Why is it that so many religious people preach peace and love, but lash out verbally and sometimes violently at those who don’t share their vision of how the world should be?
Take the case of one alleged religious man in Israel, Yishai Schlissel, who no sooner gets out of prison after serving 10 years for violent attacks on LGBT people, and does it again this past week at a Pride parade in Jerusalem, stabbing six people before being arrested. His religion taught him to do this? Surely not. But it probably contributed to his mental state.
So, what motivated him? Is it possible, indeed, highly probable that he has homosexual urges that he can’t deal with? That is a theory about those who loudly and/or violently protest against LGBT people.
Let’s be honest: everybody has homosexual fantasies and urges sometimes. It’s normal. Many heterosexual people use the fantasies to get off while masturbating: once relieved, they get on with daily life. Some people discover they are bisexual (like me). And some people discover they are gay.
But many religions teach their followers to repress their homosexual urges along with heterosexual urges except for procreating. The result of such repressed urges: all manner of physical and mental disorders resulting in abnormal, even criminal, behaviour.
Such as the incident in Jerusalem.
Such as pedophilia in religious organizations like the Catholic Church and, allegedly, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And many other religious organizations.
And all of them attempt to deflect their internal sexual issues, both individually and collectively, by attacking LGBT people verbally and, sadly in some cases, physically.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses are the latest to come under fire for their handling of alleged child abuse by members of their church. Reports The Guardian on July 27, 2015 (link above): “In his opening statement to a hearing into child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses (in Australia), (Angus) Stewart said of the 1,006 alleged perpetrators of child abuse identified by the Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1950, not one was reported to authorities (by the church, which allegedly knew about most if not all of the cases).”
And it is much worse within the global JW organization, according to reports, with all manner of crimes alleged to have been committed around the world.
If the allegations are true, the JWs are — or were — much like the Catholic Church, which did not see pedophilia and others crimes within their organizations as serious enough to call the police. They didn’t see it as wrongdoing, The Guardian article suggests — as if the patriarchs were entitled to use women and children as they saw fit.
Reports The Guardian: “Counsel for the commission Angus Stewart SC said a witness known as BCG would give evidence that her father’s sexual abuse did not appear to qualify as “wrongdoing” in the eyes of the church. … The church was preoccupied with sin and had a patriarchal structure where a man was head of the family and elders – all men – shepherded the congregation, Stewart said.”
In what is being regarded by some as an attempt to deflect attention away from the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, a Governing Body member recently unleashed what is being called by JW Survey “an astonishing swipe at gay people in an apparent attempt to scapegoat homosexuals as being the main perpetrators of child abuse.”
Says writer Lloyd Evans: “Clearly, (Tony) Morris has an axe to grind against homosexuals for reasons best known to himself, but that he should mobilize his bigotry against gays in defense of the organization’s outrageous record on mishandling child abuse is bewildering to say the least.”
Of course, we see examples of religious fundamentalism gone awry every day around the world. Exhibit A: The terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq that claims to be trying to set up an Islamic state while at the same time raping women and children — and even animals, according to some reports. And murdering and murdering and murdering anyone who doesn’t obey them, all under the pretext of religious principle.
It’s all madness, of course — with cases cited above only a few of the worst examples of the mental illness that religious organizations can cause. The average anti-LGBT right-wingers in the United States seem tame and almost sane by comparison. But they’re not. They wreak havoc in the lives of innocent LGBT people by attacking them in right-wing publications, on social media, through ridiculous referendums and in losing battles in the courts. The louder they kick and scream, the more sexually repressed they are? Probably . . .
Meanwhile, we’re not hearing about LGBT folks stabbing people in parades, or abusing children in high numbers like those committed by religious people, or raping and murdering. Indeed, LGBT people who have not repressed their sexuality and gender identity are mostly well-balanced, law-abiding folks who live and let live.
Because, you know, sex is such a small part of our lives. We’re not obsessed by it . . . like so many repressed fundamentalists are.
— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor
“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey