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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me


I turn 43 today. And I'm OK with that. I don't feel like I'm in my 40s though, other than having to pull things away a bit to read them and finding that my body is not as resilient as it used to be. I'm not going to set any New Year's Resolutions, though. I prefer to set goals and develop a process for achieving them. I really only have one goal this year: to become healthier. Healthier physically, emotionally and (gasp) spiritually. Not that I'm getting religion or looking to jump on the woo bandwagon, but I do believe that one can be spiritual without believing in gods or anything supernatural. For me, spirituality is developing an intimate connection between myself and everything around me. My family, friends, work colleagues and the universe in general. I've already gotten back on track with my weight loss program, and I'm creating a schedule for myself to keep on track with recovery work, playing guitar, and managing my life.

All the best to everyone in 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are you a Hardcore Atheist Meme


Meme from Friendly Atheist. Yes, I know I'm slow in getting to it. As I mentioned in the last post, I've been very busy. Items in bold apply to me.

1. Participated in the Blasphemy Challenge.
2. Met at least one of the “Four Horsemen” (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) in person.
3. Created an atheist blog.
4. Used the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a religious debate with someone.
5. Gotten offended when someone called you an agnostic.
6. Been unable to watch Growing Pains reruns because of Kirk Cameron.(actually, I wouldn't watch Growing Pains reruns primarily because it sucked. Hard.)

7. Own more Bibles than most Christians you know.
8. Have at least one Bible with your personal annotations regarding contradictions, disturbing parts, etc.
9. Have come out as an atheist to your family. (My family just never talks about religion, but I'm out to my wife's family, oddly enough)
10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering.
11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization.
12. Had a Humanist wedding ceremony.
13. Donated money to an atheist organization.

14. Have a bookshelf dedicated solely to Richard Dawkins.
15. Lost the friendship of someone you know because of your non-theism.
16. Tried to argue or have a discussion with someone who stopped you on the street to proselytize. (actually, it was someone who knocked on my door)
17. Had to hide your atheist beliefs on a first date because you didn’t want to scare him/her away.
18. Own a stockpile of atheist paraphernalia (bumper stickers, buttons, shirts, etc). (I have a few things, but definitely want more)
19. Attended a protest that involved religion.
20. Attended an atheist conference. (only because there haven't been any that were close enough to where I live)
21. Subscribe to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel.
22. Started an atheist group in your area or school.
23. Successfully “de-converted” someone to atheism.
24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die.
25. Told someone you’re an atheist only because you wanted to see the person’s reaction.

26. Had to think twice before screaming “Oh God!” during sex. Or you said something else in its place.
27. Lost a job because of your atheism.
28. Formed a bond with someone specifically because of your mutual atheism (meeting this person at a local gathering or conference doesn’t count).
29. Have crossed “In God We Trust” off of — or put a pro-church-state-separation stamp on — dollar bills.
30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (I didn't refuse to say the whole pledge, just the "under God" part)
31. Said “Gesundheit!” (or nothing at all) after someone sneezed because you didn’t want to say “Bless you!”
32. Have ever chosen not to clasp your hands together out of fear someone might think you’re praying.
33. Have turned on Christian TV because you needed something entertaining to watch.

34. Are a 2nd or 3rd (or more) generation atheist.
35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile — and not a euphemistic variant.
36. Attended an atheist’s funeral (i.e. a non-religious service).
37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic)
38. Have been interviewed by a reporter because of your atheism.
39. Written a letter-to-the-editor about an issue related to your non-belief in God.
40. Gave a friend or acquaintance a New Atheist book as a gift.
41. Wear pro-atheist clothing in public.
42. Have invited Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house specifically because you wanted to argue with them.
43. Have been physically threatened (or beaten up) because you didn’t believe in God.
44. Receive Google Alerts on “atheism” (or variants).
45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it.
46. Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Stein’s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the “enemy.”
47. Refuse to tell anyone what your “sign” is… because it doesn’t matter at all.
48. Are on a mailing list for a Christian organization just so you can see what they’re up to…
49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray.
50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you.

So, a total of 19, which supposedly makes me a "New Athesit", but that seems a bit odd, considering that I've been an atheist for over 20 years.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Super Busy


This time of year is almost always really busy for me and I haven't had much time to post (or read other blogs, for that matter). Among other things, I've designed and developed a site for Ed Brayton, author of Dispatches from the Culture Wars for his new radio show, Declaring Independence on Public Reality Radio

Friday, December 5, 2008

Atheist sign stolen from state holiday display


Article here:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A controversial atheist sign that was placed in the state Capitol near a Nativity scene vanished Friday morning, but then turned up at a Seattle radio station a few hours later.

That seems about right. Why is it that so many Christians like to violate their own rules?

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Grandma, that's a bad word"


A couple weeks ago, our 4 1/2 year old daughter was staying overnight with her grandparents. They were outside and our daughter noticed one of those "God bless our troops" ribbons on the back of the 'rents van, and asked her Grandma what it said (our daughter is obsessed with learning to read, and asks for help reading almost everything she sees). Grandma obliged, and our daughter told her "Grandma, that's a bad word." When Grandma asked which word was bad and discovered it was "God", she started to cry. A few days later she jumped my wife about it, who then had to explain that, since the only time our daughter hears "God" is in profanity (yes, we swear like truckers, but we're working on that), we've had to tell our daughter that "goddammit" is a bad word, and we prefer that she not say "Oh my God", since some people get twitchy about it.

Of course, that led to Grandma being upset because our daughter isn't being taught about God.

We are planning on educating our daughter about religions, including Christianity, but at 4 1/2, she's too young to grasp many of the concepts. When she's old enough to start asking about religion, we'll buying books on various religions and mythology to read and talk about. At some point, I'd probably even be willing to take her to churches, mosques, synagogues, etc.