One of the things that drives me to distraction at times is the unwarranted deference given to religion in American politics. When one looks at the fruits of religion - hate, intolerance, hypocrisy, the embrace of ignorance, and at times physical violence against others - the negatives far out weigh any positive benefits in the form of actual, honest to goodness charitable works done. Yet American politicians remain terrified at the prospect of offending the pious set. Not so Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who lost patience with a anti-gay pastor who challenged Rudd on his support for gay marriage and let the pastor have it verbally. Would that we could see such honesty in America. The Guardian looks at the exchange involving Rudd and the gay hater:
Kevin Rudd has insisted his views in favour of same-sex marriage are compatible with his Christian faith, saying a literal interpretation of the bible that opposed gay unions would also dictate support for slavery.
Challenged by a pastor and Christian radio announcer on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night as to why as a Christian he did not follow the teaching of the bible that marriage was between a man and a woman, Rudd replied: “Well, mate, if I was going to have that view, the bible also says that slavery is a natural condition because St Paul said in the new testament: ‘slaves be obedient to your masters,’ and therefore we should all have fought for the confederacy in the US civil war.”
He added: “I mean, for goodness sake, the human condition and social conditions change. What is the central principle of the new testament? It is one of universal love, loving your fellow man,” Rudd said, during a passionate performance in which he insisted he was still not contemplating losing Saturday’s election despite Labor’s declining standing in the opinion polls.
Rudd is 100% on point. Of course, today's conservative Christians have lost the message about love and instead fill their lives with hate and bigotry.