The epitome of dogma

A conservative theist criticized my article "Love wins battle, war against dogma continues" (July 5, 2015), basically saying, amongst other things, that traditional marriage not only has tradition behind it, but also merit. Of course, I disagreed, which I detailed in my follow-up article, "Tradition, sides, and dogma" (July 13, 2015). The theist then replied to that article, as well, explaining his dogmatic position in more detail, while claiming it is those who support same-sex marriage who are dogmatic.

He claimed that "God's Love won when Christ died on the cross and resurrected the third day," and that he loves a man named Jesus. He says there are no arguments for same-sex marriage, that legalizing homosexuality is "nothing more than another Western assumption." He concludes, "The only dogma being pushed is the lie that anything presented is new and a victory. There is nothing new under the sun!"

He does not offer any actual arguments or counterarguments. Instead, he does exactly what I wrote about in articles such as "Tradition, sides, and dogma" (July 13, 2015), "Love wins battle, war against dogma continues" (July 5, 2015), and "The iceberg of love and hate" (June 23, 2015). He appeals to a higher power to justify persecution, which he has been taught to do through his faith, and he passes it off as love, which he has also been taught through his faith, which is what "The iceberg of love and hate" discusses:

Let me first say that religious people are people like anyone else, and so they can love and hate like anyone else. However, it seems they often try to pass off their hate as love. Homophobic theists say they do not hate homosexuals; they love them and have to "save them" from "sin", or in other words, they have to help God save homosexuals from what God will do to them if they do not let God "help" them.

Theists' supposed love for "sinners" may in many cases be genuine, but because the reason they need to "save sinners" is hateful, their love, genuine or not, loses its value. Religions like Christianity have rules which are at best questionable. Why is homosexuality a sin? Why is promiscuity a sin? Why is anything other than the narrowly defined lifestyle of a "good Christian" bad? And what gives God the right to do as he wishes with sinners who lead their lives as they want without hurting anyone?

Christians rarely seem to ponder these questions. They rarely seem to consider if God really is so nice when he refuses to save people from his eternal punishment if they do not live in a way he deems appropriate, which of course includes worshipping him without question. If God were held to the same standard as people, he would be considered the worst being to have ever existed; he is a dictator who commits genocide, oppresses people based on harmless criteria, and punishes anyone who will not blindly follow him... because he loves them so much. Christians are not worried about the fact that their god is a genocidal maniac. Instead, they worry if people are good enough for him, good enough to avoid eternal torture; they blame the victims of God's wrath rather than God himself. (The iceberg of love and hate, June 23, 2015)

Theists think God is about love, even when he arbitrarily sentences good people who have never harmed a fly to eternal torture, because they used their genitals in the wrong way or did not submit to God. Theists think God is about love, even though their religion tells them he is a bigot and a mass murderer. "God's Love won when Christ died on the cross and resurrected the third day," my theistic critic wrote. He thinks "God's Love won" when, instead of just forgiving humans for supposed crimes that never affected him, he raped a woman, so she could give birth to himself, so he could be sacrificed to himself, so that he can forgive humans for the crimes with which he charged them, which, of course, requires worship and blind faith. The all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful GOD cannot simply forgive; he requires blood sacrifices and unchallenged devotion, which makes him seem like nothing more than a sadistic dictator.

God is like an abusive spouse who has psychologically broken down theists, so they believe the fault lies with them. They believe they need God, that he is good and they are bad, and that whatever evil is committed by God is deserved by those whom he hurts. This is achieved, in almost all cases, through the conditioning of children's minds; people are indoctrinated into not only believing in the supernatural, but accepting its evils as if they were good. They then dogmatically adhere to this belief until they manage to break through the indoctrination, if they manage to break through it.

It seems that theists do, absolutely, love God, even though he does not actually exist or affect their lives in the least; my theistic critic said he loves one man, whose name is Jesus. I call this Jesusexuality, and Christians are Jesusexuals. This love and being convinced that God loves them back and protects them through life must be very reassuring and nice, soul weed, essentially. That is probably why it is so difficult to break the chains that hold them back, their dogma. That is also what makes religion, in many cases, a force for conservatism and closed-mindedness.

The theist thought that there is no argument for LGBT rights, that legalizing homosexuality is "nothing more than another Western assumption," and that "the only dogma being pushed is the lie that anything presented is new and a victory." Claiming there is no argument for equal rights, rather than actually using logic and facts as counterarguments against the many arguments for equal rights, is pretty much the definition of dogma. Refusing to accept even the possibility that there are valid arguments for same-sex marriage is closed-minded. The irony is that most conservatives who dogmatically adhere to some kind of archaic tradition also believe dogma lies in change, not in adherence to tradition. But change requires one to question, which is the opposite of dogma. And when one side uses actual arguments and seeks to eliminate oppression, while the other desperately tries to cling to tradition, it is not with the former that the dogma lies.

Theists blindly accept and love the supreme overlord. Conservative theists hold on to archaic values with an appeal to tradition. Without question, they accept that God and whatever God wants must be good, even if it is oppressive and harmful. The dogma lies with religion, and especially conservative religion. Traditional religion is the epitome of dogma.

This is a follow-up article to both "Love wins battle, war against dogma continues" (July 5, 2015) and "Tradition, sides, and dogma" (July 13, 2015). Be sure to check out those two articles, as well!

Patrick Hall

Author of speculative fiction. Blogger of thoughts. Devout atheist. Scary leftist. Awkward introvert. Proud great ape. Amazon: