Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Spirit Stronger Than Faith

So, I'm trolling the religious news sites (yes, I do else am I to know their position?) and I come across this story about the "persecution" (actually prosecution) of Christians in the Islamic country of Yemen for proselytizing in a country where it is forbidden to do so.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't agree with the dictatorian leadership of Yemen, not one miniscule bit. but seriously, read the article and then get back here......Okay, now, to my point...

The Christian church, so eager to get new converts in a country where it is forbidden is only trying to further its own causes and line its own coffers. Don't try to convert their faith, the women and children of Yemen are in dire, dire circumstances. Christian missionaries use the front of educational and health programs to "spread the good word".

Oh, how about for once you put your money where your damned mouth is and spread the word about education and women's rights so 10 year old little girls like Nujood Ali don't have to escape and take a cross town bus to a courthouse alone and ask for a divorce so she can stop being raped and beaten by her husband!

A new religion is not what Yemen needs. And with all honesty, may I say, whatever religion young Nujood was raised with, her spirit is just fine. I only wish that the people who have taken up her cause help her to the education and free life that she deserves.

If Miss Ali's face isn't enough to make you want to go outside and smile to the sun or moon or feel the rain on your face, go do it anyway, and be glad that you have a choice.

If you feel you don't have a choice....hear me....YOU DO. It may take time, and you may need help, but your mind is your own. Do not let anybody take that.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Science and 'Crackergate'

Much has been said about the brouhaha surrounding the PZ Myers - Webster Cook - Catholic Church story.

I don't know if anyone has ever suggested it, or if it has been done, but I don't see why it can't be settled with good ol' scientific observation.

Get a couple of transubstantiated wafers test them against a couple of others from the same lot of crackers...check the atomic structure. Therein the truth lies.

Now THAT* would be interesting.

*THAT being the worldwide religious fallout when the crackers are proven to be...well...crackers. I got your shroud right here, baby.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Little Things

A member from one of the forums on the Atheist Nexus social network asked a question about being happier as an atheist vs. when we were religious. In my answer I had made a point about how I don't spend as much money now because I don't need as much to feel fulfilled.

My answer got me to thinking about that economic change of habits, and pick it apart. I still purchase things, but I have been more selective of what I spend my money on.

For instance, the other day my son wanted to go to a local chain Sub shop for dinner. We did go, but then I passed a little shop right around the corner which was newly placed in an older building. A family owned and operated Italian restaurant opened up about a month or two ago.

Now, I usually cook for my whole family, and at least a couple of times a week, we are all 8 here. Family dinners are important to us, as it is a time to sit and talk, and laugh, and discuss, re-tell old stories and pick on each other. However, I'm not a machine. Cooking is fun for me, but not every night.

So everyone is here tonight and we are getting pizzas and subs from the new spot. So what, right? Well, of course I have a point.

You often hear a spokesperson say something like 'Every vote counts' or 'All it takes is one person to change the world', 'Only you can prevent forest fires'. As a human concerned about my earth, what can I do to be that one person change?

Support local businesses, and stop throwing your money at the chains. Subway and Domino's which did get my money at least twice a month just isn't going to get it anymore. But it can't stop there.

I have been starting to research which essentials that I need for my house and family are manufactured by regional companies. Furthermore I want to know how they ship their products, do they manufacture in Virginia, send to a distribution center in Minnesota, and ship it back to Virginia to sell in my local downtown market, or ship direct?

Why go through the trouble?

You see, to me, being an atheist doesn't only entail my disbelief in supernatural explanation. It also means that I know, as a human, I must do my duty to my species to help it prosper and protect the environment which sustains us.

Sometimes it's not just a pizza, it's a statement.

I'm going to go join my crazy family and have some fun, don't let your Saturday pass you by without recognizing its passing, and for Noodles sake, don't throw your money at the monster.

Getting Hooked Up

I have been added the to Atheist Blogroll, you can access the list on my sidebar for plenty of good reading.
If you have a blog, and you write about secular topics and would like to join, check out Mojoey's blog Deep Thoughts.
Thanks Mojoey!

I'm reading today and not writing. I hope to see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Christian 'Values' vs. Real Hope

One of the things that strikes me as most peculiar is that the descendants of conquered and converted people such as African Americans and both North & South American indigenous peoples still hold to the Christian faith that was violently forced upon them.

When I look at pictures of Atheist meeting groups or profile avatars on non theistic sites, I sadly notice that we are mostly made up of Caucasoids with a fair amount of Asians (which is to be expected considering the enlightened practices of many Eastern philosophies).

It never ceases to amaze me that the most faithful churchgoing people in any of the 6 states I have lived (as well as on 2 US foriegn stations) are African American and Hispanic. The Christian Church loves to tell you their faith is 2000 years old, well, it has definitely not been that long for either of these groups.

Such a powerful indoctrination which basically told the people that they are to kneel down to their oppressors because a book says that people of dusky hues are to be servants to those of the lighter "chosen" race!?! I wasn't there, but my own human survival instinct, when applied to a situation like this would tell me that if I were outnumbered and brutalized, I would say anything they wanted and go to any meeting they told me to.

Pain and abuse are strong persuaders. Applied over generations the result is a woeful amount of people who willingly and joyfully indoctrinate their own children with that same message.

And that is too depressing of a thought for such a nice summer morning. So I will leave you with this. I have never been more happy, more in love with my life, more connected with my children, my family and myself as I have been after I freely admitted to myself and my closest kith and kin that I am a proud atheist and walked out from beneath the dark cover of a hateful god and into the marvelous world of light and real HOPE.

Hope, because as I look behind me and around me, I see a lot of other people dusting themselves off, too.

So, how are you going to spend your day of light? Make your every breath today worth something, even if it is just making brownies with your kid and laying in the grass to read or working at something you love. No matter the maelstrom we are embroiled in by taking up the cause of reason, our world has the real hope.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I read too much. I always have.

When I was in the sixth grade, I lived in Germany; Bavaria, really. Most of my education to that point had been through the U.S Department of Defense schools, as my father was in the U.S. Army and did not retire until after I had graduated from high school.

We were tested yearly to see at which grade level we were reading. That sixth grade year ('80-'81) I fell in the range of a College Sophomore. I say this for two reasons, one, the point will be made in a to-be-written blog that even with my level of capability and intellect, many of my opportunities as a human being had been squelched due to the doctrines of the Christian society at home and in my community, and secondly, you can translate that as I read voraciously.

All kinds of stuff! We owned two full sets of encyclopedias, and a set of yearbooks that started the year before I was born. I read both sets and most of the yearbooks. Not every entry, of course, some topics aren't as interesting as others to me, just like everyone else. However, I started at book one, and turned every single page, reading what interested me, and scanning the rest.

Part of my evolution, and should be part of yours, is the changing of interests. Reaching past what you have enjoyed and may still enjoy learning about. Exploring subjects that, before this day, you had not even thought about in any serious context.

Your world opens up more for an internal debate between what you know, and what you are discovering. Where does this new information get filed? The reality file? The cool tidbit file? The complete bullshit file?

Or better yet, what happens when what you are exploring challenges your established viewpoint? As a 10 year old, I could comprehend on a college level, but emotionally, all I knew was that this god was watching over me, and if I didn't believe in him, if I challenged that belief or believed any other type of religion, I was going to be separated from my beloved and close-knit family. How utterly terrifying for a child!

It is no wonder that giving up your ticket on the Jesus plane takes so long for some of us.

Now I read so much more regarding both sides of the theist/atheist argument. And it scares me. I knew that there were religious nuts out there, even when I held a belief in god, but the sheer amount of hate-filled conjecture out there by the religious seems just as egotistical and unyielding as Hitler and his Nazi army.

Oh, I didn't want to get into my tirade on how religion is the root cause of most wars and human suffering of all kinds, so I will drop off of that and get to this entry's main point.

I am concerned that this type of public forum may attract some of this hate filled projectile-style cursing vomitus to be splattered all over my pages. While I eagerly invite discussion from both sides, I will not be swayed by that type of communication. I will not lower myself to answer to it, nor will I read it, so don't waste your time.

Better yet, instead of doing such a thing as condemning me, maybe you should do what I'm about to do. Power down, and go outside to work in my garden so I can enjoy this one day in my life, and add it to the collection of perfect days I have had.
Don't burn your day...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Own Evolution - Conflictions

When I was a young girl living in Italy in the 1970's, we had a reel-to-reel tape player and no television. Why have a television when you didn't understand the language of the broadcasting networks?

Anyway, I loved listening to the music my parents had collected, they are avid listeners, and we grew up with quite a variety. One of my favorite songs was the Unicorn Song by The Irish Rovers (lyrics) .

The fact that it was a bible story imbued song did not cross my mind at all, I loved singing the chorus with my mom. I mean, who doesn't like singing 'Humpty-backed camels and some chimpanzees'?

To come to the point, we also had the Life Nature Library on the shelves in our living room. I poured over these books. The wonders they held were outstandingly diagrammed and photographed, my sponge of a young mind boggled at the contents. I didn't understand many of the words at first, but I 'read' them cover to cover many times; since then I have really read them thoroughly, and they sit on my shelf of research books that always tend to be nestled next to my computer and writing area.

Now early on, I wondered about how all of the animals I knew as modern animals, like those in that blasted children's illustrated bible's story of Noah, lions, tigers and bears (oh, my) were on the ark, and those who are on the fossil record were very different indeed. Furthermore, those animals were not on the ark at all. What the hey?
I struggled to reconcile the differences, they bugged me. When I was in late childhood/early adolescence, I said this to my mom;
"How about this, the bible says man is created in god's image, but some books say that we come from apes (I now know the distinction between descending from and evolving along with, which I didn't know then), so maybe god looks like an ape, and we have just changed since Adam's time."
I was serious, and my mom knew it. She said simply,
"That is blasphemy."
It was the first time I'd heard that word. It wasn't to be my last.
I am certain that the last time I heard it won't be the last time either hehe.
Ah, well. Thunderstorms are coming closer, and I'm shutting down. I love to watch a good storm.
More to come, don't waste that day of yours!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My Own Evolution - Genesis

I have always had some question.

Not a particular one, mind you, but a plethora of need-to-know dilemmas which have driven my existence from day one. I suspect every human has this innate desire to know, some of us just can not settle down until the most central questions are answered to our satisfaction.

Sometimes the answers are so simple, they are right there. Other times they are difficult to comprehend. To find these answers, our minds must evolve as we grow from the helpless infant state to one of maturity and autonomy where we can process vast amounts of calculations and informative bits to classify and understand our world and ourselves.

When we find the answer it is like a glorious light. I see that light come on for people all the time, it's in the eyes. One second, struggling to understand, then *ding*, a light twinkles in the eyes as the a-ha moment opens up the world a little more.

I was raised in a protestant (baptist) home. My mother is of scotch-irish and native american descent and was born in the Appalachian mountains in the extreme western portion of Virginia, a 'stones throw' from Kentucky. Dad's line is welsh, and they have been centered in the swamps and farmlands of south eastern Virginia and North Carolina. The 300 year old family seat is a still operating farm near Murfreesboro, North Carolina.

Thankfully, my dad had chafed early on to the hypocrisy he witnessed from the church-going community around him, and as a result we did not attend church services regularly. However, my younger brother and I were brought up within the basic tenets of the religion of our parents and their parents.

Of course, my early questions got answers from within a christian worldview. My world was created by this bearded man whose picture was in my children's bible. There was a heaven for good girls and boys and a devil (my mom rarely said 'Hell', it was a curse word in our house) that bad girls and boys went to when they died. But, if we tried to be good, and believed that Jesus was our god's son we would be able to live with our parents and our cousins and our aunts and uncles and our dogs when we got to the pearly gates of heaven....

blah blah know, many of you grew up in this same bubble.

The problem was, the questions I had about the world I was physically living in were not satisfactorily answered in that illustrated children's bible.

Sadly, it took much more than a few science classes and a couple of years to get to the point where I can comfortably say that I live in a world with no gods, and for that matter no devils either.

I will tell more about my journey later, for now, go in peace and enjoy your day or night whatever it may be. By all means...don't waste it.


I am a 38 year old mother of two brilliant boys aged 14 and 9. We live in Virginia with many members of our extended family close by, which makes us lucky indeed.

I have only recently come out to my family and friends regarding my atheism. It is not easy to let the believers in your family know that you have chosen to give up your ticket on the Jesus plane. As a matter of fact, it’s something that takes a tremendous amount of courage and tact, as well as love and understanding on both sides.

I hope with this blog I may open up intelligent dialogue. My ultimate goal is to inspire and encourage those who know deep down that they do not believe in the teachings of the worlds religions to come to peace within themselves, find resources to feel more confident and connected with other freethinkers, and begin to organize ourselves so our voices can be heard.
Thank you for checking it out!