Here's another rant that I'm re-posting from my old site; written in my angsty, over-eager "OMG the world is against me because I'm GOTH" babybat days (shut up, you were totally just as bad). Nevertheless I still agree with what I was saying when I first wrote this, although I would like to point out that I'm not attacking religion in this post - just the people who use religion as an excuse to attack others, or to hurt or exclude them.
Also, I am not picking on Christians, nor am I against Christianity in any of its forms - I attended a church school, although I haven't chosen to follow the religion as I grew older. Christianity is not the only religion which is used by its followers as an excuse to treat other people badly, although unfortunately it is probably the main one used to lambast Goths and other alternatives. I have used Christianity as my example in this post as, due to my upbringing, it is probably the faith I am best educated about.
The church school that I attended until I was eleven years old was, to be precise, a Church of England school in one of the small villages in my parish (yes, I live in a rural parish). Every day in assembly we sang hymns, said prayers and read from the Bible. On Wednesdays the vicar from the church next door came in to deliver a sermon. Even today I find myself humming hymns in the shower and can quote large chunks of text from the 'Good Book'. So if I have accidentally offended someone with the post, I can at least hope that it is not through ignorance.
Christianity teaches that we should 'love our neighbours as ourselves'. It teaches that as we are all children of God we should love, accept and be caring towards one another. But that little word 'accept' seems to be one that a lot of modern-day followers of the Christian teachings have some trouble with. Not all of them, by a long shot. But certainly, from my own experience living in a predominantly Christian area, a large percentage.
If we are supposed to accept and love each other, then why are so many hardcore Bible-bashers (I can't bring myself to call them 'Christians', now that I think about it - religion should not be used as an excuse to harm others, especially a religion that speaks consistently of peace and love) attacking - yes, physically ATTACKING - Goths and other alternative types?
A twelve-year-old girl in America was walking past a Baptist church when members of the congregation threw stones at her because she was wearing black and carrying a Stephen King novel. Stones. Last time I checked, a solid object hitting one in the head or face can KILL or cause permanent damage. Since when - since fucking when - has it been acceptable for adults to stone children in a civilised country?! Yes, the Bible speaks of stoning people - but NOT in this day and age, not when no crime has been committed - and 'he without sin shall cast the first stone'. Tell me this isn't just plain wrong.
It is not OK to go around throwing stones at people - children or adults - just because you don't like how they are dressed. People on this planet are suffering from war, famine, poverty, sickness, possible climate change, slavery, abuse, natural disasters and more - if there is really a God, is He really concerned about what music we are listening to, what colour clothes we are wearing or what colour we've dyed our hair? Would a God who forgives and is merciful, as the Bible says, really care if we backcomb our hair and listen to The Sisters of Mercy? Honestly, I can't see why.
Another twelve-year-old Goth girl, who attended a Christian school but chose instead to follow the Wiccan religion (an equally peaceful religion, with a strong focus on nature and with the tenet 'And ye harm none do what ye will'), committed suicide because she was constantly and relentlessly tormented by her 'Christian' classmates. She was literally bullied to death because of her religion.
These are two sickening examples which immediately come to mind, but I'm sure there are many more. This kind of behaviour is not Christianity. This hatred, cruelty and intolerance is not what the Bible teaches.