When reading news like this, I really have to wonder:
What kind of a religion would reject those who had been brutally sodomised against their will and punish them instead of the people who did this to them?
Where is the justice for the victims of those who had been raped?
Where is the justice for the innocent ones?
By using religion to justify their violence against their fellow human beings, how can one follow a religion and be at peace?
I have no doubt that Jesus Christ came to save the Jews. That, as much as written in the Bible, is indisputable. But it’s a bit more of a stretch when you consider a lot of people (think a few billion) believed he came to save the world, when he comes out of a Jewish pantheon, when he comes out as a Jewish god.
I’ve always believed that religion is tied very closely to the culture that spawns it. You must have a people before you can have a god. If we follow Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and apply it to our ancestors, religion would probably come only after food, shelter and clothing were satisfied. Or perhaps before clothing. But to think about religion, about giving thanks to a deity, that comes only when you don’t need to worry about survival. I also think that this is what shapes our cultures:
Environment > Culture > Religion.
In that order. But not all the time. Just the initial growth.
Then of course you have Father Time and many of humans’ idiosyncrasies mixing together to create a “perfect” blueprint, supposedly from the Divine One above, on how we humans can live. On how we are supposed to live, to being the “best member” of society, to reaching the rewards of joining the Divine One in heaven.
The whole point of it, it seems, is designed to encourage society to grown in a certain direction, promoting and encouraging certain behaviours and rewarding personality types over others. While it promotes a certain kind of growth, when used excessively, it often stifles other human beings, who do not fit in the norm, sometimes no matter how much they would want to.
By this same token, the idea of human rights is abhorrent to most religious types. This is because the idea of human rights is that no matter how deviant your behaviour is, no matter how repulsive, you are still a member of society. You are still a human being. As long as you do not harm another human being, your rights will not be taken away. You will not be persecuted, you will not be ridiculed, you will not be penalised for making your own choices.
What the religious fail to understand, and what I think a lot of people miss, is that human rights brings forth a far more dangerous concept: that of personal responsibility. God grant us free will, most religious say, and we trust him enough to surrender that free will to him, enslaving ourselves to His love.
That’s fine. That’s your choice to make.
But keep this in mind: IT IS YOUR CHOICE.
The concept of human rights as I outlined above is simple: we are free to do what we want, but we bear the consequences of those actions. We are the ones who are ultimately held responsible for them. We are answerable not to a Divine creation above, but to our own conscience, formed and guided by the people who first raised us.
The choices we make, the values we choose to uphold, as adults, we are responsible for it. No one else. No matter the resources we have available, no matter the time, no matter WHAT, our destinies are in our own hands. How we choose to embrace it is a matter of our own.
How’s this tied up to the above again?
Simple. Screw religion. Your daughters and sons have been hurt. Are you going to turn them away because what happened to them was not something they chose to endure?
Human rights demand that I be allowed to speak my thoughts. It demands that I be allowed to express my rights. Human rights does NOT allow wanton destruction against my person, mentally, emotionally and physically. Human rights demand that I be allowed to express my thoughts without being attacked.
Should, however, a human being trespass against my rights and more importantly, my being, then human rights demand that I be treated with care. That I am a human who has undergone an ordeal no one else should. That I am allowed to live with dignity.
Most of all, it demands that I be accepted.