The idealistic nature of religion is the barrier that forces people away from their personal beliefs, thus, consequently, blocking them away from their pursuit of happiness instead of helping them to achieve it. This, of course, does not exactly apply to everybody who practices religion but rather points out the idealistic nature of religion which abides practitioners to follow a certain set of rules while forfeiting aspects that the religions deem to be taboos. In this context of Angels of America, the greatest example we could potentially investigate is the character Joe – a Christian who sets the example for what it’s like to be a “good man”. When others look at Joe, they see a true Christian who had been working diligently and doing all the “right” things he possibly could to where he is now. However, it is obvious that in the play, Joe is one of the unhappiest characters in the story due to his obedience to the idealistic nature of Christianity, which caused him to be missing a huge part of his life. To be specific, his struggle is shown in this line: “Does it make any difference?…., with everything I have, to kill it.” (Kushner, 40-41). “It” here implies Joe’s past and things that he aspired to, but according to the Christian doctrine, Joe’s “it” is wrong, and Kushner’s word use heavily suggests that Joe was and still is battling the wrongs in him. At this point it comes to the question for us: is homosexuality wrong? The answer, for people with common sense, is no; however, in the context of Joe, homosexuality is wrong even when it is hinted that he himself is also a homosexual, and this is only wrong due solely to the fact that the idealistic nature of religion dictated so.
2 thoughts on “Homosexuality is wrong because religion dictated so.”
I really like you point about how religion become a boundary for queer people to accept their identity and makes it harder for the society to accept queer community. I really like how the author talk about it in the split scene that we touched on in class: when Harper says they don’t believe in homo in their church, Prior replies that they don’t believe in Mormons in their church as well. This show that there is no “right” or “wrong” thing. It is only about one’s position and what one chooses to believe.
I thought it was interesting how you chose to separate religious beliefs from personal beliefs in the first sentence; it creates an interesting epistemology where there should maybe be some sort of qualification on what sort of beliefs we consider “personal” and those which, although belonging to ourselves, may belong in some other kind of category. It seems as though you posit religion as antithetical to most people’s personal interests, an idea that is definitely controversial but that I like a lot.
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