8/25/09

Brad Pitt – Is Religion the Pits?

Recent comments by Brad Pitt have left me wondering if he was joking or perhaps, how much he was joking about which parts of his comments.

During an interview with Ann Curry on the Today show he was asked about some New Orleans residents who are wearing “Brad Pitt for Mayor” t-shirts.

He responded “I don't have a chance” because “I'm running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform.”

Why would be not have a chance?

A redefinition of marriage much needed taxes and the abolishment of religion—what is there not to like? Surely, Dan Barker and his Freedom From Religion Foundation (an organization that was founded in a country which was premised upon the concept of freedom of religious expression) would support him—after all, the closer it gets to years end the more Dan Barker considers his budget and begins to file lawsuit after lawsuit in order to play the victim-underdog-martyr and reap donations (the underdog how’s not under God— little dyslexia humor).

Also, Bill Maher asked Brad Pitt, “What is it about religion you don't like?”
You know, I grew up in a religious family, in a religious community and it just doesn't make sense to me. It just doesn't work for me in the long run…

I never wanted to step on anyone else's religion and their beliefs — that's what's great about our country — until I started seeing it defining policy…

Like gay marriage, you have a group of people telling other people how to live their lives, and you can't do that…

I just say you have to, you really have to check what country you're living in because the freedom that allows you to practice religion is the same freedom you're stepping on. That's not right. And I want to add that if there was a nation of gay married couples who were telling you you couldn't practice your religion, I'd be speaking up for you too. So, let's stop the nonsense.

Unfortunately, his statements are too brief and generic. For example, what does he mean by “religion”? Very many people I know who would be labeled as “religious” actually despise religion—count me in.

I, for one, grew up in a 100% secular family, in a secular community and it just doesn't make sense to me. But there are a lot of true and evidenced things that, nevertheless, do not make sense to me.

That it does not work in the long run is also undefined: is he referring to epistemology, theology or divorcing his wife to shack up with his girlfriend?

He should consider that his freedom of speech is premised upon “religion” defining policy.

Next comes a self-defeating argument, “you have a group of people telling other people how to live their lives, and you can't do that”—but what if I want to live a life wherein I tell other people how to live their lives? Now, Brad Pitt is telling me that I cannot do that. Yet, this is the very thing which he said we cannot do.
Moreover, there are certain concepts of marriage which any reasonable person would oppose surely, including Brad Pitt. For instance, in his personal life he seems to oppose one man and one woman together for life and until death. Yet, I am referring to concepts which are not solely related to his personal life but that of others which he would surely oppose.

He is quite reasonable is noting that “the freedom that allows you to practice religion is the same freedom you're stepping on” and this is the very reason why in this great country some exercise the God premised freedom oppose it and some exercise the God premised freedom to support it. This is not nonsense but the manner in which a free country functions—not by Brad Pitt bequeathing that “you can't do that,” “That's not right” and “nonsense.”

7 comments:

  1. Mariano,

    It seems that you have risen to a new level of incoherence.

    He should consider that his freedom of speech is premised upon “religion” defining policy.

    This just makes no sense, especially with the quotes around the word religion. The concept of ‘free speech’ is a concept that has a very long history going back, at least, to the ancient Athenian democracy (although we see the religious impact on free speech in the trial of Socrates, where one of the charges was atheism). The premise of free speech has almost always been political and it was the need for political free speech that was the premise of our First Amendment rights in the US Constitution. Any ‘religious premise’ you want to concoct is just a rationalization after the fact.

    Next comes a self-defeating argument, “you have a group of people telling other people how to live their lives, and you can't do that”—but what if I want to live a life wherein I tell other people how to live their lives? Now, Brad Pitt is telling me that I cannot do that. Yet, this is the very thing which he said we cannot do.

    Didn’t you ever go to grade school and have a teacher explain to you that your freedom to swing your fist ends at the tip of the other person’s nose? (In actuality, we grant a considerably greater volume of personal space but that is immaterial to the point.) What Pitt is simply saying is that we have a group of people that are swinging their political fist and hitting another group of people in their ‘nose’. Calling that a ‘self-defeating argument’ is asinine.

    Banning gay marriage is just simply a violation of this group of people their rights. It is harmful and is distinctly unfair. The counter argument that gay marriage would in someway hurt the so-called traditional marriage is pure balderdash. I’m reminded of my father, who was your quintessential Deep South racist; he found all social, political and economic advancement by blacks to be deeply offensive. So, if there are some people that find gay marriage ‘deeply offensive’, so be it.

    Moreover, there are certain concepts of marriage which any reasonable person would oppose surely, including Brad Pitt.

    True but nobody was talking about any of those ‘straw man’ type marriages (or were you referring about some ‘slippery slope’ type marriages)?

    ReplyDelete
  2. jdhuey wrote:

    "Banning gay marriage is just simply a violation of this group of people their rights. It is harmful and is distinctly unfair. The counter argument that gay marriage would in someway hurt the so-called traditional marriage is pure balderdash."

    I pretty much agree with your assessment jdhuey. With hetero marriages having about a 50% of divorce rate in this nation, I think it's safe to say that most people aren't seeing marriage in a traditional or "til death do us part" sense anymore anyway. Personally, I think gay people should be allowed to marry, just not performed or ordained in a Christian church. They can go in front of a judge or something and get the job done instead. Even though seeing a couple of men kissing or fondling makes my skin crawl, (and watching girls kiss lost it's novelty sometime when I was a teenager) I'm in no position to judge them or tell them what to do pertaining to that particular sin...especially when I'm a sinner in a lot of other ways myself.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think Christians themselves could have diluted God's beautiful and meaningful marriage covenant between a man and a woman. We somehow compromise to say, "It's okay. That gay thing is not central to our faith". We then include them in everything, even our sacred pulpit ministry. Anyways thanks for the article. I am still learning and grappling with this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Im fine with gay unions but Im not fine with defining what marriage actually is. I dont think we should oppose giving rights to gay couples as I think it really just serves no purpose other than to make life harder for those involved which is never a good thing. Being a christian though, I do have issues with redefining what marriage itself actually is since I think that definition comes from God himself and I cannot tell could what "is" and what "isnt" regarding his creation. So, im against "redefining" but Im certainly not against "equal rights" with regards to same sex couples. Having some personal experience with seeing the horrible effects of the death of somebody within a same sex household and the complete lack of recognition of this person's surviving partner has really helped solidify my position on this matter with regards to equal rights among couples.....regardless of sex.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry for the grammar issues above. Should have proofread that one

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've never have understood the argument wrt the mere definition of the word marriage. The institution and forms of marriage have certainly change over the centuries. And if you need a Biblical reference you only have to see the change from polygamy to monogamy.

    Some of the objections seem to come from the fear that some minister is going to be forced to perform a wedding ceremony that goes against his beliefs but this strikes me as unfounded because, afaik, no minister has ever been forced to perform a heterosexual marriage. And, again afaik, no one has ever been forced to attend a wedding (shotgun weddings and family pressure aside.)

    (BTW, not that it really matters to the discussion, but I also have a negative visceral reaction to the sight of two guy kissing but, as I see it, that is my personal problem, not theirs.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. @jdhuey: Please remember that the Bible records history as well as establishing doctrine. The polygamy that you refer to in scripture is nothing more than history. It is recorded as having happened, but never approved by God. On the contrary, scripture is very clear that "one man, one woman, 'till death do they part" was the only form of marriage that God ordained.

    And speaking as a life-long resident of Louisiana, I think that Mr. Pitt would have a very good chance of winning the election with his stated platform: “I'm running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform.” I wouldn't vote for him, but he would probably win.

    ReplyDelete