Recently I read a blog by a transgender woman who wrote her post as an open letter to conservative blogger Matt Walsh, making some well-reasoned arguments against some fairly narrow minded views expressed by him in his blog towards transgender people being mentally ill and against the teachings of Christ. I hit like on her post and went on my merry way. I was surprised to find that in seeing my “like” she checked out my blog and left a comment on one of the posts where I discussed religion and atheism and left a polite comment, but made sure that the first comment she left was how she wished I could know God the way she did. I checked out her blog and it made me rather sad, because it seems a lot of what she writes is the typical self-debasement so typical in evangelical communities and she basically justifies her own struggles and flaws being born a woman in a man’s body as a punishment for original sin, and that God is really loving and has done so much but she is the one at fault. She is the failure. She is imperfect. Victoria over at Victoria Neuronotes wrote about this topic recently.
Believe me, I’m not criticizing this woman, because I can’t even fathom the difficulties that someone like her must face in a world that has so little tolerance beyond the black and white world they see. I imagine given such difficult struggles trying to find something that will give you the strength to fight, the strength to make some sense out of it all is strong. What I don’t understand is how one reaches for a religion or continues to follow a religion that is the very same one that has prevented her from growing up to be free to be who she is. It is the same question that I have for many African-Americans who are Christian and don’t seem to have be bothered by the fact that this very religion was the one that was used to justify them as slaves, as being inferior, segregating them from whites, preventing them from marrying someone who was white and the history of white Christians using their religion to oppress African-Americans continue to this day.
Look, I know the “No True Scotsman” argument is coming and we all know that’s a fallacy, so let’s put that aside. We all know there are loving verses in the Bible and disturbingly evil verses is well and everybody cherry picks the one’s they want to prove they are the true Christian. I’m not making an argument against God either, because I can see oppressed groups rallying around a spiritually uplifting philosophy. But why the very one that oppressed them? Why not choose Buddhism, or Hinduism, or one of many other choices out there?
I mentioned in a comment on a blog post from Sirius Bizinus recently that it seems we should question the validity of a system of beliefs that produces people from extremely kind, compassionate, and generous to derisive, judgmental, and unfeeling as a questionable system. That perhaps goodness has it’s source elsewhere than, at the very least, the religion that has essentially made your life a living hell. For me the psychology of such things is hard for me to grasp. Is it because they want to turn something that was bad to them into something positive? Is it a way to directly challenge those who oppress them with the same tool they use to do the oppression? Like an atheist arguing with a Christian by quoting bible verses to show how their attitudes are not very Christ-like, But even so does that mean that one must actually be a member of that religion to challenge it effectively? That doesn’t seem like it should be the case, but maybe it is.
What are your thoughts?