Here we go again with religiously-influenced, oppressive governments and the Olympics. This time around the controversy involves the 2014 Winter Games, Russia and their recently passed gay propaganda law, which euphemistically prohibits the promotion of ”non-traditional” relationships to minors.
The only reason I took notice of this latest human rights injustice on the global stage (because there is SO MUCH of it reported on an hourly basis it’s hard to keep track – for every report you notice 20 trillion go unnoticed) is because Stephen Fry has gotten involved with an open letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) more or less demanding it honour its own charter.
I adore Stephen Fry.
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, its Orthodox Church and the bulk of its largely socially conservative populace, on the other hand, do NOT adore the likes of Stephen Fry. Their hatred is based not on the man as an autonomous sentient being, but on a single private aspect of his personhood and the fanatical belief that a human being can be reduced to nothing more meaningful than a function, and an abnormal function at that. This of course dehumanizes the person and makes the vile mistreatment of that person acceptable, even necessary.
Imagine, degrading and legally oppressing a person as magnificent as Fry for the simple, natural act of openly expressing a positive attraction towards another like-minded human being who shares that same attraction.
We are not talking about weird, maladaptive fetishes involving children or animals or the torturing of innocent human beings for sexual stimulation. We are not talking about inflicting suffering, misery, madness or death. What we are talking about is biodiversity, a NORMAL and fundamental process underlying all life on earth – without biodiversity the ecosystems that support life, give life and are life could not thrive.
We would not exist if not for our differences.
So when Russia passes a law that essentially makes it illegal to be openly gay (which in itself is plain absurd when you consider that outside of faulty belief, a preference for same-sex contact is no more sinister than a congenital variant -- might as well go ahead and make it illegal for people with adherent earlobes to have contact with the free earlobe crowd, that's how ridiculous this is) in an attempt to protect the innocence of minors, what the country is actually doing is crippling its most fertile minds with a sledge hammer of irrationality. The result? Innocence becomes ignorance and “protection” becomes oppression.
A society cannot flourish in any sense, INCLUDING any moral sense, under oppression.
Normalizing what is not abnormal doesn’t somehow taint the youngest of a generation or turn them into deviants. What DOES encourage deviance and curtail humanistic, as well as intellectual advancement is forcing people to repress their emotions and to feel ashamed for merely being who they are, as well as coercing them into adopting contradictory beliefs on morality while denying reality in favor of dictated delusion and claims that are impossible to substantiate.
It creates an atmosphere of “us” versus “them”, marginalizing huge groups of fellow human beings – our brothers and sisters – so that they become dysfunctions akin to poorly working inanimate objects or beasts of burden, which must be corrected, cured, punished and if all else fails destroyed.
In other words, suffocating free thought and dictating who or what a citizen may judge as immoral, even if it conflicts with logic and personal conviction, opens the door to justifiable cruelty, allowing otherwise conscionable people to act in unconscionable ways, as in the below example:
These deviants emboldened with programmed morality as dictated by religion and state appear to have taken great pride and glee in beating to near death a young person who had done NOTHING except express support for an inborn preference that in and of itself harms no one.
A same-sex preference doesn’t harm society – it is the “moralistic” fueled brutality towards that innate preference that harms society.
And even if it was proven that homosexuality was a lifestyle choice and not a genetic trait, it STILL would be unconscionable to gag and single out for persecution anyone who made that choice. It should be no one else’s business what freedoms an individual feels compelled to explore.
This is what happens when you ignore human rights and abandon reason for religious dogma with which to ground your morality. Religious dogma in this context trumps humanity even when that dogma contradicts its OWN moral principles. It’s maddening hypocrisy.
The same religions that condone violent misogyny and pedophilia, or else turn a blind eye to either, are the exact same religions that deem homosexuality a sin and a crime, in some places punishable by torture and death. What kind of atrocious cherry-picking “morality” is THAT?
Do something as innocuous as wearing a little rainbow pin, waving a little rainbow flag, painting a little rainbow on a little finger, publically professing a little rainbow-colored love and if you’re in Russia you can be arrested, fined and deported. This, 20 years AFTER the country decriminalized homosexuality.
It’s the one step forward, two steps back dance. This is why achieving a humane world with the least amount of suffering for EVERYONE in EVERY nation is so slow-going. Progress is constantly hindered by ignorance, hate, superstition and fanaticism, all of which is transmitted via small, fallible minds: conduits of absurdity and barbarism.
The bloodthirsty moralists with their religion and sadistic righteousness need an ever replenishing supply of condemned souls on which to feed. This is the REAL reason religious fundamentalism is so opposed to Planned Parenthood. No one from the conservative camp wants to see a strand of zygotic DNA go to waste and thus another potential soul miss out on its rightful hell and damnation.
It boggles the mind all this cruelty imposed on enormous swathes of people for the “crime” of existing as if their existence was a matter of sinful free will.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall sitting down with my parents pre-coital to grant them permission for burdening me with an existence. I also don’t recall being asked if I cared to look at a menu of trait selections before deciding on a lifelong commitment.
I mean, how unfair is this?: Through no fault of your own, for reasons beyond your control and possibly comprehension, and by sheer chance you are conceived. The genetic material that fuses at your conception acts as an indelible blueprint which then directs your construction. And while there might be room for minor alterations through lifestyle choices (though often ‘’choices” are not choices so much as they are reactions to circumstance or the acting out of a subconscious directive), manipulating epigenetics and wealth (if you’re lucky enough to have it), for the most part you are what you are. Deal with it.
This, however, is easier said than done when outside pressures condemn you for aspects of your unique blueprint you were assigned by fate, misfortune, good fortune, accident, aliens, deities or whatever explanation you use to explain why beyond the material facts you exist at all.
God help you if you were born the wrong gender, the wrong sexual persuasion, the wrong color, the wrong size, with the wrong body parts or MISSING body parts, the wrong disability or ANY disability, the wrong degree of attractiveness, the wrong personality traits, the wrong talents, the wrong passions, the wrong aptitude, the wrong level of intelligence, in the wrong country, amongst the wrong people, to the wrong person, in the wrong place, into the wrong culture within the wrong belief system and at the wrong historical time.
God fucking help you.
God help you, that is, if there was a deity who COULD help you, but there isn't, at least not one willing or able to intervene on your behalf in any tangible way, which makes all of this contemptible “wrongness” not only barbaric and unjust but again completely ridiculous. It’s all just a bunch of made up stuff, which would be fine if it was left at the conceptual stage and not acted upon, but that's not what happens.
Time and again we see religiously manufactured morality being punitively enforced, backed by state and church and a mob of unthinking herd-followers with a lust for superiority over perceived inferiors, preferably ones who are easily distinguishable from the “righteous” and the “chosen”.
It is a deep violation of our humanity, but it's also plain stupid to persecute people because their nature does not conform to a bland majority. All we're really talking about is trait variation, which is a blameless mechanism of evolution. It deserves as much moral judgment as color variation found in peppered moths. There is nothing intrinsically “evil” about a dark versus light moth and there is nothing intrinsically evil about a skin color, height, the female sex or a preference for same sex partners and other "non-traditional" relationships.
Not only that, but if homosexuality is accepted (as it should be) as a genetically determined attribute that has survived biological and cultural evolution this long then it seems reasonable to infer it is a perfectly natural and adaptive characteristic, even IF science has not conclusively worked out the details as of yet. It will though.
Ultimately, the true evil with regards to Russia outlawing certain personal freedoms of certain “types” of people (consequently breaching The Universal Declaration of Human Rights) is the ploy to erase, white-out or gouge out an entire ray of color from humanity’s rainbow, an action that diminishes the varied hues, vibrancies and beauty of the human race.
What’s worse, is the implication that based on a solitary yet integral thread of his whole being, a charismatic humanist as gracious, witty, inspirational and frigg’in fabulous as Stephen Fry should be viewed as an “abomination”, or as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, put it “a dangerous sign of the Apocalypse”.
Tolerance however is NOT an apocalyptic sign, it’s a sign of an enlightened, advancing humanity. Continued intolerance on the other hand IS dangerous and a warning sign of pending annihilation.
Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief
must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted,
if there is to be room for healthy growth
~ Theodore Roosevelt ~
Thus, the ONLY thing “disgusting” (a word also used by Patriarch Kirill) here is the gay propaganda law itself and if the IOC as well as the free-thinking world both outside and inside Sochi 2014 remains mute.
But the free-thinking world isn’t staying mute, even if the IOC has taken a disheartening stance.
There are calls for boycott and protest.
The activists are assembling. They are answering the call...…some unintentionally but serendipitously so:
Others in an act of empowering defiance:
|In a public act of solidarity with those protesting Russia's gay propaganda law, Swedish high jumper, Emma Green-Tregaro, arrived at the track and field world championships in Moscow with her nails painted the color of a rainbow,a symbol of the LGBT movement.|
And still others with playful satire and fun:
Then there are those who do it with such eloquence it moves the enormous sloth of stubborn apathy off a suffocating humanity and resuscitates the world:
Power to the people.