Friday, January 29, 2010

Why Fundamentalists are Scary, Scary People...

So we find out today that Scott Roeder was convicted of 1st degree murder in the killing of a doctor who performed legal medicinal procedures that Roeder objected to. He was also found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault (which we will get to a bit later).

Why did he commit the murder of a man sitting in church? Roeder's god told him that his beliefs trumped all others' beliefs. His beliefs were of more importance than a fellow church-goer, more important than the patients of his victim, more important than the laws of the country that supported him his whole life.

He had options outside of cold-blooded murder to handle those conflicts. He could have talked with the patients, talked with the doctor, worked with lawmakers to change the laws. Roeder even had the option to LEAVE, to move someplace where his beliefs did not have those same conflicts. Based on what I have read, he actually did try to talk to those patients and the doctor, and may have even spoken with his representatives to discuss the laws he objected to.

But you know what? Those patients, that doctor, and those lawmakers had options, too. Options such as not speaking to somebody who tries to discuss legal medical procedures with them, or if they do agree to those discussions, not having their opinions of those procedures changed. Options such as continuing to perform those procedures. Options such as deciding that the laws either did not need to be changed, or feeling that the changes requested would be unconstitutional.

Roeder instead chose another option - blowing away a doctor while the doctor was in his house of worship. Roeder KNEW his particular flavor of god granted him the right to take the life of a fellow man. His belief was so strong that it trumped all activity seen in a polite society.

Another instance of this fundamentalist "I know what is right and all others are wrong" fallacy involves our ex-President. A story about GW Bush (as told to Terry Gross by a guest on her NPR show) concerned GW's belief in heaven. GW and his mother, Barbara, were discussing heaven, and who could get into heaven. Barbara believed that anybody who was good and lived a good life could enter heaven. GW stated that ONLY those who accepted his personal savior would make it. Even those little babies who never had a chance to hear of his particular flavor of god were damned. He was so adamant about this, even to his mother, that she had to resort to calling family friend Billy Graham to talk to GW about it.

Oh, and those two counts of aggravated assault Roeder was convicted of? They display his outright hypocrisy... You see, Roeder murdered the doctor, then ran. Rather than living by his convictions and accepting the penalties of his actions, he ran. He didn't run like a little girl who ran from a scary spider - no, he ran like a scared, guilty child who realized that he had done something wrong. How else do you explain his pointing a loaded weapon at two innocent parishioners who tried to stop him? They had never performed medical procedures Roeder's flavor of god objected to. He KNEW that he had done wrong, and he KNEW that he was in trouble, so he ran.

Some folks accuse atheists of being fundamentalists. There is a major difference between fundamentalists such as Roeder, and an atheist such as myself. His belief DEMANDED that others live by that belief, and if they did not, he could do what he wanted to the unbelievers. Me? Well, you will probably never convince me of the existence of a god... but I will never force anybody else become an atheist or die. I will never take one of my guns and put a bullet into the head of a believer simply because that person was a believer in a god. I may feel that belief is a silly one, and that sometimes those silly beliefs lead to unwise actions, but I will not take a gun, point it at somebody's head, and kill them in cold blood.

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