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Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

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It is a year since I began this blog, and to ‘celebrate’ that anniversary and just because I feel it needs to be said again, I repost my first post of this blog from January 2008:

What follows is a talk I gave on January 20, 2005 at a disability and rehabilitation conference. While parts of what I spoke of are not new concepts, it is in how I presented them, and made several links that caught the interest of some of those present… Sadly, what I say in this talk is understatement.

I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when I was 39 years old.

Even though I was diagnosed with a condition that I had lived with all my life, and the effects of my difference had been noticed and acted upon, I can stand here and say with total confidence – I have never suffered from Asperger syndrome.

I have never suffered directly from its effects on my behaviour, I have never once experienced pain nor spontaneously bled at the moment when saying anything or doing anything inappropriately. I have not needed hospitalisation at the moment of reacting in a way that I thought was appropriate for the situation.

I have never suffered from Asperger syndrome, because Asperger syndrome itself does not cause suffering… I suffer grievously, and have suffered for more than 35 years, from OPD.

OPD is an insidious thing to experience,

it affects everything we do,

it effects what we think of everything we do,

it robs many of us of ambition,

and it inevitably affects how we think of ourselves.

OPD causes great suffering, often including physical pain and injury. It causes rejection, isolation, depression, sometimes even suicide.

OPD can lead the most brilliant people to doubt their abilities, qualities, even their basic worth as people.

OPD can cause systems to work against sufferers.

Systems like education systems – where the sufferers are penalised for being themselves.

Welfare systems – where the suffering is downplayed,

family systems – where the sufferers find more pain where they ought find solace.

OPD can affect families; it can cause rejection by siblings and parents.

The only known cure for OPD is education…

So what is this scourge?

What is this thing that some must endure a ceaseless battle against?

What is this thing called OPD???

OPD is – Other People’s Discomfort.

We (aspies) may not feel the discomfort, but we certainly suffer its consequences…

Let me put it like this:

Being uncomfortable about other people for one reason or another may be seen as part of the human experience; but when that discomfort leads that person to purposefully act against the person he or she fees uncomfortable about then we enter a different realm.

A definition of the word ‘disorder’ is – a condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning. If a person changes their usual pattern of life to purposefully act against a person as a result of his or her discomfort over them, then this person is experiencing a disturbance of normal functioning, of normal social functioning.

When the level of discomfort felt reaches the point of acting against another in response to that discomfort, then I argue that the discomfort becomes a disorder… But I think all that goes without saying – we know that, but we don’t break it down in such a way. We do not call OPDD (Other People’s Discomfort Disorder) by that name, we take groups of people with a particular difference that make others uncomfortable, and sectionalise OPDD, hiding its common basis. Hatred may be seen as an emotional manifestation of OPDD.

We call the discomfort over people of different races or skin colours RACISM

We call the discomfort over people from different countries XENOPHOBIA

We call the discomfort over people who are (or may be) homosexual HOMOPHOBIA

BUT

We seem to call the discomfort over people with a disability NORMAL

Each a different weed, but all from the same seed (discomfort of difference).

Can you see the link? Can you see how discomfort over someone else’s difference is the basis for so much unnecessary pain?

ONLY through education, only through learning about the qualities different people have irrespective of what colour their skin is, or where they came from, who they love, or how their brain works, or anything can we hope to eradicate OPDD…

OPD occurs only as a result of encountering a person with OPDD…

If being uncomfortable about other people for one reason or another is part of the human experience, then we are all subject to OPDD…

WHO MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE??

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The greatest threat to the longevity of the human species on planet Earth is not in the granting of equal rights to homosexuals, or in the legal recognition of any kind of human relationship. It is not even how we perceive gender roles to be now or in the future. The greatest threat to the longevity of the human species on a planet with dwindling resources, increasing pollution, and human induced climate change, is unfettered human breeding.

I am not calling for, nor would I endorse, a program of population reduction, or of the goal of zero population growth. I only wish to point out the fallacy in the words of the Pope – someone who is a supporter of unfettered procreation; for it appears he sees the sole purpose of human coupling is procreation, something he encourages at any and every opportunity.

I don’t think people need encouragement to reproduce, they will do it as they will… Granting same sex couples equal rights and dignity will not effect the birth-rate one jot.

The Pope said that The tropical rain forests deserve our protection, this is true, but it is the very thing he is arguing for that is the greatest threat to the rainforests and other wilderness areas around the world. Homosexuality is one of the things least threatening to the longevity of the species; simple mathematics will bare this out.

As the world’s population approaches 7 billion, let use you that number to base things on.

Depending on who you believe, anything from one to ten percent of the population is exclusively homosexual. If you discount the Kinsey report’s 10% mark, and give a conservative estimate, then maybe about 3% of the population is exclusively homosexual. Add to those, those who are bisexual, transsexual, and all manner of people who are not exclusively heterosexual, and for arguments sake, let us assume that 90% of the population at any one time is exclusively heterosexual, and largely capable of reproducing.

Seven billion people, 90% equates to 6,300 million people, 10% equates to 700 million people, think about that… if only one percent of the population that is exclusively homosexual, then there is about 70 million gays in the world right now. World population is anticipated to pass 9 billion soon after the year 2050 (in just over 40 years time).

Homosexuality a threat to human ecology? or is unrestrained heterosexuality and the resulting reproduction the greater threat?

(stats from wikipedia)

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This drag show has been going for centuries

What is the difference between a Catholic Priest and a Drag Queen?

LIPSTICK

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Apologists for the pope are beginning to raise their heads above their oft attacked parapet, claiming that the Pope was misquoted or mis-interpreted or translated.

This argument may on one hand be seen as disingenuous to media outlets who regularly cover the Pope and the Vatican; but on the other hand this argument undercuts the evengelical claim that the bible is the inerrent and infallible word of God.

If people cannot agree on what was said (and meant) in one language less than a week ago, how can we agree on what was said (and meant) up to 3000 years ago in a variety of ancient languages.

In what language did the Pope deliver his speech to the Curia? Was it in Latin, was it in Italian? In both cases whatever the Pope said had to be translated into English and interpreted as to its meaning. Words from one language may not have its exactly meaning counterpart in another, therefore what was meant in one language may have a different meaning after translation into another.

If the speech was delivered in Italian, then a contemporary language needed to be translated into another contemporary language, interpreted as to its meaning, taking into account political and social nuances of the time and publish it. I do not doubt that media commentators who cover the Vatican are aware of the languages used, what words mean, and what the underlying thrust of what is said.

One speech delivered about a week ago, having two translations, resulting in at least two interpretations.

What does that say about a book, some of it written as far back as 3000 years ago, in several ancient languages like Hebrew, Aramaic, Ancient Greek, and Latin, translated and re-translated into language after language through the centuries, given political interpretation after political interpretation through those same centuries, for it to arrive in our time in its various versions… the Bible!!

The inerrant and infallible word of God??

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In the history of blindly bigoted anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-different utterances that that have spewed forth from the mouths of a number of Roman Catholic Pontiffs, the most recent one is nothing short of breathtaking

Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

In a world where there is war, famine, genocide, massive corruption, a global economic collapse, epidemics of disease, and serious climate change, one of the world’s religious leaders sees a greater threat to mankind than any or all of these catastrophes… homosexuals and transsexuals…

The pope has named the latest scapegoats for the world’s ills. This pope, a former member of the Hitler Youth and Wehrmacht, under a regime that had its own scapegoats for its ills – the Jews… It seems that the world needs scapegoats – Is it incapable for taking responsibility for it own ills? Is the world capable of letting people live and love as they deem as their truth? Is the catholic hierarchy able to live by the words of he who they claim as their savior – <I>Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.</I>

The Pope is CEO of an organisation that oversaw the crusades, the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions, the retarding of scientific progress, and in recent times has been complicit in the systemic abuse of children and in both the covering up of the abuses and of defending abusers.

As far as rainforest destruction is concerned, the destruction of the largest rainforest in the world (the Amazon) is occuring in one of the biggest catholic countries in the world (Brazil).

The very idea that anyone gives this man, let alone the organization he leads, any moral authority on such a topic is, to me, uttely astounding.

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May this time grant you peace, whoever or whatever you may celebrate.

The end of another year – a time of peace for a weary world… I hope.

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