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! 😦
I’ve started a Facebook fan page where I’ll be posting updates when I write new blogs over here. It’s also open to any and all related discussions (though, not much of that has happened to this point, but it’s still new). So feel free to head over (if you want) and ‘Like’ the page. I promise not to over post! 😉
I find myself, in recent days, trying desperately to ‘quiet the chatter’ so to speak. I’m not sure how else to put it really. I think I’ve grown tired of hearing all the hate and anger coming from both sides of the theological debate.
I now have a TON of atheist friends on my Facebook friend list now, and I while I am enormously grateful to have this support group, they really do seem to be the most vocal group that I have there. In general, I think that’s a great thing. I’ve always been an advocate of promoting the positive attributes of this worldview in the hopes that it may one day limit the misconceptions. However, the vast majority of posts made by this group are VERY hateful, disrespectful, divisive, slanderous, and downright offensive. I understand that a lot of times the believers posts are a lot like that as well, but shouldn’t we take the high ground in order to gain the respect that we feel we so rightly deserve?
I can’t see how promoting atheism or the wrong-doings of religion this way could possibly be a stepping-stone to a more respectful coexistence between our two groups. While I would be more than happy to see religion go away permanently, the realistic side of me can’t see that happening any time soon. So, shouldn’t mutual respect and tolerance be what we are striving for instead?
I realize I’m just talking to the wall here, and that this isn’t going to change any time soon. But as always, just getting these thoughts out of my head and in print can help me sort through them.
I also mean no offense to my fellow atheist out there. I guess I’m just in a bit of a passivist mode right now.
Starting on March 29th, it’s apparently ‘A’ week on Facebook.
The jist of the event is, that all us atheists on Facebook will change our profile pictures to the atheist ‘Scartlet Letter A’ in an attempt to raise awareness that we are out there, and that guess what? We are good without the need of a suprememe being to threaten to punish us for our wrong-doings. I think we can’t possibly say that enough to believers. Maybe…JUST maybe someday they will get it. So, if you’re on Facebook, click HERE to join the ‘A’ Week group. Click HERE to RSVP to the event. And let’s all get the word out that there’s nothing wrong with having the worldview that we do.
apparently, in ‘fundie-land’ freedom of speech means only freedom of MY speech. Any OTHER speech is apparently not allowed.
Here was today’s discourse on my mom’s Facebook page:
Mom (status): Tebow ad about to be aired on Sunday’s Super Bowl. Thank God for freedom of speech for this vital message.
Thus starting the comment barrage, but surprisingly, NOT with my mom this time, her final response was actually ok. Some other douchebag chimed in. In the discourse below, he will be called ‘DB’:
me: one question: would you support an atheist group having a commercial on the Superbowl as well? even if the ad was just to direct other like-minded folks to a place to meet?
DB: I would not support it, would you?
me: yes, yes I would. why would you not. is freedom of speech only applicable to people you agree with?
DB: For me the answer is YES!
me: Sorry to hear that
DB:it’s ok I can deal with it 8)
me: I’ll wait to hear my mom’s response before I go any further. I hope that she’s more open-minded.
DB: She might be 🙂
Mom: We’ll I would prefer to have an ad that may save a precious life than a beer ad anyway. As far as an atheist group who will they thank when a touchdown is made? 😉
me: that wasn’t the question. you can’t have it both ways. either you support free speech for ALL or that version of ‘free speech’ is worthless.
Mom: Truthfully not sarcastically we should have that freedom.. I would say yes. Morally if it is not family friendly, like the ad recently rejected by the station I would say NO.
me: 🙂 i appreciate your honesty and tend to agree. thx mom!
While I’m not sure what my mom was referring to with the ‘not family friendly’ ad, I’m sure it was something that was probably going to show a lot of ‘skin’ and that, in my mom’s mind, is immoral. I’m not going to argue over stuff like this.
So, for me, I consider this a victory, and that’s what I was hoping I would get from my Mom. unfortunately, DB has the mentality that most of these fundamentalist have: If it’s not something I agree with, you can’t say it.
One of my facebook friends (a hardcore fundy) posted this as her status today:
hmmm. so what are your thoughts? young earth or old earth?
So, obviously I couldn’t resist responding. It’s been pretty light-hearterd in general. Though, my mother posted a massive writing that she got from some creationist website and I countered all the arguments with links from talkorigins.org so, that wasn’t a big deal.
However, it was the latest comment from someone I don’t know that really made me scratch my head and worry about the over-all mentality of these folks:
When God created Adam he created an adult not a baby. Could he have created the earth with an age also? If he did is it old or young? At actual age of 1 day how old was Adam physically? Just some food for thought.. As for what I believe, I believe the earth is actually aprox. 6000 years old
I just am amazed at the lengths that folks will go to to justify their belief in these bronze aged myths. So now the earth was created, in it’s near present form already representing 4.5 billion years of age to anyone that would look and search to find it? I truly believe that people like this are just beyond help. I suppose if they are just living in their own little deluded world, that’s fine, but they rarely just leave it at that. It’s these kind of folks that are tyring to get stuff like this taught in the science classroom. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s wrong on many levels.
Since it seems that Facebook is the place where most of my interaction with believers takes place (and they love to send me private emails about god), I figure I’ll post some of the interactions here for whatever parts of the bloggosphere would like to appreciate them. (the name’s have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent). I did not get a response after my reply, so either my argument was good, or this one just gave up on me! 🙂
Know What You Believe
2 Timothy 1:12-14
All people have a belief system, whether they realize it or not. Even those who claim there is no God have faith that He does not exist. What we believe affects every area of our lives and shapes every decision we make, yet few of us take the time to really think about what we accept as true.
All belief systems have a foundation. Some people base their convictions on what fits their lifestyle, reasoning, and desires. However, Jesus calls His followers to adapt life to their faith in Him and the authority of His Word.
Anytime we add other philosophies or ideas to Scripture or pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, we create our own version of faith based on personal reasoning. God’s Word is the only true and reliable foundation for belief, because it contains the recorded thoughts of an eternal, all-knowing God. All other concepts must be measured against it
to determine their validity.
Knowing what the Bible says is essential for developing a sound system of beliefs founded on the truth and wisdom of God. This world will offer you a variety of philosophies which sound good but are laced with lies. A faith anchored in the Scriptures is your protection against deception.
Each time you face a problem or decision, search for the answer in Scripture. Begin your day by reading the Word and asking God to help you understand what He is saying. He loves communicating with you, and as you spend time with Him, He’ll open your mind to know His thoughts.
Thanks for thinking of me. I appreciate it greatly. That being said, I think you know that I can’t just let that rest as is. It’s just not in my nature.
So, here’s my thoughts…
“All people have a belief system, whether they realize it or not”
I can’t really argue that much. It’s true. But what’s also true is that those ‘beliefs’ vary greatly from person to person. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, most atheists don’t claim that ‘there is no god’. That would be rather arrogant to make a claim like that. However, we believe that the chances that there is a god are so remote, that it’s really not worth being concerned about it. I personally reject any concept of a ‘personal god’ who knows all our thoughts and who controls every aspect of life in the universe. The concept is just absolutely absurd to me. I’d probably be willing to say that MAYBE there was some kind of higher power that started everything off, but then I believe that that would be stretching the definition of the word ‘god’ too far.
As for the scripture quoted. You can find encouraging words in all sorts of ‘religious’ and non-religious texts. Frankly, I think that the morality expressed in the bible (if you REALLY read it), is awful. It’s hateful, divisive, murderous, etc etc (I could site examples…but I just don’t have the time right now).
Ultimately, as I’ve said before, I find my strength within myself, and the people around me who I love, in order to get through tough times. I don’t need to look to an imaginary friend to help me through. I try not to be cocky about that, but that’s just the way I work. I understand that the world/nature is a brutal place, and that I am ultimately in control of what I can control, and the rest is just going to happen. And I’m perfectly ok with that. After billions of years of things working that way, who am I to try to convince myself that it’s otherwise?
So, I’m not sure what your motive is for sending this, as you have to know what my thoughts/response will be, but like I said at the beginning, I do appreciate you thinking about me and being concerned. I’m great though. Heavily overworked…but great.
Talk to you soon!