The Course of Reason

Are Christians our enemies?

July 5, 2011

Dave Muscato, Vice President of the University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics (MU SASHA), asks a very simple yet important questions: Are Christians our enemies?

This post originally appeared on the University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics blog.

Hello all; Dave here.

I was reading The Friendly Atheist’s blog, specifically this post about exposing an anti-gay pastor for the bigot that he is: http://friendlyatheist.com/2011/07/04/exposing-an-anti-gay-pastors-ministry/

Watch this video for context:

In it, someone on the stage repeatedly refers to “the lie of the enemy,” that is, those of us who say that homosexuality is O.K. Well, I have to say that I never really thought of myself as an enemy to Christians – more like a former Christian who realized I was being brainwashed and, fortunately, got myself out – but I’m starting to wonder if we should think twice about this label.

What is an enemy?

I love etymology, and the word “enemy” comes to us from Latin prefix in + amicus, -i (friend) – in other words, not a friend. It doesn’t sound quite so bad in this context, but consider Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Unabridged definition of the word as it stands in modern English:

one that seeks the injury, overthrow, or failure of a person or thing to which he is opposed : ADVERSARY, OPPONENT

“enemy.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (4 Jul. 2011).

That certainly seems to describe the relationship between Christians and LGBTQ allies like me, at least from their perspective.

The woman on stage then goes on to scream “The truth of God! The truth of God! The truth of God! The truth of God! The truth of God! The truth of God!” literally six times, as though screaming it loudly and repeatedly is some sort of rational argument in its favor.

I have news for you, Christians: Being gay is neither a choice nor a sin. If you have a rational, reasoned, evidence-based argument to the contrary, I’m all ears. But if “it’s true because I’m really loud!” is the best you’ve got, well… Frankly, I suppose we just may be enemies. I seek your failure in poisoning the minds of innocent people, young and old. I seek the overthrow of your bigotry. I positively do not seek your injury, but I do remember Matthew Shepard, and I'm sorry to say that, unfortunately, the same is not true the other way around.

Christians who are not bigots, where are you? Stand up against this. You should be ashamed of what your fellow Christians are saying and you should be out here telling them to stop making you look so evil. I don't care what the Bible says about being gay; the Bible is an outdated, barbarian, immoral load of crap. The Bible also mandates the death penalty for working on Saturdays, cursing your parents, and premarital sex. It mandates the death of everyone in an entire town if one person there worships a different imaginary god.

I am fed up with this. My personality tends toward accomodationism, but I'm starting to realize more and more that in the face of this level of dogmatic bigotry, that may not actually be an option. “True” Christians already consider us their enemies; we have it on tape. Can more progress be made by calling a spade a spade and recognizing Christians for what they are?

Your thoughts and feedback are appreciated.

 

About the Author: Dave Muscato

Dave Muscato's photo

Dave Muscato is Vice President of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics (MU SASHA). He has appeared in Rolling Stone, People, Time, The New York Times, SPIN, and Entertainment Weekly, and on MTV News, VH1, NPR, MSNBC, ABC, and Howard Stern. Muscato is a junior at the University of Missouri majoring in economics & anthropology and minoring in philosophy & Latin. Muscato posts updates to the Official SASHA Blog every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. His website is DaveMuscato.com and he can be reached at mail@DaveMuscato.com.

Comments:

#1 Chris (Guest) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 at 8:19am

For better or worse, sin is whatever the believer says it is. Their god is their own, after all, and the rules of their god are their own as well. Homosexuality is a sin as long as a believer thinks it is a sin, because there is no other standard that makes any real difference. Homosexuality may not be a choice, and it may not be negative in the larger social sense - I personally celebrate anything that creates an opportunity for adults to share love; sexually, emotionally or however else you want to define it. And I don't care one whit if it IS a choice. But sin is a specific kind of negative that is the property of the accuser. Better, I think, to regard the whole idea of "sin" as vain and absurd. Claim it at the risk of ridicule and dismissal by people of reason, character and ethics. But, as non believers, we probably do better not to try to define it for the believers.

#2 23cal (Guest) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 at 10:14am

You might be painting with quite a broad
brush referring to Christians as your enemy.
The latest Pew poll shows a majority of
citizens now support many gay-positive
situations, such as the removal of Don't
Ask, Don't Tell. I have Christians who are my
enemy, and others who are my friend. Lumping
them all together is just unfair.

#3 Reid Wahl (Guest) on Thursday July 07, 2011 at 12:05am

I'm such a cynical bastard that although I try to make a difference, I usually laugh at the misfortune of people I don't know. I feel no emotional attachment to random strangers, so I treat the messed-up situations with dark humor.

With that said... that video made me cry. I'm straight, but the pity I feel for those kids is boring a hole in my stomach. I would give anything to know who they are, find them on Facebook or something, and tell them it's okay. Their minds are being murdered by the screaming, the mob, and the strategically placed soundtrack--all of which heighten the suggestibility of the victims. Those people yelling know that. Excuse me here, but the only honest way to describe this is "fucked up."

I'm sorry that I couldn't comment on your blog post. I was too affected by the video you embedded.

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