I’m a straight male. I get my fair share of exposure to material deemed sinful and unlawful in other cultures : violence, sex, drugs, alcohol, Richard Gere kissing an Indian starlet on the cheek… You get my drift.I like to think I’m fairly open-minded. Being a very early Internet user, at a time when anyone could publish virtually any piece of information in this brave new cyberspace.

In that respect, the Internet is very much like Voltaire’s dream come true, when the French philosopher declared: “I may not agree with you but I’ll fight to the death so that so you have a right to express yourself.”

Now there is information for just about any interest group worlwide. From cooking recipes to cruise reservations to dating profiles to obscure filmographies. You get the idea. If you read Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail, we are now in a niche culture.

This is all nice and well until religious extremists come into play.

Then something terrible happens.

Terrorists driving airplanes into buildings.

Acts of God (sic) that  uproot trees and leaves thousands missing in action and plenty more homeless.

War, and soldiers die.

Shootings on university campuses, the act of a lon, deranged foreign student.

When comes the time to bury the dead, you will now find representatives of certain religious groups inviting themselves to the burial ceremonies with protest signs.

On these signs, a simple message is painted: God hates fags.

That’s right. Hatemongers. Not only is this message revolting but the religious organisation behind this effort blames every major catastrophy on gay people. The world is being punished because of sodomites. Lesbians seem to be spared by that flawless argument.
What do sodomites have to do with a school shooting?

Where does freedom of speech end and where does rightful censorship begin?

When it comes to beliefs as intimate as faith, how do we determine the moment when spreading that faith and its underlying rationale (sic) is not an act of imposing your religion onto others?

In the case of a religious ceremony, such as a burial, how do you exclude someone who comes to deliberately disrupt what is supposed to be your final goodbye to a departed friend?

I don’t have answers to these questions but I just fail to comprehend how, in 2007, people can justify their hatemongering through religion.

I’m done ranting. Feel free to comment and discuss, as long as it’s constructive.