“An openly gay man is clinging to life in a medically-induced coma after two men brutally attacked him for being gay in Queens, the New York Daily News reported.

“Jack Price was attacked coming out of a corner deli by two men Friday around 3AM in the middle-class neighborhood of College Point in Queens, New York. Police allege the two men taunted Price and yelled anti-gay slurs.

“Price, 49, told family members that the two men followed him to the store and called him a “faggot,” before losing consciousness. He is currently in the intensive care unit at Booth Memorial Hospital.”

http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=4685&MediaType=1&Category=26

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I can’t help resenting the brutalities that are induced by our religions. Here is but one more example of the hatreds encouraged by our three Western religions — in writings composed many centuries ago that are repeatedly thrust at us in place of the peace-making elements of each.

Some people apparently like to hate more than anything else and so such hate texts are promoted — just as our TV is employing sex and violence to sell products which in many instances are themselves dangerous.

I support free speech as protected by the First Amendment — it holds in check authoritarians and such. But there are limits. The archetypal example is that one cannot cry fire in a theater when there is none and which can cause deaths and injuries as people rush to exits. But I am glad that our hate crimes legislation is being updated and I hope it will be used to educate people, not just to punish them with many years in jail. The fault here lies with those religionists who are preaching the hatred that oozes out into the public consciousness. These characters are as much at fault for inducing brutalities as those who committed the one in Queens this morning.

There are other religion induced crimes that I will not detail here. It is weird that people take so seriously stuff that was devised centuries ago by now mainly anonymous individuals who were claiming that they were speaking for a divinity.

It is time to move into the current century where we should condemn such dangerous insanity. Killing people is wrong! And can only be justified in extreme situations where many lives are at stake. Our current wars are probably in this category — Livy had it right in his citation in my signature below. And he was a Roman historian not implicated in any of our Western religious traditions.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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