Category Archives: Religion

Take My Wife

From the comedic genius, Tim Minchin:


Tomorrow: National Day of Silence 2009

glsen_articlesimage_large2400w200hnorm1NEW YORK, April 9, 2009 – An 11-year-old Massachusetts boy, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hung himself Monday after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay, despite his mother’s weekly pleas to the school to address the problem. This is at least the fourth suicide of a middle-school aged child linked to bullying this year. Full article at GLSEN

Carl did not identify as gay, but this tragedy serves as a reminder that anti-LGBT bullying can have devastating effects on all students, particularly during the vulnerable years of budding sexuality and peer pressure.

Carl would have turned 12 tomorrow, April 17, 2009 — the National Day of Silence.

Contrary to claims made by the religious right organizations and various members of their flocks, promoting homosexuality is not the purpose of the DoS. The purpose is simply to bring awareness of anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment, and to promote effective responses to it. It is not about allowing gay students to disrupt class for the day to promote a “homosexual agenda”, as many claim.

Students of all beliefs, backgrounds and sexual orientations participate in the Day of Silence.

When I called my son’s middle school, I was pleased to learn that they will recognize the DoS. An announcement will be made in the morning, and the event will take place during lunch. In an effort to counter some of the negative response they are sure to receive, I offered my thanks and support, and assured them that my son will be in attendance.

Rambling On will also recognize the National Day of Silence tomorrow, April 17, 2009. No new posts will be made, and comments will be held in moderation until the morning of April 18. I will change the settings now in case I’m unable to get back to it later, but I will do my best to check in and moderate comments before I shut down for the night. Comments made after around 7:00 p.m. Central Time will not likely be seen until the morning of the 17th, and will therefore be held in moderation until the following morning.

My heart goes out to the family of 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and to all the other families and individuals who know first hand the harsh realities surrounding anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.

To those who have experienced the humiliation of being tormented simply for being who you are: You are valued, loved and appreciate by more people than you may ever realize. Your life is precious and other people’s lives are enriched by your presence in the world. Please be good to yourself — you deserve it!

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On


Celebrating Atheism

“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” Psalms 14:1

A few months ago, I was browsing one of my favorite blogs, and came across a post that I immediately knew I would reference today.

The post is entitled Happy Atheist’s Day. It was written by B.T. Murtagh, author of QuarkScrew. Here is an excerpt:

“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” Psalms 14:1

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a smugly ignorant theist throw this line at me, like I’d never heard it before, blithely ignoring the fact that I don’t give any credence to the source. I’ve finally decided that I’m just going to adopt and own the putative insult in their psalm, much as the early US adopted the “Yankee Doodle” song. That makes today Atheists’ Day for me (I speak for no one else). Fine, I’m a fool!

The question remains, of course: ”What kind of a fool is he?”

After reading the post in its entirety, which I highly recommend, I am happy to join B.T. in embracing the title of fool.

Happy Atheist’s Day!


Hell Holes

This video discusses many of the logical holes in the concept of hell. It also briefly touches on free will.

More From QualiaSoup Good stuff!


Positive Atheism

I don’t have much time for posting lately, but I found this and wanted to share it with you:

I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive:

You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil—you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy.
Trust yourself.

– Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith

Via Positive Atheism


Simple Faith

simple_faith

Courtesy of Bill Mutranowski


A Young Girl’s Christmas List

A blogger by the name of Possummomma posted an essay her daughter wrote in school. She called it a “pop essay”; the students did not know the topic in advance. Here is what Possummomma’s daughter wrote in response to the question: What do you want for Christmas?

What I want for Christmas, by Possum#1
There’s a movie that’s frequently shown in twenty-four hour blocks in which the main character, Ralphie, wants nothing but a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. Ironically enough, he’s asked to write an essay about his Christmas desire by a slightly shrewd teacher and told that he’ll shoot his eye out. As I glance around this classroom, I see that many of my friends are feverishly pumping out manifestos dictating what gadgets and goodies they wish to find under their Christmas tree on the morning of December 25th. My mind, however, is reeling over the presumption that my public school teacher has addressed our classroom and assigned an essay in which she presumes that the entire lot of us are Christian or celebrate Christmas.

I take another look around my classroom and notice that Mahmeed is absent-mindedly cleaning underneathe his fingernails with the cap from his pen. Emily is feverishly trying to catch my eye and, having done so, mouthing the words, “I don’t celebrate Christmas…I’m Jewish.” in a quizzical manner. Jayden is doing what he normally does during such pop essays: he’s looking out the window- probably wondering where his parents will get the money for January’s rent and feeling guilty for daring to think about a gift. He’s pretty sensitive.

I have never admitted it to any of my friends, but I think I must be an atheist. My mother is an atheist and has always told me to find my own path to spiritual comfort. I think I must be an atheist because I can’t fathom any God who would allow the celebration of the birth of his son to become a time when my friends are consumed with thoughts of how they can convince Grandma to buy them a new Nano Ipod while other kids are wondering how their parent will manage the rent. What do I want for Christmas, I want a less assuming teacher. I want a teacher who thinks past the standard “What I want for Christmas…” assignment when she’s aware that three out of her twenty students probably don’t celebrate Christmas. I want a world where my friends will be asked to write essays about how they might use their winter vacay’ to help other people. I want my mom to be healthy again. I want my grandmother to quit smoking. I want my grandfather to quite bugging her about it. But most of all, I want to not get an “F” on this assignment because you get angry with me for saying all of the above. Merry Christmas, Mrs. “X”* (name changed to protect identities).

Possum #1 makes us proud.
Reposted with permission

If that don’t make a momma proud…

The teacher wrote this at the end of the student’s essay:

[Possum#1], thank you for your thoughtful remarks. I don’t think you’re an atheist but I respect your empathy for your friends. Please see me after class today. A+

Possum #1 reported that the teacher said she couldn’t be an atheist because her “ability to care for others feelings isn’t an atheist trait.” The teacher attributed the girl’s compassion to her own god, calling it a “very Christian attitude.”

Happy Holidays.


I’ve Got The Power!

In response to someone spamming Bible verses on her blog, Dam, author of Raising Kids Without Religion, wrote a post asking what the spammer (and those like him) expect Bible verses to mean to people who see the Bible as nothing more than folklore and fairy tales.

I’ve often wondered, myself, why some Christians take this approach. In an effort to demonstrate just how meaningless the words are to people who don’t believe in them, I posted a Wiccan chant for Ezekiel, the Bible spammer. Apparently it’s a spell used by Wiccans to bind troublemakers.

I thought it was funny.

Well, who the heck knew that a cute little poem about bubbles and cauldrons would make the poor guy loose his ever-loving mind? Actually, I suspect he did that a long time ago, but my little joke certainly did set him off.

According to Zeke, copying and pasting a Wiccan chant makes me a witch! In fact, he has dedicated an entire page to me on his blog, entitled, Lottie the Witch! I’ve been called a lot of things, but never a witch. Not in the literal sense, anyway.

I’m absolutely charmed!

But I’m a little worried too. Because later in the comments section, I copied and pasted a Bible verse. I’m thinking that if Zeke is right, then following his logic, I am now a Christian. Only I don’t want to be a Christian. I’ve done that before and it didn’t work out. Being atheist was fine, but I was getting a little bored with it, so being a witch would actually have been a refreshing change of pace. All the spells and incantations… It was going to be a lot of fun.

So now what? Do I get to keep being a witch since I copied and pasted a Wiccan chant? Do I have be a Christian again because I copied and pasted a Bible verse? Or maybe the bible verse just cancels out the chant and I can go back to being a boring atheist with nothing to live for.

Damn!

I think I know how to solve this:

Teh Stupid! It burns! These goggles, they do nothing!

There, now I’ve quoted an atheist. And that’s no copy and paste job! I typed it all out, letter by letter, just to be extra sure that I’m really back to being atheist. Phrew! That was close. It’s great to be back to my old self.

And now that I’m back to my old self, let me tell you how deluded my buddy, Zeke, is. After I blacklisted his name and IP address so that all his spam comments and threats started going directly where they belong, he started emailing me the same shit through my contact page. In one of the emails he asks:

Whats with the multiple WordPress usernames you have all on the same IP?

There are a couple of problems with this. One, I have one username and no one else uses this computer. Two, I have not commented on his blog or corresponded with him in any way that would allow him access to my IP address. This was quite deliberate on my part.

Given that he’s asked this privately via email, it couldn’t be that he’s deliberately bullshitting to try and make me look bad somehow. So, I can only assume that he actually believes it.

<cue Twilight Zone music>

But wait there’s more! Zeke either has several other blogs or a few buddies who are just as, uh, confused, shall we say, as he is. I received a pingback from one of them and another one is so outraged, he’s reported my evil deeds to WordPress! How dare they allow witches to cast spells on decent Christian folks?! WordPress should only allow Christians to cast prayers on any moving target that strikes their fancy, and threaten people with eternal damnation for not believing in their invisible deity.

Yes, something must be done about Lottie the Witch, at once! Burn her at the stake, if they must, but stop her! Stop her now!

But here’s the part that really confuses me: Zeke claims that there is no power apart from Jesus which means that my so-called witchcraft can’t do jack. So then why all the outrage? Why piss and moan and complain to WordPress? Not that I’m a bit worried, mind you; it just doesn’t make sense.

Why go to so much trouble to stop someone from doing something that isn’t really doing anything anyway? Do they need WordPress as back up in case Jesus doesn’t come through and protect them from the witchcraft that doesn’t have any power in the first place?

It’s all very confusing.

I suppose I should actually thank ‘them’, though. All the links and hits I’m getting from them will help boost my Google rankings. Come to think of it, they’re actually helping me promote my Evil Atheist Agenda! Oh dear! Do you suppose that means they’re all atheists now?

I could make a special page entitled, Zeke And Friends: Evil Atheists. Or should I give them each their very own pages? What do you guys think?

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Traditional Marriage

traditional_marriage

Courtesy of Bill Mutranowski


Talk Me Down!

Barack Obama has chosen Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday defended his choice of a popular evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, rejecting criticism that it slights gays. The selection of Pastor Rick Warren brought objections from gay rights advocates, who strongly supported Obama during the election campaign. The advocates are angry over Warren’s backing of a California ballot initiative banning gay marriage. That measure was approved by voters last month.

Associated Press

Did you hear that? It was the sound of my heart dropping.

Why this pastor? Just because he invited Obama to speak at his church? I don’t think that’s a good reason at all.

Pastor Warren, while enjoying a reputation as a moderate based on his affable personality and his church’s engagement on issues like AIDS in Africa, has said that the real difference between James Dobson and himself is one of tone rather than substance. He has recently compared marriage by loving and committed same-sex couples to incest and pedophilia. He has repeated the Religious Right’s big lie that supporters of equality for gay Americans are out to silence pastors. He has called Christians who advance a social gospel Marxists. He is adamantly opposed to women having a legal right to choose an abortion.

People for the American Way

I understand that Obama wants to bring people together and create an atmosphere in which we can disagree without being disagreeable. I want that too! But Warren is not a person who respectfully disagrees with the views and opinions of others. He has compared gay marriage to incest and pedophilia for crying out loud! He has compared abortion to the Holocaust! He supports, promotes and actively campaigns for legalized discrimination and against civil rights. He has made a career of being divisive and he believes that his religious beliefs are the only way to gauge right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral.

Rick Warren does not represent unity in any way, shape or form, or by any stretch of the imagination. I am confused and even offended by Obama’s decision to have this man deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

Can anyone talk me down? Should I be talked down?

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On