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?
Yesterday, I posted a satirical post about the Pope. I was happy with it. I thought it was pretty silly. I was especially pleased when I called him “Benedict the Cumberbatch.” Comedy genius, I tell ya!
I knew that it might upset a few Catholics if they read it and that was totally OK. That’s what happens when you write a blog post that is critical of the Papacy – even if it is primarily written as a joke. If someone doesn’t like the joke, the intent is not relevant.
Well, a friend of mine shared the post and then a friend of hers got pretty upset about it and we had a conversation. He kept saying he didn’t want to have a conversation but he actions suggested otherwise. I guess he was obsessed with someone being wrong on the internet. I get that. I’ve been there.
When The Dregs perform our Holiday shows, we sing a lot of inappropriate music. Songs like “Do you Have what I Have” and “I Want a Hysterectomy for Christmas” are Dregs fan favorites. So popular, in fact, that we get requests for them all year round.
But we also sing some traditional stuff every year and this year especially, I had more than one person ask me how I dealt with singing religious lyrics. It’s a fair question that comes from the knowledge that I’m not a Christian and I’m pretty darn vocal about it.
The question primarily comes from other atheists. I get it. As a non-Christian, we all get bombarded with religious music at this time of year. For every rendition of “Let is Snow,” we have to listen to eight versions of “Oh Holy Night.” We get tired of constantly being told to fall on our knees because we just don’t want to do it.
I may be an atheist but I still really love Christmas. I don’t just like it. I love it. I love the decorations (christmas lights are pretty). I love the way everyone is a little bit more cheerful this time of year. When I’m talking to people on the phone at work, they are a little more patient with issues. They are a little more pleasant and understanding.
I don’t know if it is because they are anticipating they will find a set of Indiana Jones blu-rays in their stocking or because they are super excited their savior was born in a manger over 2000 years ago. I expect the former is more common than the latter but I don’t really care.
Over the weekend, I went to a Minnesota Atheist meeting in Minneapolis to hear Stephanie Svan speak on justice in a “just world.”
Her talk coincided with a Christian posting a comment on my Inherit the Wind blog in which she said, in part:
I don’t feel my children are growing up ignorant because we teach them that they are gifts on loan from God to us, and they are loved and cared for by parents and a God who loves them dearly and has an awesome plan and purpose for their lives.
If I had a fundamental objection to religion, it is this idea that god has a “plan” for us. It plays into this idea that the universe is inherently a “fair” place. Yet the facts suggest that this is not the case.
Hey everyone! I’ll actually be taking part in a public reading of something I wrote this October.
Specifically, I will be joined by five other contributors to “Atheist Voices of Minnesota” at the Roseville Barnes & Noble at 7:00 PM on the 10th of October. We will all read from our work and answer questions and once you have been dazzled by our writing, you will have the chance to buy the book (conveniently pictured in this very post)!
But you really should come out and see this. It’s probably the first and last time you’ll have a chance to see me doing a public presentation where I’m completely out of my element!
If you’d like to know about my other creative endeavors, you can always check out my Upcoming Performances page.
Yeah, yeah, a lot of people are talking about this one so it may seem pointless that I even bring him up so late in the week. Ignoring his messed up statistics and knowledge of biology for a moment, what really has me upset is the concept of “legitimate rape.”
Now by this I assume he meant to insinuate that many women who claim to have been raped are lying. That is a pretty common tactic. Point out that some cases of rape are not legitimate (which is true) and you cast doubt on all claims of rape.
Because we’re stupid, we think that if one woman lies about rape, any claim of rape must be viewed as suspect. That’s what Akin taps into here. He is trying to diffuse the question of abortion in the case of rape by suggesting that women are lying about rape in order to get an abortion.
He may have issued an apology but the language was no accident. He knew exactly what he was saying and to whom he was speaking.
I’m an atheist. We all know that. When it comes to activism and atheism, I’m on the fringes. I consider myself a comedian and because of that, I take what is going on in the atheist movement just seriously enough to joke about it.
Because what is going on right now is pretty serious and, to my way of thinking, you need to be able to joke about it just to get past all of the vitriol.
I can’t recall a time where I would have characterized myself as a “writer.” I’ve written things, sure. I blog almost every day. I’ve written lyrics for a lot of silly songs. I’ve even written some plays and comedy sketches that (much to my relief) made people laugh.
But I’m not a writer in the way that some of my friends are writers. I don’t imagine I will ever be that kind of writer. That isn’t what I want to be.
As of now, however, I am a published writer. My essay is included in the anthology publication “Atheist Voices of Minnesota.” It’s an essay about summer camp, Scouting and S’mores. I’m proud of the story I wrote even though all I can see now are better ways to tell it.
I guess I’m a writer after all.
Other essays in the book are by people who would have no difficulty defining themselves as writers. Still others are by people who are just like me. They don’t think of themselves as writers any more than I do.
We all have one thing in common, though. We are all atheists and we all had a story to tell. I hope you’ll enjoy everyone’s stories.
I just received my copy of the book so I’ve not had a chance to read those stories yet. I’m looking forward to seeing what the other writers have to say.
To read more about the stories in the book, read Stephanie Zvan’s nice blog post about it.
If you purchase the book, all the proceeds go to Minnesota Atheists, a 501c3 non-profit.
I’m back to answering a series of comments in response to this blog entry.
I have a lot to say about this particular comment because here we are getting to the crux of all I feel is wrong with the Fundamentalist Christian perspective on reality. If there is such a thing as an “all loving” god, I simply can’t see how that is represented in a fundamentalist interpretation of biblical teachings.
So here, then, is my original answer to question #8, which read: If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?