Religion skews the social fabric and the rules we live by

Freedom of religion, slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, separate but equal, interracial marriage, women’s right to vote, equal rights for women, free choice: All have been contentious issues throughout history. There are the people who are pros and those who are cons and those who really don’t give a damn. Now we have same sex marriage . . . in the United States.

I think the next big issue will be freedom from religion. But we are not there yet.

In Costa Rica they still are quibbling about whether or not they should even recognize such a thing as homosexuality, or any other kind of sexuality except heterosexuality. The Catholic Church is objecting to teaching sex in the schools for fear it will lead to promiscuity, and what? Increase the number of teenage mothers?

The growing number of teenage pregnancies is one reason the schools want to teach the students about sex.

All deistic religions agree on one thing: Sex is bad except when it is between a man and a woman (or women, as the case may be) in a marriage condoned or at least accepted by the religion. And if anyone objects, they are treated to a choice quotation from their holy scripture or told they have invited the wrath of God . . . or Allah, or whoever their almighty is.

As we all know, humans acting in the name of religion historically have caused more wars, torture, deaths and misery than any other human organization. One wonders if the respect these religions are given is in spite of or in fear of what they can and may do.

I do not wish to rain upon the parade of pilgrims heading

towards the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago. Any way a woman can insert herself into such a closed society as is the Catholic Church is fine with me. And I am sure the exercise and the camaraderie is well worth the trip to those involved. If their faith brings them what they ask for from her, I am happy, too. (It seems that aside from Job, nobody blames their supreme being for their hardships or disease only for rescuing or curing them.)

If the objection to same-sex marriage goes the way the belief that slavery is part of God’s will, has gone . . . and it seems the same people are always on the wrong side of history . . . then soon such marriages will become accepted and commonplace. This does not mean that all people will practice what is considered right. There is still slavery in the world, women’s right to own their bodies is still being challenged by some religions, and there is monetary segregation, but today it seems to me that the biggest threat to the many, or perhaps they are the minority, is being forced to live by the rules and perhaps rules that have become laws, of an organized religion. The advice to “render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God, the things that are God’s.” is still valid advice. And let me add to that quote from Matthew, my own “And please, know and accept the difference.” In the final analysis, theocracies do not work.

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