In one of our EN 102 session, we watched the documentary “Middle sexes, Redefining He and She” which educates us about inter-sexed people. Filmmaker Antony Thomas explores the issue of gender and sex, presents facts and imagery of varying expressions of gender in various cultures, and introduces scientific studies that support gender roles are not as simple as male and female. This powerful film evokes strong emotions; it is troubling to witness the intolerance and aggression that the characters and their families have to deal with every day.
In the film, Noah’s parents and stepfather fear for Noah’s safety because he does not behave or dress like a typical 8 year-old boy; ironically, they live in a “God loving, church going tight knit community”. As Noah’s father states “We live in a community where there is a strong religious belief that Noah should not be this way.” Additionally, Noah’s mother feels isolated from her community and overwhelmed by her family because “The Bible teaches us specifically that God made a man and a woman, they then procreate.” She is well aware that there is more than a 50% chance that others would hurt or even murder her son because of his undefined gender role. Unfortunately, the fear Noah’s mother has for her son’s safety is a tragic reality for Gwen’s mother.
Gwen, a teenage transsexual, was murdered by four teenage boys in El Dorado County, California. These teenage boys had punched and beaten Gwen with cast iron, strangled her with a rope, then dumped her in shallow grave and crushed her to death with rocks. Interestingly, El Dorado County is a picturesque town where its residents are predominantly white Christians. After the film was over, we had a class discussion and I asked myself and my classmates: If religion teaches love and acceptance, why does Noah’s father feel that his “strong religious” community ostracizes Noah? If religion promotes kindness and altruism, why does Noah’s mother feel isolated and frighten? Mostly, if religion correlates with morality, how can Gwen’s murder happened in a predominantly Christian community?
For my research project, I would like to examine if religion correlates with morality and is religion necessary for morality. Throughout the age of humanity many people have come to believe that one cannot be moral without religion. Even though there is an overwhelming amount of evidence, studies, and research that denies the correlation between religion and morality; the religious community argues that without God, our society will descent into moral chaos. Theists find it difficult to understand how atheists develop moral principles and what motivates non-believers to do good deeds without the guidance of a supernatural being. The religious community claims that we need a higher deity to restrain ourselves from self-centeredness and self-destructiveness. In the book, The Purpose Driven Life, author Reverend Rick Warren implies that without a...