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Taliban Church spewing hate against gays

Published:Sunday | July 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Patrick White, Guest Columnist

Anyone still thinking of religion in Jamaica as a quaint and benign pursuit should be shocked by our local Taliban's escalating offensive against the minority LGBT community. Apparently, it is insufficient for them to be left alone believing and conforming to ancient mythology; they must compel the rest of us to follow.

It is well documented that there is scant objective support for Judaeo-Christian beliefs. Scientific discoveries in cosmology, the biological, and the earth sciences contradict all the important claims regarding the creation of the universe and the development of life on Earth. And archaeological findings cast doubt on the historicity of the Bible, including the Passover, and the conquest of Canaan.

Outside of the Bible, there is also no evidence confirming the effectiveness of prayer, or of the 'divine' punishment when nations do not fully embrace Judaeo-Christian prescriptions. Indeed, the evidence suggests the opposite: Secular nations tend to be rich, while religious nations, especially those lacking valuable commodities like oil, are among the world's poorest.

Obviously, if our Taliban were influenced by facts, their beliefs would be questioned. Instead, they have retreated to faith, where contradictory evidence is ignored.

And they have invented an alternative science to bolster their conclusions. But this illusory science lacks the observational, analytic, and the predictive rigour characteristic of mainstream science. Unsurprisingly, it has contributed precisely nothing to human knowledge and development.

Rights suppressants

Faith and illusory science are now being used to suppress homosexual rights. Here, it doesn't seem to matter that the American Psychiatric Association no longer identifies homosexuality as a mental disorder. Nor does it matter that a large number of non-human animals are homosexual, none capable of choice. Brains are buried in the sand; being gay must be a lifestyle choice.

The Taliban have also adopted the caveman idea that sexual contact, unrelated to procreation, violates natural law, a pagan creation. Perhaps they have yet to realise this idea was borrowed from the medieval Catholic theologian, Thomas Aquinas, who borrowed it from the pagan philosopher Aristotle.

If the Taliban bothered to search the Internet, they would know homosexuality is unlikely to increase when proscriptions are eliminated. Rates have remained more or less the same in countries that have legalised homosexual conduct, allowed adoptions by homosexual couples, or approved gay marriage.

HIV infection rates

And a search of the Internet would also show that HIV infection rates in countries that have repealed their buggery laws have somehow managed to remain among the lowest in the world. But infection rates in the countries with the most draconian laws are among the highest. Perhaps the mainstream scientific consensus is right, after all, that buggery laws increase HIV rates by driving those infected away from treatment.

Most of us, particularly our intellectuals, should be disturbed by this latest move against the LGBT community. In the past, the Taliban have gone after gamblers and would-be casino operators. They have also gone after merchants wishing to operate on Sundays.

Which of us is next?

First they came for the Socialists,

and I did not speak out -

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade

Unionists, and I did not speak out -

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I did not speak out -

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.

- Pastor Niemoller on the cowardice of German intellectuals to Nazi criminals.

Patrick White holds a doctorate in engineering and led research groups at Bell Laboratories and Bellcore (Telcordia). Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and rasta49@me.com.