The horrific cruelty of the old testament IS degrading to the human experience in all levels. On July 8th's 700 Club Pat Robertson pointed out that his Holy Bible wants homosexuals stoned to death and told his viewers that if they tolerated homosexuals the land would 'vomit' them up. Kindness, love, and peace are not to be found in that path. I do love the lovely illusions in the world, but our illusions should not be used as an excuse to harm others. If all Christians did were say they thought homosexuality was harmful, then that's freedom of speech and annoying but nothing bad... what they actually do is make laws to restrict, talk about how the law ought to be a death sentence, threaten people with dire consequences.. that's not just expressing their ideas, that's actively seeking to harm another group of people.
Christian folk used to say that god made people Black and that was the mark of cain.. so that's why it was okay to be dreadful to black folk.
And yes, dreadful folk are going to be dreadful and they'll find an excuse to be asshats no matter what..
The thing is.. that the biggest segment of humans could go either way.. they're not really mean and they're not really compassionate.. they're just humans. So if authority figures tell them that the source of goodness wants them to stone their gay child or send their gay child to some horrible place in the Caribbean to be brain washed and tormented.. then they might actually do it because they're trying to be good and they can't see the harm themselves.
When Zimmerman sees a black kid in a hoodie and equate that with fear and evil.. enough so that he attacks and scares the kid, who then fights back and gets shot through the heart... where that went wrong to begin with is that Zimmerman had ideas about young black folk in hoodies that was not an accurate measure of the world.. he acted on those wrong ideas and someone died.
Death is pretty permanent and it's very sad.
So when authority figures start talking about stoning a group of people.... talk about how bad things will befall us if we allow a certain group of people... That's when religion starts harming and sometimes with very harmful consequences. (Pat Robertson, July 8th 100 Club)
Real human beings suffer deeply because of what Pat Robertson says. What's worse.. they suffer for no useful reason.
We should all be glad that the god of the Old Testament isn't real. He was a dangerous and violent intelligence who killed with abandon and glee. Vile entity.
We can do better. We can choose to live with law and equity, with prosperity for all, the pursuit of happiness... knowledge, kindness, hope, community... we can build good things, a bright future, but we can't do it on a foundation of hate, fear, exclusion, on the words of a god who knows everything, who created everything, but whose idea of a good solution is to throw stones at it until it doesn't move anymore.