I recently watched an old interview with Jeffrey Dahmer, the serial killer. He is a bit different from most others like him, in that he tried to express some remorse for what he had done, and stressed that his parents were certainly not to blame for the many murders that he committed. He himself took full responsibility for what he did, and I think that's great. No, really. No 'blaming the voices in my head' for ol' Jeff. Except for one little thing; something he says to the interviewer:
"Evolution just devalues life."
Jeffrey, who had only been minimally exposed to religion throughout his life, had found Jesus in prison. He told the interviewer that if he'd had a more religious upbringing, he wouldn't have become a serial killer. All those boys would still be alive. So he blamed the lack of religion , at least partly, for what he had done.
What bothers me about this assertion is that it's complete bullshit. Science, which we advance by using our (supposedly God-) given brains, devalues us? Is not the opposite true? Does not a belief in a God, who controls every facet of our predetermined lives in a rat's maze he carefully crafted for us, devalue us?
I resent the notion that I am nothing more than a master's plaything, without free will or options as to my fate.
Is not the very concept of a religion dehumanizing? That we should believe that we are worthless little creatures, just graciously being allowed to live by an omnipotent creature whom we must worship, lest he floods the planet and kills us all, is that not dehumanizing?
All religions seem to share one trait, their contempt for humanity and its development. Free and independent thought is something that all churches seek to curb or ban, because they know that once we truly begin to think for ourselves we will no longer have a need for them.
But what about the morality that religion instills in us, you ask? Well, what morality would that be? Would a church that condoned slavery, colonialism, and countless other crimes really have prevented Jeffrey from becoming a monster? And let's not forget that Jeffrey was a homosexual, and that his chosen religion -Catholicism- condemns homosexuality.
Condemns! How does an organization that claims to live by the teachings of Jesus have the gall to condemn another human being? And they don't stop with gays; they also condemn anything and anyone else who fails to live up to the arbitrary and ever-changing standards the church sets.
And why exactly does an organization that is currently being led by an old Nazi who systematically hides child rapists from the police think that it has the moral high ground on any issue?
No, Jeffrey was wrong. Religions change, society's values change, and we change. God is as much or as little as we make of him, and your own personal beliefs -or lack thereof- cannot and should not be used as an excuse for your behavior.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Amen.