What do my fellow nontheists think about this commentary I wrote for English class?
Thou shall kill
By Shaine Carroll-Frey
Homosexuals. African-Americans. Women. Abortionists. Atheists. These are just some of the types of people who are discriminated against, injured, and sometimes even murdered in the name of an “all loving god”. Alright! We will stay peaceful and not kill anyone! Oh, except for gays. Oh, and blacks, they sure aren’t equal! Oh, and I hear that guy over there has a different religion! Let’s kill him too! Oh, and while we’re at it, that guy just looked at me funny, and you know what that means!
Every day, all over the world, people of all ages flock to churches, synagogues, and mosques. Why? Because going to church gives people a feeling of holiness, it makes them feel that although they are anything but holy, going to church somehow makes them better people, and maybe even gives them higher moral standards then those who don’t attend church regularly. However, that is anything but the truth.
July 29, 1994, Dr. John Britton, owner of an abortion clinic, and his bodyguard are walking outside his clinic, when Paul Hill shot and killed them both with a 12 gauge shotgun. Why? Because he was a reverend of the Army of God, an American Christian terrorist group. Now, this Army of God, these guys are responsible for more than a few murders. They have been assassinating abortionists and burning abortion clinics since 1982. Sounds like some real saints, huh? Surprising as it may seem, these types of actions are not uncommon, and they have been going on throughout history. Just look at the crusades, the Taliban, and even the bible. Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads”. Huh? So, we should put all gays to death? That’s not even the worst of it. Deuteronomy 3:3-6 “So the LORD our God delivered Og also, king of Bashan, with all his people into our hand, and we smote them until no survivor was left. We captured all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns. We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women and children of every city.” Huh? So, here the bible, which is supposed to be the ultimate moral guide, is promoting genocide and the destroying and killing of a town? That is the holiest thing I have ever heard!
Now, there is nothing wrong with having an ancient piece of ,literature to enhance our culture and give us insight into the people of that era. However, when people start using that book as a reference for how to live their lives, that is where we have a problem. For instance, David Mills, in his eye-opening book, Atheist Universe, he tells of a faith healer that came to his small town every year. He encouraged diabetics to throw away their insulin, for cancer patients to end their chemotherapy, and to pray to be cured instead. So Mills, being the reasonable man he was, decided to have a peaceful protest at the faith healers rally. However, when he went to the police station to ask for protection, they refused. Many of them even threatened him personally with violence. I know, I know, most religious people don’t take the bible literally, and therefore would not act so violent. However, even if there is no direct violence involved, there is still bigotry and opposition to different ideas. For instance, there have been accounts of families shunning their children because the children decide to become atheists. I have suffered from this, but perhaps suffered is not the right word, as it was to a much, much lesser extent. However, it is still there that there is bigotry stemming from the ideologies of religion. So, although most religious people themselves are not extremists, you cannot argue against the bigotry of your faith when the holy book that it is centered around is full of genocide, rape, murder, and child abuse. I could go on and on, but frankly, I would just tell you this: open up a bible, and read the entire thing from start to finish, then see how much genocide and murder is in it, you will be surprised, trust me.
So homosexuals, African Americans, and women I am truly sorry. I am truly sorry that you have suffered, and continue to suffer from a book written two thousand years by ignorant, primitive men. And I am sorry that just about the whole world seems to be locked in a delusional state of bigot filled ideas. And I am also sorry that most religious people today still oppose homosexuals and female priests. For those reasons and more, I am sorry.
Constructive criticism is welcomed.
First off, I'd shy away from the exclamation marks and sentence fragments, and starting a sentence with "So". There's a casual tone to the piece which makes it harder to take the piece seriously. Also don't say "perhaps suffered is not the right word" because one does suffer when his/her parents won't talk to him/her. I'd either go all out with explaining your own experience and relating it to the topic, or not include it at all. Also you say "churches, synagogues, mosques", yet your examples draw mainly from christianity. Don't be afraid to use examples of similar things happening in different cultures.
Part of the assignment was to have a casual tone to it, but perhaps that is just because the teacher figured that most students wouldn't write about something so serious. However, I guess I did mostly draw from evidence of Christianity. Thanks for the response.