The un-ending struggle against bigotry

Before we leave 2005 too far behind, I want to draw your mind back to an event that happened in the last days before Christmas. In December 2005, Britain’s parliament passed a law allowing same-sex marriage. It was an event celebrated by many, while many others poured vitriol and hate over the proceedings.

By my estimation, it all blew over rather too easily, because here was categorical proof, that in spite of the outspoken and antagonistic nature of the rising tide of bigotry and narrow-mindedness in the world, common sense can prevail! I don’t want to be coy, so I’ll say that this was a truly momentous occasion!

Those of you who have followed my blog since August will be aware that from a sexual point of view, I could not be considered as “straight down the middle”. It will be a very long time before men who enjoy dressing like women, even infrequently, are deemed normal! It’s a common misconception that cross-dressers and transvestites are gay. Some are, but apparently the majority, like me, are heterosexual. Don’t get me wrong here! I’m not trying to distance myself from gay people. It’s just important that you understand that my complete joy at the news that gays and lesbians are now allowed to lawfully wed stems from my belief in tolerance and a spirit of live-and-let-live.

Sadly, the spirit of live-and-let-live is almost absent from the world’s faiths. Last night I watched a program in which a man, a man who was obviously possessed of a high IQ effectively stated that it was evil to allow women to chose what they wear, but all right to kill people! I am still in shock at the utter bankruptcy of common-sense this man displayed. The conservative right-wing in the USA is equally idiotic, taking the word of a book written, not by any superior being, but my mortals, fallible, gullible mortals just like you and me. “This book is the truth!” they claim. Again, many of these people are demonstrably “clever” and yet manage to demonstrate wilful blindness to the fact that not only was the book written by mortals, but the version they are using has been translated by mortals from one language to another, sometimes more than once.

There may well be a Maker. If there is, I’m certain he’s looking down on this world and shaking his head in sadness and wondering how he can encourage peace and harmony. Perhaps he’s already planning his next attempt at creating a world and trying to figure out how he can prevent people from inventing religions and using them as an excuse to hate and kill each other.

It’s difficult for me to be an Atheist and fight my corner, because a large part of my Creed (although I’m sure that’s the wrong word) is that I should allow others to believe in what they choose, as long as they don’t hurt others. It’s a depressing fact that many of those who have been indoctrinated have no qualms in oppressing me and people like me who want nothing more than to embrace people of every race, colour and Creed and say to them “Life’s tough for all of us. I wish you well in your struggle to carve an existence out for yourself!”

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