I’m Not a Reddit Atheist…

Quite a while ago, I was having a conversation on someone’s Facebook something on Facebook. Who knows what it was. Basically it was me, the atheist, talking to some other people who were probably Christians about something religion-related. (Lol I’m bad at this. This idea is from months ago and I’m just now sitting down to write it Thanksgiving night. XD)

During the course of this conversation, one of the (I think) Christians said something to me along the lines of “Go back to Reddit.” I didn’t think it was a very nice thing to say. Partly because I’m almost certain they meant it as an insult, but also because Reddit atheists have a reputation for being sort of jerkfaceish.

Obviously there’s nothing inherently wrong with Reddit or r/atheism or the fact that Reddit is commonly associated with atheists. To the contrary, I think it’s great that a fairly well-known website has a reputation for atheist association–it increases the visibility of atheists in wider culture.

However, Reddit atheism (not talking about the specific board r/atheism just atheists on Reddit in general) is thought of as overly simplistic, overly aggressive, and somewhat thoughtless. It seems like an echo chamber for some of the fresher atheists who are still very bitter toward religion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m bitter about religion, but the stereotypical traits of Reddit atheism don’t really apply to me in a broader sense. And I don’t even use Reddit. I’ve been there maybe a grand total of four times, when I’ve been linked there from other places. It’s just not my type of site. Continue reading “I’m Not a Reddit Atheist…”

Winter Holidays 2013

It’s almost Thanksgiving, so you know we’re about to hit that time of year when Christians insist that there’s a “War on Christmas” and start saying ridiculously inane things like “Keep the Christ in Christmas!”

There are whole websites (kind of) dedicated to blacklisting any business or organization that has the audacity to say something more inclusive, like “Happy Holidays!” I know I’ve seen posts from family members in previous years about how more people should be “unashamed” of greeting people with the specifically Christian holiday phrase.

To combat this silliness, I’ve compiled a list of some of the other holidays also happening around this time of year. Hold on to your hats, Christians, because you aren’t the only people with a special day in December: Continue reading “Winter Holidays 2013”

"Mystery ‘Angel’ Priest Appears at Missouri Car Crash"

Looking through my Facebook front page, I noticed one of my family members shared an article about this. Basically, in Missouri, this car wreck happened in which a young woman was pinned in a mangled car.

This process was apparently stressful, so the woman asked for someone to pray out loud. A priest showed up, anointed her with oil and prayed over her. After the rescuers freed the woman, they went to thank the priest and he was gone.
And apparently he isn’t in any of the pictures that were taken during the event.
So people are asking if he’s an angel, thinking he’s a mystery, wondering where he came from and where he went.
My initial response to this was: Leave it to a holy man to show up after the tragedy has already occurred and leave without doing anything actually useful.

Seriously, why would anyone thank this priest for saying some words and putting oil on her? The rescuers and the woman got very lucky in that she was freed and survived (though she’s reportedly in serious condition). 

Yeah, it could be said that comfort in these situations could be helpful, but still, why are we giving this priest credit for work that he didn’t do? In fact, for doing nothing to help, keeping the rescuers from just doing their job (because I’m sure they stopped to let him pray over her), and perpetuating the false notions of religion and theism?
And why are there a bunch of ignorant people asking if he’s an angel? Oh, right, because we live in a century in which people fucking believe in angels.

**EDIT: The priest didn’t actually impede the rescue; apparently the rescue team was waiting for another team to show up with some equipment when the priest prayed.**

Women Leaving Atheism

In an attempt to turn this blog into something more than a diary where I complain about how awful everything is, here’s a post that matters.

Going through my updated RSS feed, I stumbled on this Pharyngula post about Natalie Reed leaving FTB. This is the second person I’ve ‘known’ who left Freethought Blogs. The other is Jen McCreight on Blag Hag. My dad stopped keeping up with atheism news because of the negativity and ended up shutting his Atheist Neighbor blog and network down for various reasons.

The negativity is really awful for some people. I don’t really notice a big difference in my own moods based on whether or not I’m exposed to whatever crap is happening in the world. I’m definitely fortunate in that I haven’t achieved much notoriety and thus don’t get harassed regularly like some of my fellows. It’s easier for me to be emotionally detached since I’m viewing as a third-party. Continue reading “Women Leaving Atheism”

Religion and Family

My grandmother is in town from out-of-state. She believes in a god, intelligent design, souls, and reincarnation. I visited with her and my aunt earlier this week. My aunt considers herself a non-denominational Christian.

I posted on Facebook on Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) about how I thought Lent was silly. I posed a question asking why people choose to give something up, and asking if anyone had learned anything by this in the past. The post sparked an interesting conversation, in which my aunt and another family member posted their pro-lent ‘whys’ and a couple of my friends posted some lengthy (more atheist) responses. Apparently my family members considered a lot of what my friends said unnecessarily aggressive.

At lunch with my aunt and grandmother, this post was brought up in conversation. I listened and responded quite calmly, and defended my friends’ comments. I agree with my friend in almost all he said, possibly not his approach, but certainly his intent. My aunt repeated her meaning to me, saying that Lent is a chance to give back to your Creator, who sacrificed his life for you. Continue reading “Religion and Family”

“See You At The Pole!”

The school I currently attend and the school I transferred from both have this event called “See You At The Pole.” If you’ve never heard of it, SYATP is an event where assumably Christian students gather before school around a flagpole and sing/pray/whatever. Having the opinions I do about religion, I’ve never attended one of these gatherings.

During my English class this week, a fellow student asked me if I wanted one of the wristbands that they’ve been handing out, “since [I’m] so open-minded.” I politely declined, adding that my mind was once open to religion, but I no longer feel the need. He tried pushing the issue. Continue reading ““See You At The Pole!””

Day of Silence

Today is the GLSEN sponsored Day of Silence. I’ll quote the little card pinned to my chest today.

“Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.”

Most people in the LGBT community already know about the event and what it’s for. This is the 10th Day of Silence that GLSEN has endorsed, which I would assume means that it’s the 10th official DOS. I’ve done DOS every year for three years, since I was introduced to the gay community.

Last year, I remember reading about Day of Truth. The hate group Exodus International started it as a counter-argument to the Day of Silence. Their goal was to profess to the masses the ‘truth’ about love. I was disgusted and irritated. This year, Focus on the Family is retaking Day of Truth and turning it into Day of Dialogue, which can either be observed today or Monday. They are taking a more peaceful and less controversial course of action in having students hand out conversation cards and encouraging a Dialogue.

Continue reading “Day of Silence”