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Archive for the ‘morality’ Category

04.10.2013 – My Family Is Insane

My family is insane…and they are starting to make me insane too!

The below image is just a VERY tiny snippet of my mother’s Facebook page. Click on the image to see it in all it’s full-sized glory.

insane_family

 

So tell me…what the fuck am I supposed to do with that? It’s every day. Very VERY rarely is something posted that isn’t of this nature. I can’t have any interaction with her. What am I supposed to say? Should I just continue to try to bite my tongue and ignore it? On several occasions I’ve been  mere microseconds away from de-friending her. But, of course, that would cause all kinds of problems. I really have no kind of relationship with my parents anymore. Would it really be any loss? I can’t believe that I grew up in this world! No wonder there are days where I feel like I’m nuts.

Seriously…what do I do with this? My family is insane!

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09.03.2010 – Heinous Christian Hypocrisy & Racism

September 3, 2010 1 comment

Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid throwing my family and close friends ‘under the bus’ here. Even under the guise of anonymity. However, sometimes things happen that really make that unavoidable.

Last night on Facebook, my little brother (who is 18 years old) posted this as part of his status:

“Bad news: I got suspended from xbox live until the 9th because of my racism towards mexicans…. FML -_-“

There were a few comments already on it before I got to read through, so he explained later what happened:

“well the people that work for xbox live did lol. People (mexicans) reported me for my extreme racist language and xbox found my bio which stated… “i wouldve been your daddy but a f×××ing mexican beat me over the fence! KEEP THE U.S. …CLEAN!” lol”

and then a little further down, this little tidbit:

“Haha well it’s funny 😛 they’re durrrrrrty lol. Jk it’s not even that serious. I’m pissed! I wanna play so bad -_-“

What’s most surprising to me is that HIS comments weren’t even really the worst part of the whole thing. What was worse was the comment from one of my mother’s Christian friends towards the end of the thread:

“Are you serious??? Don’t tell my mom about this. She’s in Orlando and she hates the Lutino’s except the “nice, productive” ones in her church. It’s bad down there. I can see it now. 91 year old great great gramma suspended from Xbox…. Why is it okay for them to slam us??? Get all the free healthcare, housing, foodstamps, jobs, social security when they haven’t paid into it. They drive drunk without licenses and kill people. Should see them in Walmart, 5 – 6 children running through the store and the mom pulls out an EBT card. They are rude. They’ve already refused to wait on my mom at a convenience store because my mom didn’t speak Spanish!!!”

I made sure to comment and let her know how racist her remarks were. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with this person on this issue either. Earlier this summer, at my brother’s graduation party, I got cornered by her and her husband (who is even MORE over the top racist and hateful) and they IMMEDIATELY dragged me into a conversation about illegal immigration and basically made it known that they believe ALL Hispanic people are illegal and should be thrown out of the country. I mean c’mon! These people CONSTANTLY tout their Christianity for everyone to see. This lady finishes EVERY Facebook post with: /Jesus Loves You. Am I wrong, or is this not the HEIGHT of hypocrisy? What happened to Love your Neighbor? What happened to Christian tolerance and acceptance? What happened to Let he who is without sin cast the first stone? My brother can ALMOST be excused. He’s 18, and while he SHOULD know better, my mother has kept him around people like this for his whole life so far. He doesn’t really know anything else (though any opportunity I get I try to speak up and show him how messed up his thinking is).

You know, maybe the system is broken in this country and needs reformed. Maybe the immigration laws need to be restructured so that it’s NOT so difficult to get citizenship here. I don’t have the answers. But what I DO know is that this kind of divisive thinking and attitude is only going to make things worse. I wasn’t around for it, but these comment seem a lot like how things were before the civil rights movement, just directed at a different group of people.

I’m deeply saddened by this mentality! 😦

06.21.2010 – My Atheism Does Not Define Me

I never want my atheism to define me. It’s only a small portion of the person that I am. It seems, though, that the religious majority forces my atheism to be an issue on a nearly day-to-day basis. I’m constantly subjected to having to answer questions and be forced to defend my position all the time by the theists that I’m around. It’s tiring. It hasn’t been as bad over the last few months (because I’ve been more quiet in voicing my opinions on various topics), but still there nonetheless.

At our Father’s Day gathering at our house yesterday, my Mom tried on several occasions to get me to acknowledge the fact that she felt that she had been ‘divinely healed’ of an ailment that’s been bothering her for years. I refused to even give it a follow up comment (she got plenty of support from her theist friends on her Facebook post about it though). I think that’s probably the best ‘modus operandi’ for me to take going forward. I’m just not going to give fuel to the fire anymore unless I’m directly addressed with a question or if I hear someone preaching outright falsehoods to people who aren’t questioning them.

A few weeks ago, she asked me if I wanted to send my daughter to ‘Teen Quest’, a religious summer camp for kids and teens. That question just left my jaw hanging open. I just couldn’t believe that she’d even ask that. It just reeks of a complete lack of respect for my belief system, and for the way that I choose to raise my daughter. Again, I just blew it off. Basically because I know I can not win the argument should I choose to engage. So, it’s in the best interest of my stress levels, that I just leave those arguments go.

There’s so much more to life than our positions on whether or not we believe in a god. Sadly, though, the vast majority of people in the world believe that that is THE most important thing. I, rather, chose to be defined by what I DO believe in, rather than what I do not. I’m an atheist because I don’t believe in any gods ONLY, but there’s whole list of things that I DO believe in and I think those things define me much more completely than merely the fact that I’m an atheist. See my post from last week about my revised new 10 commandments list for just some of those things.

06.07.2010 – My new REVISED 10 commandments

In an effort to regain some much needed perspective in my outlook today, I went through and started jotting down some things that mean a lot to me. As it turned out, it started to look like a good new 10 commandments. A while back I posted Richard Dawkins’ list of new 10 commandments, and while that list is great, I wanted to come up with something a little more personal to me. So, without without further adieu, here’s what I came up with today:

My NEW 10 commandments:

1) Hate not, lest you be hated in return. (Sounds rather biblical don’t you think?) – Through personal experience, I’ve noticed that people, who are bigoted and hateful, really seem to be very miserable in their own lives. I realize that’s a broad-brushed generalization, but it’s truly based on my own personal first-hand observations. I believe if those folks would lose their hatred, their own lives and perspectives would take a turn for the positive.

2) Have unending compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness towards your fellow man – don’t go through life holding grudges. Life is too short to not be able to forgive and forget. Be tolerant of the differences between people of different walks of life. I don’t want them trying to change me, so why should I go out of my way to try to change them. Have tolerance and understand towards ALL people. People of differing race, religion, sexual orientation, etc are all human beings and deserving of the same basic human rights as everyone else. PERIOD!

3) Give! – Be charitable as much as humanly possible. We, in the west (and a lot of the industrialized world) have SO much. There’s always time, money, services, etc that we could spare to help our fellow human beings in need.

4) Value Education and pursue it daily – never stop learning. If not only for yourself, but for the betterment of human society as a whole. Our species will move forward and solve the world’s problems only if our collective understanding and knowledge increases. Learning is a value to everyone, not just the individual.

5) Live in the moment – One of the things that I’ve learned to appreciate about Eastern Philosophy (Buddhism) is their teaching of living in the present moment. Let the past be the past. Don’t worry too much about the future. Just live every moment and be fully aware in that moment. It’s a huge challenge, but I’ve found a lot of relief and beginnings of some inner peace by trying to apply some of this to my life.

6) Never intentionally cause harm to another living creature. – This is a hard one. I’ve found over the last few years incredible value in all living creatures. For example…I am NOT a fan of spiders, and in years gone by I wouldn’t think twice about smashing them to oblivion when one crossed my path. Now, I will actually go out of my way to capture and release them somewhere else instead of killing them. That’s just one small example. I do, though, have some hypocritical thinking when it comes to matters of diet. I do believe that we (humans) are omnivores. We have evolved on a diet of meat and plant life. I sometimes do, though, feel guilty about eating meat now, but I haven’t been able to work out a way around that without becoming a vegetarian, which isn’t exactly appealing to me. Obviously, a work in progress here.

7) Question Everything – this one was on the Dawkins list, but I think it’s definitely one that doesn’t need to be changed, omitted, or otherwise. Always find your own answers. Never take anything for the truth based on authority. In the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson: Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. (Wait! Did I just take that based on authority?!??!)

8 ) Love those closest to you unconditionally – Family and close friends are the most important thing there is to me. They are the people that know me best, and yet still accept me and love me with all of my shortcomings. At the end of the day, all of the meaningless squabbles are just that…meaningless. Those closest to us are all that matter.

9) Waste Not! – On our tiny, spinning ‘Pale Blue Dot’, resources are not limitless. With a population of over 6 billion, we all need to do our part to cut back and conserve where possible.

10) Live life as if there is no tomorrow! – And there might just BE no tomorrow. We are incredibly fortunate to be alive. Consider the countless billions of stars and planets in the universe, and to the best of our knowledge at this point, WE are the only self-conscious, intelligent life. What an amazing thing. It’s also the ONLY life we get. In my opinion we should live life to the fullest EVERY day. Live, Laugh, Love as my wife’s tattoo says. A better mantra I can’t imagine!

05.22.2010 – My Facebook Status Tonight

“I will always be amazed by those that support hate and bigotry, and then can’t figure out why they are so miserable and unhappy.”

i don’t think much else really needs to be said.

02.19.2010 – Malaysian Women Caned for Having Sex

February 19, 2010 1 comment

According to an article in the NY times, 3 women in Malaysia were found guilty of ‘extramarital’ sex and punished by caning.

The women had been convicted in an Islamic Shariah court of having sex outside of marriage, according to a Home Ministry official. Each received four to six strokes of a rattan cane, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements.

I just don’t get it.

I just don’t get why these groups think they have a right to control what consenting adults do. And where’s the punishment for the MEN who were involved in the ‘extramarital sex’? The double-standard is really mind-numbing. When are these societies going to pull themselves out of the dark-ages and start to realize that it’s the 21st century? The fallout for ‘extra-marital’ affairs should be dealt with between the people directly involved. No government or religious organization should have any right to be involved except in strictly contract-based issues such as divorce.

All I can hope for is that in my lifetime we see the end (or at least a massive decrease) of incidents like this. However, things like this severely test my ability to be hopeful.

02.17.2010 – Facebook Fun – Episode 5: Same Sex Marriage

It was only a matter of time. I knew that eventually my fundamentalist minister mom and I would clash on this issue. I remember, when growing up, how homosexuals were demonized by the church and believers. I was sucked into that bullshit mentality for most of my life as well. I wish I could go back and do it all again, but unfortunately, all I can do is try to forget all that, and live life is support of these folks and do what I can to try to break the chain of hate and ignorance surrounding this issue.

Last week, on Facebook, I joined the group “I bet we can find 1,000,000 People who Support Same Sex Marriage.” And I knew full well, that I would get some backlash from my mother. Here’s the conversation that ensured underneath the announcement that I joined that group:

Mom: Romans Chapter 1

Me: i reject that book

Mom: Scientifically unnatural

Me: ignorantly incorrect. do some research

Mom: man is for woman….you’re makin me wonder….

Me: Good. Wonder is a good thing.

For someone who so dramatically denies science in most other areas, I find it rather ironic that you would try to bring it up in this instance. Not to mention that it’s just completely wrong.

Also find it interesting that you waiting until this dropped off of my main page before commenting. Must be trying to avoid having all my like-minded friends call you out on it as well…. See More

Look, you know by now that I don’t buy what your religion is selling. And I’m a supporter of an individuals right to freedom and will support human equality with fervor until the day I die. So, as far as I’m concerned, what consenting adults want to do is between them. As long as no one is hurt in the process. If you don’t support same sex marriage, don’t have a same sex marriage. It’s pretty much as simple as that.

Mom: Good. Wonder is a good thing.

For someone who so dramatically denies science in most other areas, I find it rather ironic that you would try to bring it up in this instance. Not to mention that it’s just completely wrong.

Also find it interesting that you waiting until this dropped off of my main page before commenting. Must be trying to avoid having all my like-minded friends call you out on it as well…. See More

Look, you know by now that I don’t buy what your religion is selling. And I’m a supporter of an individuals right to freedom and will support human equality with ferver until the day I die. So, as far as I’m concerned, what concenting adults want to do is between them. As long as no one is hurt in the process. If you don’t support same sex marriage, don’t have a same sex marriage. It’s pretty much as simple as that.

me: your arguements are silly when you accept the fact that it’s NOT A CHOICE THEY MAKE! AND they are mostly folks who want love and a normal life like anyone else. Unfortunately, people with your take ARE still in control, and have taken away or prevented basic freedoms for these people.

Your argument about an island is just ridiculous. they will always be a minority in society and that’s fine. Besides, in modern society, there’s still plenty of ways for people to procreate without the use of male/female sexual relations. Or do you find artificial insemination also immoral?

they should still have the same rights as everyone else, and I don’t understand what gives other people the right in their minds to push their morality on others. Just because YOU believe what you believe about it, doesn’t mean that everyone does. And I am SOOO glad I’ve learned that in my adulthood and have been able to shed the hate and disgust that I was shown toward them growing up…. See More

ultimately if same sex marriage were allowed, absolutely NOTHING would change for you, or me, or anyone except those that want to be in a committed relationship and are also of the same sex.

Didn’t hear anything else from Mom after that last post, but a like-minded friend chimed in with a couple of posts:

Friend: oh GAWD dont get me started. Marriage has NOTHING to do with religion, dabnabbit!!!! If you research (NOT science, which has NOTHING to do with this.) history, you will find that marriage came about because some government (a dictatorship of all things) decided that their society was being too loose, morally. Its about RIGHTS!!!!!!!!! Ok, I got … See Morekinda started. The arguments AGAINST same sex marriage are just soo….morally and ethically wrong. Again, research how great children have it when they are adopted/brought up in same sex households. Seriously. People need to get INFORMED and stop arguing this with THEIR emotions…and rhetoric. Sorry…just had to say that.

Friend (again): I had to read through this again. I gotta say… your last comment rocks 🙂 Im glad that you, too, have been able to “shed the hate and disgust that I was shown towards them growing up”. If you don’t like homosexuality…DONT PARTICIPATE! 🙂