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Atheism and Homosexuality

I'm passionately in support of LGBT rights, and I was trying to think about why. It's not because I'm at all LGBT, could it be because growing up I was called "gay" all the time? Is it because it's the right thing to do? I really couldn't pinpoint it for a long time, but then I started thinking about Fred Phelps and his WBC (no link) and all his "God Hates Fags!" signs, and it made me realize that atheism and LGBT folks are completely linked.

Why is that? There's obviously the biblical arguments for "homosexuality is wrong" and maybe rejecting the bible means rejecting that antagonism? (By the way, Mark 7:15; 1Sa 18:1; plenty of others) But nevertheless, I don't really think that's it. I had to go back through my own development as an atheist to figure it all out.

I remember being raised Catholic and going to church, and going to CCD twice a week after school, and being told to pray every night and stuff. I used to be sad about things, or want things, and I would be told "ask god for it and maybe you'll get it." And I used to go through the motions, but it was more about the procedure than actually thinking I was talking to anyone. Then you find out the tooth fairy, and Santa Claus, and the easter bunny aren't real. I think the Santa thing was very instrumental for me; you take this great person everyone thinks about that has the power to watch you all the time and can give you things if you're good, then POOF surprise they don't exist. It's a very short leap between that and god. For the record, Santa had a better track record for coming through for me.

I don't remember the exact point, but there was a time where I actually thought someone was listening, then a time where I went through the motions so I didn't get yelled at. But that was the thing; I still had to go to church on Saturday nights, I still went to CCD, I had very high-pressure friends, all that crap. I just stopped believing, but didn't say anything, probably at the age of like 10-12. Then talk of confirmation came up, and I didn't really feel like the work of it, so I told my parents that I didn't want to pursue it. I had a time after that where I had some high pressure friends try and recruit me to other christian faiths, and while it was with the best intent, I think it made me resentful. I started questioning a lot of things. God gives loaves and fish to hungry people, and we have hungry people now, but our church is undergoing an expensive renovation. Why does god forgive people; it's like it's ok to do bad things as long as you're sorry in the end? I can be sorry for anything, can I do anything? Jesus was humble and lived modestly yet we build these huge temples and have priests driving Mercedes wearing gold hats, would jesus want this? People always say it's a lesson when something bad happens, but a blessing when something good happens, how is that different from just having bad and good things without the meddling of a god?

Basically, I stopped believing very early, then started questioning the establishment on top of those non-existent beliefs, then finally chose to embrace the disbelief. The disbelief happened, and wasn't a choice, but instead the choice was to embrace it and be public about it. For me, I was very antagonistic towards my parents, and also grew up in an area with a lot of diverse belief (I had Hindu friends and such) so the pressures of christianity were at least not overwhelming, it became very easy to just be like "I don't believe and I don't want to go anymore."

But while it was easy for me, I can just imagine what it's like for someone living in an oppressive place, with oppressive family, surrounded by non-sympathetic beliefs. It must be terrible. And I think this is where my compassion for LGBT causes comes from. I draw huge parallels between what Atheists go through and what LGBT people go through. There are differences, and LGBT people have totally different struggles, but I feel there are a ton of things in common. There are state constitutions that say a belief in god is required to hold office, people are amending state constitutions to prevent LGBT people from expressing their relationships.

So yea, I think that's why I relate so much to the LGBT plight. Atheists and LGBT folks need to stick together; we're all just trying to live out our lives in the face of a majority that thinks we don't have a right to exist and need to be fixed. Fight the power!

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