Monday, June 6, 2011

Someone is about to die in my family

It was bound to happen. An extended family member has an inoperable type of fast acting cancer and she'll be gone soon. Perhaps within the year. That means there will be a Christian funeral of the evangelical kind. The worst. Argh.

I've been to many funerals. They all seem to start innocuous at first. There's the eulogy and the friends/family that share their fondest memories. If it stopped right there I would be fine with it; but it goes on. With no exception every service is spent on proselytizing for Jesus. To this day I have yet to understand this. Most of the mourners are already Christian, especially if the dead guy is old. I've looked around during this particular time of the funeral and most people are not paying attention. It's usually the people in the front row, bowing their heads and exclaiming at every other word "Amen!" being totally oblivious to the bored people around them. The hubris of these people and of the minister is astounding to think that someone might find Jesus at the funeral. It rude to think that someone may need Jesus during this time...or is it done on purpose?  If so, then that is especially disgusting to me.

The last funeral I attended was for an ancient Aunt who had a very tough life and died with dementia and was blind. I felt very bad for her. I already knew that I was going to be held prisoner for a few minutes and felt that it wouldn't be much of a problem so I went. Big mistake. It was a total waste of my time and I gained nothing out of it. I felt gross and disgusted afterwards and promised myself never to do it again. Never. No exceptions.

This particular relative that is dying has been exceptionally ugly to me. Not to my face, mind you. That's not the Christian way, at least not in my family. Everyone talks about everyone else behind their backs. Many years ago I decided to stop having anything to do with them and their little childish immoral activities. So there's that. But there is also the fact that I don't want to go to another Christian funeral. There is absolutely no regard to non-Christians and I'm tired of wasting my valuable time, usually a whole fucking day, to be a warm body in a church.

So I'm not going to anymore Christian funerals. And most especially this one.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My New Motto

"Atheism is not a religion, it's a personal relationship with reality." - Comment posted at Greta Christina's Blog by "Dr. Dave."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Look, new blog

It's been a few months since I posted anything on my old blog. One reason is my sister had found it though my twitter account and it seemed to extinguish any hopes of her wanting to have a positive relationship with me. Not that I can blame her; this blog can be seen as hostile towards people who believe in god. And she a believer; hook, line, and sinker.

I have reason to believe that she has told others in the extended family about my blog. And that's OK. Unfortunately the result is they think I'm the kind of person that will antagonize them with my "horrible" atheistic views. Funny, that's something I've never ever done to anyone in my family.

There are several characteristics that are common in fundamental evangelical Christians (FEC) that are pervasive in my family. Three which come to mind are arrogance, close-mindedness, and the ability to be offended at the slightest provocation. Since I'm the kind of person who is open and honest to a fault FEC's can't stand being around me. I know this for a fact, I've tested it.

But there is another reason the FEC's in my life don't like me. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that atheists are still the most disliked minority group in the US. Here is a sampling of the survey:

I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group....

Atheist: 47.6%
Muslim: 33.5%
African-American 27.2%
Asian-Americans: 18.5%
Hispanics: 18.5%
Jews: 11.8%
Conservative Christians: 6.9%
Whites: 2.3%

The biggest glaring fact this survey shows is bigotry is very much alive and well in America. I guess that's not a big secret. The next fact that I see is that 47.6% of Americans have no idea what an atheist is.

This is a common thread I see in other atheist's blogs where they are shunned by family. Love of an unseen, unproven God and the corresponding religion trumps the love of the atheist family member. In fact, within my family and I suspect others as well, there is no attempt to educate oneself as to what and atheist/freethinker/humanist is and what ethics they embrace. In other words there is no attempt to get to know the atheist or to find an "excuse" to love them.

I'm not sure what my relatives think of me. I suspect they think I'm a bad and terrible person. Why they think this of me I have no idea. I've always been nice and cordial and I've always behaved in a normal way around them. I've laughed at their jokes, made a few of my own, I've cried at funerals, and have made a point to "fit in" to a certain degree. I do have to say that I've always felt like an outsider. A quality that I think one is born with and no amount of indoctrination can overcome. I was a nerd, a geek, different. The atheism is a byproduct of my differentism.

I know. I have written this "family thing" to death on my blog. My husband has grown weary of my complaints and, over the past year, they have all but stopped. The contact I have with the FEC's are nonexistent at best and I think they are happy with the situation too. In fact, with no much to go on, I'm absolutely sure of it!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thoughts to ponder

I came across this video from a young black atheist who ponders why poor people believe in god and what the consequences are in believing in said god. He makes some very good points, all of which I have seen in my family of origin.

One of the major harms in believing in god is the mistrust is encourages in academia and in science. I admit that whenever I hear about a new discovery I will be skeptical until I either read more about it or experience it myself. Believers don't do this. They follow the "status quo" of their church or the others in their in-group. My first hand experience has been when talking to a member of my family of origin about the death penalty I was told that no matter what evidence I provided her mind was not going to change. The fact that she was adamantly unwilling to listen to another POV or reconsider a position taken by her church and community speaks volumes of the control that religion (belief in god) has over people.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crazy things religion will make one do

Polk woman who died alone while fasting was following God's call, husband says

So on Feb. 7, she locked herself in a bedroom to pray and fast. She brought water and prayer requests and told her husband not to bother her.
"This is what I have to do," she told him.
For more than three weeks, Boyd, 55, didn't emerge. Her family could have come to her aid if she needed help, but her husband wanted to respect her wish to be alone. He figured she'd be okay, just like the last four times she fasted.
But on the 26th day, family members forced the door open. They found her dead.
Another good reason to be an atheist!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Myths of Atheism dispelled nicely

This is a video that would help my super-duper religious relatives understand how much they have misunderstood me and the position of atheism in general.

I don't live in a vacuum and do realize that my super-duper religious relatives ever understanding me is a pipe dream at best. I get it. My facebook experiment was a tremendous success in my mind. I figured I'd be able to friend many of my super-duper religious relatives but I also figured many of them would either drop my friendship, block me, or just ignore me. Except for a couple of exceptions, mostly from people who are not close relatives, I have been right about how my super-duper religious relatives have treated me. It's been a sad experience but one which I can slam the door on for good.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to believe in god

From an article by Sam Harris at the Washington Post in the On Faith section Harris details how to trick oneself into believing in something that rationally cannot exist:

How to Believe in God
Six Easy Steps

1. First, you must want to believe in God.
2. Next, understand that believing in God in the absence of evidence is especially noble.
3. Then, realize that the human ability to believe in God in the absence of evidence might itself constitute evidence for the existence of God.
4. Now consider any need for further evidence (both in yourself and in others) to be a form of temptation, spiritually unhealthy, or a corruption of the intellect.
5. Refer to steps 2-4 as acts of “faith.”
6. Return to 2.

Like Harris says, this method has worked for billions, and it will work for you too.

Giving up my god-belief wasn't as hard for me as some because I never saw what was noble about believing in childish things like the virgin birth or the resurrection. I remember being embarrassed for the people who would walk up to the preacher to accept Jesus. Jesus was the same as Santa Claus or the tooth fairy to me, just as unbelievable and just as silly. When I experience that arrogance from some of my super-duper religious relatives I have to cringe inside. How does believing in or having faith in something so incredible make them better than me? It doesn't. To me they seem gullible and a bit dumb. There's nothing noble about that.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Atheist Meme of the Day

"We don't know anything for sure, therefore it's reasonable to believe in religion" is a terrible argument. Even though we can almost never have certain knowledge, we can still evaluate evidence and make reasonable conclusions about what's probably true. And there's no good evidence suggesting that any religion is probable, or even plausible."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why I am Pro-choice and Pro-woman's rights

I've had a concern troll making comments on my abortion post which made me want to clarify my position. I deleted his posts (I'm assuming this was a man) because the information he posted was irrelevant and added nothing to the argument of freedom of choice. All of what he posted was false information anyway.

Most of my friends are pro-choice and we have all talked about this subject a great deal. None of us are FOR abortions. In a perfect world it would be a wonderful to wake up and have complete control of our reproductive systems. In this perfect world we would also have complete control of our personal lives and the people around us so our pregnancy would be a wonderful and trouble-free experience. You know, without some guy running out on us or abusing us or withholding affection just because of an unexpected pregnancy. What a great world it would be to have perfect health insurance and be guaranteed nothing terrible would happen.

Unfortunately that is not reality. Many of us are fortunate and have wonderful experiences getting pregnant and raising a family. Many of us are not. I was one of those. My ex-husband and I planned to get pregnant and when I did he copped out and claimed he wanted nothing more to do with me. I was unemployed, scared and alone. I had no money, no family, and no support. I was devastated and in no condition emotionally or physically to go through a full term pregnancy. I sought out many solutions but the best one for me was to start over. I don't remember where I went but I do remember the women at the clinic being understanding and compassionate. I was made aware of my choices and my risks and I never regretted my decision.

There are many stories like that and more. The circumstances don't matter. What matters is that women are able to get an abortion that is safe and legal. Once this procedure becomes illegal it becomes unsafe and deadly. Why? Because if a woman needs to end a pregnancy for whatever reason she will find a way to get one. That might mean trying to induce a miscarriage on her own by taking a chemical that might kill her or harm her, or she may use another way where she could bleed to death. What is certain is if a woman wants an abortion making it illegal won't keep her from trying to end an unwanted pregnancy.

This is why I'm pro-choice. The reason I am pro-woman is because I want my sisters to have choices: safe, healthy choices that will give them and their families the best life has to offer.

That's it. I don't care one bit if anti-choicers think a zygote is really a person. I don't care if a women has had 6 abortions. I don't care that anti-choicers think this is some sort of conspiracy or tyranny. I don't care, I don't care, I don't care. The only thing that matters is that women have a choice to do whatever they want with their bodies and that it is legal and safe. If you don't want an abortion, don't get one. That is your choice.