Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Religious Wingnuts Mystify Me

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Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

[Albus Dumbledore portrayed by Michael Gambon in HP films 3-5]

Image: Warner Bros (2003).

Okay, now we all know the horrible, terrible evil truth: Dumbledore is (GASP!) gay. Predictably, the religious wingnuts in American have gone .. er, nuts. They are throwing away all their copies of the Harry Potter books, are calling for the banning of the HP series, and are re-affirming their godliness by busily writing hatefilled screeds to fan websites and to JK Rowling (oooo, how very christian of them!!). As an example of this outpouring of good old-fashioned christian hatred, Melissa Anelli, who runs The Leaky Cauldron fan website, reported she has been inundated with hate mail.


“My inbox is full of people who wish to let me know that I’m scum for supporting this ‘outing,’; that Rowling should go back to the devil who spawned her. It’s really disgusting. We’re trying to simply ignore it,” said Anelli.

But wait just one danged minnit! Why all the hatred? I mean, Dumbledore was CELIBATE! Isn’t that what the christians say that sexually nonconformist people should do; remain celibate? Dumbledore, after a brief love affair (that might not even have involved any sexual activity — we don’t know), has apparently remained celibate for his entire life. So what is the problem?? Why are christians such reactionary hateful people? Is this a reasonable way to represent christian values where we are to treat others as we would have them treat us, especially when the others happen to be conforming to so-called christian behavioral values? Watching all this happen firmly convinces me that hatred is a christian value, which of course, makes me want nothing whatsoever to do with christians.

Source

ElectricNews (quote).

Comments

  1. #1 Bob O'H
    October 31, 2007

    I sometimes wonder if the Church of England uses a different bible to the one in the States. Do you have the last 27 books in yours? Over here they’re known collectively as the “New Testament”.

    Bob

  2. #2 "GrrlScientist"
    October 31, 2007

    i was raised by christian wackos and their bible had the new testament. of course, these so-called christians are just like like my parental units (my parental units were supposedly devout christians, but they heartily embraced the christian value of hatred by beating me daily), so they are merely paying lip service to their beliefs, while using these same beliefs to promote intolerance, violence and, well, deep-seated xenophobic hatred.

    like i said, there’s nothing like promoting good old-fashioned christian values, especially hatred.

  3. #3 The Ridger
    October 31, 2007

    The point is that the kids love him.

    I said this on the topic:

    But let’s be clear about what’s really going on here. The whole point is that some people want “the children” to be protected from that eye-opening moment that comes when someone you know and love turns out to be (gasp!) gay. They don’t want kids wondering how Dumbledore can be awful, sinful, yucky, perverted, and/or damned – because they know the kids will get it.

    Kudos to Rowling for doing it this way.

    And it’s a bit surprising how many people are getting sidetracked about whether there’s groundwork (like I said, I wasn’t surprised) or whether the book is over or whether she is “getting a little too freakily obsessive over her characters” (yes, PZ, I’m looking at you) or whether fictional characters can even be gay… or whether it even matters. The point is how people are reacting to the possibility that he’s gay. Because the kids love him – and that scares them – not the kids, of course. The bigots.

    And that’s what it’s about. Not whether some fictional character is or isn’t gay. Whether kids will look at gay people differently now. That’s the threat.

    That’s the hope.

  4. #4 G. Williams
    October 31, 2007

    They are throwing away all their copies of the Harry Potter books, are calling for the banning of the HP series, and are re-affirming their godliness by busily writing hatefilled emails to fan websites and to JK Rowling (oooo, how very christian of them!!).

    Wait…weren’t they doing all that already?

    Slacktivist, a totally awesome blogger I recommend, has an ongoing series about homosexuality and the church. It’s pretty interesting. (He also has running commentary on the Left Behind series, which is both hilarious and disturbing.)

  5. #5 Chad
    October 31, 2007

    “Is this a reasonable way to represent christian values where we are to treat others as we would have them treat us, especially when the others happen to be conforming to so-called christian behavioral values?”

    This is a reasonable way to represent christian values because they are christian values: force everyone into your way of life, everyone whether or not they are christian must submit to christian dogma, etc. Not suprised in the least.

  6. #6 biosparite
    October 31, 2007

    Let’s not forget Jesus is alleged to have said that anyone who does not believe in him will go to hell. Hard to believe that one man who lived only to about 30 years old could unleash such a ferocious and unending torrent of hate. I do kind of understand it since I live in Texas, yee-hah, and we hold similar views toward Yankees.

  7. #7 Cecile Weekly
    November 1, 2007

    These kind of things make me so happy I am European. It is unbelievable to me that such a big and powerful country could be sooooo scared of everything that’s different. It kinda reminds me of Animal Farm or any of such similar books about being in power and then being scared to lose that power. Creates paranoia dictators, as we have seen in Hitler, Stalin and that Korean guy (and many more).

    I sometimes feel so sorry for Americans who do have their mind in the right place. You still have a long way and some revolutions to go. Having either a woman or a black man as president would do your country very good.

    As for Harry Potter: Did you know that your American version of the book isn’t even exactly the same as the ‘real’ British version? Just like German or Dutch versions, yours is an American translation.

    It was said the kids would be confused if they saw color spelled like colour and neighbor spelled like neighbour… Poor kids. You also have an extra line in book 6. When Draco is offered to go into hiding, some extra line about him appearing dead is added, I believe. It’s not in the original version. It was added because otherwise ‘Americans wouldn’t understand’.

  8. #8 Bob O'H
    November 1, 2007

    there’s nothing like promoting good old-fashioned christian values, especially hatred.

    Yeah. I have a theory that the people who promote this sort of religion are “Old Testament Christians”, who spout the old stuff without paying attention to what Jesus said (all that boring Love Thy Neighbour stuff). This theory is even testable – watch a few TV evangelists and see what bits of the bible they quote. My prediction is that only a small proportion will be from the bits about Jesus (I don’t have a TV, and I don’t live in the US, so I have a good excuse for not risking my sanity).

    For me the real irony is that Rowling is trying to promote an ethics that is closer to what is described in the Gospels – all those crazy ideas about love and respect for others that we were told about in Church. I’m now an atheist, but I get annoyed about the way Christianity is portrayed, both by the gits who profess to being Christian but go round promoting hate, and by the atheists who seem to think that this is the only form of Christianity out there.

    Ultimately, I don’t care whether people believe in a God or not. What’s important is how we treat each other, and I think there is actually some good advice on that score in the Gospels.

    Bob

  9. #9 csrster
    November 1, 2007

    You’ve lost me there Bob. When Jesus said “Love thy neighbour” he was _quoting_ the Old Testament.

  10. #10 Bob O'H
    November 1, 2007

    csrster – I didn’t know that. Where does it appear?

    Oh, and to understand my point, don’t get hung up on a particular phrase. Read all of what I wrote.

    Bob

  11. #11 John
    November 1, 2007

    Bob,

    It’s from Leviticus 19:18: “Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”

    I don’t think that approaches to the Bible and to Christianity divide neatly between OT and NT types. There is plenty of harshness in the New Testament (Fundies love the Apocalypse and Pauline Epistles) and plenty of material in the Old Testament that has little to do with warfare or punishment. (Without the latter, liberal forms of Judaism might not exist.) The real problem is selective literalism – an approach that emphasizes only the fire and brimstone and patriarchalism of both testaments.

  12. #12 Bob O'H
    November 1, 2007

    Thanks, John. But note how in the Parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus redefines the neighbour!

    I agree that things aren’t simple, but my basic argument about Christianity is that by definition it should follow the teachings of Christ, so the Gospels should be primary. And the central thrust of what they say about how we treat each other (at least according to the Anglican Church!) is that we should be nice to each other. The fire and brimstone always seems to be to be missing Jesus’ whole point.

    I guess the compatibility of the OT and NT can be seen from the Rabbi’s complaint when the Quakers had a successful recruitment drive – “Nowadays, some of my best Jews are Friends”.

    Bob

  13. #13 Laura Jefferson
    November 17, 2007

    Really, honestly, not all Christians (you’d capitalize Jew or Muslim, wouldn’t you?) are hateful. The only empirically provable Christian doctrine is that given a chance, people will tend to screw up (the message of the Gospel is that that isn’t the whole story). People will find an excuse to be hateful or loving. I am so sorry (and amazed) that there are so many crazed and bigotted people giving the US (which richly deserves a black eye) such a horrible reputation. But do please remember people can be completely vicious without any religion at all, and don’t be surprised the best intentions don’t work out.

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