Friday, December 30, 2011

Shit My Kids Ruin

I was a kid once. I've ruined a few irreplaceable family portraits and tubes of lipstick in my time. If only I knew the power of devastation that lay at my fingertips if I just tried a little harder. I salute these Satanic children for ruining far more than I ever did:

Shit My Kids Ruined. Photographic reality of day-to-day parenting (that you never see in the movies).

I have several friends who are pregnant or planning on being pregnant soon. They all idolize parenting and children, and have lengthy discussions on how they will do such fabulous jobs of parenting their children. They'll never be angry, they'll never miss a soccer game, and they would never, ever leave their child unattended. (That woman whose toddler died because she got up from her nap, took her mother's car keys, and locked herself in the car during the summer while her mother was sleeping--shame on that woman for ever taking a break!) Oh no. Those people who complain of their DVD players being ruined or walls crayoned, why, they're just poor disciplinarians who don't keep an eye on their children.

I just laugh, because in this regard, my friends are idiots. Their children will hurt themselves, and they will destroy things. Many things.

Prepare to have crayons, paint, shaving cream, peanut butter, sodas and candy smeared into your chairs, cars, carpets, computers and walls. Hope you didn't care too much about that TV, or laptop, or couch--oh, and sorry about your car. Get used to pee, poo and vomit on pretty much everything, and set aside many hours a week to clean and repair. Oh, it's all so worth it.

Yeahhhhhhh, think I'll pass. My home and my vehicles are a safe haven of calm and order, and I prefer my life that way.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Children are so expensive! put out a nice chart on the cost of raising a kid:

These numbers are based on 2009 figures. It is considerably more conservative than solely the estimate from the USDA of $280K.

I think I'll pass.


Most of the credit goes to you!

Time after time you will hear religious people praise God for his help in the accomplishment of their successes. Let's ignore for now (and this is difficult!) how frequently God completely ignores millions of other cases of starvation, abuse, disease and destitution. But never you mind, he's busy.

These people will say that they did something by the grace of God, or that God blessed them, or that they would be nothing without God--any number of variations. When I hear this, I get extremely frustrated, especially when it is directed towards me. I feel a lot like Eliza Doolittle, actually.

In this scene from My Fair Lady, the men are congratulating themselves exuberantly for having pulled off their goal: training the cockney Eliza well enough so that she passes for an educated Englishwoman at the ball. They completely ignore the accomplishments of Eliza herself. "Now wait, now wait, give credit where it's due. A lot of the glory goes... to you!," Higgins says to Pickering, ignoring Eliza while she is standing right there.

Last week my partner's father was commenting on how "blessed" we are. We live in a beautiful house, make good money, are generally very healthy and have a good relationship. We take care of our house, our bills, our cars, eat well and have some very nice furniture and such. He kept on and on about how everything we did was because Jesus had our backs.

The truth is, we are "blessed" because well, yes, we have gotten lucky, but mostly it's because we have been wise in managing our money, and have worked very hard to get where we are. It took me over six years to finish my college degree because I worked my way through and did not take on any student loans. We both have very little debt, and what we do have is for vehicles. We both have two vehicles, and one of each is paid for--the second could be sold to pay for itself if need be (that being said, I will never take on debt again as my financial philosophies have changed, but that's another story). We have a fully furnished office, fully furnished guest room, a 65" tv, baby grand piano, pool table, an exquisite China cabinet, and a high-end gun safe for our pistols and other valuables.

We rarely buy anything new. All of our vehicles are used, though you wouldn't know that by looking. 90% of our furniture is used, and we don't buy it unless we practically steal it. You would be shocked at how little our furnishings cost. We scour Craigslist, eBay, garage sales and antique shops, and trust me, it pays off. Practically everything used always needs a little TLC, but we're very handy, and our things look brand new. I have things that are 10 times nicer than my broke friends who don't realize they can buy used. All but a few of my fine jewelry items are pawn shop finds. I buy my clothes on eBay, at Goodwill, and at discount shops like Marshall's. If a business is going out of business, we are there to get some deals on things we need. We haggle and barter for everything. We buy one thing at a time, and it's taken us 3 or 4 years to get to where we are. I hope it is only the beginning. I drink my wine on my $75 leather couch from my $0.25 Goodwill wine glass, and look good doing it.

My point is, of the things in life that can be controlled, we can and do control them. We are very responsible. We are creative when it comes to problem solving. Sure, we have fun too, and we definitely buy stuff we don't need, but it's kept to a responsible minimum. We have not saddled ourselves with debt, and we have not burdened ourselves with children.

Nothing that we have done, have accomplished, or will accomplish in the future has anything to do with God. As Higgins says, we must give credit where credit is due, and the glory of our "blessings" is from our own blood, sweat and tears. We have worked our butts off, made [mostly!] wise choices, and it has led to a nicer life.

My father-in-law had the audacity to claim that my partner's life was saved because of Jesus protecting him. When he was a kid, he fell down a hill and collided into an edge of a picnic table with his throat. He's lucky to have not bled to death, let alone still have a voice. It was extremely traumatic for him and his family, not only physically but financially and emotionally. He had to have multiple surgeries over several years. And his own father can seriously look us in the eye and say that Jesus "protected" him. Jesus is a shitty protector, then. Maybe next time he could just prevent the incident from happening at all? My partner was saved because of receiving quick medical attention, and having some excellent surgeons. Humans did a hell of a lot more to help him out than God, and they were able to do so because of their own hard work and sacrifice for years to get their medical training.

I wish people would give themselves credit for the good things that they do. The idea that God is a silent, invisible puppeteer is beyond ludicrous. I can't tell the difference between him being his silent, invisible self, and him not existing at all. God is gratuitously given credit for all the good things, but for the bad things God is mysterious, or everything happens for a reason, or some other excuse. Convenient, isn't it? It makes no sense at all to congratulate God for my good job when others are starving. Why am I worth more than them? Why can I eat and they can't? If God works in mysterious ways, then he needs to get hit shit together, and quick, because that system is not working.

God protects and heals you... but you still need doctors and medicine.

God will get you a good job... but you still have to gain experience, get an education, prepare a resume, apply and do an interview, and you still have to show up and do quality work.

God will hear your prayers and help your relationships... but you still have to listen, compromise and show respect.

God will help you with your financial woes... but you still have to work, get your money organized, be on a budget, pay your bills and set goals.

God will help the poor and abused... but you still need to volunteer at shelters, donate money to charities and the church.

It seems that we are doing all the work here. God is like that irresponsible guy you get stuck with in speech class for a group project, who is never around to help study or prepare, yet on presentation day he wants credit for his half. And if God were really looking out for you and your family as a result of your prayers and worship to him, then statistically, believers would have better health and lives than non-believers.

If I am able to buy a car, it is because I worked and saved up money and paid for it. If I am injured and surgery saves my life, it is because of competent medical professionals and my own body's natural defenses.

There is no reason to believe that there is an almighty, all-knowing, silent, invisible being floating around, ensuring all your successes yet is mysteriously absent for failures and hardships. You'll do much better to recognize the reality of your own power and creativity, hard work and ingenuity.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Baby Trap

I began reading Ellen Peck's The Baby Trap book today, and so far am enjoying it very much. Though originally published in 1971, I am so far blown away by how current it feels, 40 years later. I will have to write a better informed review later, but I came across this quote and just had to share it:

"Being mature assumes a certain amount of personal power, and the right to decide in what way that power will be exercised. And selfishness, in the sense of being aware of, and proud of, the self, is certainly a factor in a balanced personality. It's the weak personalities that completely resign themselves to the role of consumer of child-centered gee-gaws who are in trouble. Being aware of one's own adult sensuality, personality, and material preferences is good.

Peck wrote this in a response to people thinking that people who want adult things (a den, zebra throw, bar and a woman) and not child things (baby shoes, cradles, musical potties) are immature and selfish. I just love her meticulous response to what we childfree call a "bingo".

You can read The Baby Trap in its entirety, for free, here.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Thought of the day

Do you want to know yet another reason why I am an atheist? No? Well, too bad. Here it is.

If God were real, he would make himself known, make himself seen and heard. There would be interviews with God on the BBC, David Letterman and Fox News (CNN does not get first dibs, are you kidding?).

But God is not visible, audible or tangible. The best believers have to go on are ancient texts, ancient stories, traditions, dogma, "personal experiences" and feelings. I'm not impressed. All of this "evidence" reeks of humanity.

Instead, the fact that we can't actually discuss questions with God, get clarification for anything, settle disputes, or hell, feed starving people and inform murderers in the error of their ways? stop wars?--these things indicate that either God has no care about earthly suffering, or doesn't exist. However, not caring about these things is completely contrary to any concept of the character of God of which I am aware.

Do you really think that God is so petty, so butt hurt, that he sits up there in heaven and refuses to help people because they're not perfectly good, and he's pissed off about it? So he sits there, lip stuck out, refusing to help people--except football players and actresses in their acceptance speeches--and is content to let us believe that while he loves us SO GODDAMN MUCH that he sent his only son to be sacrificed for our own salvation, he has to stick to his mysterious plan and let us suffer? One would think that the author of the plan could change the plan and come up with a better plan that doesn't include pain and suffering! This God is an asshole, or woefully inept.

Think of all the religious disputes that exist or have existed, from minor theological quabbles to violent wars. God appearing, making his existence known and administering commandments, would stop the chaos instantly. We wouldn't argue over dogma, or have religious wars, and the possibility of atheism would be ridiculous, laughable! We would have no choice but to, at the least, believe in the one God.

The theist is sitting here reading this, saying to himself, "Oh, God could do all these things, just doesn't want to." Well, to hell with that! Dare I ask, does the same moral code apply to humans? So I can stand by and watch people starve, be raped, murdered, etc, and take a picture for my scrapbook? If God does it, so should I. Supposedly God is perfect and benign and unchanging, so his moral code must be totally awesome.

If I had the power that God supposedly has, I would eliminate all suffering and wrongdoing immediately. I would appear to my people, get to know them and let them get to know me, and take everyone to heaven and have a wonderful, blissful eternity. I'm human, and I can imagine what I would do with that kind of power--yet we are expected to worship and believe in someone who can do all that things, and simply doesn't?

God is supposedly benevolent, loving, just, merciful, all-knowing, omnipotent, etc. I'm pretty sure that someone with those character traits would be able and willing to make the universe a perfectly lovely place, regardless of free will. Free will shouldn't be a cop out for God to let things be shitty, especially for innocent children who have no ability to help themselves.

He either doesn't give a shit, or he doesn't exist. The latter makes much more sense.

Monday, November 28, 2011

How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?

This is an excellent BBC documentary on overpopulation, conservation and consumption of Earth's resources. Maybe this sounds like boring stuff to you, but it's quite necessary to your survival. The fact is, humans are reproducing at an alarming rate and we are currently at that point where our resources are strained, and people are beginning to suffer greatly because of it.

Think about your daily life. The clothes you wear, the things you drink, food you eat, showers you take, your cleaning, care of your pets, the things you do for fun... all of these things require food and water directly or indirectly. It is a simple math problem--the amount of water on the planet is static, but our population is increasing by leaps and bounds. Something has to give.

Ideally, we will do three things to avoid death, suffering and wars over resources: 1) improve technology to make better use of the limited resources we do have, 2) conserve, conserve, conserve! 3) have fewer children--or better yet--no children at all. We can survive this if we do these three things, and do them aggressively.

It's not about being a treehugger nutjob. It's a matter of selfishly wanting to survive. The poorer nations will be the first to suffer--they already are. But it will get the wealthier nations eventually too, if something isn't done. THINK, don't breed.

We can turn this around in one generation... every couple has 0-1 children, and things will get vastly better. It's that simple. Easy? No. But simple. It's an emergency situation, and the time is now.

Do you want to go to war for water? Do you want to see your kids suffer because they don't have enough to eat? Do you want your entire existence shrunk down to an obsession for survival only? I doubt it. So act.

God is not going to come down from the heavens and save us from all this if we pray hard enough. If he were, he should have been here already. He's not coming. We are on our own. Oh, and overpopulation does not mean "not enough room to fit people"--we have plenty of space. (I was actually taught that overpopulation meant not enough space) It means not enough food, water and energy. Duh.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Brief Commentary on Gay Rights

I'm not gay. I'm as straight as they come. But I'm vehemently pro-gay rights, because gay rights are civil rights.

It's supremely disgusting that in America, in this modern day, we even have to have this discussion. I mean, seriously. I'm not even going to get into the "arguments" against gay marriage and employment rights right now because they are asinine and baseless and even a 3-year old could understand that the LGBT are people, too. There shouldn't even have to be the term LGBT, because it should be as boring and unremarkable as hair color. I don't care about nature vs. nurture. Doesn't matter, from a legal perspective. Even if it were 100% a lifestyle choice and not a biological impulse, that's completely and totally A-ok.

I'm straight and pro-gay not only because personally I believe they are regular, every day people who have equal rights to everything that I do; I'm also pro-gay because of more selfish reasons. I have the brains to realize that if society can legislate opinion, they are free to legislate and discriminate against any group of their choosing. And that could include me. And you. And him and her. Everyone. The only way to ensure safety and freedom is to PROHIBIT ONLY THOSE ACTIONS THAT ARE DETRIMENTAL TO MEMBERS OF SOCIETY. The only way to ensure safety and freedom is to PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL.

Is "pro-gay" even the right term? Honestly, I don't know. I am pro- anyone having full and equal rights.

Have you seen this poster? It sums things up pretty well:

This is exactly why we don't legislate morality, folks--at least, morality other than, you know, not killing and stealing and the like. Keeping church and state separate protects everyone.

I've heard so many times about how wrong homosexuality is because it's unnatural. It's a disorder. Gay people can't naturally have children, which automatically means they are going against God's will. They might--gasp--adopt children and ruin the children's lives. No one ever seems to have an answer on what exactly gays would be ruining (and don't we all know that heterosexual parents are consistently wonderful). Gays would be ruining children because they might...make them gay? And this is a bad thing, why? I don't get it. Besides, straight people keep having all these gay kids. They're all worried about gay people being parents, when those same people don't give a damn about any other kinds of parents. It's like they think that sexual orientation is the only litmus test for parenting. Bitch, please. All the discrimination is baseless, and points to nothing more than "I don't like it so you can't do it", with no real reason behind any of it.

The day it can be proved that homosexuality is harmful to its practitioners, and/or harmful to children, is the day I will be anti-gay. But that's not going to happen because homosexuality, in and of itself, is completely harmless, just like heterosexuality or asexuality. Do I even have to actually say this? For Pete's sake! This is common sense.

If you don't like something or don't agree with it, that's great! But things that do not cause others harm should not be illegal. Not that homosexuality is illegal--thank the FSM--but it is greatly discriminated against.

Bigotry will probably never be eradicated. We can't legislate morality, nor should we. We can't legislate opinion. What we can and should legislate, and the only focus of law, is the complete freedom of citizens.


Friday, October 28, 2011

God Hates Shrimp

This website is fucking genius:

God Hates Shrimp

It is a beautiful parody of the people who believe homosexuality is wrong because of the passage in Leviticus about it being an abomination.

"Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites."


Before and After My Atheism

Lately I've been observing more closely the ways in which my life has changed since I've become an atheist. When I was researching belief systems and realizing that nothing made enough sense, and that it all seemed so transparent and man-made, the idea of atheism kept nagging at me. I kept trying to ignore it. Atheists, after all, were evil, irrational, sinful baby-eating monsters. So I want to share how life has changed for me, in an effort to offer a realistic view of a day-to-day atheist perspective (and hopefully a positive one).

Result of my Atheism #1: Freedom

This is a fun one, because time and time again theists accuse atheists of rejecting God claims only out of a desire to do all that fun sin shit. Holy hell, would you guys give that one up already?!

I am a truly free person today (well, other than having to pay taxes). What this means for me is that I am not confused and bound by the shackles of religion anymore. I don't have to abide by pointless, arbitrary rules that have no actual consequences if they are broken. I can eat meat on Fridays. I can have sex without being married. I can use birth control. I don't have to tithe. I can be accepting of gays. I can think for myself instead of running to the Catechism/Magesterium for answers. And this is a biggie--I am completely accepting of the possibility that I may be wrong about things, because I know now that learning is an ongoing process, and I no longer expect neat, pat answers from my religion. I have learned to stop and examine everything carefully, and find justifiable reasons for believing things.

Theists, pay attention to this part: my freedom does not mean I am free to violate the rights of others. My rights end where yours begin, and yours end where mine begin. Because I am an atheist does NOT mean that I have a right to rape, murder, steal or otherwise disrespect other humans and animals. It certainly does not mean that I want to do those things. I don't, and I don't know any atheist who wants to either--and I've done a lot of research into the matter. Atheists are social humans just like all humans are social humans. This means that we generally prefer to live in harmony with others and not be violated, and in turn don't violate others because that would give them a free pass to fuck with us. Much more on morality to be posted later, but for now, I just want people to understand that atheists are generally peaceful, kind people who do not want to violate others.

Result of my Atheism #2: Humility

Now that I don't believe in a god, I've become a lot more humble. I used to believe that as a human, I was extremely special, and had dominion over the earth and other animals. I used to believe that God was behind every mundane detail of my life, and that he had a special purpose for me, and I would be able to glorify him (and myself) by following his will. If I was late for work and thus avoided a car wreck, I took that as confirmation that God was protecting me (and, to be logically consistent, God would have had to be out to get someone else that day, i.e., the poor schmuck who died in the wreck--but I guess I was more special). I tried not to get a big head about it, but it was hard not to when you're constantly trying to translate God's signals (and interpreting them however you want to, but convincing yourself it was God).

Also, understanding that I am simply another animal was humbling and empowering at the same time. It was humbling because I realized that humans' superior brain powers are the only reason we have become what we are, thinkers and doers and problem solvers/causers in society. It has made me much more respectful of animals because I no longer have an Us vs. Them mentality. I was always taught that God put animals on this earth for our use and enjoyment (but don't ask what the hell was God thinking when he made the mother fucking mosquito--God works in mysterious ways). I don't treat animals differently necessarily but my perspective has changed. It was empowering because I could understand myself better and everything makes so much more sense now. Nature makes so much more sense. I never before understood why God made mosquitos, or sharks, or poisonous snakes? Why did he bother with the complex systems of the earth like plate tectonics that result in mountains and earthquakes and volcanoes, why make a world plagued by blizzards and hurricanes and tsunamis? Couldn't he just make everything safe and benign? I could come up with a better world system in mere moments! For an almighty creator, God sure did overcomplicate things.

Result of my Atheism #3: Reliance on Reality

There are a lot of things I wish were true. There are a lot of things I have felt were true. But I've come to disregard all things that are not reasonable, and are not grounded in reality. There very well may be flying spaghetti monsters, or gods that impregnate virgins, Xenu the intergalactic warlord, spirits and souls and angels and demons... but is there real evidence for these things? Could you imagine using these things as admissible evidence in court cases? Hah! There's a good reason we don't. All these things are based on faith--they're intangible, inaudible, invisible, and thus indistinguishable from nonexistence. If you can't tell the difference (and no, ancient religions and texts don't count as "evidence") between nonexistence and faith, what is the point? How is your faith any more factually true than the faith of another? You can't tell the difference! We can believe things because we choose to just to choose to, or we can believe things because they are reasonably demonstrated to be true. Personally, I prefer to believe in as many true things as possible. If you want to stick your head in the sand, that's fine, but I don't want to. It's much better above ground.

I enjoy seeing things for what they are. I enjoy the freedom from having my thoughts policed over frivolous things. I enjoy dealing with problems and solving them with real solutions in reality. I accept that some things just plain suck, and some things are beyond horrible, but I don't believe in a fairy tale of cosmic justice for the world's maladies. If it's true, great! But I can't see any reason to accept it as true. I can't find good reasons to accept any religious or spiritual claim as true, and so sometimes I have to say, "I don't know!" but that's ok. I am finally honest.

Result of my Atheism #4: Scary Movies

Scary movies are fun! I used to believe that demons, evil ghosts and hell were real and I would break out in a cold sweat just thinking about them. I thought that if I watched scary movies or otherwise thought about those things, it gave them a power to "get" me. I've never been one for gore because it's just damn stupid and boring. But I love scary thrillers like the Ring, the Number 23, 1408, things like that. I love scary movies that have plots, and give you something to think about. I can even watch them by myself late at night. No nightmares!

Result of my Atheism #5: Life and the Environment

Everything is precious now. The universe is glorious and mysterious and I get lost learning about it. Before, I thought God made everything and believed that when I got to heaven I would have the rest of eternity to learn everything and explore the universe. I recognized beauty but didn't go searching for it; I figured I would get my fill at some point no matter what. If I was confused by something, no big deal; God would explain it all after I was in heaven. Now, one of my biggest regrets is that I won't live long enough to acquire all the knowledge that ever was and ever will be. I want to know everything! I want to explore! I have accepted that I'll never be able to know everything that the future holds (*sigh*), but the next best thing I can do is learn and dream as much as possible here and now. I have an itch to travel like you wouldn't believe. In my free time I watch science documentaries. It's like being a child again where I am curious about everything! Lots of fun. I explore different religions and authors instead of sticking to only those who agreed with me.

What's not so fun, though, is finally understanding that the Earth does have finite resources and us humans are consuming it all. We are nearly at 7 billion people now. This is becoming an increasingly serious problem, and will lead to much death and suffering if we continue on this path. I used to think that God wanted more and more babies (After all, "a baby is God's sign that the world should go on") and if you believed in him, he would always take care of you. God never gives you more than you can handle, I was fond of saying.
"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life, whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them" (Matthew 6:25-27).
I took that very seriously. I knew God wanted me to be responsible, of course, but I floated through life believing that God would guide me and provide for me as long as I was faithful to him. I suppose it was good that I did not worry very much even during some very tough times, but I also was pretty purposeless. I made life decisions based on whims and feelings and experiencing "calls" to this or that from Jesus. *facepalm*

Now I realize that Jesus isn't going to swoop down and provide us with food and water, especially if we've had 18 children in his name. We have to take care of ourselves.

Result of my Atheism #6: Gay Rights are Everyone's Rights

I admit it, I used to be a homophobe. I never openly said anything rude to a bad person or treated them any different, but internally I looked at them with disdain. That is, until I got to know one. I was very careful to not get close to anyone I found morally incompatible with my beliefs. My first semester at art school was difficult. I came very, very near to quitting. Everyone around me seemed to be tattooed, pierced, gay and had hair every color of the rainbow. And most of them smelled like pot. But I held on and over time, as I got to know and befriend these people, I realized that--hey!--they are people too. They were no better or worse than me. We are all just different, and the differences are interesting but not negative. They don't really matter, and shouldn't be a big deal. I have dozens of gay friends and acquaintances, and do not DARE say something derogatory about being gay around me. I will set you straight. Art school was the reason I stopped being a judgmental, prude bitch. I wasn't born like that; it was taught to me.

Sadly, there are many idiots out there who think that homosexuality is a big deal. A very big deal. A deal worth beating people over, discriminating against them in utterly horrible and asinine ways. They try to restrict these peoples' rights, and spread lies about them. I don't give a damn if you are gay, straight, black, white, whatever--we should all be equal in the eyes of the law (and of course I'd rather that culturally we are equal, too). I think we're getting there and it's getting better, at least in many countries, but it is not where it should be. That people even have to take two seconds to debate whether or not homosexuals should have the right to marry, or have kids, or have the same jobs.... it blows my mind. I can't fathom why people are so opposed to it, any more than I can fathom how anyone actually mistreated people because they were black. How the fuck can you justify any of that?

Homosexuality is natural, and even if it weren't, that would be ok too. If straight people suddenly decide to become gay, that's totally cool! The nature vs. nurture argument really means little to me in terms of it determining someone's rights. Anthropologically, it's very interesting, and I can't tell you how much it rocked my world to find out that there were gay penguins. I used to firmly believe it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. *sigh* HOW was I so stupid?! Gahhhhh. The sad thing is, not once did anyone correct me or challenge me. Not once.

If religions, society and the law can discriminate against gays or blacks, they can discriminate against anyone they dislike at a particular time. Law should not be so arbitrary, obviously. Law should not be a tool to control those you hate and reward those you love. The rights of individuals must be protected at all costs. If one of us is unsafe, then none of us are safe. An attack on gay rights is an attack on everyone's rights.

The religious bigots who fight so hard to have prayer in schools and forbid gays from their civil rights need to think really hard about what they're doing. I'm fine with Christian prayer in schools, as long as Islamic prayers, Jewish prayers, and Satanic prayers get equal airtime. Oh, that's not what you want, bigots? Perhaps you should separate church and state and thereby protect the people's rights, including yours.

If God is real, he has to be a real lame son of a bitch to care about whom people love and with whom they have sex.

Result of my Atheism #7: Carpe Diem

Seize the freaking day. Be as happy as possible. Don't put up with crap if you can change it. Accept that life isn't perfect, but it can be damn amazing, and enjoy as much as you can. Respect others' rights, and demand yours be respected. Don't do stupid shit because it just wastes the little time you have and hurts everyone. Don't worry about others' opinions. Be strong. Be independent. Love. Live. Laugh. Learn. Give. Explore. Dream. You only get one shot. This is it.

There are things that haven't changed, but mostly I am an entirely new person. The world is a new, exciting place and I feel reborn. I feel free. I don't waste my life with senseless dogma and drama. I live. My family has disowned me, and that experience has been probably the worst in my life and I'll never be over it, but I wouldn't trade my life for the world. I am happier than I've ever been. It was worth it because I am honest, for the first time in my life.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Put Down the Pacifier Day

That's right, folks. November 4, 2011 is officially Put Down the Pacifier Day. This is bad news for toddlers and infantilists alike.

Even my worst days are better than if I were a parent having to deal with the myriad of problems parenting entails. Three cheers for being childfree!

No sooner had I posted this on my Facebook than a breeder took notice. I posted it because I find it ridiculous and hilarious that 1) parents can't get their kids to give up the pacifier, and 2) they need to put their kids in front of the TV so that a fictional character can tell them what to do. Hmmm, seems that Elmo has more parenting abilities than the parents. Anyway. This breeder commented, "omg. thank you sooo much for putting this up. i need Emily* to give her's up and she absolutely loves elmo. i hope this helps us." *facepalm*

*sigh* Glad I could help.


* Name changed

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not so fast, slimeballs!

As seen from my handy dandy iPhone on October 21, 2011:

And today, October 26, 2011:

Mhmm. That's what I thought.

Interesting that after the End of the World came and gone, they lost 3 followers and 61 tweets. Someone did some serious housecleaning.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Theists, Your Ignorance is Showing!

An acquaintance posted this to her Facebook over the weekend:

"Atheism: The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs. Makes perfect sense."

*facepalm* Where to start? For one, this is NOT atheism. NOT AT ALL. If you run around promoting this idea, you are an ignorant jerkface.

All together now, children: Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity or deities. Nothing less, nothing more.

Atheism is not a belief in anything. It's a absence of belief. Furthermore, I don't know of any atheist who claims that there was nothing, and everything came from nothing, and all that bullshit. The truth is, we don't know exactly why the universe came into existence. We know a lot of things and learn more all the time, but the intellectually honest answer is to say "I don't know" and not "god did it." Did you notice that this is separate from "believing" in all that nothingness? Obviously there are causes for the existence of the universe and everything in it, but there is no evidence for the nature of the cause(s) being supernatural or spiritual. Thus, based on the lack of evidence, atheists believe that the causes for the universe are natural in origin.

Let's also point out that this idiotic poster clusters atheism together with evolution, cosmology, and the Big Bang theory, and has a piss poor understanding of those as well.

Theists like this only flaunt their ignorance. If they spent an hour reading something other than antiquated religious texts, they might experience what's known as education.

This, however, is perfectly accurate. It's funny, but I'm being serious--I used to believe this exactly, the only difference being I labeled it with prettier words and spent a bit more time trying to make it look like serious business.

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's the End of the World as We Know It, I Feel Fine

Oh, Harold. How I adore your asinine predictions. It is, finally, the End of the World today. I'm really excited to see how this shit goes down, but I'm a little irritated that I'll miss by birthday Monday. Bugger.

Let's enjoy this last day, 1990's R.E.M. style.

We Can't Know is still going strong with their Countdown to Backpedaling. Tomorrow will be glorious, and hopefully full of embarrassed excuses and explanations. This is my nerdy, atheist equivalent of a kid being excited for a trip to the candy store.

We Can't Know has an excellent link on their page to The Backpedaling is Here: No, Really, It Happened! from Ask an Atheist. We're making history here, people. Years ago, it was possible for religions and prophets to make ridiculous claims and they were affording the luxury of fading away into obscurity. Not anymore. It is the Information Highway, baby! Their malarky is meticulously documented and will be remembered until the real end of the world. Historical documentation has reached its golden age and skepticism is improving. I can feel George Carlin smiling down on us from heaven.

This is truly beautiful. All of you need to visit Family Radio's Twitter Page. Here are some yummy ones:


Hear Ye!, Hear Ye! -- OCTOBER 21, 2011 IS THE "END" OF THE WORLD!. The day of God's vengeance on sinful human is here!. Pray for your Life!.



I delight in the use of periods after exclamation points, the letter 'o' in 2011, and the unique spelling of decrees. Unfortunately the Bible does not teach grammar, nor does it offer spellcheck. Also unfortunate is the apparent lack of education from the Twitter poster.

Did it never occur to these people to get their noses out of that antiquated, corrupt book and examine the Universe in reality? For shame, no. And so we will continue to be amused by their ramblings.

I cannot wait to see what they say tomorrow.


Why I Don't Hate (or Eat) Children

After my last post, I want to show a softer side to my coldhearted bitchness. I've got a lot going against me, you know. Atheists are rumored to eat babies, and childfree people are rumored to hate children and sometimes snack on them. As a childfree atheist, I need to succumb to my sinful, infantile tastes and eat a damn baby already. But I won't, and I'll explain why.

There's a rant in the childfree community about childfree people inserting the disclaimer that "I like kids" for no other reason than to make them seem like more likable people to the outside community. While I agree that it is unnecessary and dishonest to try to placate someone with an untruth, I actually do mean it when I say, "I like kids, but they're not for me."

My decision to be childfree is mostly to do with the negatives that parenting responsibilities entail, not with the kids themselves so much. True, I don't like bratty or spoiled children--but who is to blame there? The parents. It is the knowledge of what a never-ending, enormous responsibility parenting is. If I had children, I would throw my everything into parenting. I would do the best job that I could possibly do, and I would go out of my way to do it. I would kill myself working so hard, because I understand how extraordinarily valuable a happy, healthy human being is. Many people have told me what a good mother I would be, and I agree. I take it as a compliment, because the people who have said it say it to me in a you-are-so-put-together-and-happy-you-would-be-great-at-teaching-others-how-to-be-so kind of way. I do think I would be good at it. I would be a great mother, but I would be a very sad, stressed, depressed person, and the cost of it is not worth it to me.

I value children for two main reasons: they have practically unlimited potential, and they are usually completely innocent beings. Sure, they are annoying and messy most of the time, but they're very morally innocent. I really enjoy this innocence. It's such an obscene, horrible world sometimes. The innocence and potential that children have is critical, because children inevitably become adults. Adults have power to do good things and bad things, and to help or hurt a lot of people, especially themselves. If children were raised to be responsible, compassionate, critical thinkers, imagine how much better the world could be when they become adults! Instead, most of them are raised with harmful dogma, thought control, contempt and distrust for "outsiders", and a great lack of coping and communication skills for real life. For the most part, children are fed and clothed but not truly educated.

I am protective over children because they have very little power to educate themselves and better their circumstances (although their power increases as they age) if they are in the care of bad parents. They didn't get to choose their parents or guardians, and as it stands, there are no "parenting licenses" or any kind of standards for parental fitness before people become parents. I'm not necessarily saying that there should be laws or regulations--this is another post, and a very sticky subject. For now, I'm simply making the observation that children are born helpless and at the mercy of whatever kind of parents, good or bad, they happen to get. When I see or hear of children being abused or neglected, it makes me incredibly angry. There are few things that revolt me more.

I like children (most of the time) because they are cute, funny, and I love seeing them learn things. Certain age groups appeal to me more than others. I love me some babies. But I don't like the toddler stage at all. They're cool again when they're about 5 because they're not so high maintenance and you can have conversations and stuff. But the 10-18 year range is a total gamble. So many kids that age are complete jerks. A lot aren't. I was a sweet teenager (really!) and didn't give any trouble, but some of my peers.... whew! looking back, I don't know how their parents didn't push them off a cliff.

I would make a good mother. But the cost is too high. However, I have a desire to help children reach their full potential, and to help fill in some of the gaps in their upbringing, which is why I am interested in volunteering.

But for those atheists and childfree who thinks babies are mighty tasty, here is a helpful recipe:

"Peel an onion and shove it right up its ass. This will enhance the flavor, and will add a rick, dark color to the juices for your Christian baby gravy."


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

50 Reasons I Chose to Be Childfree

People are so incredibly surprised--dumfounded, offended, even!--to discover that people choose to not breed little crotchfruit. Thus, my personal list of 50 reasons why I am Childfree. Something I can direct people to so that they may wrap their minds around why I am a cold and heartless, baby-eating wench.

I'll attempt to list these in a general order of greatest to least reasons, but hold on to your hats! My mind is an insane trip, and you never know when random thoughts will attack.

1. I crave the freedom to dream, explore and travel and it would be much more difficult (if not impossible) for me to do that with children.
2. World overpopulation. Finite resources on Earth. Enough damn people already. God isn't going to swoop in and provide for us all when times get too tough.
3. Home is my sanctuary. Children are chaos. The two do not mix.
4. Having to plan around a child's picky food tastes and/or packing lunches 5 days a week sounds like pure hell.
5. You know what else is hell? Not being able to go to the bathroom or take a shower without being interrupted.
6. It costs would cost me over $280K to raise a (1) child starting in 2010 according to the USDA ( in my current financial and home situation. Uhm, HELL TO THE NO.
7. Why would I pay money to be enslaved for 18+ years?
8. The money I save on not having children will go towards cool shit like a house, nice vehicles, vacations, fine cheeses and wine, my animals, massages and oh yeah--a really nice retirement home when I can no longer take care of myself. I am totally happy with that.
9. I love, love, LOVE having a clean house and undamaged furniture, car, etc. Kids destroy things, and they dirty things. No thanks!
10. No temper tantrums from anyone other than me.
11. I need to be able to go to bed early occasionally, and sleep in on the weekends. NEED.
12. I am too selfish to have any desire to put my life on hold to raise someone else. I don't see the point of wasting my life like that.
13. No kiddie playtime, storytime, naptime, and bedtime. Instead I get grownup fun, grownup movies (uninterrupted!), plenty of sleep and as much sex as I like! Woohoo!
14. I never have to have my snuggle time with my man ruined by a snot-nosed brat crawling into bed with us.
15. No dirty diapers, spit up, poop, pee, vomit or any other errant body fluids from anyone other than possibly a new puppy or myself when I am ancient.
16. I get bored with playing games with kids pretty easily.
17. Sex. Lots of sex. Uninterrupted.
18. Even more sex.
19. Alcohol at anytime. Sex at anytime.
20. Not having to endure kiddie birthday parties.
21. I only get one shot at life. I'll be damned if I waste it "living vicariously" through children.
22. No minivans or soccer mom SUVs, woooooooooooo!!!
23. I'll never have to miss work or fun stuff because of a sick child.
24. No teenage angst.
25. I don't have to worry about teaching my kid about the birds and the bees and hope he doesn't get a girl pregnant.
26. I get stressed when life gets too busy or too messy or I don't have enough relaxation and quiet time. I know for a fact that I would lose my mind if I had a child because I would never have relaxation or quiet time (not without paying someone, and even then it's only temporary), and life would always be busy and messy.
27. I have time and energy for exercise, rest and meditation--3 things that keep me healthy and sane.
28. No fights between me and my man over parenting styles or philosophies.
29. I have time, energy and money to be there for my friends when they are down, broke or otherwise discouraged. This means A LOT to me to be able to do this. I would not have survived had it been for some friends who took care of me and helped me put my life back together. I want to be able to give that back to them, and to future friends.
30. I can be spontaneous and decide to go to Wal-Mart at midnight. Or leave work early and drink beers at the lake. Or have sex at 2 p.m. Or raid the candy aisle. Whatever.
31. I'll never have to juggle grocery bags, a diaper bag, purse and baby while trying to answer a phone call, unpack my shit and get the kid loaded into the car seat while a criminal takes advantage of my distraction and robs me.
32. No Barney. No Dora the Explorer. No Yo Gabba Gabba. None of that crap!
33. No tripping over toys or bookbags.
34. Since it takes $288,000 for me to raise a child from 0-18 (not counting college), that's $16,000 a year, $1,333 a month. $1,333 a month, people! No, no, no. Way too expensive. That will go to property, savings, retirement, vacation and charity. Not kids.
35. Why would I want a thankless, endless, miserable job? I don't. The 1% Kodak moments don't make up for it.
36. I find PLENTY of joy and fulfillment in myself, my man, my friendships, my hobbies and interests, reading, etc... Children would rob me of 90% of the joy I experience in my life and I would never get over mourning that loss.
37. I'm not going to spend my youth raising children. These are my best years! I'll never get them back!
38. I don't think I could bond very well with an ugly kid, and who knows what you're gonna get.
39. I am not comfortable with the risk of having an unhealthy or disabled child. I couldn't handle it.
40. Teenagers are assholes.
41. Parenting is a very serious job with huge responsibilities. I know this way too well. I know the sacrifice it entails if you're going to do it properly. There is the potential for payoff in the end, but it's a gamble, and I don't want to spend my life living for someone else.
42. When I am too old and I need someone to care for me, they will be paid for doing so. I won't expect someone else to do it for free just because they are related to me.
43. Dying old and alone? Bitch, please. There are 7 billion people on this planet. There is plenty of potential for friendships.
44. I will nurture relationships with those I love and who love me, and they will be there for me throughout life. I don't need kids for care or companionship.
45. I can hang out with kids I know and love and spend quality time with them (and as much or as little money as I want), and give them back to their parents when it's time.
46. Don't have to watch a kid all the time to make sure he doesn't destroy something or hurt himself. I can relax.
47. Don't have to censor what I say or do in my own home.
48. Don't have to hide any tasty food I may have from a greedy toddler.
49. I won't have to be concerned with the education, from school smarts to street smarts and everything else, of children.
50. I am free to be myself, do what I enjoy and live life to the fullest without the burden of a child who would ruin everything.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Theological inconsistencies about the Devil

This video makes some great points about the inconsistencies concerning God's omnipotence, Satan's power and the system God put in place to test-and-then-save us pitiful human beings.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?” -- Epicurus


Friday, August 19, 2011

Relationships and Porn

Prepare yourself for a highly offensive post. This is definitely going to offend someone, somewhere, but keep in mind that this is just my opinion. This is a rant reacting to some conversations I've had and heard lately, and to let others who feel as I do that they're not alone.

I'm getting really tired of hearing how harmless porn is, and how it's just no big deal. I call shenanigans. On the one hand, I agree: consenting adults can do whatever the hell they want to do. I realize there are some benefits of it. My beef is when people in committed, reasonably healthy relationships use porn. You're either committed to each other, or you're not. Pick one. I have zero problems with porn, strip clubs, prostitutes and whathaveyou outseide of committed relationships; if I were single I'd be using those as my sexual outlets (except for the hookers--yuck).

I'm not even going to get into all the "porn objectifies men/women" crap. Maybe it does, but I really don't care as long as the porn stars are consenting adults. I will say that porn sets unrealistic expectations for sex, and that could cause a problem for some.

It's not that I'm a sexual prude; I absolutely am not. This is my one hang up, if you want to call it that. It's not about sexual morality, it's about commitment. I feel the same way when I hear about men and women flirting, texting and sexting people who aren't their partner. Either you are in a committed relationship or you're not. If you're fantasizing and masturbating to someone other than your proclaimed partner, how committed are you? Seriously.

Personally I believe porn is cheating. There, I said it. For the expectations that I have for my relationship, it is cheating. I know a lot of people don't care, and hats off to them. I don't have a problem with them living their lives as they want. What pisses me off is this attitude that "oh, everyone does it, you're just insecure if you don't like it." Bull-fucking-shit. I'm a strong, independent, love-myself-very-much gal. I just don't dig it if my partner is jerking off to someone else.

Obviously a lot of people don't agree with my definition of committed; that's cool. I have made it a point when my relationships got serious to state to my boyfriends that porn is a deal-breaker for me (assuming, of course, that we are both happy in our sex lives--if I'm not putting out then I really can't blame the guy for going elsewhere), and give them the choice to proceed or not.

I would rather be alone than have my partner not honor our agreement to be true to one another, and only one another.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Intelligent Design on Trial

This is a fascinating documentary on the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial. Unfortunately back in 2005 at the time this was happening, I was still a babbling religious idiot, and had no interest in following the case. I only vaguely remember it. One thing about the Catholics: they are almost always very accepting of science and evolution (except, of course, reproductive science), so I never had a bad taste in my mouth for evolutionary science. I, and most religious, was happy to accept science's findings as long as God was credited as the ultimate cause.

In any case, take the time to watch this very interesting documentary, NOVA's Intelligent Design on Trial. It was awesome to see science win on its own merits, and how important it is to reject Intelligent Design for the repackaged Creationism it is.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jennifer Fulwiler's Conversion Diary: Part 2

Here is the promised video:

Conversion of an Atheist - Jennifer Fulwiler from Renewal Ministries on Vimeo.

It is from EWTN's show The Choices We Face, with host Peter Herbeck of Renewal Ministries. What follows is not a full transcript; I picked the parts I found interesting; my responses are in bold. Please watch the full video or my commentary probably won't make sense, or make less sense than usual if that's possible.

[7:33] Jennifer: "It's not surprising that intelligent people are atheists, because it is in some way a reasonable worldview. I mean, I still don't see atheism as totally crazy. I see where they draw the conclusions that they have because it's--you know, you just--A + B + C is, most things in the material world you have physical evidence. We know this table exists because we can see it and we can touch it and God is completely different. You look for evidence in a different way there."

This is where I began to be disappointed. She had me up until this point. Why does one look for evidence of God in a "different way"? There is only one way for evidence: observation, experiments, hypothesis testing and the very important peer review. If "evidence" is found through other methods it's not evidence, because it hasn't been demonstrated to make a fact evident. Hello!

So at this point she has opened her mind to the possibility that believers aren't stupid by default, and that maybe she was missing something because there were intelligent atheists and believers. A year later, her atheism was over, due to the birth of her first child.

[9:39] Jennifer: "I held this baby in my arms--and it was actually from my atheistic perspective, I always tried to see the big picture and not focus in on my own little world. And I thought, let's think about infant mortality. If I'd lived in any other time, in any other place, more than 100 years before it would be very commonplace for this child to die. Children died all the time. And I thought, let's think about what this child is from the atheist perspective. According to my own worldview, this baby that I'm holding right here, he is nothing but a collection of chemical reactions. He is no different than a gnat other than in his complexity and the way I assessed, and many atheists assessed, the reason that we humans are more valuable than say a gnat is simply that we're more complex, we have more cognitive abilities, we have self-awareness. This child had none of that. So from an atheistic perspective, in the spirit of intellectual honesty, 'cause that's how I was raised, you have to be intellectually honest. It doesn't matter what you feel, you have to look at what is true. In the spirit of intellectual honesty, this child was not that valuable, because what did he do for the world? I knew different. The first time he looked at me and I recognized the flicker of recognition and the love in his eyes, I was done with atheism. Because I knew at that moment that love exists as a reality external to the material world. That if a meteor landed on us right now and we were pulverized into dust that what just transpired, that love, that it was real. And that it came from a source external to the chemical reactions in our brain."

Where to start? She touches upon so many delicious things! Firstly--atheism is simply a lack of belief in anything supernatural; it is completely separate from an opinion on the personhood of an infant. You can be a pro-life atheist, you can be a pro-choice atheist and anything between. I don't know any atheist who would say that a newborn is "nothing but a collection of chemical reactions", but it doesn't have anything to do with atheism, anyway. There are, however, many people--atheists and not--who believe that fetuses in the early stage of pregnancy are nothing but a clump of cells. This has nothing to do with atheism. You can be an atheist and still marvel at your fetus, your newborn, your pregnancy, your child, and passionately feel that your offspring (at whatever stage) is a wonder, a little human person with rights.

For someone who says several times that she was raised to believe what was true and not what you feel, she sure did a 180!
"The first time he looked at me and I recognized the flicker of recognition and the love in his eyes, I was done with atheism." Gaaaaghghhhh!! What the fuck does your baby recognizing/loving you have to do with God? "Because I knew at that moment that love exists as a reality external to the material world." Ahhh, ok. Because love exists and is a non-physical emotion (well, duh), therefore God exists! Makes sense. "That if a meteor landed on us right now and we were pulverized into dust that what just transpired, that love, that it was real. And that it came from a source external to the chemical reactions in our brain." Love absolutely is real. But as to it coming from a source external to our brain, fat chance! You need to prove it, not just be overwhelmed by loving mommy emotions. Besides, there is a shit ton of evidence for emotions being a direct product of our brains. Hmmm, I think I shall write a blog post about that soon.

Basically what happened is in the rush and tender emotions of post-birth motherhood, she was flushed with bonding hormones that made her maternal love/protection emotions kick-in full time. So maybe in that instant she became completely pro-life, I can grant that. But what the hell does it have to do with knowledge of evidence of God? It is only evidence of her bonding with her baby, and her feeling love for her child.

[11:19] Peter: "That worldview cannot account for love and the power of love or the universality of love or personhood."

Oh, it most definitely can. Science can prove pretty damn conclusively that emotions are a product of our powerful brains. Generally, the more intelligent a species, the more capable of emotion. Dogs can be very smart and they are obviously bursting with emotions. Our brains are a product of evolution, and part of the reason for the evolution of our emotions is that it ensures humans' safety and collaboration with each other. We are social beings and have had to evolve a system of rights and designated personhood in order to get along and be social, which benefits everyone. This is such an interesting topic, and I've written some about it here and there, but I will have to write more in another post... this is long enough already.

The next little bit in the video is rather hilarious. I'm going to sum it up rather than quote it, though. Fulwiler describes how she started praying after her son was born but for 8 months nothing, nothing, nothing until one day--ta-da!!!!! She walks into a bookstore and sees a book about Jesus that seems to be in the spotlight from across the room and it just must be a sign from God! 'Cause bookstores never put books in spotlights or on shelves where they can be seen because the book stores don't want to sell books!!!!!!!!! Nah, that would make life too ordinary. Much more interesting to believe God sends us secret little signals throughout the day. But are you ready for this? The book was Lee Strobel's Case for Christ. *Facepalm* What would have happened if she were in India and saw a glowing book across the room about Shiva?

Is God so disabled that he can't just appear and put all atheists' doubt to rest? A phone call would even do. But, alas, he remains invisible and unprovable. This poor woman prays without an answer for nearly a year, wanders into a bookstore and then, "OMG, it's Jesus!!!!" That's desperation.

[13:45] Jennifer: "What that book did was that it got me to a place where I could finally ask, "What if? What if it's true? What if God exists and he became man in the form of Jesus?" And I wasn't convinced. I didn't necessarily think it was true but for the first time I had the humility... I had the humility to ask, "What if?"

No, no, no... for the first time she had the gullibility to believe.

Once you take down the roadblock in your mind that requires evidence and reality, you can let anything in.

[19:55] Peter: "What I love about your story is that love and beauty and truth captured your heart. 'Cause everyone of us knows [looks into the camera at the atheists] we're made for that, we're made to love it, to follow it, to embrace it, to live in it. The atheist worldview can't explain all that... it's impossible to live that way!"

Excuse us atheists for having the balls to say "we don't know", instead of swallowing the Kool-Aid of the religion that can "explain it all."


Jennifer Fulwiler's Conversion Diary: Part 1

A few years ago when I was just beginning to question the existence of God, I desperately wanted to give him as many chances as possible to prove himself. With this purpose, I Googled the hell out of "proof of religion", "proof of God", "does God exist?", "atheist to Christian", "origin of religion", and all manner of variables of God, religion, truth, proof and philosophies. I thought that surely someone had been through what I had gone through, but had found the answers to all the questions and had related their story and not lost their faith.

And so I read testimony after testimony, but no one had any sort of explanation or experience that was in the least bit compelling. I asked as many friends and acquaintances as I politely could: What do you believe and why? I got answers all over the place, but the most consistent, basic reason for belief that I encountered was "I know it in my heart to be true; I have faith." Um, how can you know anything in your heart? The heart is an organ that pumps blood, firstly; we have someone come to colloquially referring to the heart as the origin of emotions and feelings. So obviously what people meant is that they felt something was true.

This was enormously unsatisfying. Their rock-solid convictions were based on feelings? Really? *facepalm* Feelings and faith aren't much different. They are both based upon, at some point, a decision to believe in something for which there is no evidence. Believers find this action endearing and dub it faith; I find it plain foolish. If you base your entire life on--and would die for--something, it should damn well be real, and it had better be able to be understood and proved to people with zero familiarity with your religion. Irony of ironies: my mother, brother and sister--who have collectively disowned me for my lack of religion--remain the only ones who refused to discuss religion to me when I asked. Oh, but religion is so unifying. Bitch, please.

For a while I gave up hope of finding anyone who could explain and prove their faith to me, coming from a "does God even exist?" basis. There were millions of stories of Catholics becoming Baptists, or Christians becoming Muslims. All these people never questioned God's existence. But what about starting from the ground up? Let's build a strong foundation, and go from there. And no, saying, "look, trees exist! There is beauty and love! Life is so complex! Therefore, God did it!" does NOT count.

Then one day the Google gods had mercy on me and guided me to Jennifer Fulwiler's Conversion Diary. Fulwiler went from 0 to 60, i.e., atheist to Catholic--finally, someone who was going to explain it all! I was so curious and excited. To make a very long story short, after reading many, many things on her site I am just as clueless as before as to how she came to her beliefs from an atheistic position.

Since then, I pop on to her blog every few months just to sniff around and see what she has to say. She seems to be a very beautiful person, inside and out, and not a religious nutjob--although, obviously, the dogma she believes makes me nutty. But lo and behold!!! I checked her blog yesterday and she had just posted the video of her one-on-one interview at EWTN. I was E-X-C-I-T-E-D! I will finally get to satisfy my curiosity--but oh shit, will it make me be Catholic again?

My response to the video would make for one very long post, so please see Part 2.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


There are rare moments when I like humanity. This is one of those:

60 Awesome Portraits of Gay Couples Just Married in New York

I have my reservations about marriage as an institution--just had to throw that out there--but this isn't about marriage. It's about equality. These people's lives will go on pretty much the same, save for a few legal perks, and they know that, but they are no longer being denied those perks because of discrimination! This is a beautiful thing.

The snarky bitch in me must quip, "Now, they can be equally as miserable as the rest of us!" Ok, now that that's out of the way: the beauty is that they have choice, and that LGBT rights are inching forward. This is an incredible milestone, and I'm so excited!!!!!

Many, many happy thoughts for these people and those who have helped them reach this goal. What an amazing thing when people can work together, and can let people just be themselves without judgment and quit trying to squish people into a neat little box.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Does your ferret have religion?

Do you ever wonder why your ferret doesn't have faith? Why your dog doesn't have religion? Why your cat doesn't give a damn about church, morality and whether or not he was created? Has your fish ever hosted a Bible study?

When I was a child, I couldn't understand why animals didn't get married. Even as young as 5, I knew that having babies outside of marriage was wrong. I didn't know why, but this dogma had already been pounded into my head. There seemed to be a double standard: one cannot have babies outside of marriage, but animals do it every day and animals were loved and praised and protected. But that nice woman down the street who never married the father of her child? What a harlot!! So why do animals get a free pass? Why can they fornicate with reckless abandon and still rank higher than the human members of society when they all do the exact same thing?

It was this same time that I wanted my Kermit the Frog doll to make an honest woman out of me, and so in a very small and private ceremony, we wed. I didn't want to marry Kermit because I felt we loved each other but because I thought our relationship should be made proper--yes, I was brainwashed early.

One day I asked my mother why it was that animals could joyfully do the very things that we Christians were forbidden from doing. Because humans have souls, she explained, and animals didn't (never mind that humans are animals too--I wouldn't realize this for another 20 years). At the time, this made perfect sense. Animals didn't have a soul to blemish, so they could rape, murder and pillage each other and still be innocent. "Dog be dog" my mother would say, when my dog would mangle a kitty or hump another dog or gleefully spread his legs and lick his balls with gusto.

Without realizing it, the religious community embraces this kind of thinking and creates a giant moral conundrum: morality has become subjective. No longer is the morality of the act itself judged, yet the morality of the act is entirely dependent on what species you are. Morality, dependent on biology? Heaven forbid! I thought morality was God's Standard, unchangeable and perfect. How, then, can it be dependent on what species you are?

The other major problem is that no one asks for proof of the soul. What is this soul thing? Can it be seen, touched, felt, heard, measured? No. Like everything else in religion, it must be taken on faith. It is another one of those dogmas that you just decide to believe in it, rather than have a reason to believe in it. Why do we have souls, and all the other animals don't? What makes us so friggin' special?

Nothing. That's my answer, anyway. Doesn't mean we're not awesome (we are!), but do we really need to make shit up to have a basis of morality? I wish the religious would stop and think about how suspiciously human God is. God thinks this and that, likes this and that, hell--he even looks like us! How cool! Somehow God always manages to believe in the same things you do, and those people over there who believe differently from you... well, they've just got it all wrong. They don't understand God. They are bad, evil people who willfully reject God's Truth.

The main thing that separates humans from the rest of the animals is our brain: our brain is uniquely capable of rational and complex thought. So capable, in fact, that we are the only species able to believe in shit that doesn't actually exist! We can also communicate immaterial things like concepts, ideas, and philosophies that certainly do exist even though they aren't material. The bad stuff happens when we diverge from ideas based off of observations of fact and jump into the crazy world of ideas based on It Would Be Really Neat If This Were Real, or I Don't Know All the Answers So God Did It!

In my opinion the "I Don't Know All the Answers So God Did It" concept is what birthed religion. Over time religion has become exceedingly diverse, and Weird Shit gets compounded onto Older Weird Shit and before long you have a Really Big Ball of Weird Shit but It Must Be True Because It's So Old and Complicated!!!! I remember when I first told my sister that I was questioning religion. It really freaked her out. How dare I presume to know more than what the Church had taught me? "The Church is over 2,000 years old--I figure it knows what it's doing," were her exact words. *facepalm* Neither the age nor complexity of a religion has anything to do with the factuality of its claims. Christianity is by no means the oldest religion, nor the first. There are a number of sociopolitical reasons that the world's major religions have survived this long, but again, that's another post.

My point to this whole rambling post is that humans are animals, and are unique in their ability to think complex thought. This ability leads to imagination and false logic as well as good logic; unfortunately it's the false logic (or lack of any logic) that has led to the invention of religion and imaginary deities. Our brains can work for us and against us. How do we fix this? We make sure that our logic, our beliefs, our investigations, our thoughts, our everything are rooted in FACTS of testable, observable phenomena. I'm not talking about being militantly scientific--although that would be awesome--but I'm talking about making sure that you have concrete reasons to believe in what you do. Investigate and challenge everything that you believe. I'm open to believing in anything, but the time to believe in something is when there is evidence for it and not before.

We don't have all the answers, but please, let's not Make Shit Up to solve mysteries. It's ok to say "I don't know, but I am working to find out."

Friday, May 20, 2011

The End of the World is Nigh

Jesus comes back to earth tomorrow at 6 p.m. Not sure how that will work exactly--does that mean our British neighbors will be raptured first? Who knows.

Oh, Harold. No refunds for those who have donated to you? Are you really so sure that Judgement Day is May 21 that you can't promise to give people their money back?

"May 22 will be the second day of Judgement. We don't know what's gonna happen to Family Radio on that first day or to the banks or anybody else. We have no idea. But it's gonna be horrible. It's gonna be a horror story that we absolutely cannot conceive. Millions of people will die on that day and every day thereafter. This kind of conversation--what will we do the next day?--it's nonsense, it's utter nonsense! Because it is going to happen. This is what the Bible teaches. This is not something where there is a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny chance it might happen; it is going to happen."

Famous last words. Prepare to eat some serious crow.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Post-Rapture Pet Care

There's one nagging detail about the impending Rapture that needs to be dealt with quickly: what will happen to my pets after the Rapture?

Never fear, Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA and After the Rapture Pet Care are here!

...and there may be others. These two organizations are not joking, and they're raking in the dough--well, not really. After the Rapture charges a measly $10, and Eternal Earth-Bound charges $135 with an additional $20 for every animal after that. This raises several ethical questions--will the money be refunded when the Rapture never happens?--but if you're stupid enough to believe in the Rapture, I don't have any sympathy for your money loss.

It's a brilliant business model, really; your gross profit is your net profit because you have no expenses or supplies to buy. Savvy!

I found this question and answer from Eternal Earth-Bound especially amusing:
Q: How do you ensure your representatives won't be Raptured.
A: Actually, we don't ensure it, they do. Each of our representatives has stated to us in writing that they are atheists, do not believe in God / Jesus, and that they have blasphemed in accordance with
Mark 3:29, negating any chance of salvation.

There you have it, satisfaction guaranteed! Rest assured that your beloved animals will be safe, at least until Earth is engulfed in flames and they fry like bacon with the rest of us.

I just want to know: does Jesus hate animals, or have they all solemnly blasphemed in accordance with Mark 3:29?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who knew Jesus was Australian?

...or that he would come before May 21?

Apparently Alan John Miller believes he is Jesus (which he realized after some aggressive spiritual discovery) and that his girlfriend is Mary Magdalene. Miller says,

Just a little over 2000 years ago, we arrived on the earth for the first time. My name then was Yeshua ben Yosef, or the Jesus of the Bible, the son of Joseph and Mary. Mary's name then was Mary of Magdala, the woman identified in the Bible as Mary Magdalene. Mary was my wife then, and the first person I appeared to after I was crucified.

Because of my personal desire and passion for God, as I grew, I recognized not only that I was the Messiah that was foretold by ancient prophets, but also that I was in a process designed by God that all humans could follow, if they so desired.

I called this process becoming "Born Again". It is the process of the human soul being transformed into the Divine, the process of becoming At-One with God. Many persons who were connected with me in the 1st century came to know and follow this path while on earth, the most notable person being Mary Magdalene, who is my soulmate, and who was actually married to me in the 1st century, and was pregnant with our daughter when I died.

Did you get all that? He was Jesus, son of Mary, who was actually Mary Magdalene, who was his pregnant wife at the time of his crucifixion. Wait... what??! Mary was his mother, and his wife? That's just weird, dude.

You can read more of this malarky at his website There is some delightfully bizarre insanity to be found.

This is one I'll be watching, just to see how long his Jesus fantasy lasts and what becomes of his followers when they wake up. I'll never understand how willing people are to believe batshit crazy religious nutjobs, but at least it's entertaining.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Latest from the Regretful Moms

Childfreeeee at the Childfreedom blog just made an eye-opening post, a small collection of stories from women who regret being a mother. I wish the world were a bit more honest; the fact is that many people regret having children, but live silently in hell for fear of judgment. It's time to shed some light on the subject and help people make educated decisions, instead of not being allowed to admit it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

Here are a few gems (minorly edited for brevity):
I was concerned about missing out too, but now that I have kids, I am the one who is totally missing out on life!!

I am missing out on little things like: sleep, regular showers, eating a meal in peace while actually sitting down, NOT tripping over toys, wearing a clean shirt for a whole hour with no drool or food on it….

I am missing out on big things like: my freedom, my independence, quality and quantity time with my husband, tons of money, my career (you are right, the woman’s life is changed so much more), my body, my social life…

I used to have hobbies, interests, workout several time per week and be full of energy, volunteer, read and be aware of current events, travel and experience new places/cultures, be good at my job…now ALL of those are GONE…ALL GONE!

The toll on a woman’s body is huge! I have been dealing with pain, incontinence and sexual problems for over 2 years! I had so much damage from the birth process (just a large baby who forcefully ripped my flesh and pelvis apart)...I just want to be pain-free, be able to hold my pee, enjoy sex with my husband again.

I have three young boys and life is just one wheel of exhaustion and routine. The endless round of domestic chores – feeding, washing and clearing up just never ever ends. I literally feel like I spend my whole life doing it. ...There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it when the house is quiet but oh the irony as more often than not some one wakes at 11pm crying so I never get it done...being a mother is a 24hrs a day, 7 days a week job…’s like being on call all of the time. I miss my old life so much. I look in the mirror and see how much I have aged, I am tired and exhausted all the time and am eating badly just to get me through each day…..I’ve had some really terrible thoughts like walking out of the door and never coming back but I think the guilt would kill me, so the next best option would be to end my own life…..but I’m such a coward I would never really do it…..I just ‘dream’ of being able to sleep and not wake up to a messy house and people fighting. I read about a lawyer a few months ago, who had just returned to work after her third daughter and she threw herself over into the Thames river in London. All I could think was how sad for her family but I did understand ‘why’ she did it. She must have felt so over whelmed with it all….a job, three young kids, a husband, a house to run…..I understand her.

If you listen closely, you can hear my uterus committing suicide.


Monday, April 25, 2011

The Farting Preacher

Who says religion can't be funny? I smell heaven's bakery.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last Supper: Rescheduled

Professor Colin Humphreys (University of Cambridge) believes he has strong evidence that Jesus' Last Supper actually took place on a Wednesday, not Thursday.

This changes everything. Now the spring-fertility-ritual turned Christian holiday could be celebrated on Saturday, and Good Friday will forever now just be Mediocre! No matter; unless the jelly beans and hollow chocolate bunnies stop coming, Easter will survive.

Lord Jesus, I know you find all the bickering amongst your peon subjects amusing, but rather than let us prattle on about ridiculous things like Biblical consistencies and universal truths, why don't you just fly down to Earth for a minute and set us all straight?

In all seriousness, the seriousness with which people treat this kind of crap is disturbing. If there were one God, and he were omnipotent and omniscient, and he cared about humans understanding his religious message correctly, he would have left things a bit more clear. Heck, he wouldn't have ever left! God would be real in our daily lives, all dissenting religions would disappear, and belief based on evidence would be a reality. But, as religious people believe, part of God's invisibility and and requirement of blind faith are character-building. You see, it would be all too easy for God to make himself has to be difficult and completely irrational and beyond our mere human understanding. God will reward all those who believe the contradicting religious messages and somehow guess the right one. God making sense (and being visible, demonstrable, consistent, etc.) is not part of his plan--a point which Christians love to make, as if that makes it all better.

It couldn't possibly be that all this is man-made hogwash, now could it?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm so glad I don't have kids

Add this to the multitude of reasons why I don't want to procreate:

Sex After Childbirth

No fucking thank you. How anyone who accepts this as their reality boggles my mind. And people have multiple children. I can't imagine anything more miserable!!

Bullet dodged.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Great Struggle: Intelligence vs. Faith

The theist from the last post never did respond to my comments herself, but sent no fewer than three other theist buddies to attack my responses. Yes, sent--they each mentioned that she asked them to chime in; guess she can't defend her faith herself. Their attacks consisted of variations of, "oh yeah? well the Bible says that Satan will purposefully try to confuse us so since you're confused you're obviously the spawn of Satan! So there!!", except the spelling was a lot worse. Unfortunately, it was nothing intelligent enough to which to reply.

Today I watched the following clip from the Atheist Experience:

I thought it was great. Simple, and eloquent. And by the way--this is a big step for me, to post something atheist-related on my FB. The mere fact that an alternative (i.e. rational and reasonable) view to their theism was dare presented is enough to incur their wrath, but I don't care too much. I don't care if it pisses some people off. This discussion NEEDS to be had and religion needs to be challenged. It may not change minds at all, and if it does it certainly won't be right away, but if it plants a seed and causes one of them, one day, to begin to think for themselves, I believe it is worth it. Certainly for me, little experiences in my past (that I, at the time, vehemently rejected and spewed all kinds of righteous hate towards) have stayed with me in my mind, and have let to my blissful, happy intellectual freedom. I am no longer bound by the shackles of religious fantasy, and I wish I could go back and thank the people who helped me.

Anyway, here is her response to my video:

I'll try to look beyond the sporadic attention to grammar, capitalization and punctuation; this is hard, though, since such things are a mark of an educated individual--thus, I tend to grant more respect to someone who uses them in a situation such as this.

The video and her response really speak for themselves. Objectively speaking, she is so blind to the truth that she (just like the caller who insisted that the Bible does not endorse slavery while at the same time admitting that it did) is incapable of recognizing the contradictions which are so utterly obvious. It can't possibly be that the damn thing doesn't make sense; it must be that Satan is causing us to misinterpret, Satan twists our thought processes, Satan makes daily attempts to get us to not believe...... if by Satan, you mean "brains and reason", I wholeheartedly agree.

It seems the daily struggle is with her mind trying to rationalize her faith; it can't be done. Don't blame Satan. If your faith doesn't make sense, and seems wrong and convoluted, and you have to utilize logical fallacies to justify it, it's not Satan or dark forces at work--it's your brains desperately trying to be used, but you keep sweeping them under the rug, hoping they go away, and label it as "sin", so that you don't have to think.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fun with a Theist!

Oh happy happy, joy joy. I've found myself engaged in a God discussion with an evangelical theist. *giddiness* She is a very sweet girl, but after the millionth FB post about God, I couldn't stand it any more.

Generally, I am getting slightly more open about my lack of beliefs publicly. It's taken me a while to a) figure out what in the heck I believe and don't believe (and this process is still just beginning), and b) investigating arguments, forming my own conclusions and feeling confident about them. Listening to the Atheist Experience has greatly helped.

So, for your amusement, here are a few posts made that I responded to (I am "J.R."):

But this is the fun one. I'll copy and paste the text, and will call my theist "Emma":

Emma: If we truly believe God is sovereign, we must be willing to accept that he is sovereign over literally everything. There is only one degree to sovereignty......and only one being who ever was or will be. that is God.

Me:So his omnipotence and sovereignty mean he can squash our Japanese brothers and sisters with a tsunami just because?

Emma: I believe in God's word and it says that God does these things to make the riches of his glory known. Satan's goal is to twist the truth and make us see these things from a worldly perspective and in turn, reject God. We have to stop dwelling on these things and consider God's ultimate purpose. There is a great picture. (like an impressionists' painting) You have to be willing to step away from the painting to make out what it truly is and to see the beauty and glory of it all instead of just seeing one piece that appears to be nothing more than blobs of paint that are a waste

Me: I think I understand what you're saying. Considering that "God's word" (I'm assuming you mean the bible, and not the Koran or some other holy book) tells us that God is all loving and all powerful, it makes no sense to me that such a being would allow disasters to kill hundreds/thousands of innocent people, least of all for his "glory". What kind of glory is that? If he really is so powerful and loving, can he not accomplish such glory without bloodshed and suffering?

I don't think it's Satan twisting my brain to think of this from a worldly perspective. It's me using my own God-given brain to rationally analyze the situation. We're told that God loves us and is the most powerful being in the universe. So then why would his plan include any of us suffering? Does his might make right? In other words, since he is omnipotent, does that power somehow give him moral authority to hurt us senselessly?

Emma: well for starters, i do mean the bible. personally, i cannot regard any of those other books as "holy". you say "god-given brain" does it mean you believe in God? im in no way trying to offend you. its just that if you dont, i think we are having the wrong conversation. if you are not engulfed in the love of God, your rational brain is not capable of understanding what it truly means for him to be sovereign. we could go weeks before seeing an end to this discussion

secondly: none of us are innocent. if we were given what is fair, we would all surely see Hell and live it every day of our lives. It is through God sacrificing his son's blood that we are given a chance. but we throw it away like it was nothing. like it didnt even happen. its a slap in God's face.

our god-given brains decieve us. we give ourselves too much credit. we cannot possibly rationally analyze situations. it is only through God that we can begin to understand purpose and meaning for this world. God is able to straighten what is bent. he has destroyed cities since the beginning. and his glory was made known every time. Good always follows. like i said. we just dont see the whole picture right now. the old testament is nothing but God leading his people to restoration. and he is the same God today as he was on the first day he created earth.

Me: I'm open to the belief in God, but don't see sufficient evidence at this point. I'm curious why you disregard the other religious books and choose to only believe the Bible, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms. You did not offend me by your question in the least. :)

As to not being engulfed in the love of are correct, I do not believe that I am. But what you're implying terrifies me. If I were engulfed in the love of God I would somehow understand his complete sovereignty, that is, I would submit to it. Do not abused women similarly blindly rationalize their lovers' abuse? Don't they tell themselves "oh, he loves me"? I think it is a very dangerous thing to believe that a) someone has power/sovereignty over us, and b) that makes their mistreatment of us ok--i.e., the might makes right argument. I find that highly immoral. If it's wrong for us to cause the death of innocent people, why is it ok for God to do? He has a different ethical code just because he's more powerful? Sounds like a tyrant to me.

Yes, we definitely can rationally analyze situations and we do it everyday. It isn't until we base beliefs on things without evidence that "faith" comes into play, and we suddenly start telling ourselves we should believe in something that doesn't make sense. If God exists and gave us brains that are equipped to rationalize, why are we required to put our brains on hold when it comes to religious matters? Shouldn't faith make sense, too, if brains and faith both originate from God?

I agree that we can't always see the whole picture of the world. But again, if God is so powerful and loving, why would his plan allow senseless suffering? Is not God more powerful than Satan? Our concept of God insists that he abhors evil and loves us to no end. So either our concept is incorrect, or God is a jerk who like to toy with us, and keep Satan/sin/suffering around.

Egads, if God today is the same as the OT God...! His kill count is in the 1000s, and he kills people for the smallest things, even babies. I can provide plenty of Scripture for you if you like. He also really digs the smell of blood and thinks slavery is A-ok. Doesn't sound like a nice guy to hang out with.

She has yet to respond back, so that's all I have for now. But let's summarize what we've learned about God and his murderous Japanese tsunami so far:

1. God is infinitely loving, powerful, and just.
2. God decided to send a 8.9 magnitude earthquake offshore of Japan that resulted in a tsunami that has (so far) killed hundreds, destroyed people's homes, businesses, etc.
3. God did this because in his infinite wisdom can see his whole plan for the earth, and decided that the tsunami would be a productive method of making the "riches of his glory known."
4. This disaster is for the ultimate spiritual good of humans, and we are too ignorant to comprehend the mighty ways of God and his mysterious plan for us.

My conclusion? God, if he exists, is a tyrannous dick.