone but the albinos, obviously. Albinos are also killed and tormented in the Caribbean because the primitive religions attribute bad luck to them. So my daughter won’t be visiting Africa, probably forever, because of religious whackaloons just like the guys who wave the Bible in our faces while they stop gays from marrying.


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