In both his 1907 novel, “The Secret Agent” and his 1899 novel “The Heart of Darkness” (1899), Joseph Conrad criticizes the human animal. Concerning “The Secret Agent”, John Gray (see my prev. post), tells us that Conrad conveys his belief that:
“… not only government is tainted by criminality. All human institutions – families and churches, police forces and anarchists — are stained by crime. Explaining human nastiness by reference to corrupt institutions leaves a question: why are humans so attached to corruption? Clearly, the answer is in the human animal itself.”– Silence of Animals, John Gray
Homosexual Bigotry: religious & secular
This physician did not know me well at that time, so I shocked her by apparently defending religion. Well, it seemed like a defense when I started my reply to her rant. You could see the righteous fire in her eyes when I replied:
“Communist atheist China has a huge code of hatred against homosexuals. It ain’t just religion that hates homosexuals, it is far deeper than that: All of humanity reflexively hates gays. It is, dishearteningly, a worse battle than you portray.”
Gray’s comment about Conrad reminded me of the point I was try making to make to my colleague back then. Fortunately, she understood my point, and smiled in relief but shook her head saying, “Damn, you are right.”
Indeed, recently we see atheist Russia making anti-gay legislation again (see this conservative site’s eval). Some atheists claim this Russian law is due to the pernicious presistent influence of Orthodox Christian bigotry in Russian culture, but I think Orthodoxy simply gave a stamp of approval to a bigotry that existed even before the church. The anti-gay bigotry exists at a non-religious level.
Why Religious Bigotry is Worse
Bigotry is horrible where ever it lives, but when re-enforced by religion it gains a new dimension of horror using “sanctimony” (see this post). When you call something sacred, you do so to shut down communication by capitalizing on nasty taboo modules in the human mind. “Sanctimony” is one of the aspects of religion worth fighting.
It is my hope that pointing to deeper causes may help all people concerned in this issue. May the human animal’s danger be addressed from all angles.