Saturday, 15 June 2013

"Being gay is unnatural!!!"

One of my favorite things in the world, is to see far-right religious wingnuts try to go on offense – after centuries of denying the laws of nature as propounded by Galileo and Darwin, they go charging into enemy territory, the world of science, and issue their pronunciamentos to the effect that science can be used to prove their case. This invariably ends in disaster, because every time religion and science clash, religion loses. Science has already exploded the myths of Genesis and the terror of heaven and hell, and in the meantime archeology and historical research have disproved several major myths in the Bible – the escape of the Israelites from Egypt, the Jews marching to Mount Sinai (and therefore the delivery of the Commandments), Joshua’s conquest of the Holy Land, Herod’s murder of the innocents when Jesus was born, the census that drew Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. None of that stuff actually happened. 

When religious wingnuts tangle with science, the wingnuts lose.

So imagine my joy to hear the wingnuts hollering: “You don’t see homosexuality in the natural world. It’s unnatural!”

First of all, homosexuality has been seen in well over a thousand species, from the lower-order animals up to primates. Same-sex couples across the animal kingdom not only have sex – they court each other, show affection, pair off, and raise offspring. Sheep seem to be major “offenders”. Among black swans homosexual pairings may be as high as 25 percent; ten percent or more in mallards and western gulls; pollution causes homosexuality in ibises; the practice is epidemic among penguins; dolphins have gay sex with their blow-holes. A majority of sex activity among bonobo apes is girl on girl, and homosexuality among primates is very high, suggesting the possibility that homosexuality is linked to higher intelligence. Asian elephants engage in gay sex almost half the time and form long-term gay relationships, and the rate is even higher among giraffes. Dragonflies have gay sex even though it can damage their heads (which suggests to me that maybe they’re doing it wrong). Some animals are asexual, and others indulge in cross-species sex.

Likewise it is asinine to argue that God, the maker of nature, hates gay people, when he made millions and millions of them, in addition to all those gay animals. Just as it says in Corinthians: “However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you.” In other words, you were Born That Way. Made That Way By God. Or, if you prefer, nature. 

And second, if we’re talking about unnatural things, then the men of science will inevitably go on offense themselves, into enemy territory. The Bible. A talking snake, totally unnatural. A wheel of fire in the sky, a violation of the laws of nature. A burning bush, a rain of blood, a magical massacre of children, water into wine, raising people from the dead, angels, dragons, demons, talking donkeys, a ladder climbing into the sky, witches talking to the dead, walking on water, feeding five thousand with one basket of food, curing the sick with the laying on of hands, sticks into snakes, parting of the Red Sea, water from a rock, the sun stopping in the sky, iron floating, manna from heaven, a man living in a whale’s stomach, a woman turned to salt. Even Harry Potter didn’t give us such an insane circus of nature-defying magic. The Bible is not only not natural, it is an insult to nature, violating nature’s laws in laughably fraudulent fables.

And nothing, nothing in the history of man or his literature, could ever be more unnatural than God deciding, in Genesis, to kill off almost all of mankind AND the animals and plants too. Then God did the same in Egypt – when he killed the first-born babies, he killed off the first-born animals too. And then God promises to do the same again in Revelation, kill off almost all of mankind while wreaking widespread destruction of the natural world on earth. God declares unrestricted war on nature. 

 And no gay man in history ever violated the laws of nature more than the Big Cheese himself, Jesus of Nazareth. Not only did Jesus violate nature over and over, his followers used those very violations of nature to prove his divinity. There is a causal relationship here – the way you prove you have God on your side is to violate nature with a miracle. The second most prolific miracle-monger in the Bible, after Jesus, is Moses, who flung all those nature-defying miracles at the Pharaoh, and Moses is the tent-pole for the entire Old Testament, handing down the laws (via miracle, of course) to the Jews, who then spent most of the Old Testament violating those very laws and receiving God’s punishment (again, via miracle). The early founders of Christianity stressed this over and over: Jesus must be God because he rose from the dead and flew into heaven in violation of nature’s laws, and the disciples must be holy too because they performed miracles. The way you prove you’re on Team God, the way saints get their sainthoods from the pope, is to violate nature via a miracle. 

Taking the faithful at their word, then…if you don’t believe in miraculous violations of nature, you can’t really be counted as a Christian. Faith in miracles is what gets you in the door.
So, summing up, religious faith requires belief in miracles: it requires a belief that nature’s laws don’t matter -- except when it comes to gays. Who already exist in nature anyway. That’s religious “logic” for you. 

Being gay is perfectly in harmony with nature. The Bible is a violation of nature.

Today’s box score: Science 1, Religion 0. Getting to be a trend. 

For extra fun, remind them of all the stuff they do every day, that is unnatural. Using indoor plumbing, wearing glasses, refrigeration, the microwave, the internet, the telephone, the TV, modern medicine so we don't all die when we're thirty, brushing our teeth, driving a car, wearing shoes, deodorant, tampons....solving our problems via democracy instead of hitting each other with sticks....

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