…but he loves you!

June 21, 2008

Thanks, Digital Dregs, for this one. Couldn’t say this any better myself. Classic!!

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Thanks to Rodney Anonymous for sharing this little nugget.

“Um, uh, um, gays is just wrong.”

For the record.

June 10, 2008

From the sounds of my posts, y’all probably think I’m some hedonistic, sex-crazed dope fiend.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, I am in a committed relationship (nearly 6 years now!) and have never strayed, not in this relationship or in any others I’ve had – maybe in my mind, a la Jimmy Carter, but never in the flesh.

As for drugs, I’ve been clean and sober for 11 years. Not even a cup of joe.

I just have very very strong opinions. But, as my old man used to say, “Opinions are like assholes – everyone’s got one and they all stink.”

I’ll have more meaningful posts up soon. Right now, I’m too busy reading the new David Sedaris.

All bark, no bite.

June 5, 2008

In an effort to keep my (anonymous) name in good standing, I would like to simply point out that, although I attack the evils of religion (and there are many) with great gusto, I don’t want you to think for one moment that I am some heartless bastard, as some folks have all too happily pointed out to me.

On the contrary! Here are some rather touchy-feely, hippy-dippy things that I really love (and some links to boot!): piano music, poetry, flowers, art, vegan cuisine, Rocky Mountain National Park, wide open spaces – oh my friends, I could go on and on! (There are also lots of darker things I enjoy, as well – perhaps we’ll save those for another post.)

It’s not uncommon for us atheists to withstand these types of character attacks from Christians. Aren’t these the same people who claim to follow the words of Jesus, who said things like “turn the other cheek” and all that Sermon on the Mount stuff? I mean, what is with these people? It’s either “eye for an eye” ultra-vindictiveness or it’s “love thy neighbor as thyself” ultra-compassion. Sounds like some sort of collective bi-polar disorder. Don’t they have medications for that?

Anyway, to make it short and simple, I want you all to know that I really am a nice person who doesn’t eat barbecued babies for breakfast or knock over Nativity scenes at Christmas time or marry off teenage girls to old pervos.

Carry on!

Recovering Catholics.

June 3, 2008

You’ve heard the old joke, “I’m a recovering Catholic”, but the joke is turning sour – especially in this day and age of uncovering deceits and lies that have kept hidden the horrors and abuses committed by the hands of pious, “celibate” Catholic priests.

I’m not about to tell you anything you don’t already know – that the Catholic church’s choice to move known abusers to other parishes is the most egregious abuse of trust and power that can be imagined; that millions of tax-free dollars have been spent in order to make this all happen; that even more millions of dollars have been shelled out in legal settlements, which will never fully help these poor victims fully heal from their scars and traumas.

What I want to address is the core of the matter, that which you will not soon hear anyone in the mainstream media even dare to mention – why does there seem to be such an epidemic of child sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests? Why is it that one is not surprised to hear about another scandal when they so frequently appear?

I think it’s rather obvious and simple: religion, particularly Catholicism, has an obsessive need to control and, in the case of the clergy, suppress the sexual instinct. Catholic priests are asked to unnaturally bury their very healthy and natural sexual urges and desires in order to be more “pure”, to have a closer communion with god. However, the experiment has so obviously backfired – the more fervently you try to hide or deny the sex drive, the uglier it will be when it finally manifests.

Why do we not hear of Buddhist monks sexual molesting young children? Perhaps it happens; I’ve not yet found any account of such. The Buddhist “faith” (if you can really call it that, but that’s another matter) doesn’t seek to deny any feeling or instinct; rather, the aim, through mindful meditation, is to fully acknowledge and then transform that sexual energy to be used in another way.

The Catholic church would be wise to face the reality of human sexuality sooner rather than later – before more young lives are irrevocably scarred.

Dead as a doornail.

June 1, 2008

I want to share with you faithful readers a quote that I read this morning (I regretfully don’t know the author at the time of this writing):

“Religion is our human response to the dual reality of being alive and having to die.”

It is, of course, an inevitability that each one of us humans will die. True to form, religion has always sought to fill in the void that is left behind by the passing of someone close to us, with its hollow benedictions and quick, ready-to-use answers for everything revolving around what most regard as the mystery that is death.

Personally, I don’t find much mystery about it – I agree with Mark Twain, who believed that when he died, he would go back to being the way he was for millions of years before he was born, which, as he put it, didn’t cause him the least bit of inconvenience.

But I can certainly understand why people are so uncomfortable with death. Believe me – I’m not exactly gleeful about the idea of my life, as I know it, coming to an end. I have lost people who are very close to me, and I still miss them very much, and wish that they were still here among the living. And although I have heard many convincing tales of visitations from beyond the grave, I tend to think that it’s a very convoluted and misguided form of wishful thinking that accounts for these types of “testimonials”. I don’t rule it out entirely as a metaphysical possibility – but to my mind (flawed as it might be) it seems highly unlikely.

Religion focuses so much on death and the afterlife, about how glorious and wonderful it will be when we are all in heaven with our god. So, if that’s the case, then shouldn’t all these religious zombies be happy when they hear that one of their own is ill and close to death? Why bother comforting that person, or even praying for their recovery? After all, shouldn’t they be jumping for joy, and even sending along well-wishes to be delivered to other long-departed souls? Isn’t that what the struggle is all about in the religious world view – the long-awaited reward of the afterlife?

The author of the quote that inspired this post must realize this fundamental truth – that religion is merely a product of the human mind, created to fill in the blanks where we are wont to shrug our shoulders and give up any further amount of scientific inquiry and logic into those matters that we don’t fully comprehend or understand.

Religious people think that atheists have no regard for human life; they think, how could we, since we don’t believe in the Almighty? I think it’s rather the opposite – since, as an atheist, I believe there is no after-life – no plush rooms filled with olives and virgins and angels strumming harps all day long – then the atheist world view is much more reverent towards life and realizes how truly rare and precious and fragile it is. In other words, we’ve got one shot, people – make the best of it.

The question I pose today is this: Is monogamy unnatural?

I know what some of you are thinking – “Cheap cop-out!” – but I think this question begs some serious discourse here.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, religion has tried quite fervently throughout recorded human history to stifle and otherwise control the sexual instinct in human mammals. (Quite unsuccessfully, I might add.) And, despite all evidence to the contrary, there are still pockets of the population who believe that some higher power – which also created everything from solar systems to microbes and everything in between – actually has an unshakable moral and ethical opinion about the sexual goings-on between consenting adults. (Of course, even the term “adult” is arbitrary – does one’s 18th birthday celebration somehow cast, spell-like, an ability over said celebrant to “act like a grown-up”? But that’s another matter for another time.)

What I want to address here is the very natural and, dare I say, uncontrollable sexual attraction that humans are wont to feel for those fellow humans who “turn their crank”, so to speak. Not one person can convince me that they have never wanted to wander from their current partner – no matter how much they might love that partner. Why does sex have to be about love? Religion has insidiously attached shame to the feeling of arousal for arousal’s sake, making all things sexual seem dangerous, sinful and to be avoided at all costs except for those times when breeding another human into the world seems like the appropriate thing to do (or you or your spouse were too lazy to make a stop at the pharmacy).

The statistics that suggest that over half of married men cheat on their wives should come as no surprise to anyone. The bible-thumpers would have us believe that this is a sign of a declining civilization and that the end times are near. Ahem, excuse me – Jesus isn’t coming back to tell you not to ball the babysitter, so don’t worry about it. I think the institutions of marriage and committed relationships as we currently understand them carry with them an expectation of sexual fidelity that I think is unreasonable and, in many cases, unattainable.

Sexual monogamy is the unspoken agreement that, when broken, completely breaks the deal for a lot of couples. I say, why not wake up and face the facts? We might be intelligent, reasoning people – but we are still animals. Animals with instincts. Should we let something as frivolous as a roll in the hay destroy a marriage? What is marriage, anyway? Why did you marry your spouse – so that you could control their every move and impulse? Alfred Kinsey was on to something – bring all things sexual into the light, and express them – or hell, let’s just look at ’em, for Chrissake, and not let some external sense of morality guide our actions. Rather, let’s use our ability for critical thought and civil discourse to work out, for ourselves and with our loved ones, what works for us and what doesn’t.