Another Look at the ‘War on Religion’

Inspired by some ridiculous Ben Stein meme containing more of the popular “I’m a poor repressed religious person in America” crap, I decided to do some quick research. It took all of two minutes to see if, in fact, religions were being scarce in the US.  If you look at the chart in this link, (the source of which is Wikipedia) America is still mostly religious people, mostly still Abrahamic…the religions have just shifted. The number who identify with no religion have grown, but are still only 16% of the total US population.   So really if I hear one more repressed [Christian/religious person] whine I might. Just. Explode.

You know, Ben, I was with you on the Christmas tree thing.  Who cares what they call them? I am an atheist, however if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I quite heartily wish them the same.  We still celebrate the love and family and spirit of Christmas season and put up a Christmas tree in our home.  (Did you know the Christmas tree was actually a pagan symbol of Yule anyway?)  I don’t care who erects a nativity scene or who has a Menorah on display.

What I take issue with is the assertion that you are “pushed around” because of your religion; it sounds kind of like so many sour grapes that religion is no longer top dog in public arenas (schools, etc) in America.  That’s about as bad as saying white people are tired of being “pushed around” by affirmative action. They just hate that the status quo is changing and it’s no longer acceptable to force others to conform to their way of life.

Stein allegedly claims:

” I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.”

As to the  “decline (1)” in Christianity in the past few years, it has dropped from 78% to a “paltry” 71% .  *sniff*  My heart breaks for your plight.

The United States still remains home to more Christians than any other nation, with roughly seven-in-ten continuing to identify with some branch of Christianity.

The fact that the majority of Americans still identify as Christian does not, however, negate the idea that the church is not supposed to have a role in government. What I would tell Ben is, this whole country is neither atheist NOR Christian. It’s SUPPOSED to be free.

Not even gonna touch the idea that disasters happen because we “took God out of schools.” That is utter, baseless tripe. There have always been natural disasters. Used to be “God had a plan” or “the devil” caused the disasters. There always WILL be disasters, only you want to tell me now it’s because not everyone wants to have to pray to your God in school?

As to in very transparent inference that kids have no morals without religion, that is also so much bullshit. You don’t “need” God for morals. You need compassion and empathy, and plenty of people have God and still no morals, just a fear of the “consequences” of afterlife. If you ask me, THAT is what’s missing in todays’s society. CONSEQUENCES.

Okay, anyway, I know I’ve written about this before, but I guess it always gets me stoked up again to see people passing this shit around, all like:

images (1)

No!  And even a billion people “liking” it won’t make it true.   

This article could be so much longer, but I will end with this:

Can you pray in peace?  Can you worship in public? Do you have to worry about being arrested or killed or harmed by identifying yourself as religious?

Okay, so stop whining.

Oh, and hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. 😉

 

 

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G*ddammit, just STOP it already!

The above title could refer either to my need to check comments and notifications on Huffington Post, (where some moron has inevitably said something too dumb to ignore, or purposely picked a fight with me) OR it could, and DOES, refer to how very fucking tired I am of seeing all the race (and sex) hate online.  I sometimes wish I could go back in time to when I did not have constant internet access, and hence, was not nearly as aware of all the horrible things going on in the world, and subsequently, the horribly misguided and moronic responses of scared and ignorant people.  I’ll admit, I’m scared too.  I have a child, and my fear for her safety and happiness is all encompassing; no matter how vigilant you are, you can not protect against the senseless and amoral.

So, I’m scared.  But I’m also pissed!  I need to get off Facebook and the internet news for a while, because if I see one more person blame Obama for all the woes in this country and then support it with inaccurate “factoids” they picked up somewhere I might just explode.  If I see one more forwarded article posted by one of my Facebook friends whining about “why does Trayvon get all this attention but black on white crime goes unobserved?” I might just throat punch someone.

I have noticed an increase in my own political posts and replies in an attempt to combat all the rampant ignorance going around, and frankly, to some people, I am probably becoming one of those political posters that annoy me!!!  I don’t want to be that person… because it doesn’t do any good anyway.  It seems like most people either agree with your views or disagree.  If they agree, you haven’t really “enlightened” anyone.  And it feels like most people that disagree are loath to make room in their personal philosophies to consider any new info on the topic.

But back to the race thing, which is what today’s post is about… I ask you… I BEG you…

[Some**] black people… please stop threatening to riot when shit doesn’t go your way.  It doesn’t do anything to help your cause.  It’s basically like trying to bully people into action by threatening violence.

[Some**] white people… please stop playing the whole “reverse” racism card.  You are not helping “spread awareness” about the perceived plight of white people.  You just sound like a toddler whining, “it’s not faaaair…”

It’s bad enough there are still people who are comfortable being openly racist, basically acting like a bunch of uneducated hillbillies, but the rest of us, who think we’re “fighting for the underdog” or standing up for our rights are not helping.  Some people claim Obama is trying to divide the races.  Let me tell you, he doesn’t need to.  We do it all on our own.  And to me, the barely veiled racism of today is in some ways just as bad as the racism of yesteryear.  Passive aggressive, misguided…

Yes, both sides (and believe it or not, there are more races in America now besides black and white) are still seeing instances of inequality.  Both sides have victims.  Both sides have perpetrators.  The problem is not black and white.  When the race of a perpetrator is mentioned in the title of an article, unless there is specific evidence the crime was racially motivated, to me that’s a red flag.  That’s propagating hate.  And then if you go to the comments section of just about any news outlet online, someone will inevitably find a way to dredge up and grandstand on their particular beliefs, whether said beliefs have anything to do with the article or not.

So if you want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, for the love of God, or whoever, just stop with the “righteous indignation” and forwarded crap about race crimes…on both sides!!!  Isn’t people killing people bad enough???

okay...end rant...have to go mop up my brains...

okay…end rant…have to go mop up my brains…

(ps…and a note to myself…  JUST STOP ALREADY! Stop letting morons you don’t even know piss you off.  Stop posting political stuff on Facebook or being bated by others’ political posts. Slactivism is not activism, so.  Just.  Stop.)

**If it’s not already obvious, I qualify these statements with the word “some,” because I would never dream of impugning a whole group of people based on the actions of only some.  However, it’s apparent to me that the number of people spouting the nonsense have enough of a voice that they are still causing trouble.

All A@@holed Out

At least once a week now, I ask myself the same question, usually prompted by some ignorant, separatist redneck post or some anti-abortion self-righteous meme…posted by my “friends.”  Some of these are people I haven’t actually “seen” since high school, and even then, they were more like acquaintances.  Many are people to whom I used to be closer, and time and/or distance has come between us, but with whom I would like to keep in some sort of contact.  And then I’m realizing I just never knew some of these people to begin with.  And I actually like some of these people…I mean, except for the unfortunate fact of their intolerance…

Um...yeah, okay.

Um…yeah, okay.

Shall I attempt to point out the many ways this meme is ridiculous?  Firstly, the only people who have a problem with secularism are people who feel everyone should be their religion.  Secondly, pretty sure many of the “lazy, unproductive” people were that way before Obama got into office.  I can only assume this is a jab at people who are on some type of public assistance.  (These are also likely the same people who post memes like “before we help the poor in other countries, we need to help our own” and then go around bitching when any laws that actually attempt to do so get proposed.)

Thirdly–  Ow! I stubbed my fuckin’ toe!  Thanks, Obama!

But anyway, the question I have been asking myself is this:

At which point do I draw the line between respecting my friends’ views and differences of opinions to You’re just an asshole and I don’t think I wanna be your friend?”

Generally I would say, the difference would be whether or not their “views” encourage hate or discrimination of any kind.  But seriously…have you seen  some of the memes going around now?  The line between expressing opinion and attempting to insult/control the opposition seems to be becoming increasingly blurred.

And especially in lieu of the George Zimmerman verdict and all the “moral outrage” and barely concealed racism going around, I am SO sick of seeing hateful, ignorant posts about “reverse racism” and white victims of black killers.  How about we direct some of that moral outrage and righteous indignation towards the things that really matter, and maybe realize that all these posts are just widening the racial divide?

But, back to my original question, how do you personally decide when to accept differences, and who to cut loose because they are just too different (aka, an asshole)?  Frankly, I’m all “assholed” out.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
― Isaac Asimov

Before the verdict…

Okay, so before the verdict, and the ensuing deluge of blog posts about the trial and race relations, here’s my piece (piece of opinion, that is) on the Zimmerman/Martin thing.  And first, let me stress that I am not one of those people who has been reading every article and transcripts of the trial on the internet, and my opinion comes from just what I have read and heard, which is by no means everything.

I think both Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin contributed to the events that happened that night.  If what Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantel claimed is true, and Martin referred to Zimmerman as some “creepy white dude” following him, does that not make him guilty of contributing to the “racial” cast of the situation? That said, IF Zimmerman thought the guy was dangerous, when he followed him (with a gun and against orders from police dispatch) he put himself in a situation where he may have had to “defend” himself. Zimmerman, IMO was looking to be deputy dog or something.  And as to race and racial profiling, it DOES go both ways, and contrary to many may think, white people don’t automatically “get justice” if the crime is white on white. There is so much more to it (like money, for instance!)

The fact that this trial may result in a riot seems a bit ridiculous.  People (ANY people of ANY color,creed, or race) can’t just riot every time a jury trial doesn’t go their way.

 

Conflict or “Equilibrium”

My regular readers know I’m becoming quite the misanthrope in my old age (that’d be 31.)   The world is a lot smaller now that we’re all virtually connected via the internet.  Everyday that I’m online, I’m bombarded with information, a lot of it bad news.  War, famine, rape, death, abuse, injustice.  People doing horrible things to the Earth, animals, each other…their own children.  It’s always been around, but now we’re ever more aware of it, and it seems to be getting worse.

Becoming a mother has made me hypersensitive to the atrocity.  I hate this world we live in.  I hate these people who can’t see past their own id.  My heart breaks for the innocents, and I’m often afraid for my child, who has to grow up in… a sea of crazy people.  I wonder what we can do to effect a significant change in people…   It feels like there’s nothing we can do.

And then today,  I started watching Equilibrium.

The film follows John Preston (Bale), a warrior-priest and enforcement officer in a future dystopia where both feelings and artistic expression are outlawed and citizens take daily injections of drugs to suppress their emotions.

Based on the concept that emotions are the root of all strife in the world, the logic is that by eliminating these basic emotions, conflict is eliminated.  And the concept seems to have merit, if you don’t consider the immediate execution of any persons committing “sense” offenses, as well as the incineration of any emotionally stimulating material– art, music, and apparently, puppies–  to be “conflict.”

I'm sure this was the director's intention, but is it any wonder the insignia for the dystopic powers that be looks like a swastika?

I’m sure this was the director’s intention, but is it any wonder the insignia for the dystopic powers that be looks like a swastika?

But as you may well have guessed, it is a colorless, pointless, and dull existence, devoid of any happiness…or empathy And in the end, isn’t the absence of empathy the root of the problem our world already faces?

The problem with the film…  Sean Bean.  Goddammit! Is there any film in which he doesn’t die ?

31674L

Sean Bean_Stay Alive

Just Sayin’

Came across this on Facebook this morning.  In the interest of brevity, I edited some of it out, but you can see the whole thing here.  Also, it should be noted that the validity of some of the facts contained in the following have been called into question. You can check out one guy’s rebuttal here.

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons
1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day. 2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + CostcoK-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world’s largest private employer, and most speak English.
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined…
8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought
bankruptcy…
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.
To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature…
a. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
b. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
d. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to”the poor” and they only want more.
e. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
You have FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.
AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??
AND I know what’s wrong. We have lost our minds to “Political Correctness”
Someone please tell me what is wrong with all the people that
run this country!!!!!!
We’re “broke” and can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless, etc. and the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey and now Pakistan ( the previous home of bin Laden). literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!
Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks.
AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed medicines, and mentally ill without treatment, etc.

What I want to point out really has more to do with the attitude of the piece than with any specific “facts” represented within.  One passage in particular really rubbed me the wrong way.
Let’s look specifically at this passage:
We’re “broke” and can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless, etc. and the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey and now Pakistan ( the previous home of bin Laden). literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!
Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks.
AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed medicines, and mentally ill without treatment, etc.
This would mean so much more if the people purporting this supposed injustice actually gave a shit. I don’t think it’s that we “can’t” help our own people… I think the problem is that many people in this country (specifically the “haves,” as opposed to the “have nots”) have just as much disdain for and issues with helping “our own” people as they do those of other countries.  There’s this perception that if you’re poor in American, it’s because you are lazy.  It’s evident in all the snide remarks about people on “welfare” and food stamps I see all over social media.  Don’t believe me?  The writer of this piece expressed some of that disdain with his claim:
$1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to”the poor” and they only want more.
I’d like to take his little air quotes and shove them up his ass.  Sure, there are many people that milk the system.  But there are just as many people who try to do things to improve their situation and are rewarded with a reduction in help from the government.  If you’re pissed that people are being lazy, maybe you should re-examine the way the government rewards the laziness more than it does people who are trying to get out of the hole.   You can go to work, make a pittance, and lose your food stamps, yet if you stay home and sit on your ass, you will keep receiving the full amount.   So why would someone who is poor and needs all the help they can get want to be penalized for trying to do the right thing?
That aside, let’s take a minute to examine the self-important attitude and complete lack of compassion directed towards the poor in this country, as shown in just that single statement.  Apparently the writer has a better idea of how to decide who is worthy of help in this country and who is not.  The very “poor” people he decries for sucking up all the “confiscated” money may well be the parents of the “children going to bed hungry,” or the “elderly without needed medicine.”
Anyway, that said, I believe the article has some valid points.  The amount of money congress makes (and they can approve their own “automatic raises”) is obscene, and yet this country’s budget is in the toilet.   Maybe we should focus on changing that before passing judgment on and withholding aid from “the poor,” less fortunate people of our country.  Just sayin’.

Low Blow…and Not in the Good Way

I really hate to admit when someone gets under my skin…especially if it’s someone who is unimportant to me in the grand scheme of things.  But after a Facebook “conversation” that devolved rapidly into mud slinging, I got to thinking about it, and discussing it with friends, I decided to write a little bit about it.

Aside from being irritated and disappointed by the fact that it seems many people are no longer capable of having a conversation with anyone who does not agree with or validate their own point of view, I am so fucking tired of people judging me based on my life choices.

Tyler Durden said it best: “You are not your job.”

DrlJP.jpg

I guess some people do identify with their jobs, especially if their line of work is a career, rather than just a “job…”   And especially if their career is one that corresponds with their hobbies or pleasures.  For instance, writers likely internalize their career as a part of their personality; cashiers likely do not.

At this time in my life I have found myself in role I hadn’t necessarily foreseen when I was growing up.  I am a stay at home mom.  That’s right.  I said it.  I have a double degree from a University college and I stay home and watch my kid.  And I think it’s awesome!  Sure, I have put off my own career for a bit (however, I am considering going back to school soon.)

What really galls me though is the ever-widening gulf between “women like me” and the opposite extreme of career women.  Aside from the backhanded “advice” I have received from a few of my friends and family about how I “have a degree but haven’t done anything with it,” there often seems to be a sort of implicit judgment that because I do not work outside the home right now, I can’t possibly find my life fulfilling, let alone be a productive member of society.  Today, I regret to say someone I once considered a friend (in high school) attacked me personally when I dared to weigh in on the subject of women in the work place.  Flat out told me to come back to the conversation when I got out in the real world.

What I want to know is…what makes her world more real than mine?

What about the fact that I have a family (and a child with whom I am lucky enough to be able to stay home, during the precious and  formative years of her life) makes me less qualified to have an opinion?

What about the fact that she is single and has a career makes her superior to me, or more informed than me?  I have worked.  I don’t live in a hole in the ground.  I even happen to be a woman.  (Imagine that.)

This world takes all sorts to go around.  Not everyone can be a high-powered business executive.  Not everyone wants to.  Furthermore, projecting your own bitterness or insecurity about your life onto someone innocent is not cool.

Basically, my message for today is two-fold:

1) Think before you type speak.  Even if you think your words are benign or you “mean well,” that does not give you license to judge someone else for their life’s choices, especially when they don’t impact you.  If you really care about and respect the person to which you are speaking, you don’t want to hurt their feelings or insult them.   Even if you don’t know them (ie: random people or mutual friends on social media,) how about remembering some basic fucking manners???

2) If you are one of those people who does believe you are somehow superior to someone else because of your life choices (or theirs,) please do them a favor and take their name out of your phone.  Take them off your Facebook “friends” list.  Don’t mail them any Christmas cards.  They don’t need you in their life, and, since you clearly have your life “together” enough to judge your friend’s, you don’t need them in yours either.  

I think these two principals could conceivably have very wide applications.  Religion, sexuality, appearance, parenting styles. Just about anything you can think of… I might even go so far as to say they’re genius. 😉

And if all else fails…

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