CONvergence week continues here at Friend a day headquarters!
I met Stephanie when we were in the same play in college. I was nearly killed by a piece of scenery on opening night. That’s a different story.
After that show, I hardly saw her for years. It was only through the Skepchick/FreethoughtBlog events at CONvergence that we re-connected.
Stephanie is devoted to supporting social justice issues through her Almost Diamonds blog. She has become a target for a lot of internet hatred because she’s not willing to back away from an important fight. She’s openly critical of well known members of the atheist community like Richard Dawkins.
I can’t imagine how exhausting the abuse can become and yet Stephanie faces it with a sense of humor and, I think, the conviction that she is right.
When there is an issue that has me upset, I find that Stephanie frequently is commenting on exactly the thing that has me frustrated. Her thoughts are well researched and detailed. Certainly you can disagree with her but you can’t disagree with the effort she put into presenting a cogent argument.
She was a guest on Geeks Without God our first weekend and was one of the people who helped set the tone. We’ve had her back since to play the horrible Left Behind Board game. You have to have a little extra helping of respect for anyone who endured that game.
I remember working with Stephanie on that show all those years ago and even back then she had a ton of confidence you knew would get her through a lot. It is that strong sense of self that helps her keep saying things that make her a target for a lot of petty stupidity.
And that is something I don’t think the petty, stupid people have figured out. Being an asshole on the internet is easy. Fighting against the assholes is a lot harder.
I’m really proud to know someone who is fighting the assholes.
Nobody expected anything less from Mr. Will, right? When he writes about rape on college campuses, he’s not going to come off as particularly sympathetic to the victims, right?
Well, he sure doesn’t. He gives an example of a rape story he thinks is a false accusation and when I read it, I see an example of a young woman being raped.
Why is rape insensitivity primarily a conservative trait? Is it just that conservatives are dumb enough to say it out loud? They always seem to be trying to find some way to ignore rape statistics. Will doesn’t believe the numbers so he goes through an analysis of one set of numbers to prove that they all must be wrong.
He’s a smart guy, right? He knows that the single set of numbers he’s using don’t actually constitute and kind of proof, right?
I don’t think he cares. He was looking to torpedo the Obama administration because he’s a conservative columnist and that’s what he’s paid to do. What he managed to do was tell every rape victim on college campuses that what happened to them isn’t so bad.
BTW, I don’t think most conservatives are rape apologists. They need to be telling the conservatives stepping up to the microphone to stop because I don’t think George Will is going to listen to me.
I’ve only called Brianne a friend for a couple of years now. We knew each other but it was only once I started co-hosting Geeks Without God that I began to grow more familiar with some of the prominent secular voices in my part of the country.
Because it impresses me, I’d like to tell you what Brianne does on weekends.
She goes to women’s health clinics and escorts patients past the protesters who are standing out front.
She walks women (and men) past crowds of people who are there to call them names.
I don’t care what side of the abortion debate you are on – what Brianne does is amazing. She stands up and defends those who have made a decision that is, to some, extremely unpopular. She shows them that there are people out there willing to sacrifice time so they might have some dignity at a very difficult time.
There are lot of other things I like about Brianne, but what she does so many weekend mornings is, to me, heroic.
Brianne blogs as Biodork on the Freethought Blog network. She blogs about social issues and atheism but she also does a lot of photoblogging. It makes her blog one of my favorites on the site. She has a voice that is one of my favorites and I always look forward to a new post.
As the result of appearing on Geeks Without God, Brianne is also responsible for introducing me to Lords of Waterdeep, which is only a problem because all I want to do is play *more* Lords of Waterdeep.
She’s one of my favorite sources for new games. Whenever we are at Omegacon together, she makes me play at least one new game that inevitably results in dropping several dollars at the Source one or two weeks later.
Finally, while I could say this about most of my friends, Brianne has one of the best smiles around. It is a smile that will brighten anyone’s day and it is a smile that she hardly ever puts away.
Brianne is a great friend and a great person. I’m glad that choosing to use my voice helped me to get to know hers.
So to be clear: this was a private citizen who was distributing donated books to High School students after the school board voted to ban the title in schools (because SEX.)
The book wasn’t illegal to own and it certainly wasn’t illegal to distribute copies that had been bought and paid for. It wasn’t even illegal to give the book to High School students. Nor was parental consent required for High School students to own a copy of the book.
But somebody decided that the police had nothing better to do than question someone for handing out books.
Now here’s where I get snarky. Do you think that same person would have thought to call the police if someone was handing out bibles in the park? Even though the Bible has a lot more sex than the book that was banned?
That’s OK, though, because I’m not sure I want my kids reading the bible but if they do want to read it, I’d rather they got a copy for free.
This moron is probably going to win, too.
He saw a rock sculpture and thought it looked like a lot of fun to climb around on it. I don’t blame him. I would have thought the same thing. I would need a taser and some bungee cords to stop my kids from climbing on something like that.
There were no signs telling him he couldn’t so he jumped on the thing, landed awkwardly and tore his Achilles tendon. Ouch!
Now he’s suing the city. Because he did a reckless thing and hurt himself. Also because he probably has crappy health insurance.
Look dude, if you are going to jump on a rock because it looks like fun, you need to recognize the risks. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t jump on the fucking rock.
The only unsafe condition the city created was they one they created when they allowed you to leave your house every morning.
A few weeks ago, we had our friend Mark Lazarchic on Geeks Without God to talk about why he doesn’t like to say he’s an atheist. His argument was primarily focused on the fact that atheists sound arrogant when they say they don’t believe in god.
We come back to that assertion in this episode because I genuinely wondered if it was more arrogant to say that there is no god than it was to say that you were positive god existed and further, you knew exactly what god was thinking.
To me, the reason it is considered arrogance is because a lot of people believe in god. If you stand up and say you don’t, you can either be perceived as courageous or arrogant. I think it depends, in a large part on the beliefs of the person to whom you are stating your opinion.
So are atheists any more arrogant than anyone else? I know what I think but you could always listen to this week’s episode and decide for yourself!
The bill looks to improve Alabama schools by allowing up to fifteen minutes of organized prayer per day. The believe, apparently, that this will improve children’s test scores more than any other more proven technique. Kids who aren’t Christians are welcome to opt out and deal with ridicule from their peers and teachers. So that’s fair.
In order for this bill to go before the Alabama house, it needed to be approved by committee. It wasn’t.
By voice vote, it was two votes for the bill and three against (with three abstentions). The committee chair claimed that she “heard more yays than nays” and forwarded the bill to the entire House.
You would think that her devout Christianity that was on display when she supported a bill to improve schools through prayer would have been on display when she was called on to honestly count the votes.
I guess, though, that she would rather spend state money on defending the inevitable lawsuit coming their way if this bill becomes law.
How, exactly, are Christian values winning out here?
The star in question, Mia Talerico, is five years old.
Her show featured a play date in which her friend had two moms. You know, a healthy happy lesbian couple. Just the sort of thing that causes the bile to rise in the average Christian Right household.
So what’s the Christian thing to do?
Not being a Christian, I’m a bit uncertain. Can someone tell me if threatening the life of a five-year old girl is the Christian thing to do?
And can someone tell me how this kind of behavior comes even close to hating the sin and loving the sinner?
Also a memo to “One Million Moms” – you currently have only 60,000+ “likes” on Facebook. You could increase that number twice as fast if only you allowed lesbian moms!