Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh, at last! At last!

I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it!

I've heard here and there of religious nutjobs throughout history who have claimed to know the end of the world, but most have been dead and proven wrong before I was even born. Save for the minor hysteria of the year 2000, I've not been alive during any predictions (that I know of)--and back then I was too young to be interested.

...until now!!!!!!!!!

On a recent trip out of town, I was thrilled to see one of the billboards hosted by Family Radio.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is officially Almost the End of the World. Jesus is coming back to Earth on May 21, 2011, and the righteous shall be sucked up into heaven. The rest of us heathens will wallow in misery for another 4 months until Jesus straps dynamite to the world and blows it up on October 21, 2011, just a few days before my 27th birthday. Well, dammit. If I had known that this past birthday would have been my last, I would have done something more memorable. Like streaking. Drunk. In a church.

No use crying over lost opportunity; it's time to get serious about our eternal souls. You can learn about your impending doom--or rapture--by visiting We Can Know. For a thorough explanation of how the Bible predicts these events beyond a shadow of a doubt, visit Judgment Day! May 21, 2011. Don't get left behind!

You just don't know how much I am looking forward to this. This is the first time in my life that I have been freed from the silliness of religion so that I can fully be most amused by some End of the World lunacy. To aid in the excitement, Ask an Atheist has created a spoof site, We Can't Know, with a handy dandy "Countdown to Backpedaling" clock.

It is with much ecstatic glee that I will follow this group, and I'll be throwing a "I Survived the Apocalypse" party on May 22.

Ok, ok, let me be serious for a moment. My heart really does go out to the poor Christians who believe this gibberish and are fearing for their lives, especially the young people. Yes, the day will come and go and everything will be fine, but what about the damage done to these people psychologically? What if some of them commit suicide over this? Hopefully they will either (a) believe suicide is a sin and not do it no matter what, or (b) be confident that they are "saved" and will look forward to May 21 because it means they're going to heaven. Consequently the fact that the day will come and go without any catastrophe/miracle may be mightily disappointing.

Anyhow, I am so excited to see what backpedaling they have to say for themselves on May 22, and I hope that the exposure causes many religious to come to their senses and reject religion outright.

--BadSec

Atheist's Wager...?

I'm so tired of hearing about the damn Pascal's Wager. I lived the first 24 years of my life as if I had taken his wager! I think it's a waste of time--but it's also dangerous. If you completely open yourself to believing in fairy tales, you run the risk of brainwashing. But the smart people will survive in the end.

Well, I have my own twist on Pascal's Wager. I propose that the atheists make their own challenge: we ask the theists to be a non-believer for a year. Be skeptical. Really examine all the nonsense you believe and ask yourself why.

I doubt many will try it because to do so, to even attempt to think outside the religious box, would be a sin. But if they ask it of us, why can we not ask it of them?

Just an idea...

--BadSec

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SAHMs

Woohoo, I sense a highly offensive post!

I got an email yesterday forwarding me to this link, Sarah Palin Says Issue Of Wife/Mom Being Keeper Of The Home Is A “Petty Little Superficial Meaningless Thing”. Regardless what you think of Palin, I knew from the title that this was a lot of bogus bullshit. For one, that's not Palin's style--to be blatantly offensive to an innocent housewife; for another, if you actually read what she said, that's not what she said. But of course the religious hardly ever take time to study things, do they? Oh, and in the YouTube interview, Palin's hair is bitchin' awesome.

The excerpt quoted at the American View starts at 6:50 on the YouTube video, and Palin says, "There are still the Neanderthals out there who pick on the petty little superficial meaningless things, like looks, like whether you can or can’t work outside of the home if you have small children. All those type of things…I would so hope that at some point, those Neanderthals will evolve into something a bit more with it, a bit more modern and a bit more understanding that, yes, women can accomplish much."

Ok, what is the issue here?? Palin is not saying that staying at home and caring for your children is a superficial, meaningless thing. What she's saying is that people who get hung up on the discussion of whether or not women can work and still have a family--that is what's so damn petty. And I totally, completely agree with her. Feminism is about CHOICE. If a woman chooses to stay at home to cook, clean and change diapers, fine. That's her choice. But if I woman chooses to have a family and have a career, fine. That's her choice. Palin's point is that obsessing over whether or not women should be allowed to do both is rather Neanderthalish, and she's completely right. I posted this very thought on the page under an alias... I'm sure it will be removed or I'll be cast into hell.

Anyhow, now that I've bitched out my little rant, I'm going to take this into a slightly different direction: my opinion on Stay At Home Moms and its relationship to feminism. And why, I personally, do abhor the activity of women staying at home to keep house and make babies.

First let me clarify a bit. Every situation is very unique and individual, so I am not condemning everyone across the board--I am not condemning anyone at all. Everyone has their own very personal reasons for what they do, and I'm not out to judge women who choose this lifestyle. But I do have the right to assert my opinion, and my opinion is that SAHMism is generally anti-women.

I said above that feminism is about choice. I stand by that. It's also about equality and respect and other things of that nature. If you are a woman who voluntarily chooses to not have a career, and to make housekeeping and childraising your sole pursuits, more power to you. To me, that lifestyle is totally repulsive. It feels like giving up. It feels like throwing all the progress back into the face of the the courageous women before you, who have shed blood and tears to ensure that you could make something of yourself.

So if feminism is about choice, and if a woman chooses to be a SAHM, it's all good, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that she freely chose that life (and being brainwashed into believing that if you're a woman, God's highest purpose for you is to be a wife/mom is not free choice). But ultimately, no. When a woman gives up her power and is dependent on someone else to provide for her, she has lost her choice, even if she made the choice initially. 99.9% of the time, that provider will be her husband. She doesn't make the money so her opinion on how it should be spent or saved means a lot less. Sure, there are men who let the little woman manage the finances, but if he loses his job, what kind of power does she have then? She's run out of other people's money to spend. Unfortunately most of the time, the moneymaker is going to assume authoritative control of the household; this behavior is directly encouraged by many biblical denominations.

If the provider loses his job, or if the provider decides to run off with that cute little 18 year-old, the wife is left powerless and penniless. Even if she gets a divorce with alimony, it's not going to be enough. She's going to have to work, but by now she's got all these mouths to feed, no resume, and no experience. My biggest problem with housewifery is that it makes the woman completely dependent on someone else, and I think that's a ridiculous risk. Even if the man treats her well, what if he suddenly dies or is too ill to work? These are very real possibilities and if a woman gives up her independence, she can find herself in one hell of a pickle one day. Not that said pickle can't be overcome, but why do this to yourself?

I think the loss of empowerment, even voluntary, is dangerous and stupid. Yes, stupid. In this context empowerment means a career, and that's no small thing. Why would you risk your financial future, your livelihood and sanity, your children's future just so that you can have time to drive them to soccer or be the privileged one to clean the toilet? I realize that there are undeniable advantages to being at home with your kids. Supposedly you can keep your house clean (though I've yet to meet a clean household maintained by a SAHM, and I've seen a lot). You're there for your kids, emotionally and physically, and enjoy greater ability to be involved in their education and recreational activities.

Being a mother isn't about cooking, and cleaning and chauffeuring your kids to their activities. Let's get real, honey: anyone can do those things, and if you think you are making a difference in your kids' lives just by "being there", you're deluding yourself. Being a mother means to be there spiritually and emotionally for your children; to guide them and inspire them in their life and life choices; to love them unconditionally and cheer them on; to build them up and create happy, productive little people. The cold, hard reality is that you can do those things and still have a career--and keep your independence. You might not have the house as clean, or as many homemade meals made, or be able to be there for every event in their life...but that's ok. Your kids aren't going to grow up deranged or hating you because you worked and they had to eat pizza more than what was ideal. Your husband will get over the pile of laundry. His lazy ass isn't helpless, you know.

I get supremely annoyed at two things: 1) the idea that women must be SAHMs just because they were born with a vagina, and 2) when SAHMs think they are so special and are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

The last one really gets me. Not to say that there isn't a ton of work involved in being a SAHM, because they're surely is. But putting a price tag on housekeeping and childbearing is a bit pompous. If that makes you feel good about yourself, yay for you. Definitely, someone should be paying you for all the grueling work you do. But they don't. Know why? Because you're an idiot who does this shit for free.

The bottom line is this: just because you have a vagina your fate should not be automatically dictated at birth to be a maid, wife and baby factory. You should be able to choose and design your own fate.

But please embrace your modern feminine power and don't be someone's slave by choice. I'm not a feminist from the 1960s who is trying to tell you that you can have it all and it will all be great! Whatever path you choose won't be easy, and there will be work involved. You can make it happen, if you set your mind to it, but you're going to have to delegate your efforts, and spend time on what's most important. If you are successful, and you view the sky as your limit, you can have money and independence, a family--and a clean house, too, because you can afford to pay a housekeeper.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Religious Vagina: the Godly Clown Car

Lately I have found an interest in the Quiverfull movement. If you've not been living under a rock you've heard of the Duggar family and their litter of 19 spawn (which undoubtedly has doubled by the time I publish this post). My curiosity led me to research their religious beliefs, and discovered they are part of the "Full Quiver" movement.

Quiverfull as an unofficial movement is relatively new, but as a Christian ideal for some Christians it is, and always has been, their way of life. The movement gained strength in the mid-80s and has been growing ever since, though there are no actual counts of followers that I have found; as a guestimation, I will venture to say there are around several dozens of thousands. It's not a major movement, but it is significant enough to have its religious and social implications considered.

Something most interesting to me personally is that a major advocate of QF, Mrs. Mary Pride, is an acquaintance of my family's. As a kid I knew she was a holy roller home-schooling mom with a lot of kids and that she had written a lot of books, but it wasn't until this week that I've understood her impact and its significance. You can Google Pride if you're curious.

The heart of the QF movement is a maniacal attachment to Psalms 127:3-5 that says, "Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court." Amazing how these few verses have inspired a whole movement. QFers don't see themselves as starting a new movement as much as going back to basics, returning to the Word of God. When early authors like Mary Pride and Rick and Jan Hess started to write about what we now call the QF movement, they were actually trying to explain why rejection of birth control and letting God decide how many children were born was biblical, and what everyone should have been doing all along.

If you've noticed, QF is a movement and not a religion. You can be any Bible-believing Christian and be a QF. In fact, traditional Catholics who reject birth control--especially the hardcore Catholics who also reject NFP and the Rhythm Method--are QF, or nearly QF, though they don't call themselves that. But QFers differ from Catholics and most other Protestants because of the extremes they go to, and because QF (like a lot of religion) is accompanied with good ol' fashioned patriarchy. What makes QF unique is the combination of extreme Christianity, total rejection of any birth control, a spiritually militant mission, strict patriarchy, all happening in the 21st century.

Another essential element of QF is that it is spiritually militant, that is, it isn't just a complete openness to pregnancy and children: it is creating children to be soldier's in God's army. I have so many problems with this I don't know where to begin! If you read QF websites you'll quickly see that they believe spiritual warfare is impending, so they are stocking up the ranks. QF believe God "opens and closes the womb" and that God should be allowed to be wholly responsible for family size. Don't worry about health or money, they say. God will provide. Predictably, spiritual entitlement ensues. Unspoken birthing contests take place between women. Since children are a gift from God, it follows that no children are a curse. If you're trying to be fruitful and multiply but you just can't get knocked up, then you must have done something to piss God off. If you are infertile you are obviously not holy and submissive enough, and will be looked down upon by fellow QFers.

You can imagine what I think about this movement. No? Well, let me spell it out for you.

Where is the foundation for this movement? Ohhh, yeah. In the Bible. The one that was written thousands of years ago, that's full of inconsistencies, that was written by humans, that has been translated and edited and picked to taste. That one. That's is, folks! I'm writing my own bible, and I'm calling it The Book of Purple Unicorn. *cue angelic chorus* And I will make up stores and tell people how they must worship his divine majesty the Purple Unicorn, and how the Purple Unicorn has all sorts of rules to follow, and how Purple Unicorn will run you through for disobedience. Then the Purple Unicorn and the Flying Spaghetti Monster can have great battles in the sky for Best God rights until they finally call a truce, fall in love, and make babies that shit rainbow sparkles and tomato sauce. It's perfectly credible!

Patriarchy is abuse. QF women are commanded to be submissive and subservient to their fathers and husbands, and not speak unless spoken to. They receive only a high school homeschool education, aren't allowed to work outside the home, and taught that their highest calling is motherhood. Think about this for a minute. Think about what it would be like to be under that kind of control. If you were to drop my bitchy feminist self into this situation, do you know what would happen? I would have a hearty laugh at their ridiculous bullshit and hitchhike my way back into normal society. I would fight my way out, even if it killed me. No way, no how would I submit. Not this chick! But these women, especially the daughters, are brainwashed into thinking this is their duty before God. It is God's will that they not have their freedom, their personal sovereignty or any other life path than being barefoot and pregnant; and isn't God great to provide us stupid women with wise fathers and husbands to explain God's loving will to us?

And that's only one aspect of it. Consider the naturally selfish nature of humans. Now imagine if you raised a little boy and told him all his life that he could grow up to be whatever he wanted, get the education he wanted, follow his dreams and passions, and that he would have a "helpmeet" wife who would obey him, honor him, cook and clean for him, bear his children and provide sex on demand. Imagine if you taught that little boy that he is lord of his own house, that he is the sole decision maker, and that his wife is to do as he says, constantly and cheerfully and without hesitation, because he personally is endowed by almighty God to do so. Imagine if you taught this boy that you can and should control your wife with love, because for her to disagree with you is a sin, and that that love could include physical discipline. And when this boy is grown, what do you think you'd have? A narcissistic, controlling abuser. An asshole full of himself and his own righteous glory. A pathetic bully who believes he is special just because he has a penis. When you demolish that bubble of respect each human being deserves, and allow for total control under the pretense of God, you create in the mind of the controller that every little thing he does not like is a sin. How does he know this? Because God told him. Because he's the one with the testicles. Because the Bible said so.

What of the women? Women are the only ones who could think themselves out of this cult, but they're generally too brainwashed to do so. Men are allowed to think, but are too busy enjoying being worshipped to bother to change.

Women are never allowed to follow their dreams, or even have them. What's the point? A woman's highest calling, most important job--and only allowed job--is wifedom and motherhood. Like my mother once said, what's the point of girls going to college when all they are eve going to be is wives and mothers?

Children lose their individuality. Children are wanted, yes, but not for their sake; only because they are a new soul, a warm body unto God. A soldier. Girls never get a glimpse of freedom and are prepped to be babymakers from the day they're born. Boys are taught to be full of themselves and that they have dominion over the "lesser" sex. All the children are forced to be caretakers of the others because Mommy simply can't do it all. Some of this is good for them, but I argue that generally it deprives them from the innocence of childhood and the ability to dream and play and doodle--which, I believe, is what our adult dreams and professions are based on. What if a child needs his or her mother? She's too busy taking care of everyone to give children the one-on-one attention and emotional support that they may occasionally require.

I'm not claiming that every product of QF is bad, that every child loses their childhood, or that every man is abusive. But it's undeniable that these things are very present (and actively fostered) in religious extremism of all kinds. Two principles need to always be followed, 1) don't believe anything without evidence just because someone teaches it to you, and 2) respect others; your rights end where theirs begin. Unfortunately, religion throws both of these out the window with glee.

Check out Quiverfull.com and No Longer Quivering.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happiness Without God

It's the ultimate form of arrogance from the religious, that only those who believe in God (and their particular version of God) are happy. There are plenty of more modern religious people who are open to more than one pathway and people finding happiness suited to their personality, but there are millions more who wholeheartedly believe their way is the only way.

My mother falls into the latter category. Familial relations between her and my siblings are... strained, to put it mildly. Lately my mother and I have gotten to the point where we can exchange emails on neutral things such as funny YouTube videos, wacky news stories and the like--but we haven't seen each other or spoken on the phone in a year. This is progress. Which is why I was surprised yesterday when she invited me (by text) to lunch since she is in town visiting the good children (my religious siblings, not atheist me).

She knows that I don't believe in any religion and that I question God, but I haven't said the word "atheist" to her. The predictable thing about my relationship with my fanatically religious family is that I have never, ever, not once, done anything wrong to any of them personally, but they've ostracized me exactly as if I had. That fact is exactly what irritates me so. My offense is in questioning God and religion (and finding no substance there), not in actually causing them any harm, yet they react as if I had. As my mother once put it, and I quote, "our religion is our universe. You've chosen to leave it so we cannot have the relationship with you that you want." The 'relationship I want' was an agreement of mutual respect to agree to disagree but still be a family. That is literally all I asked for, but that is too much for them. Unfortunately, this is a very typical scenario, and truthfully my situation is better than many.

But I will not back down. She demanded that, if I wanted my family to have a relationship with me and my boyfriend, that I would have to sign and submit documentation to the local bishop proclaiming my official exodus of the Catholic Church. She also quoted Catholic Cannons to me (threw the book at me, so to speak) telling me why I should make my non-religion official. Of course I refused. It would be exactly like me submitting documents to the government of France letting them know I'm not French. Totally pointless. I need do nothing more than stop believing and stop participating for it to be official.

So probably against my better judgment, I agreed to lunch. I used to be so intimidated by her opinions and I was so convinced of her righteousness. Now as a freethinking adult, I can see her for the human being she is. A close-minded, arrogant, religious fanatic who feels she has the right to judge others because "God" disagrees with actions x and y, so she is allowed to look down on people because they do actions x and y--never noticing that it is a group of very imperfect humans who "educate" everyone as to what God likes and dislikes. But of course those humans claim that through a miraculous divine intervention known as ex cathedra, no official teaching of the Catholic Church will ever be wrong because God speaks through them at that time. Even if they are adulterous murderers who eat children and puppies, whatever they say ex cathedra is GOD'S WORD (yes, this is what I was taught and what the Catholic faithful believe).

I am looking forward to today. I have now become a humble, open-minded person who knows that she doesn't have all the answers, but is able to reason and use her brain enough to not attribute the universe to a figment of humans' imagination. As hard as it has been, I would not take any of it back. I would never, ever trade the truth for a relationship with people that is based on lies and fairy tales. My family believes I am a godless heathen (well, that's kinda true) who is perverted by hedonistic pleasures and has chosen my selfish self over obedience to God. Quite the contrary, it is my honest, sensible nature that prevents me from believing in something that doesn't make sense. I can't take seriously the idea that this invisible, inaudible, nonphysical being has total control over me and my soul. Where is the proof of such a being? In your "feelings"? In your fear of being wrong and going to hell? My sister actually explained her belief to me, that the Catholic Church is 2,000 years old so she figures it knows what it's talking about. That's what your faith is based on? Because enough idiots have been around long enough to perpetuate foolish ideas, so they must be right? That's not enough for me.

I am looking forward to showing my mother that I am a beautiful, happy, healthy person. I am honest and open, and do not live my life in fear. All my life growing up I was taught by her that you cannot be truly happy without God. After she became a Catholic 17 years ago, she more narrowly defined this idea to be you cannot be truly happy without being a good Catholic. And if you made the mistake of thinking you were happy without being Catholic, you were incomplete as a person, and lying to yourself. But if you become an ex-Catholic (*gasp*), why then you knew what you were doing was wrong and you did it anyway, which makes you evil and vile, narcissistic and selfish, and going straight to hell. I fall into this category. ;)

The truth is, I am happier than I have ever been! I am free and liberated and can just be a human without wasting my life in the purposeless shackles of religion. I am deeply, truly, and honestly happy and I'm not lying to myself.

--BadSec

Thursday, October 28, 2010

God loves babies

Frequently I ponder the reasons why religious people typically have so many children. Coming from an uber-traditional Catholic brainwashing, I am often so relieved to be set free from the requirement of childbearing that I just can't understand how people would choose to be so controlled--not only for making babies, but for every aspect of control that religion must have. But about religion and breeding. Fundamentalists:

1. Believe all forms of birth control to be immoral
2. Believe procreation is a duty commanded by God
3. Believe they must create souls for the furthering of God's army
4. Don't give a shit (or a very little shit) about the environment

As a feminist, it saddens me greatly to think of the women's lives that have been hurt because of being spiritually coerced into a lifestyle they did not personally choose. I was almost one of those. In general it pains me to think of people who are forced into a life that is not suitable for their personality, but have no choice because "God wills it" and so they never really question it. And in the case of having many children, who would have time to question anything? You barely have time to take a shower! This lack of time is an issue that I think plays a role in many religious people's ability to think objectively about their blind faith, but maybe that's just me being an arrogant secularist.

Can atheists and secularists win in the arena of ideas? I want to say yes, because I am a positive person and I generally believe in the general goodwill of people. Atheism and secularism have more popularity and acceptance than ever before, but as atheists and secularists we are still woefully outnumbered. Atheists have no moral opposition to birth control. We're not stupid enough to believe that an invisible God expects us to breed for him because he's just so damn cuddly he wants more of us to love. We sincerely care about the environment. And if you're childfree like me, you love your life just as it is sans offspring.

Hmm. Maybe we should start breeding like crazy and take over the world!!!

So obviously we might have a problem. Atheists tend to procreate a lot less; does this mean our ideals will not be passed on to future generations? The answer is impossible to tell, but I think there is hope. As our knowledge of the world and culture and the variety of religions and lifestyles increases, as small-minded human beings we have no choice but to accept that there are Other Ways of Living Than Our Own. With acceptance can come understanding; with understanding can come conversion, and I think a good bit of that has happened. The exposure from TV, internet and radio all over the world has--for good or bad--been an eye-opening experience. Humans are naturally curious and what better to spark curiosity than cultural diversity? I think it's ample reason for people to examine their own way of life and to consider others' way. Maybe my religion isn't so right... maybe theirs isn't so wrong... or wait, maybe religion itself is the problem?

Back when the world was a lot more mysterious and small, religion served a purpose as an explanation for very many things. But that was when the Earth was flat, men or horses were gods, and abiogenesis was an accepted theory. As our knowledge increases, our reliance on the mythical decreases. There's a saying among Christians that "a baby is God's way of saying the world should go on." I happen to think it's more like "a baby is biology's way of saying you successfully put your penis in a vagina and ejaculated."

There's a short but good article on this topic at More Intelligent Life called Faith Equals Fertility. Some of the comments are enough to raise my blood pressure, like Tito Edwards:
People of faith are more open to having children because they love God. God is life, so what better way to celebrate life than to have children. Hence the Culture of Life. Secularists, atheists, non-theists, tend to not believe in something more than themselves, so they think ONLY of themselves. High rates of narcissism are rampant amongst non-believers so hence you have higher rates of abortions. Abortions are more prevalent since non-believers are pretty selfish and since they don't believe life beyond their material existense they want evertying now. Sex without responsbility is probably the number one narcisistic value amongst non-believers. Why have children sucking away your money, when that money can be better spent on vacations, a second home, third car, misstress, etc. It's rather quite simple. But as St. Thomas Aquinas said, "those with faith, no explanation is necessary. Those without faith, no explanation is possible."


In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


Tito


Oh, Tito. How I used to be brainwashed just like you. You're a typical Catholic idiot, but you've made some interesting points.
People of faith are more open to having children because they love God. God is life, so what better way to celebrate life than to have children. Hence the Culture of Life.
Pardon me while I facepalm for a moment. Ok, now that that's out of the way--do you have proof of God? Didn't think so. You have only a man-made religion full of rules and regulations that say you must behave in a certain way or the all-loving God will send you to hell for not obeying him. Gosh, he sounds so sweet! But that kind of belief is an excellent way of keeping the peons under control, isn't it? What you meant to say is that your religion dictates that you must have children, that birth control is evil, but they sugarcoat this rule by making you feel superior to others because you are "open to life." Did it ever occur to you that banning birth control will effectively increase the Catholic Church's membership on purpose, thereby increasing its profits and control over people's lives? Kind of like how our government and Hollywood glamorizes joining the military.
Secularists, atheists, non-theists, tend to not believe in something more than themselves, so they think ONLY of themselves. High rates of narcissism are rampant amongst non-believers so hence you have higher rates of abortions. Abortions are more prevalent since non-believers are pretty selfish and since they don't believe life beyond their material existense they want evertying now. Sex without responsbility is probably the number one narcisistic value amongst non-believers.
Sorry, I must have forgotten the part where we met. You seem to think you know everything about me. For the record, retard, abortion is not always done for selfish reasons. And what's so wrong about sex without responsibility? Why is procreation a requirement? You would have sex "without responsibility" too if you could. But your religion has convinced you that you can't, so you tell yourself that you're better for being so responsible. Pompous much?
Why have children sucking away your money, when that money can be better spent on vacations, a second home, third car, misstress, etc.
That's the most sense you've made! Though not a complete list, those are definitely some attractive reasons for not having kids. Except the mistresses part; I've no need for those.
But as St. Thomas Aquinas said, "those with faith, no explanation is necessary. Those without faith, no explanation is possible."
Right on, right on, brother! You Christians love your blind faith. No explanation is necessary to those with faith because they are so certain they have all the answers; "God" gave them to the answers--or maybe it's just a bunch of people with a magical story.

I need to go relax now and get my blood pressure back down. Maybe I should do some offensive New Age Yoga.

--BadSec

Women, why?

Why are women so utterly stupid when it comes to relationships? Haven't we progressed far enough in this country for women to realize they don't have to take shit from their men anymore?

Excuse the rant, but I'm so tired of it. So many otherwise intelligent women still see themselves through the "little woman" mentality. He cheated on me? Oh that's ok, we can work through it. He beat me? Oh that's ok, we can work through it.

My dear fellow women, why do you stay? Where is your backbone? I understand how an abusive relationship can mess up your head and your emotions and your self-esteem, but--and I'm going to be harsh--you need to get over it. Get out. Now. So you got a bad rap, but quit being a fucking victim and do something for yourself. The only women I feel sorry for in abusive relationships are the ones who physically cannot leave, as in, he has you hog-tied in a closet 24/7. Otherwise, if you're staying, you're only giving him permission to keep on keepin' on. And that is 100% on you.

I have seen too many of my friends go through this, and it angers the hell out of me. I feel bad for them, and I offer them all the support I can, even to the point of letting them live with me and paying their bills till they get on their feet, but they are always full of a million excuses of why they "can't" leave. None of these reasons is unchangeable. They are all just excuses. I'm not saying it won't take time to get out, especially if you don't have money, but where there is a will there is a way. The problem that I see is there is a lack of will, a lack of spine, and a lot of laziness. They would rather deal with the crappy situation that go through the upheaval of starting a new life--but oh boy, will they be happy to whine and cry on your shoulder about how miserable they are.

Women, it is time you grow a pair of balls and take responsibility for your own life. You will find a beautiful, exciting world out there that is full of support for you as long as you are willing to work for your freedom. I don't care if you have kids with the monster, or if you have no money. One step at a time, something can be done. Do not sit on your hands and wallow in your misery for any longer. Be a good example for your friends, sisters, and especially daughters.

There is just no excuse in this country for any woman to throw a pity party about her "permanent" loss of independence. Put on your big girl panties and go get it back.

--BadSec

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanks, Wallyworld

Whenever I get the urge to have kids, I'm going to make myself take a trip to Wal-Mart.

I hate Wal-Mart for a myriad of reasons, but I've some newfound appreciation for the hellhole now. Wal-Mart (and the like) is an overwhelming dose of daily reality, served in migrainous gobs of fluorescent light. My last trip there several days ago I saw a toddler making a game of repeatedly tossing his shoe onto the floor after every time the mother put it back on--it put a smug smile of satisfaction on my face. There are definitely worse behaviors, but the shoe-throwing is one of only thousands that parents must endure every day.

I have no hatred for children (quite the opposite) and I have utter respect for parents (the good ones). I don't know how they do it. I couldn't do it, no way.

The two times I ever consider reproducing are when I'm experiencing Evil Reproduction Hormones and when a Hollywood movie makes it seem fun and easy. Thankfully the hormones are infrequent and my mind has always overcome them, but during intense attacks it's enough to make me feel batty. Bipolar. Irrational. I can completely understand how women who experience the biological urge, and who have not thought seriously about the consequences of children, succumb to the hormones and become obsessed with being pregnant. What I've found happens to me during these days is that my emotional focus is on the cutesy fun things--a cute pregnant belly, buying all the fluffy blankets and baby clothes, precious snapshots stuck on the fridge, exciting Christmases, showing a child the wonders of the world. Never once does my hormonally charged body think about all the ugly things--sleep deprivation, post-baby body, no free time, spitup and poop, hospital bills, teenage rebellion, no money, college tuition, crappy sex life and being a perpetual babysitter.

But Hollywood makes it look so great! Happy couples with nice homes and plenty of free time tote around an adorable kid who is always well-behaved and respectable, smart too. Somehow the house is never dirty or noisy, and Mom is easily able to juggle home life and work, and look like a supermodel doing it. But then I take a look around me at the reality of everyday life. It's decidedly unglamorous. And exhausting.

Even though I am happily childfree and secure in my decision to remain so, it is still a constant battle within myself and with society because of the bombardment of social pressure. The notion that we CF need to explain and defend ourselves is ridiculous; but the fact is, we frequently must do so. I look for the day where deciding not to have kids will be just as controversial deciding not to travel to Hawai'i, but go to Florida instead. The internet is a fabulous tool for exposing the CF life and offering support for its followers; we who are CF need to offer positive exposure to the lifestyle by rationally discussing it with others, and by proudly showing off our happy selves. There are many paths to happiness, and I for one am tired of the arguing about it.

--BadSec

I'm on the Atheist Blogroll!

Yippee! Just got added to the Atheist Blogroll, a wonderful collection of skeptical blogs. This is even cooler than making the honor roll.

You can see the atheist blogroll badge in my sidebar; click on it to check out the blogroll itself. If you are an atheist blogger who would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts.

--BadSec

Monday, October 25, 2010

Redefining Beauty

Highschool Girls Go Au Natural

I don't even know these girls and I am so proud of them. As a makeup-addict myself, I especially admire their bravery. Some may mock this as being a notion of bravery, but when taken into consideration the colossal pressure our youth is under, and the constant bombardment of advertising and photoshopped Hollywood, this certainly is brave. It takes a lot of guts for young girls to go against popular culture. To look at yourself in the mirror and accept yourself for who you are and how you look is a wonderful thing.

--BadSec

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A girl vs. the Mexican drug cartel

20-year-old Marisol Valles GarcĂ­a, a female college student, is now police chief of Juarez, Mexico. You can read the article here.

That is one brave soul! You go, girl. Best of luck to her. I sincerely hope she lasts. She is a shining example not only for all people, but especially for young women. For a 20-year-old young woman to take on such a dangerous job is mind-boggling. She's pretty cute, too. Sounds like she's got more balls than the men around there (not that I blame them--I'd be hiding in my house, too).

She said, "The weapons we have are principles and values, which are the best weapons for prevention." Why can't we all act like her?

--BadSec

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

They're taking over!



I have to wonder what dance rehearsals were like. Was she ever late? Did she ever break a sweat? Honestly, I think she's lip syncing. The fraud.

You see, it starts off with innocent singing and dancing. But then, they become our masters.



Maybe it's time you consider robot insurance.



Because all robots want is sex.



--BadSec

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Christian ignorance

This morning I came across an article from Soulwinning.info on the "The Sad Testimony of George Carlin" written by a David J. Stewart. He does a review of Carlin in the following video "Religion is Bullshit":



I did some MAJOR facepalming. Stewart exemplifies perfectly the irrationality of the Christian mind. He says, "Sadly, Mr. Carlin is almost assuredly burning in Hell this moment, having died in his sins," and justifies that with John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” This kind of judgmental arrogance is a big part of the problem with religion. I am pulling my hair out over this. It doesn't even deserve this much commentary. But it gets better.


After watching George Carlin's blasphemous video, I couldn't help but think about the ridiculous theories of Evolution, and how unsaved people blindly, without question, accept the lame and unscientific theories of Evolution by faith.


Oh geez. Ridiculous theories of evolution? There's scientific proof of evolution, you dimwit! People who accept evolution do not do so blindly and without question. They do so after examining scientific evidence, which, by the way, is extremely thorough. Scientific theories must be tested, explained, and re-tested; they must hold absolutely true to reality and fact or else they are thrown out. What sort of tests do religions endure? None. It's a bunch of made-up, unproved, crazy malarky that is accepted blindly and without question. Is there a "God test"? Oh, that's right, we can't test God. Nor touch him, feel him or have a conversation (one-sided prayer does not count). And he's invisible. Aaaaaaand he "works in mysterious ways" that explain his inexplainable behavior. How utterly convenient! A God that can't be seen, touched or questioned because he isn't around to be found. You'd think if he were so all-powerful he could put an end to suffering and hate, cure disease and poverty, and maybe...I dunno... make his existence a little more readily ascertainable for us peons (Nextel has cheap cell phone plans, Jesus). And people believe in him because they have personally felt his love and good works in their own lives. You know, some people feel their imaginary friend's presence too, but at least that is properly diagnosed as a mental illness.

Stewart says that "any honest person KNOWS that God exists." If you ask me, any honest person with a whisp of a brain KNOWS he doesn't, or at least questions him. I miss the days of believing in God. Things were easier. I always had a friend who was there for me and loved me even when it seemed like the rest of the world didn't care. I came to my agnosticism and atheism very gradually and reluctantly. Religion was pretty easy to spot as a complete crock once you unblinded yourself, but letting go of a loving God was not something I wanted to do. I begged him, in my heart of hearts, to show himself, to be there with me. I prayed to have my faith strengthened and renewed but the opposite happened the more I questioned what life was about. I was taught that selfish prayers (please get me a shiny new sportscar!) were never answered because they were wants and not needs, but altruistic desires (please make me a more patient and kind person) were always answered. I didn't ever intend to become atheist, and it was a process that took nearly a decade. It would be a very cruel God who would deny the honest heart access to him when sincerely requested.


If the Bible is true, and I believe It is 100%, then George Carlin died and went to Hell according to 2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9, because he refused to obey the Gospel. I didn't say that, God did.


You didn't say that.... God did. Uh huh. Was that through the talking snake or the talking bush or ....? Oh, I know! God said it through the inconsistent babble of a group of men! Right. Then it must be true.

I know what you're afraid of, Mr. Stewart. You were born with a brain and are intelligent enough to be able to question the universe. But if you even stop to openly question life and humanity you will find your personal world full of doubt; to even question things is a sin. God knows every thought you have so to use your intellect and question articles of faith that don't make sense would be an offense to him. If you were to even attempt it you would have to put away your religious glasses for just a minute, and temporarily forget what you have been taught as "fact". Think. Investigate. Ask. I know you are afraid of hell. But I promise you, it doesn't exist.

"Faith" takes away your obligation to investigate the truth. Faith explains it all. Faith has all the answers. Faith does the work for you. But faith does not reconcile with the facts you can see around you. Faith is the blind acceptance of a man-made theory.

--BadSec

Parenting Magazine: An effective (mental) contraceptive

Despite my feelings towards childfreedom (and my daily rejoicing in my childlessness), as a twenty-something woman my biology gets in the way occasionally. Googly-eyed babies are temptingly cute. I do love kids, I do. I have nothing against children, I just don't think I need my own. It was in a moment of weakness and morbid curiosity that I grabbed a copy of Parenting in the waiting room at my doctor's office today.

Thank God--er, thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster--for this magazine. It is the best birth control.

People ought to think about baby-making before they do it. Many weren't planning to get pregnant but do anyway. An enormous group of women become hormonally deranged and won't stop until they get pregnant, not realizing that they may or may not be ready or even right for the job. A friend of mine, otherwise an intelligent young woman, secretly went off of her birth control because she wanted a baby so bad she couldn't see straight. Still more women get pregnant because their religion says they must, but that's another story. A depressing amount of women never give motherhood a second thought. They just do it. The excitement of pink and blue baby blankets and rubber duckies at bath time is just too irresistible and no consideration is given to the serious commitment, work and responsibility.

But I digress. After reading an article on sex after children, I felt oh-so-validated. Unfortunately I can't find the exact article online, but you can read a very similar article here. Main problems:

1. Too tired
2. Post-baby body
3. No sex drive
4. No privacy
5. No spontaneity/scheduled sex
6. Feeling used/underappreciated

Uuuuuugh!! I know people find ways around these problems, and kudos for them. But let's me honest--it's not as good as it once was. It's pretty much non-existent. And unless you're Angelina Jolie, the post-baby body will be decidedly unsexy. I love my sex life. I do not want to tamper with it at all. Then there's the money problem. Reproducing is insanely expensive, from the birth to college and everything inbetween.

Life is great just as it is, thank you very much!! :D

--BadSec

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The United States Post Office

Today I had again the misfortune of going to the post office. After standing in line for 10 minutes as usual I overheard the conversation between the clerk and a gentleman ahead of me. He just needed one stamp--poor thing--and asked why there was no longer a vending machine for stamps outside the main lobby. Good question, dude.

"To save jobs," she answered.

To save jobs. Think about this for a minute. I don't know about you, but it seems to be that a vending machine for the sole purpose of stamps is a good idea. It doesn't mind standing on its feet all day, it will work as many hours and holidays as needed, it's quick, and it doesn't need vacation days or employment benefits. True, it has to be restocked and maintained--but that would create a job itself, wouldn't it? I don't have the data to compare the costs of vending machines for stamps vs. a human employee, butlikeomgforsure, I'm enraged at the audacity and inefficiency of our "benign" government. Again. I know, I should be used to it by now.

Let's forget, for a moment, the unconstitutionality of the post office and the tax dollars squeezed out of us by force to operate it; let's also forget of the monopoly it has arbitrarily declared on sending and receiving letters. Hey, what happened to Anti-Trust laws in this country? Oh, nevermind.

The USPS in its infinite wisdom decided it was unfair to replace workers just to make things cheaper and more efficient. She did say, after all, that the machines were removed not because they were too expensive, but because they were taking jobs from the humans. So the USPS generously employs people to keep from hurting their feelings with money from our wallets.

It's oh-so-easy to be generous with others' money, isn't it? And in our case, we're a never ending treasure chest. The USPS, just like the Federal government, operates on a perpetual deficit with absolutely no penalty, while a private sector company (or the average citizen) is held to a different standard. For us there are threatening letters, assets frozen, money taken, even imprisonment. My friends, just you try to evade your taxes or even innocently be late in paying them. The IRS will have your butt on a platter, reaching its grubby tendrils into your job, your bank accounts and anything you own. But We the People are expected to cough it up, bend over and offer our asses for another spanking.

Why does the government do this to us? Because they can. Because they have the guns. Because we have rolled over and given them everything. Shame on us.

The problem with allowing the government to run our schools, our post office, our roads and the like is that it removes the vital need for ingenuity, passion, drive, invention, success, and efficiency. There is no longer a reward for bad behavior. Spend too much? That's ok, here's another pile of money we've taken from the citizenry. This is why private competition is so damn important. In private competition, money is not collected UNLESS QUALITY SERVICES AND PRODUCTS ARE PROVIDED TO THE CONSUMER, AT WHICH POINT THE CONSUMER VOLUNTARILY PAYS THE VENDOR FOR THE SERVICE. Money is not taken through unconstitutional taxation, with the threat of fine or imprisonment. The service provider has a serious incentive to provide quality, economical service--or else he will lose a customer, and consequently, his business will fail. He is not allowed--moreover, he is not able--to operate on a perpetual deficit.

--BadSec

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My journey to peace in Childfreedom

Today may finally be the day when I feel totally at peace with my decision to remain child-free. I reserve the right to change my mind, of course. ;) But I really don't think I will.

Heretofore my reasons for wanting to have children have been inadequate and erroneous. At first it was thoughtless--isn't that what people do?, my adolescent mind thought. Then as a late teen I came to believe (as I had been brainwashed) that children were a requirement, the sole purpose of marriage and that any form of contraception is mortally sinful. This idea was slightly crushing as I'm a natural romantic and oodles of noisy child withy snotty faces and poopy diapers pretty much killed the mood. Still, I've always had fun with kids and I resolved to soldier on and make everything work somehow. When I married at age 19 (big mistake) I temporarily resolved the problem by avoiding sex as much as possible, then eventually resorting to Natural Family Planning--a natural method of pregnancy avoidance sanctioned by the Catholic church only if used under grave circumstances. My circumstances were certainly not grave, but I justified it by promising God I would have kids, just not yet.

Fast forward two years: I was horrified to find out I had become pregnant. Even though NFP is allowable to a Catholic the fact that I did not have any "grave" circumstances would have meant that for me to have attended formal NFP classes would have caused a rather juicy scandal in our traditional families, so I never did. I self-educated and read as much as I could. NFP is very effective but of course there is still a chance of pregnancy; whether or not I incorrectly practiced it or I fell under the umbrella of the unlucky few destined to get pregnant, I'll never know. Looking back, I don't know why I just didn't get on the damn Pill. Sure, the phrase "the Pill" had been whispered like a dirty word in my family, and I had been told repeatedly that birth control forced spouses to view each other as sexual objects...even so, I myself never felt opposed to it but I refrained from it because I believed I had to.

Those early days of pregnancy were hell for me. I was severely depressed, and it wasn't because of hormones. It was because I was not ready. I felt like my life was over before it had begun. How was I supposed to finish college now? My grandmother-in-law asked me once, "Well honey, are you excited?" And I had to be honest--"No." I had married not only too young before I even knew who in the hell I was, but I couldn't have chosen husband more wrong for me. Not a bad person, but we were oil and water in practically every way. So with the pregnancy, now I was stuck with him, forever. As wrong as I felt it was, I suddenly understood why women considered abortion, though in my inexperience I had always judged them as selfish, evil pricks.

Eventually I came to accept my pregnancy and tried to find ways to look forward to it, and had made up my mind that after the baby was born, no matter what there would not be another child for many years. I had lost some of my freedom but I would never willingly lose any more of it. As I got farther along, I enjoyed the maternity clothes and the attention from strangers (I was darn cute), but I still hated being pregnant. I wanted my body back. The fact that there was a living being inside of me completely freaked me out! Some women cherish that, but I felt severely uneasy about it, like an alien had deposited its slimy green young in me and there was no way of getting it out. The farther along I got, the happier I became because I knew it would be over soon. The end came sooner than I expected, though. At 27 weeks I found out that my son had passed away, and 36 hours later I gave birth to my stillborn baby boy.

It was very sad, and it was very hard. The mystery of his death will forever bother me and I wouldn't wish that journey on anyone. It was and is very painful, and I can't imagine the pain experienced by women in that situation who were happy to be pregnant. In the anonymity of the internet, I can confess that despite my grief I felt an immense, peaceful relief. I could start over. I had a second chance. On my first checkup my doctor said to me, "In about six more weeks you will be healthy enough that you can start trying again for another one." All I could think of was, "Why in the heck would I want to?!" But I suppose in her experience many women nowadays are pregnant because they wanted to be, and since I was a stable, married, healthy young woman, I must have wanted a baby.

A year later my husband and I went our separate ways, and it was the first right decision I made in my adult life. For the first time, I was reaching beyond my little closeted religious prison and asking the big questions that were never even suggested to me during my upbringing. Who am I? What do I love? What do I hate? What do I want? What are my passions? Where is my originality and individuality? These questions will sound selfish to the religious mind. We are told over and over that our purpose in life is to know, love and serve God (thanks, Baltimore Catechism). See, kid? Your future is all figured out, your role planned. My own mother, an independent woman with a Masters degree, founder of a quality, private high school once mused on the pointlessness of educating girls, since they were destined to be (1) nuns or (2) stay-at-home mothers. Don't even get me started...

You see, my road to childfreedom is deeply intertwined with my road to agnosticism and atheism. But I will try not to go into the rest of the story for now. Just know that after finally asking the bigger questions, I've come to understand who I am a little bit more. I love kids, and I feel very strongly about volunteering with and promoting adoption for abused children, but I personally am not mother material. I love my life as it is, and I know my limitations. I like peace and quiet. I like to be able to sleep in. I like a clean house. I like to save my money. I like my freedom to build my businesses. I like to have date night every night and not have to scramble to find a babysitter. I like being able to travel, or even just make a random trip to the grocery store. I really like not having to carry a diaper bag. I like being able to have sex wherever, whenever and as loud as I want in my own house. I like not having to potty train. I like my babyless body. I like not having to pay college tuition.

I could go on and on. Call me selfish if you like, but I will stand proudly and tell you that at least I am thinking through my decision and not randomly procreating because I can't think of anything better to do, or because I am a religious nut who won't use contraception. I'm an informed, intelligent adult. There are things that I know I will miss out on, like Kodak moments or hopefully giving my child a better upbringing than I had. But when I really get to the heart of the issue, those things don't matter to me so much. On a practical level, I will be a million percent more prepared for retirement with the money I save, enough to buy myself a cushy nursing home stay or in-home care. Having kids as insurance is a shitty thing to do, and grossly unfair to your offspring. On an emotional level, when I look around me I have dozens of deep, fulfilling relationships, from a wonderful man whom I love deeply, to friends and relatives, to the children of my friends who call me Aunt. As I get older these relationships will only deepen and grow, and new and wonderful ones will be formed along the way. Those Thanksgiving dinners in the future may not include my offspring, but there will be amazing people who are just as much in my heart.

So do I need a googly-eyed young'un to come out of my vajayjay for my life to be meaningful and fulfilling? No, not I. Freedom, adventure, charity and creativity are what I need in my life.

-- BadSec

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Letting Go of God

Julia Sweeney is an atheist who does a hilarious (and true!) skit based on her experience of religion in her life, called Letting Go of God. As an ex-Catholic, this hits home and is seriously amusing. The following is an excerpt of the skit, which can be purchased on DVD:

But then the more I thought about it the more I had to be honest with myself. If someone came to my door and I was hearing Catholic theology and dogma for the very first time, and they said, "We believe that God impregnated a very young girl, without the use of intercourse--and the fact that she was a virgin is maniacally important to us--and she had a baby and that's the son of God." I mean, I would think that's equally ridiculous I'm just so used to that story.


Sweeney has a simple, excellent point--one most religious people never consider. When you are a Catholic (or Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, etc.) articles of faith that require suspension of mental rationality are somehow favored as miracles of God, but everything else is just batshit. There is a perpetual "Us vs. Them" mentality. They're crazy, but we're not. Dogma like talking snakes, a teenage virgin impregnation, the "infallibility" of the papacy in ex cathedra, and bread and wine becoming the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, all conveniently fall under the umbrella of "all things are possible with God."



--BadSec