Events leading to that harmful legislation in Indiana makes me analyze some of the lessons in Humanism that I have accumulated as of late. Good thing some references online are available for using against these moralisers. It is a term worth using against the Religious Freedom Act. When people are more concerned about their religion than whether they have served the community well, you know that you need to use the same barometer of morality that doesn’t have to do with religion. No wonder Prof. A. C. Grayling’s book “Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age” is a reliable reference to go through.
What is a moraliser according to Grayling? Well, the quote “a person who seeks to impose upon others his view of how they should live and behave” is already a nice summary of how some folks would rather tell everyone else how to live simply because it’s the only view they have on life. Today where several other ways to live have reached the point of being normal, some individuals are still resistant to change for reasons that it is the only kind of life they knew all along.
It would not have been much of an issue until Grayling describes them in a way that would remind us better of the Religious Freedom Act – “They want others to conform to their views and they seek to bring this about by coercion – employing means which range from social disapproval to legal control, this latter often being their preferred option”. Legal control indeed as it now gave some business establishments in Indiana a reason to refuse gay customers by “virtue” of their religious beliefs.
When religious people invoke the law just so to impose their brand of morality to their fellow citizens, what law can the LGBT community, in this case, use? For a community recognized on a wide scale including the human rights violations done to them in the name of religion, secular solutions need to be in place. While the concern is easily seen on the part of these moralisers, it just doesn’t register right. No wonder Grayling eventually mentioned the lame excuses that the moralisers use like how “They defend their actions by saying that they are trying to defend others from harm, thereby claiming not only a monopoly on moral judgment, but the right to decide on others’ behalf what is good for them”.
At the moment, just when you think that everyone has become tolerant of everyone else’s beliefs and lifestyles, such unfair legislation comes along. You can quote me on that. I call that unfair and it will never be fair because some bigots are just waiting for something legal to come along. They will use first the Bible (or any book they deem holy) to justify their bigotry and invoke the law in case some provisions already exist in their favor.
There is nothing wrong with being “traditionalist”. But when it comes an excuse to “impose instead their own choices, usually in the form of a traditionalist fantasy of ‘family morality'”, it makes you ask them – what are they really out to preserve? The traditions along with its meddlesome, cumbersome and bothersome brand of sticking up their noses where it should not be? Or the conventional FAMILY – Father And Mother I Love You – acronym? No wonder the word “narrow-minded” came up as a term to describe the religious folks that are stuck in their beliefs. It seems as if they are the only human beings inhabiting this planet.
The operative word is “impose”. They can’t imagine a community where they live with people channeling lifestyles that are different from theirs. They don’t like it. So in Indiana and Arkansas, people who don’t like the LGBT folks living in the midst of them got to impose their brand of morality on their legislators. They are clearly not in the majority. But this mentality of refusing to serve gay weddings gives a paradoxical definition to religious freedom. If laws are passed to give its citizens reasons to stop serving each other, imagine what other services could possibly withheld in the guise of “religious freedom”.
Even worse, I personally hate it that some folks would claim that the world is ending because man has gotten bolder in doing evil deeds. I could only roll my eyes at that time. Reading Grayling mention how “Every age thinks it is in crisis” and you realize how accurate that statement is. Some old people often frown at the lifestyles the “young ones” get into simply because they never lived that kind of life. Must their idea of life be the only way to live? Of course not. “People of religious bent are inclined to think that their personal epoch is so bad that it probably marks the end of the world”. Pat Robertson easily comes to mind since he had never played it nice against folks who believed in evolution and supported LGBT rights.
Another example would be this priest that delivered a homily about how Jill Meagher’s brutal rape and murder happened because she is not “faith-filled”. He even raised a newspaper with the photo of the convicted felon. I don’t like the victim-blaming used just to promote having more faith in God and this is a homily delivered to children. If these kids don’t get to learn critical thinking early enough, they might accept the priest’s words at face value. It was proselytizing done in bad faith. Pun intended. If not for social media, homilies like these might have proliferated more.
The Catholic Church through the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s vicar general, Monsignor Greg Bennett, has apologized for the homily delivered. “I’ve spoken with the priest; he acknowledges that the homily wasn’t appropriate and apologises for the offence and upset it has caused,” he told 3AW. I hope they apologized because what the priest did was really foul, not because somebody called them out on this just like what happened to that priest in Cebu that delivered a scathing sermon. Shaming the mother of the infant that he’s about to baptize, it makes you question your morals when the priests themselves have moralities like these.
Some of the examples that Grayling gave in the book referred to the conservative Victorian era as it clearly provided a contrast to the liberal Georgian era. I would really appreciate it if you would click this image above since it would generate some commission for me. And while you’re at it, I would love to see you clicking the “Like” button on the official Facebook page of the Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI) and the “follow” button on the HAPI Twitter page @HAPITweets. Thank you very much for taking time to learn humanism with me.