2013: Atheist Resolutions

I already posted my generic list of goals elsewhere, but I have a second list that needs to be here:

1. I will not back down from correcting anyone who mislabels Atheism as anything but a disbelief in the supernatural.  It is not Satanism, Paganism, anti-religious etc

2. I will continue to spread memes with a secular message and not comment on them. (see #3)

3. I will no longer waste my time debating with extremists who cannot be educated beyond their current level.  There is no point and I am wasting my energy.

4. I will put more energy into positive things this year like charities.  Leading by example and proving the adage that “millions are good without god”.

5. I will open my heart and help to any agnostic or atheist person who finds they have no one to speak to.  You are not nearly as alone as you may feel. ❤

6. I will take control over my future.  After all, you only get ONE life, best not waste it.

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Some kid called me a terrorist cause I was dressed like one.

So I recently became aware of this tumblr post from last month:
http://imperfectwriting.tumblr.com/post/33933007179/i-went-to-the-mall-and-a-little-girl-called-me-a

In it, a middle class white girl complains how she wore a Hijab to the mall just to see if she was treated differently and oh guess what, she was. Shock and awe! According to her tale of whitegirlwoe, she even got called a terrorist by some little kid who, I can only assume, is raised in a house with too much FOX news. (Author’s note: I obviously don’t think all Muslim women are terrorists. But FOX fans probably do. :*)

I would have skimmed past this little jewel if it wasn’t being spread everywhere with some silly message about how we should stop judging people based on their religious choices. Repeat.. CHOICES.

Look, I’m all for equality among humanity. Being born in a random part of the world with a random skin color, sex or language shouldn’t automatically classify you as less than human. The problem is, it’s RELIGION that’s fueling most of the hate between humans who are otherwise similar in tongue, skin tones and culture, not the other way around. So when I see religious people complain that people are judging them, it just makes me laugh.

In this case, it was a kid playing dress up in an orthodox religious costume.

So here’s my simple solution:
IF you want to be judged as an individual, don’t wear a uniform.

Don’t wear a team jersey and get mad when people give you feedback about the team. Don’t wear a KKK robe and say people shouldn’t “assume” you’re a racist. If you choose to go out into society wearing the uniform/logo/badge of an organization, then you are responsible for the consequences. Does it excuse rudeness? No. But it doesn’t mean that everyone who looks at you funny or treats you “differently” automatically hates you just because you’re different. Maybe they dislike who you’ve chosen to openly support. And wearing a hijab in America where you don’t have Sharia law forcing it upon you, is your choice and is you showing support for a religion that has a very long history of violence and hate for everyone that wont conform to it. That’s your freedom, you can wear one if you want. But don’t get an attitude when people treat you different than everyone else.

The “War” on Christmas

First off, if you didn’t see Jon Stewart last night, you should. I couldn’t stop laughing.

Second, will this tired argument ever go away? Look kiddies, there is no “war on Christmas”. Stop making shit up so you can pretend your majority group is being oppressed. As an Atheist who grew up Catholic, I still celebrate the Winter in my house. And funny enough, I am the one who gets told I’m not “allowed” to celebrate. But that all aside since I could give two shits what my evangelical distant relatives think of whose “permission” I need to celebrate something they think they copyrighted.

Christians are December Hipsters. They seem to think that this Jesus fellow invented the holiday and patented it. If there isn’t a church telling you how to erect a manger scene or when you’re supposed to put in the baby Jesus, there’s another church telling you that lights and tinsel are heathen decorations. It seems every Christian church out there has their own way of celebrating and their own stubborn way of insisting everyone else do it “the right way” too. You guys are sucking all the fun out of the holiday which, if I remember correctly from childhood, was SUPPOSED to be about love, family, friends and celebrating Jesus. The only thing that changed for me was the supernatural aspect.

So, here’s a quick history lesson for all the Christ-hipsters out there who insist on declaring ownership rights and first dibs on December celebrations.
1. According to science, math, historical calculations and most theists with a degree in religious history nowadays: Jesus wasn’t BORN in December. He was most likely born around April. So for all you belly aching about not putting Jesus in the manger setup until December 25th, stfu please. Besides, that whole manger story isn’t even IN the Bible. Most of that tale, along with the drummer boy and Frosty and Rudolph. is based on children’s stories and Christmas carols that you’ve been singing so long you forgot who wrote them.
2. Celebrating the change in seasons isn’t something Christians invented. The real reason Christmas (along with Hannukah, Boxing Day, and various Feasts and saints days etc) is celebrated around the Solstice is BECAUSE it’s the Winter Solstice. And we’ve been celebrating that little astrological change as long as we had stargazing ancestors. It’s also the reason that unless you truly live in a vacuum of only Christian friends and family and neighbors, that the polite greeting to strangers this season is “Happy Holidays”. Forcing other crap on them is as dumb as wishing random people “Happy Birthday” and hoping you get it right.
3. I know every religion past, present and future wants to pretend it’s the main course and everything before it was just an appetizer, but you’re not. Fact is, human beings have always imagined gods and godesses to replace their gaps in knowledge. Whether it was the origin of life or lightning. And as those people gain knowledge, they lose the need for supernatural explanations. So as the religions changed and the cultures changed and people began dominating one another and taking over sections of land, they started adapting old religions and gods into their own. I know some of you hate the term “evolution” but that’s what it is. Your religion, like your DNA, is just a product of thousands of years of evolutionary change. Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus. He isn’t “the reason for the season”. He is, more accurately, the excuse for the hijacking of preexisting celebrations in previously non-Christian nations.

Finally, as a side note to Bill O’Reilly, you’re adorable sweetie. I cannot believe that you just announced on National television that you think Christianity isn’t a religion. If this is really the case and you REALLY think it’s “just a philosophy”, I would be delighted to add your name to the list of concerned Americans who would like to see all the pretend churches lose their tax exempt status. After all, if it’s just a philosophy, why treat it as special case when profits are concerned? Why defend some bully’s “religious right” to harass homosexual classmates. And why cry “religious persecution” when you’re told that a publicly tax-funded park shouldn’t have Christian paraphernalia all over it? Well Bill, let me know.

Thoughts On Libya and Israel

I still wonder why a minority of about 11% of the country still has such powerful influence on American politics? There are larger minority groups that get ignored and/or treated like crap while Israel is still some “top priority” issue. Why are we, a baby new country on the grand scale, so indebted to a tiny middle east country involved in a 2000 year old war over some silly “holy” land? I don’t get it. Innocent Americans keep getting killed in the crossfire in what is essentially a fail holy war between two religious factions fighting over their “rights” to some supposed “holy” sandbox. And meanwhile anyone who helps either side keeps dragging their entire region/culture down the hole.

I am an American speaking for the 13% Atheist community with ZERO vested interest in Jews or Muslims who would like to stop living in fear of being killed in the crossfire of this religious gang violence. You wanna blame someone for Libya, how about we start back at our pointless INVOLVEMENT in the Middle East to begin with? Muslim terrorist aren’t mad at America cause we’re “trying to steal their oil” lol.. The terrorists are mad that we 1. claim to be a “Christian nation” and let Evangelicals take over our Military one chaplain at a time and 2. defend Israel every time she whines for help. How about you stop pretending this is a “political” or “economic” war and face facts. Without the religious differences between Christians, Muslims and Jews there would be NO reason for Hamas or Al Quaeda etc. You’d be acting like the neighbors and communities you are.

Next time I hear a theist of one of the Abrahamic religions blame ANYONE but themselves for this crap I am going to scream. Bitches need to shut up and go READ The books they pretend to follow. You’re all the same religion, based on the same God. Just too loyal to your own version of spin off fanfiction to realize it.  Gaza Strip isn’t the site of some genocide race war.  It’s a civil war between neighbors who only hate each other based on how they pronounce god and which prophet they think was right.

Please Stop

I have seen these around for years on the subway lines and buses here in New York.  This bit of Theist Graffitti:

Imageand I have up until recently just laughed and ignored it.  But today on my trip to the city and back home, I saw it no less than 15 times.  Once even scribbled in a speech bubble on a college advertisement.  And so, as I seethed on the train ride home, clutching my red Sharpie and actively willing myself to not write N O over those empty headed demands, I hatched a plan.  

You see, there was a time not too long ago when I was part of a Guerrilla advertising campaign with Anonymous to rally against Scientology.  Part of me misses that thrill and the excitement that knowing we were actually helping inform random strangers.  So I planned a few stickers to carry on my person in case I come across anymore of these asinine theist demands that one “pray”.  First there will be a smaller sticker that just says “THINK.” which will cover and replace the word Pray.  Second, I will make a set of stickers which read “Millions are Good without God.”  and lastly, for those particularly vile spammers who litter entire cars advertising their local churches, I will print up “Religion Poisons Everything” stickers.  Yes, I will surly offend some people.  But I will rest easily knowing no one else will have to see “Please Pray” and want to vomit. 😛

America is a Secular Nation.  Always has been and always will be.

Tax The Rich? Sure, Let’s Start at the Collection Plate

All this talk swirls around every election about how corporations are evil and CEOs are selfish. And people demand with foam in their mouth that these greedy companies need to care more about the environment. Give back to the poor. Pay a fairer share of federal tax. Give back to the American Economy instead of investing so much overseas. etc etc
And I agree with you. There is such a thing as excessive wealth. And this is a shared space, we all built it together. Whether it’s the farmer whose work fed your children or the public school system that educated them or the public roads and buildings they now use for work. So yes, if you succeeded, you did not do it alone.

But here’s a large economic drain that NO ONE seems to talk about: Church tax exemption. Quick history lesson, does anyone know why churches are afforded tax free privileges? It’s because 200 years ago churches in this country were running soup kitchens. Giving beds to the homeless. Orphans were dropped off on chapel doorsteps and raised by nuns. So, sure, we all agreed as a secular community, to let non profit organizations stay tax exempt. After all, they were not in business for the money.

Fast forward to today. Scientology has 46 front groups (mostly fake drug rehab spas and printing houses for L. Ron Hubbard’s crappy books) which raise money specifically for the “church” of Scientology. A business started by a sci fi writer who himself said 60 years ago “if a man wants to make a million dollars, he should start a church”.

We also have the Televangelists of today. Practically begging for money every time they open their mouths. Telling people that the world is ending soon so why hold on to your hard earned money? Well, why would the “church” need it? You can’t take it with you when you die, so why would these TV Show preachers need to amass millions each year? Probably because they don’t believe the world is ending. So now you’re just giving your money to someone who lied to you. These despicable people are the used car salesmen of the faithful.

And lastly, we have the Mormon Church (aka LDS). Created little over a century ago by an illiterate, racist slave owner who wanted to be a polygamist. This never-was-a-real-church has swindled countless morons out of their money by insisting on necessary donations and going door to door like vacuum sales men. And have they used this vast wealth to help the poor? Feed the hungry? Build new schools? No. They have invested billions through “superPACS” and “Coalitions” see also: FRONT GROUPS to play politics. Overturning laws in Hawaii and California by throwing ill-gotten gains into advertising. And now they are helping fund a presidential candidate. A faceless suit filler with no personality of his own.

So yes, by all means. Let’s tax the rich. But I say, let’s start with the 78 BILLION wasted each year by allowing churches to stay tax free even when they do little to nothing for the community. I think all non profits should have to prove that they have given back every year and reapply for tax exemption EVERY year. If you want to run yourself like a corporation and build your gilded towers and fund your church yacht parties, then you should have to pay a tax on that lifestyle like everyone else.

Unconstitutional

That word is a mouthful.  Here’s a fun game:

Open Google. Search for “Unconstitutional State Law”.  See the horror.

Once upon a time, our country was divided.  Back before cars, trains or planes.  When people were born and died in one county.  Where family businesses were owned and operated for generations on the same tract of land.  Now some people think these were “the good old days”  I see them as the dark ages.  You know what happens when people don’t have TV or the Internet to expose them daily to other cultures?  They become narrow minded.

So sure, maybe the corn farmer in Nebraska doesn’t NEED to know who the president of Libya is.  Hell I don’t even know if Libya has a president.  And that doesn’t make anyone a bad person or a moron.  People have limited time and resources.  You can’t possibly KNOW everything there is to know about everything.  But you can, however, be self aware.  Self aware of your lack of knowledge.  You can be aware that there are other cultures, religions and races outside your small community.  And you can realize that we all SHARE this planet and this country and, yes, even the state.

So that’s why we have a US Constitution.  It’s not perfect.  But the idea that there are inalienable human rights not to be violated should reign supreme.  It’s a philosophical debate as old as time.

So does it upset me in this day to see states living by archaic ideas?  To see local governments that require elected officials to be theist: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2009/12/15/which-states-ban-atheists-from-holding-public-office/

To see local governments pushing religious ideas into public schools: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/aclu-ind-creationism-bill-is-unconstitutional

To see that many states still tell privately owned business when they can be open on Sunday and what they are allowed to sell. everystateever. :3

I know democracy isn’t perfect.  And this is just an example of “tyranny of the majority”.  But there are certain rights guaranteed ALL citizens, no matter where they live.  Free speech.  Freedom of (and FROM) religion.  Free Enterprise.  etc.  And the Federal Constitution should and always has trumped State constitutions.

So Ron Paul supporters, I ask you this: Why do you still insist on saying silly things like “If you don’t like the Sate’s laws, just move” when I can so readily reply “If you don’t like the Federal constitution, then why are you part of the United States?”

States who wish to maintain the freedoms and protections and tax funded benefits of the US Government have to abide by the Constitution.  It’s a simple idea really. So STOP fighting it.