Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Looking at your vagina, or criticising religion?

Which offends religious people the most?

This is a toughie. Why don't we look at the faux controversy coming from Dartmouth College. Mayuka Kowaguchi created "The Orchid Project" for her sexual health peer-advising group on campus. What was this horrifying project? Small hand mirrors were distributed to women on campus, with an accompanying note describing female anatomy and the statement that the project was "to shift [women’s] perspective from the expectations and limitations of belief patterns, societal cultural or religious conditioning."

Cue the religious hysterics:
If these mirrors were truly meant to encourage the consideration of issues surrounding body-awareness, then, I believe, those who consider themselves to be members of Dartmouth communities of faith — which do not support acting on this knowledge in a sexual fashion — would not have been offended.

[...]This is one of many occasions where I have found the liberal body at Dartmouth to completely violate those principles that it purports to advance: respect and freedom. Regardless of the offensiveness of the message, if the Orchid Project’s main goal was to encourage consideration, what possessed them of the idea that a direct attack on all faiths was the way to do that?

[...]The body of believers at Dartmouth and the body of non-believers would often mutually benefit from sitting down and “considering” the issues surrounding sexuality. Respectful discussion will only bred further respect and discussion, but blatant attacks on an entire outlook on life, will only bred further animosity, ignorance and offense."
Oh boo hoo! Someone dared to suggest that my religious beliefs are wrong! Don't they know that criticizing belief patterns and societal culture are okay, but irrational religious beliefs are untouchable? Who missed the political correctness memo?! Help, help, I'm being oppressed!

I can't even conceive how someone can read that initial statement to mean that all religious beliefs are completely wrong, unless they're trying to play the victim. And then turn around and presume to speak for every religious person at Dartmouth. And then go and condemn "acting on this knowledge in a sexual fashion," thus proving the initial point that some religious beliefs can lead to sex-negative beliefs.

If you think a simple suggestion that you're incorrect is a "blatant attack," then what the hell is "respectful discussion"? Bashfully going "Shucks, whatever you want to believe must be right! I sure won't ever present a viewpoint that disagrees with you! Because your beliefs cannot be criticized, even if it means my beliefs must be silenced"?

Fuck that. I'll respect your beliefs once they're deserving of respect - that is to say, when they're not based on some ancient book about a invisible sky daddy and his zombie self-child that was scribbled together by some misogynistic dudes in a desert - or whatever particular illogical mythology you prefer to subscribe to. Feel free to keep believing, but don't assume that gives you immunity from criticism. Pleasantries and political correctness only allows insane ideas to flourish.

Why are so many people starting to criticize Christianity? It's not a mass conspiracy - it's because you're wrong.

So back to my original question: I guess that's a vote for "criticising religion." Meh, I'll go look at my own vagina too, just in case.

(Via Jezebel)

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