Stupid Is, As Stupid – As Ever

There is no record of who actually said these words: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” In short, this assertion is that stupidity can sometimes be the best explanation for actions that might otherwise be deemed as being motivated by malice. That quotation implies that malice is more pernicious and sinister than stupidity. I assert stupidity, however, can be equally as dangerous as malice.

Stupidity, to any degree, can be dangerous to all involved or impacted, and that potential for danger should not be underestimated. This is especially true when those in positions of authority – real or perceived, spout stupidity. As an aside, smart people can say stupid things, so to that end, I will ask you to judge whether the following person is painfully stupid or whether he is a smart person saying stupid things. I present him in the context that what he said was not said with malice or baleful intent but with dangerous sincerity.

In May of this year [2012] Annie-Rose Strasser posted from ThinkProgress LGBT a video of a North Carolina pastor, Charles Worley, who stated the following:

“I figured a way out — a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. But I couldn’t get it passed through Congress. Build a great big large fence, 150 or 100 miles long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. Have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed ‘em, and – And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.”

My reaction to this man’s solution is two-fold.

First of all, I believe this pastor has overlooked a vital aspect of homosexuality. If it were possible to round them all up and confine them, only those that are confined would “die off.” But that would not rid the US of all “lesbians and queers” because [and this might come as a shock to the pastor] the heterosexuals outside the fenced-in area would continue to reproduce, and approximately 10% of the children born would be homosexual. Thus, for as long as men and women continue to have children, homosexuals will continue to also be born; they will not “die out.” His solution would not “get rid of all the lesbians and queers.”

Even if you believe homosexuality is a deliberate choice rather than being of genetic origins, heterosexual parents will continue to produce them. Therefore, the only solution to rid the US of homosexuals is for heterosexuals to stop having children.

It would appear that the pastor’s solution is, at worst, completely stupid and, at best, simply stupid. I wonder, how many in his congregation actually gave this solution any critical thought? Pity that congregation if he is the smartest one in the bunch.

The second aspect that gives me cause for pause is that the vitriol directed at homosexuality seems to be disproportionate vis a vis other “sins” specified in the Bible.

Christians believe they are not subject to the Old Testament Mosaic Law but to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles/disciples. According to I Corinthians chapter 6 verses 9 and 10 [New International Version], “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

One thing is glaringly obvious from this passage: No one sin is worse than the other. Therefore, if that is the case, then I think the pastor should recommend that an electrified fenced-in section should be constructed to contain the swindlers and greedy people as well as adulterers and the other kinds of persons cited in I Corinthians.

Religious groups have stood outside funerals of US military personnel while holding up signs stating that those deaths were God’s way of saying that homosexuals should not be allowed in the military. But, to date, no such groups have stood outside anybody’s funeral while holding up signs condemning slandering and swindling or idolatry. Furthermore, where are the gangs of hoodlums who wait for the sexually immoral [e.g., those who have pre-marital sex] or thieves or greedy persons to leave the bar and then attack and beat them up? Why do they do that to homosexuals but not to the others listed in I Corinthians? There is no indication that any one of those types of behaviors condemned in I Corinthians is worse than the other. In short, being greedy is as “sinful” as being a homosexual – neither one will get into the kingdom of God.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do not care what homosexuals do any more than I care what heterosexuals do. Furthermore, I do not accept the Bible or any religious book, as the word of “God,” but I quote it to make my point about the utter hypocrisy [i.e., stupidity] of believers who twist themselves out of shape about homosexuality while they react as if the other “sins” are less “abominable.”

What I do care about is honoring the humanity of others – homosexuals, heterosexuals, bi-sexuals, asexuals or whatever. Thieves, greedy persons and swindlers, in my opinion, produce far more harm to society than do adulterers or homosexuals – but to the “God” of the Bible, they are all unworthy of entrance into his kingdom. The pastor would have more credibility if had suggested that all those guilty of the “sins” listed in I Corinthians should be confined behind an electrified fence. But if he had suggested that, I wonder how many in his congregation would be left – not just in his congregation but any.

So, is the pastor a smart person saying stupid things or is the pastor simply stupid? An ancillary question would be, how many times must a smart person say stupid things before he is no longer smart but stupid?

In any event, stupidity of that sort is frightening in its essence and can be dangerous in its consequences. Stupid is as stupid as it ever was.

Published in: on May 29, 2012 at 4:06 AM  Leave a Comment  
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