There was an interfaith prayer breakfast last week and conservative radio host Janet Mefferd was not amused. All that liberal lip service to other religions did nothing to spare her from hell, she said, nothing at all!
Janet, this may come as a genuine surprise to you but nowhere in the job description for President of the United States does it include “spare people from hell.” The President has literally zero obligation to spare you from hell.
I get that being spared from hell is a big thing for you. So big, in fact, that you believe everyone should be working to save your immortal soul at all times.
I’m sure when Obama is no longer President, he can devote some valuable time to your soul. Until then, he will be forced to think about everyone else in America.
It isn’t personal. It’s his job.
What I mean by that is I never believed in god as he was presented to me in Sunday school. My logical brain couldn’t reconcile the inconsistencies of an all loving god all-knowing god who held his own creation responsible for being imperfect.
What became very clear to me was god existed as an authority figure to lend support to the beliefs of the person speaking for him. If you believe that homosexuality is wrong, you don’t have to be the bad guy. It isn’t you – it’s god.
And because you are using an unquestionable authority, you can get other people to believe as you do. You didn’t convince them. God convinced them.
The idea of theism alone isn’t a damaging concept. If you want to believe that something created the universe, you aren’t hurting anyone.
When you work to convince people you know what that being is thinking, I think you can begin to do harm.
In the debate over same-sex marriage, there are people of all faiths who think it is right and people of all faiths who think it is wrong. They are both using the ultimate authority of god to support their claim.
But what if none of them knows what god thinks? What if no-one has a direct line to heaven? What if we need to figure this stuff out for ourselves without an authority who cannot be questioned?
I admit I didn’t watch the whole thing because at some point it was just embarrassing. I was watching Rocky beat the crap out of Gilligan.
If Gilligan were a misogynistic asshole. So let’s just say I don’t feel sorry for Gilligan.
Why Kluwe decided to devote 90 minutes to this guy and his legion of whiny jackasses, who honestly believe that if they click their heels together while saying “ethics in game journalism” enough times they can make it true, is a question only he can answer.
I would hope it isn’t because he thought he could get through to this guy, who seemed more interested in improper definitions of the word “cult” than he was in making a cogent point. If he was doing it to help make this guy look like more of an idiot, his mission was accomplished.
Aw fuck. I looked at the comments. Fuck this.
I don’t suggest clicking on the link above. I know very few people who would sympathize with what is written there.
As someone who tries very hard to support feminism, I see nothing of value in this woman’s rant about how men are clearly inferior to women. They aren’t. They are different. In some (mostly physical) ways men have certain advantages. In other ways they do not. When you remove the obstacles society creates for women, men and women are mostly equal.
The problem is people viewing this extreme point of view and calling it feminism. As if all feminists are out there just despising men for having the misfortune to exist.
When, in truth, hardly any of them are.
Every point of view has it’s extremes. The problem becomes people viewing the extreme position as representative of the entire position. Feminism is about working to fix a society that is off balance. It is not about creating a “utopia” where men don’t exist.
In this case, the Duggars are getting a lot of flack for saying bigoted stuff because the bible says that kind of speech is OK. Problem is, some folks don’t agree and have started a petition to get their show taken off the air.
So what’s the big deal you ask? By petitioning TLC (that show is on The Learning Channel? Really?) to cancel the show, they are attacking the Duggar’s right to free speech!
I can’t believe we have to go over this again but NO WE ARE NOT! Having the right to free speech is not the same thing as consequence free speech. When you say thing that pisses people off, they get to say things back.
It amazes me that conservative Christians claim they are being “silenced” when all that is happening is people are calling them on their bullshit.
For those unfamiliar with the term, doxxing is when people take personal information (like home address and private e-mail accounts) and share them with everyone on the internet. The intent is to encourage others to harass the individual in question either online or in person.
Because people are assholes.
Chris Kluwe wrote a profanity ridden rant against GamerGaters earlier in the week. Was his contact information splashed all over the internet? Of course not.
What is interesting about the Gamergate phenomenon is that they claim this issue is not about women in gaming and yet when women speak up, they suffer harassment almost immediately. I’m not saying Kluwe didn’t get called names. He probably did.
The difference, though, is Kluwe (and Wil Wheton) were called names. Day had her personal information tweeted out within an hour.
Now I’m fairly certain a brief internet search could have yielded her home address. That information may be private but it is hard to protect. Her personal e-mail would take a little more digging but probably isn’t too hard to get. Privacy is an illusion the internet is rapidly dispelling.
None of that changes the fact doxxing is an asshole move. The only purpose is to harass the victim rather than engage in civil discourse.
GamerGate is not about ethics. It is about being pissy because female gamers (and their allies) would like a few games for themselves. It also has an unoriginal and stupid name.
Note: what I’m writing is not intended to be a eulogy or memorial for anyone. These are my thoughts inspired by the passing of a peripheral friend. My friend Melissa Kaercher wrote a terrific memorial. I suggest you read it.
Over the weekend, news came that a peripheral friend was severely ill and would soon pass away. Within 24 hours, we learned that she was gone.
I’m not going to pretend that I knew Holly very well. Sadly, I didn’t know her very well at all.
I’m a performer so it could be assumed that I’m an extrovert. And sometimes I am.
When I find myself in large group situations, however, I tend to gravitate towards people I know well. It takes me a long time to open up to new people. That isn’t their fault. It’s mine.
I knew Holly because she attended Butt-Numb-a-Thon – a gigantic, weird film festival I also attend every year. I talked to her for a few minutes here and there. But I didn’t really know her. She was one of dozens of people with whom I have a glancing relationship for one weekend every year.
She’s gone now and what I see online is an outpouring of love on her Facebook wall. Yet that wall isn’t her. It is a digital shadow of her.
I don’t believe in an afterlife so I don’t believe she will ever see any of the kind words that were written about her. They are there, perhaps, for her family or loved ones but more, I think, for the person who left the post.
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that. We all have to process grief in the way that feels right for us. Grief is not for the dead, it is for the living.
I’m more amazed at how there is a shadow Holly out there on the internet who will be there for some indeterminate length of time and who acts as a surrogate for the person who is no longer there. The posts will cease after a while but she will still be there in some strange sense.
There’s an idea for a horror movie in there…
Looking at the outpouring of love for someone who is no longer with us, I have made a decision.
Kind words spoken to a ghost in the machine aren’t enough for me. I think I need to say kind words to those who are still alive.
So yesterday, I decided to honor the memory of Holly (and so many other friends who have passed) by telling people I appreciate them while they are still around to read it.
If you get a personal message from me tomorrow or next week or next year, that’s why. One message a day. Give or take.
Life is short. You never know when someone will exit your life forever. I’d like everyone to know how important they are to me while they are still around to appreciate it.