It is interesting how I'm finally in a state going through its own moral crisis when it comes to gay marriages. While I'm not in a gay relationship, I happen to believe that love is as blind as justice should be, and that as a society, we shouldn't be saying who can love each other. It doesn't matter if we disagree with religion, race, or gender. I'm completely apathetic toward the differences of love; though I'll agree that people shouldn't marry their dog but that has nothing to do with gay marriages. Seriously! I'm not sure why that keeps coming up in conversations about gay marriage.
Well, I guess I could. No doubt while this country believed segregation was the right thing, people claimed that marrying blacks was like marrying beasts. Of course, today, only the psychos and bigots say that. But, I can't help see the similarities. I probably wouldn't agree with it then, and I don't agree it with now.
I honestly believe that apathy toward particulars is a good thing when it comes to most of my life. I simply don't care what a person's gender, religion, age, race, or anything else is. I care about their actions and the words that come out of their mouth.
I'm sending a letter to my various Iowa representatives today, but I saw this little news article going through the AP rounds about one of the openly gay Iowa legislation getting a death threat. It also reminds me of certain people near me who feel that gays shouldn't be killed, but tortured and mutilated is just fine.
I really can't describe how much that saddens me, both the mortality aspect of the former and the nearness of the latter. Just as sadly, I've seen those people near me use the bible and their religion for their reasons for their vocal violence. To me, I'd rather go with the simple atomic rules of that religion:
You shall not kill - Exodus 20:13
You shall not kill - Deuteronomy 5:17
... seems contradictory to me. I mean, death threats and not killing could be combined in empty threats, but we already know that people have been killed for simply being gay. Or a cross-dresser, or TG, or black, or a ton of other things. You have simple rules, why not follow them? In Wicca, you have the basic one: do what you want, as long as you harm none. Yet, I've seen violence and "witch wars" among those communities as much as I have seen them with other religions.
The reason is simple: it has very little to do with religion. It has to do with fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of something different.
People don't like to be afraid. They don't like to realize they are terrified of change or of something different. So, we use a shield, a hand puppet, to mask our fear. We use religion, manifest destiny, or the American Way, as a reason to mask our fear and justify our actions.
Now, somewhere in there was a point. Oh yeah, writing fear. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm religious but I don't put a label on it. I refuse to use it a puppet for my actions. I am religious, I believe in the divinity in a particular way, but I don't celebrate it. I just believe.
But, with writing, it seems like an interesting way of creating characters with depth. When laid out on paper, I have a simple list of specific likes and dislikes, but also a general preference toward consistency verses chaos. Older people, at least in my writing, lean closer to consistency and quid pro quo while younger like more change. This isn't a universal belief, but I have noticed people get crusty with age. Our thoughts wear a grove in our minds and we struggle when someone tries to pull it out over that rut; change is great when you are twenty, not so great at fifty.
Since I'm adding religions to my world, no doubt I'm going to use it as the mask to justify someone's actions. I'm also going to create the honestly good people for the same religion, because I know so many who are "currently without church" or good for good's sake. I've been around too many paladins in my life to believe that any religion is wrong; it comes down to people and their actions.
I don't like using religious villains, because it gets too close to the "the Church is the evil" that some writers get into. And I simply don't believe that is true. I want to create lots of beautiful faiths that inspire and lead. And then make complete assholes who use them for their own purposes.