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Why do we allow still religion to dominate our morality?
by Christos Mouzeviris
2017-03-09 11:11:06
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A bright orange bus emblazoned with an anti-transgender message has been forced off the roads in Spain, after activists, trade unions, and Madrid City Council united against it.

The slogan on the bus read: "Boys have penises, girls have vulvas. Do not be fooled."

trans03_400A Catholic group, Hazte Oir, had planned to take it on a nationwide tour of Spanish cities.

The group said the ban was illegal and that it planned to acquire a new bus.

One message on the side of the banned bus states: "If you are born a man, you are a man. If you are a woman, you will continue to be one."

It is believed to be a response to posters put up in northern Spain by a transgender rights group, which read: "There are girls with penises and boys with vulvas. It's as simple as that." (BBC News)

Well seemingly now, we've got to make sure we obey our biology,or we will offend the ever watchful and self-righteous religious groups. As if that's all that we are; mammals, that need to be identified and categorized by what we carry between our legs upon our birth.

How about finally accepting that we are also sentient beings? That we have a spirit, a soul, that we are also energy and not only flesh, meat and bones. Haven't we humans always separated ourselves from animals, often in such arrogant way that we placed ourselves above all other life, exploiting it, abusing it. 
Because we see ourselves as more than animals, more than any other "God's creations".  In fact religion always made us believe that we are "His" favorite and most perfect one. Yet now ironically, Catholics insist on identifying and categorizing people strictly on our biological anatomy, so I am confused.

Am I a man because I was born with a penis, or because I feel as one? How about what my spirit makes me feel and want, or perhaps I should stick to my anatomy. 
But then what happens to my soul and all the promises of atonement or forgiveness in the afterlife, that religion is promising that I will receive.

When my penis that identified me all my life has rotten and is nothing more than dirt in the ground.
trans01I wonder then if we belong to a sex group because our anatomy says so upon our birth, or because our "soul" urges us to behave in such manner.

If of course what we perceive as "the spirit" exists after all and religion got that right. If they haven't, well then that must force us to change our perception of religion, spirituality and God, shouldn't it?

Science has discovered  in 1991 that the hypothalamus, which controls the release of sex hormones from the pituitary gland, in gay men differs from the hypothalamus in straight men. The third interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH3) was found to be more than twice as large in heterosexual men as in homosexual men

It additionally showed that in gay men, neurons in the INAH3 are packed more closely together than in straight men.

Later studies performed in 2008, have shown that the two halves of the brain are more symmetrical in homosexual men and heterosexual women than in heterosexual men and homosexual women.

These studies have also revealed that connections in the amygdala of gay men resemble those of straight women; in gay women, connections in the amygdala resemble those of straight men. The amygdala has many receptors for sex hormones and is associated with the processing of emotions.

Some studies have shown that the corpus callosum – the main connection between the two halves of the brain- has a different structure in gay men than in straight men. However, other studies have found no difference.

Gay women and gay men are more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous than straight women and straight men, according to a number of different studies.

Some researchers have suggested that this difference in handedness – preference for one hand over the other can be observed in fetuses - is related to differences in the corpus callosum. (Scientific American Blog)

trans02From the above one would think twice before attributing any discriminatory beliefs and misconceptions to "God." Human sexuality is scientifically analysed and from all that we have found so far, there is no evidence of any deity's will, that imposes any morality on our sexual behavior.

We have to start liberating ourselves from anachronistic ideologies, religious beliefs and conservative mentalities regarding our sexuality. The reason being that they are simply misplaced. They are founded upon lies and false information.

Humans are not animals to mate just for procreation and even if they were, they are plenty examples of animals having sex just for fun. Homosexuality is not unknown among animals either, especially the most "developed ones," such as chimpanzees and dolphins.

Our sexuality is not just black or white, rather it covers all "shades of grey" in between. So why do we insist on stereotyping, discriminating against, excluding and even violently reacting towards individuals that do not fit our "respectable" and "acceptable" sexual orientations?

I doubt that anyone would respond in such manner towards a person with disabilities, which was also born with his or her condition. Trans-gendered individuals may look less normal in their appearance, but are as "natural" in their behavior as someone who was born with a disability due a brain structural "difference".

If what the above study applies for gay individuals, such findings must make a stronger case for trans-gendered people, which often express the feeling of being the wrong sex trapped in the wrong body. Science explains it all, so why do we allow religion to spread bigotry and hatred towards our fellow human beings?

Especially when apparently our faith is here to spread love and acceptance for everyone. Not to mention that it has totally failed to deal with humanity's most basic need for love and sexual intercourse, let alone prove that its representatives know exactly what "God's" will is on such matters.
If they promise people life after death but treat them as sheep that possess genitals only to procreate and to identify or categorize themselves, then we have the following oxymoron; do sheep really care about life after death, their soul, forgiveness and paradise. And if they don't, then do they need religion after all?

Before I close, I must confess that myself often find transgender individuals as "weird," or "creepy,"too. Because I was equally raised in such manner to find discomfort in everything "different". But as I get older, you know what I find even more "creepy"?

People who suppress their true self or sexuality, choosing to remain celibate in order to please some imaginary version of "God". Or those who stay in sexless, loveless marriages out of convenience, or to abide with societal stereotypes and conform with them.

They are far more "twisted" than any gay or transgender individual, simple because they are the ones who go against their true nature. And I do not believe that they should be the ones who must set the rules for everyone else.

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Emanuel Paparella2017-03-09 17:16:13
It is somewhat comforting to know that at least the above article acknowledges a connection between religion and morality. Some don’t even see that connection. But, of course, the problematic if they see it at all, is that they see it as a negative. Religion should be thrown out the window, together with the dirty bath water.

This stance begins with Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura and continues with Marx’s “religion is the opium of the people.” Nothing new, really!

We are too enlightened and progressive to put up with the gods. But to turn the table around, what is thrown out the window with the gods is quite often the sense of the poetical, of the awe for the natural law exhibited by nature and the universe, a sense of humility when confronted with such a law and cosmic intelligence (what the Greeks called nous), the connection between such a law and the ethical sense (as elucidated by an Aristotle or a Plato) that there is a relationship between career, family, and health (expecially mental health).

But of course, that’s ancient stuff to be treated with disdain and imputed to religion and its worst features (never mind its positive aspects), to be duly disposed by the children of the enlightenment. To read the daily newspapers, as to where we may presently be ethically and intellectually speaking on a global scale, is to begin to suspect that perhaps we may be on the wrong road leading to the abyss. Just a thought!

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