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Some people are teh crazy, but….

November 25, 2012

The issue

Bethany Deaton – now picture her with a plastic bag over her head. Go on. I dare you.

OK – what the hell is this?  Some sort of crazy cult group claiming to be Christians apparently engages in ritual rape, and then eventually murders the wife of the cult leader because they are afraid she will tell her therapist (what a surprise, she has a therapist!) that people have been ritually raping her.  All the while they are also apparently involved in homosexual sex as well.

I don’t even know where to start with this one.  The people involved in this were crazy – brutally fucked up.  There is a part of me that doesn’t want to even associate this with any sort of religion – after all, there are crazy people everywhere, religious or no.  You can always find someone in any group who is a whack job, and some whack jobs will do really terrible things (like dope their wives up, let them be ritually raped, and later have them murdered).

But part of the truth of what has happened here does involve religion.   If I feel like being generous, the best I can say is that Tyler Deaton’s group clothed itself in the trappings of religion to hide their horrific activities.  At worst they really believed that what they were doing was somehow the sort of behavior that their deity desired and approved of.  Not only was the group operating as a religious organization, they were under the umbrella of the International House of Prayer, a larger faith-based organization.

So where the hell WAS religion in all this?  Why wasn’t International House of Prayer watchful of Deaton’s group?  I just do not understand this tendency of Christianity in the United States to turn a blind eye towards those who, for whatever reason, blatantly do things that are clearly unchristian.  The idea that one should not criticize fellow Christians seems to run so deep that the faith as a whole (and I recognize that there many exceptions – exceptions who I honor for their bravery and honesty in standing up to the majority, and to owning up to and fighting against the evil within their own organizations) seems content to give a pass to all sorts of awful, awful behavior – to ignore or write off highly significant and blatantly evil behaviors such as institutional child rape; active discrimination towards women and homosexuals that includes intimidation, violence, and murder; and contempt for the very foundation document of their belief system when it does not agree with their own prejudices, hates, and desires.

What is there in the doctrine and beliefs of Christianity in the United States that allows it to judge a loving, family oriented, homosexual man more harshly and with more rejection, condemnation, and outright hatred than priests who rape children, televangelists who live lavish lifestyles off the donations of impoverished believers, and those who murder in the name of their messiah?  What is it that seems to drive Christians to forgive the sins, no matter how awful, of those who are in their club, but to reject utterly anyone who stands outside of the clubhouse – even those who wish fervently and honestly to get in?

But I digress.  Lets get back to Tyler Deaton and his merry band of pirates.  Again, let me say that there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that these people were crazy.  As Christians they were crazy, and probably they would have been just as crazy if they had been atheists or Hindi, or worshipers of the Red Moon or Space Bats.  I am not going to claim some sort of prescient ability to know WHY this group happened to be crazy – what dynamic worked its way into their collective psyches that turned them into murderous evil rapists.  In different circumstances they might have been murderous evil Space Bat rapists for all I know.  But I also know that their religion played a part in their insanity.  They clothed their activities in the raiment of religion, and justified it by a belief system tied to Christianity.

On the whole, Christianity in the United States considers homosexuality to be an extremely evil activity.  It is considered sufficiently bad that practicing homosexuals are discouraged by many denominations from attending services, and that the majority of Christians reject the idea of homosexuals raising children, of having equal rights, from holding any sort of positions of authority within the structure of the religion, and are sometimes considered by more militant believers as legitimate targets for violence.  The majority opinion (though again I do want to stress that there are many beautiful exceptions) is that homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity – full stop.

This, my friends, is crazy.  Even if one accepts the idea that homosexual activities are a sin (I think that’s ridiculous, but that’s just me) the idea that homosexuals are in some sort of special category when it comes to sin is just stupid.  The idea that homosexuals need to be put in some sort of “worse than other people” category of sinners is still just stupid.  Read your damned bibles people, and understand – sin is sin is sin.  You do it.  Your spouse does it.  Your kids do it.  Your PASTOR does it several times a week!  Yet somehow you determine that homosexuality, out of all the stuff mentioned in the bible, is some sort of exceptional thing, is more terrible than lying, than drunkenness, than blasphemy, than any of the zillion other things in the Bible as being “abomination to God”?  Christianity in the United States seems to have put homosexuality into some sort of “Evil Hall of Infamy” status.  It is one of the big boogie men of US Christianity today.

Without some sort of crazy notion that homosexuality was not only evil but some sort of “special evil”, Tyler Deaton would have felt no particular need to “cure” himself of it.  He and his buddies could have engaged in all the homoerotic sex they wanted without having to drag  poor Bethany into the whole affair to add some sort of weird heterosexual legitimacy to their sex games.  Would that have made them less crazy?  I don’t know.  Some people are just teh crazy and that’s the way of it.  But even assuming that they were all crazy to begin with, the religious proscriptions against homosexuality that were taught to them by their preferred religion (in this case Christianity) certainly in no way helped make them less crazy.  And if religion isn’t about comforting those who need comforting, aiding those who need aiding, and teaching people about how to live decent lives that don’t involve letting people ritually rape and murder other people, what the hell good is it?

So today’s “Two She Bears” award goes to Tyler Deaton, Micah Moore, and the International House of Prayer for being complete wastes of carbon that need to be rent asunder and returned to the earth for recycling as quickly as possible, with an additional “Bald Head” award for homophobic Christians for aiding and abetting.

Today’s Two She Bears has been brought to you by Colossians 3:19.

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