Posts Tagged 'LGBT'

I’m Elated to Be an Atheist

There were a couple of threads on Reddit a little while back about how atheists should talk more about how great it is to become an atheist after being stuck in religious thought for so long. This is something that I think atheists should really advertise, because too often it seems that people who self-identify as atheists are perceived as always just living and thinking in opposition of something. Although it’s true that atheism is purely the rejection of theism, it also, at least in my experience, opens up a whole new world of discovery and possibilities.

As a theist I always had this sense that my thoughts were constantly being monitored, and that my actions were always being judged by big brother up there in the sky. It’s not fun to worry all the time about pissing god off. If I thought a bad thought about somebody I would immediately have this feeling of guilt and dread, and I would pray for forgiveness. I wasn’t actually sure if my religion taught that your thoughts are being policed, but at one point I scoured the Bible to try to find something that said that your bad thoughts don’t count against you, but just in case I made sure that I asked for forgiveness about anything that could count against me. I was scared of hell, y’all, you understand.

Aside from worrying about my own eternal damnation, I was also concerned about my friends and family going to hell. How could I guarantee that they all did the right things so that they could get into heaven with me? Did my grampa accept Jesus as his personal lord and saviour? Did my gay brother guarantee a ticket to hell just for being himself? In highschool a boy on my swim team died by suicide – I must have prayed every night for a year that he wouldn’t be punished for taking his life.

I also feel like I had less of a sense of wonder about the world as a theist. When I would see something like a photo of a beautiful nebula or a video of a coral reef, I would thing “wow, what an imagination that god has.” And the curiosity for how those things got there just didn’t exist. When I believed that god could just magic anything into existence, there just wasn’t that much mystery about the world.

For these reasons and more, the moment I realized that I no longer believed in my God or any other gods was one of the most freeing feelings I had ever experienced. Seriously! For that first few months I would get choked up reading about evolution or listening to podcasts about astronomy. There was this whole world of science out there that I had never allowed myself to absorb. The universe became a giant mystery and my mind was no longer being monitored so I had the freedom to explore questions like “what is the frickin big bang anyways?” and “how did single-celled organisms turn into that beautiful coral reef?” and “what is gravity anyways?” People, gravity is amazing!

I love being able to think whatever I want now. I don’t have to worry about offending sky-daddy with my thoughts, and I can entertain any ideas without worrying about consequences. I also no longer waste time with prayers. People often say that prayer is a nice way to look back on the day and get a nice fuzzy feeling even if it doesn’t work, and that was true for some of my praying, but truthfully I had a lot of anxieties about praying. At my Bible study they would pray so formally, but I tended to just pray as if I was talking to a friend – was I doing it wrong? Was I offending God? I also worried that I would forget to pray for somebody, so my blessings would go on and on until I would just say “and anyone else I may have forgotten” – what a silly exercise! I would also be really careful about what I prayed for, because I worried that if I prayed for something and it didn’t come true that it meant that I wasn’t faithful, or wasn’t a True Christian (TM). No joke – in order to counter this worry that my prayers wouldn’t come true, I would build an out into my prayers. For example, “dear God, please let so-and-so get better, and if he/she doesn’t please be with his/her family in this difficult time, in Jesus name, amen.” I’m so happy that prayer is no longer a part of my life.

There are so many fun things about being an atheist that I just couldn’t experience as a Christian. It’s not that I lost my moral code and I’m just going to run wild now and start trampling over people who get in the way of my fun. I still know what right and wrong is, that had nothing to do with my god-belief. But now I can break all those ridiculous little rules that religion imposes on you that have no reason behind them other than “because god wouldn’t like that.” For example, swearing! Swearing is a wonderful thing. When you stub your toe, screaming “ffuuucckkkkk” is the best pain relief I can think of. Religion gives so much power to these completely harmless groupings of letters, and it’s not just the four-letter-word kind of swearing that I can enjoy now. I can also say “I swear to god” or “oh my god” now. I used to think that those were the worst things I could say, and I’m pretty sure it’s an unforgiveable sin to take the lord’s name in vain. I used to be so careful about not doing that, so it’s so fun to me now to be able to use those words without those silly worries. To give an example of how silly it got with me, my favourite band (The Tragically Hip) has this awesome song called New Orleans is Sinking, and there’s one part that goes “She says Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean She said, she said I swear to God she said” but when I sang along I used to go “She says Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean She said, she said hmm hmm hmm hmmm she said.” Come on, how ridiculous is that? As an atheist I even get to enjoy my favourite songs more!

It’s fantastic being an atheist, and no amount of badgering from a religious person is going to convince me that I’m not a hundred times happier now than I was as a god-believer. That’s why I think all atheist logos should look like this one:

Enlightning Bolts – 07.02.2010

Hi all, aside from responding to as many comments as I’ve been able to manage lately, I’ve been absent from the blog ever since I declared my will to stick with it. I have a good excuse though, and it’s not to do with frustrations this time. I bought a house! As anyone who has bought a house knows, it’s time consuming and stressful so I’ve opted for spending my internet time on things that hurt my brain less like xkcd and SMBC (if you haven’t yet discovered these wonderful web comics, you’re welcome).

So I thought I would share some Enlightning Bolts today, and I’ll post as frequently as possible during my move over the next couple of months.

***

I was sad to learn that outspoken atheist, and my favourite Vanity Fair columnist, Christopher Hitchens, has cancer. The press release is light on details, hopefully they caught it early enough and he is able to recover quickly.

***

Will Phillips is the ten-year-old activist who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in his classroom because there isn’t “liberty and justice for all” if gay couples don’t have the right to marry. He deserves a treat, don’t you think? Well, his birthday is coming up in September, why not donate a few dollars to help send this wonderful and deserving kid to DragonCon?

***

Should we or shouldn’t we be de-oiling birds in the Gulf?

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Jesus likes grilled cheese, but Buddha prefers termites (pictured).

Enlightning Bolts – January 14, 2010

I always end up with a bunch of items that I want to blog about but run out of time, so rather than just letting them fall to the wayside I’m going to start posting them all with my brief comments on a semi-regular basis.

I’m dubbing them Enlightning Bolts…Cheese-tastic!

Pat Robertson blames the Haitians for the tragic earthquake on TV, but the weird part is that the woman standing next to him doesn’t slap him for his despicable remarks. The Haitian ambassador responds perfectly. Why he should have to handle such thoughtless and hurtful remarks during such a hard time disgusts me. Shame on you, Pat Robertson.

The newest Bigfoot “evidence”: a dark figure appears in an IMAX film, nobody knows what it is, therefore Bigfoot.

Wyatt Cenac totally pwns some anti-gay marriage protesters in New Jersey: “It was just as our forefathers had envisioned. That one day, people who had been descriminated against for their religion or the colour of their skin, could come together to discriminate against people for their sexual orientation, without the slightest sense of irony.” (Canadians can watch here, sorry if you’re in the US, you’ll have to go to Comedy Central and look for the January 12th episode).

If you’re on Twitter, you should be following @lowflyingrocks, it’s fun with a tiny bit of terrifying! Yesterday, Astroid AL30 missed us by 135,000kms…that’s closer to us than the moon!

Phil Plait posted some jaw-dropping pictures of Mars (above right).

This website talks about why God is Imaginary. I like proofs 17 (Think About Leprechauns) and 48 (Compare prayer to a lucky horseshoe) best. (Thanks to misunderstoodranter for the link!) If you like that, you’ll love this. I like 50, 123, 376, bah they’re all good!

[If you have any items you'd like me to put in the next Enlightning Bolts, send them to me through the contact form or via Twitter @EnlightningLinZ]

The Manhattan Declaration

I don’t get on Twitter very often, but today I decided to check it out today, and thanks to Dave the Happy Singer‘s tweets, found out about this disgusting document called the Manhattan Declaration.

The subtitle of this document is “A Call of Christian Conscience”. If this document is any indication of the Christian conscience, well…I’m speechless.

Here are some exerpts from the declaration, but I suggest you read it yourself to get a glimpse into the mind of some of these people who are opposing gay marriage and womens’ rights to abortions, as well as trying to insert their religious beliefs into America’s secular government:

[...]the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Allowing gay marriage does not compel any person of faith to do anything. It’s as if they think that providing this right to someone else is tantamount to forcing them to marry someone of the same sex. Nobody is asking you to be gay! You don’t even have to like gay people, just let them have their rights and keep your nose out of their business.

For example, human embryo-destructive research and its public funding are promoted in the name of science and in the cause of developing treatments and cures for diseases and injuries.

Hmm, are they taking about stem-cell research? Honestly…if you’re going to oppose something, at least makes sure you understand what it is. Stem-cells used for research aren’t, and will never be, babies. And using them to develop treatments and cures, they say that like it’s a bad thing! I thought they were pro-life, yet they don’t want to allow for potentially life-saving research?

Oh dear FSM…they go on to equate stem-cell research with assisted suicide:

Eugenic notions such as the doctrine of lebensunwertes Leben (“life unworthy of life”) were first advanced in the 1920s by intellectuals in the elite salons of America and Europe. Long buried in ignominy after the horrors of the mid-20th century, they have returned from the grave. The only difference is that now the doctrines of the eugenicists are dressed up in the language of “liberty,” “autonomy,” and “choice.”

Wow, there are some parts of this document that I won’t even copy over to my blog, it’s gross.

Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society.

Does all persons include women? Because maybe they didn’t read about the possible lifting of the ban on spousal rape in the Bahamas, or maybe they missed the Islamic guide to beating your wife without leaving marks? The document talks about how we need to stop the spread of AIDS, do they think marriage does this? I guess they haven’t heard about unfaithful husbands in Africa bringing spreading AIDS to their wives. But I suppose they would say these people aren’t Christians…well the document quotes Ephesians 5:32-33. Did they happen to notice Ephesians 5:22-23? The part where it says that womens should submit to their husbands? I suppose that’s for their welfare. (barf).

At least they admit that they aren’t doing so well when it comes to marriages:

We confess with sadness that Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage and to model for the world the true meaning of marriage. Insofar as we have too easily embraced the culture of divorce and remained silent about social practices that undermine the dignity of marriage we repent, and call upon all Christians to do the same.

Maybe they’ll be able to model the true meaning of marriage by focusing on their own damn families, and by not worrying about what gay people are doing.

No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage. Marriage is an objective reality—a covenantal union of husband and wife—that it is the duty of the law to recognize and support for the sake of justice and the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow.

 #$&*%^$@#%$@%%#$*!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have no more words. I want to believe that most of the purported 333,642 people who have signed so far just got bored after the first paragraph and signed not realizing what it actually said, but give the United States’ record on gay rights, I doubt it.

[Note: Hopefully this hasn't been too incoherent...I've been listening to anti-atheist podcasts all day and now this, my brain is turning to mush]

The Slippery Slope of Gay Marriage

You may have already seen this comic if you read Pharyngula, but just in case you haven’t, here’s a fantastic comeback to the slippery slope argument against gay marriage:

You can find more fantastic comics like this one at  SMBC.

Something a Little Personal & Douchebag Campus Preachers

Hello readers, if you stop by here regularly enough you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting lately. This is because of stresses that are going on in my life right now. I have had plenty of time to blog, but I’m having difficulty concentrating so I have a zillion unfinished drafts of posts.

I just want to let you know that I’m going to try harder to focus. I have drafts that I intend on finishing, comments that I will respond to, and a hoax countdown that I will resume. I promise!

So this post isn’t a complete waste, there was an amusing picture posted on Friendly Atheist today:

What an ass, I’m glad those men are making him feel uncomfortable. He should feel uncomfortable. If he thinks that love (or even simply lust) between two consenting adults should be eternally punished he should be ashamed of himself. Do preachers really think they’ll win converts by displaying their bigotry like this? Especially at Yale, which is where this picture was taken.

And serious, WTF, Democrats? Feminists? And these are lumped in with Thieves? What a random assortment of words. I wonder how he narrowed it down. I wonder why gangster rappers, but not gangsters? I wonder why potheads, but not drug dealers?

Thankfully there’s no such place as Hell, because I’m at least 8 of those things.

Debate – The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World

I’m going to start this post by going off topic…

I love Stephen Fry. Until recently I didn’t know who he was, and then I started watching his In America series and was captivated by his curiosity and enthusiasm for everything. I was so sad once the series ended, but maybe he’ll do In Canada next!

stephenfry

Enough gushing…I heard that Fry was in this debate on the topic of whether or not the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world (pfft!), and I couldn’t wait to see it because I’m such a big fan of him, as well as of Christopher Hitchens, who would both be debating against the motion that the Catholic Church is a force for good…and also Stephen Fry tweeted this adorable tweet right before the debate:

Nervous as a kitten. Got to take part in a debate on the RC Church. Me and C Hitchens facing Anne Widdecombe +1 Don’t know why I’m so nervy.10:48 AM Oct 19th from Tweetie

(follow him @stephenfry or me @EnlightningLinZ)

The debate was on October 19th, but it was just recently put on YouTube so now you can watch it here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

You can read my thoughts on the debate after the jump (spoiler alert!)…But first, the opening vote from the people in attendance:

Motion: The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World
For: 678
Against: 1,102
Undecided:  346

Continue reading ‘Debate – The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World’

Leviticus, Homosexuality, and Haircuts

I love this picture (seen on AnyEveryNot):

leviticus gay

Another example (like my previous post about tattoos) of how homophobes pick the parts of the Bible that support their beliefs, and ignore the inconvenient parts.

I wanted to find the actual passage from the Bible on haircuts, but ended up stumbling upon something even better! Here’s a list of 11 things the Bible bans, but you do anyway.

It Might as well Just Say “I am a massive douchebag”

Apparantly this guy is so threatened by what goes on in other peoples’ bedrooms that he felt the need to permanently carve it into his skin:

anti gay tattoo

That’s the verse from the Bible that homophobes use to justify their hatred for a lifestyle that makes them feel uncomfortable:

Thou shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman.  It is an abomination.

Leviticus 18:22.

The Bible can be used to justify anything, and it’s such a mish-mash of rules and contradictory statements that people pretty much just pick and choose the parts that confirm what they already believe. Jesse Galef over at Friendly Atheist has pointed out what a beautiful example this tattoo is of cherry-picking the Bible:

Leviticus also forbids tattooing.  In the very next chapter.

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28″

How much do you wanna bet this guy’s never read the Bible?

I Hate Religion

I do, I hate it. Those are some strong words, but I truly experience hatred for religion. I don’t hate people who are religious, in fact I love many people who are religious. I don’t hate the believers, I hate the beliefs.

I’m watching an episode of the Tyra show right now (it’s a guilty pleasure, so sue me), and she has a lesbian couple on whose religious family does not want to attend their wedding. Bride-to-be Juliana’s mother Lia is vehemently opposed to her daughter’s relationship based solely on her religious beliefs.

Lia is clearly heart-broken because of her daughter’s homosexual relationship. Why wouldn’t she be? She thinks that her daughter is going to hell. That’s a scary thought, and you can see the terror in her face.

The only reason Lia believes that her daughter’s wedding is a mistake is because she has been indoctrinated to base her morality on some book, not even a good book, written thousands of years ago by goat-herders.

Religious beliefs lead to irrational, black and white views of right and wrong. I cannot think of any reason why two consenting adults who are in love with each other shouldn’t be able to get married. Yet the Bible says it’s wrong, so gay people continue to be discriminated against.

Look no further than the comments section of this Tyra show episode for examples of how irrational beliefs breed hatred:

I am so dissapointed in you………….May you rot in Hell!! It may have boosted your ratings but you should be ashamed of yourself!!! -Straight Mom

Tyra, I am a Christian, and it sounds like you may have been at one time. I am very disappointed in you I guess for pushing this christian women to attent a gay wedding even if it is her daughter. God is first. Gayism is an abomination in God’s eyes. This is an unforgiveable sin. Murder is forgiveable. If you have read the Bible you would know this. -Corinna

Tyra – I understand that you have to listen to all your guests and their situations, but the segment on gay marriages is just WRONG. I don’t care how many ways you twist it, it’s a sin against God. In Leviticus 18:22, it clearly says “Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin”. Not just a sin but a DESTESABLE SIN. It just can’t get any clearer than that. So when gays say they are born that way, they are saying that God made a mistake and we know God does not make mistakes. The Lord says “You must obey all my laws…Leviticus 19:19. For the daughter to sit there and cry begging her mom to go against her beliefs, is asking her to go against what God has commanded. -Deej

Tyra, you dummy this is an ABOMINATION!! Do you know God said you cannot enter into heaven with this?? It’s against His nature. Yes, there are other sins, but this you cannot go to heaven with, Tyra. -Sharon Taylor-Hamilton

There is a tendency in our culture to think that religious belief should not be criticized, but I think this needs to change. When these beliefs are a barrier to someone’s rights, the beliefs should be ridiculed.

Thankfully not all of the comments on this episode are like the ones I posted above. Some people know what’s right:

If they really loved their daughter and accepted her for who she is, there wouldn’t have to be a decision to make. -Ashley

I hope that people can eventually look past their beliefs and realize that gay marriage is not only beautiful, but that it’s right.


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