Coo, coo, ca-choo, Mrs Carpenter …

… Jesus loves you more than you will know. And that’s absolutely fine by me, if that’s what you want to believe!

A very good (and very long-standing) friend challenged me this week as to why I spend so much time having a go at the religious, so here goes …

Firstly, darling, I don’t actually spend all that long doing it. It’s only rarely that I go into serious print on the subject, mostly it’s just a one-liner and a link to a story.

Secondly, my fire is not aimed at all those of a religious bent. For fairly obvious reasons I’m well aware that the majority of religious people are well-intentioned and only want to live their lives in peace.

Thirdly, I have absolutely no problem with personal belief in god(s). I fully support what it says in Article 9 of the Rome Convention, namely that everyone has a right to believe as they wish and to peacefully profess those beliefs. However, that is as far as I will go and if your religion makes you spew intolerance, hatred or bigotry then don’t expect me to sit quietly and let it go unchallenged.

We are all familiar with the antics of the late Fred Phelps and the egregious Westboro Baptist Church, who picket funerals in their prurient, and almost onanistic, campaign to be be truly vile about homosexuals. They are, sadly, very far from being alone. The latest in the long line of “loving” christians to tell me that I shouldn’t be soiling god’s clean earth with my filth is “Pastor” Logan Robertson of the Westcity Bible Baptist Church who says I should be killed for being gay. (He doesn’t have the guts to actually do it himself – he expects the government to do it for him!) Not even the roman catholic church still goes quite that far, but it does call me “objectively disordered”. Well, if you put this shit out there, don’t expect me not to react!

I am what I am and I refuse to be made to feel guilty about it by ignorant, loud-mouthed, boggle-eyed bible bashers or celibate geriatrics in frocks who preside over an oppressive organisation reeking of its own hypocrisy, filth and corruption.

But there is a more important reason for getting exercised over this muck. The peddlers of hate are saying that I am worth less because of what I am. They seek to make me less than human. They claim to be speaking on behalf of their god, and they think this gives them carte blanche to say unacceptable, outrageous and hurtful things.

This dehumanisation starts with simple name-calling – left unchecked it continues into the concept that the chosen target doesn’t deserve to live – and it ends in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Treblinka, the Killing Fields of Cambodia or any other of man’s genocidal rampages.

All that is needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing. I can’t do much, but I cannot and will not remain silent. When they stop their vilification, their insults and their threats, THEN I will leave them in peace.