Archive for September, 2008

Wall of separation

September 29, 2008

The pastor at my church says to vote Yes on California Proposition 8 (removing the rights of gays to marry) because the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin.


He didn’t actually quote any passages.  But he said we cannot negotiate with God.


He went on to tell us that England had decided to allow Muslim civil cases to be decided in religious arbitration courts.  And if something like that were to happen in America, then we’d be allowing polygamy.


And then he claimed that the next thing that would happen is that it would become illegal for churches to refuse to marry gay couples.


So the pastor wants to weaken the wall of separation between church and state by voting fundamental Christian law into our nation’s codes — which would force non-Christians to obey religious statues — but he doesn’t want Muslims to have the right to arbitrate among themselves.


Furthermore, he claims that polygamy is against God’s law (despite it being the norm for about 2/3 of the Christian scriptures); he claims this right after he says God does not allow negotiation.  But perhaps it isn’t negotiation; perhaps God is merely changing the rules.


And then, after he encourages his congregation to chip away the wall of separation and invokes the founding fathers in his argument that religion should have a role in the government, he complains that the government might dare to take a role in the churches.  Well, yes, he is probably right.  If the wall of separation won’t keep religion out of government, it probably shouldn’t be keeping the government out of religion.  That’s only fair. 


He was guilty of the logical fallacy known as “having your cake and eating it too”.


Well, maybe I made that up.


In any case, I wrote him a nice email.

if God had a voice

September 22, 2008

If there was a god, its voice would sound like Imogen Heap when she and her harmonizer machine are singing “Hide and Seek”.

And whoever found my page by searching “how to tell my husband that i am an atheist” : please email me!  [notreallyalice at gmail dot com]  I’d love to hear from you.

Imagine no religion

September 18, 2008

Just outside my cubicle, under my nameplate, I have a little sign with a picture of the World Trade Center, captioned, “Imagine no religion.”  (I modified the image from the flyer available on the Richard Dawkins Foundation website.)

It’s been up there for a few months now, and until today, the only person to say anything about it locked onto the RDF citation and started talking about atheists, referring to them as “the other side.”  I was amused.

But today someone walked by, read it, and started to laugh.  I turned to see.  He was astonished, holding his hands over his mouth, and saying, “It’s true!  It’s true!  It wouldn’t have happened!”

Indeed.  I wonder what other thoughts this will lead him to.

I’m such a bad influence.

Speaking of which, I need to learn how to smoke.  I don’t want any bad habits, but it seems clear to me that any self-respecting godless heathen bad girl needs to blow a badass puff of smoke into the faces of her enemies now and then.


September 16, 2008

I wasn’t planning to get into politics around here, but I’m just too damn proud of myself for this demotivational poster.

Thank you, Tina Fey.  And thank you, Motivator.

The only non-Christian in the house

September 13, 2008

When I told my husband I was an atheist, he said, “Now I’m the only Christian in the house.”  Which was not true, though it did seem like it at the time.  I am the only atheist in the house.

This had been going fine until this morning, when I was scolded for not being sensitive enough to my young sister-in-law’s new Christianity.  “She feels like you’re undermining everything she’s working for,” my husband tells me.

First of all, I wish she’d tell me herself.

Second, its a lie that atheists oppose everything Christians do.  We aren’t immoral.  It’s just that we understand that our humanness is the source of our morality, whereas Christians think that our humanness is the source of all sin.  Well, technically, humanness is the source of all human nature, good and bad.  But I think you see the distinction.

So now I am supposed to shut my godless face about certain topics around the sister-in-law.  Supposedly I am tempting her away from Christianity– and perhaps on some level, I am.  But listen.  I am who I am.  There will be non-Christians everywhere.  She can’t expect everyone in the universe to walk on eggshells around her just because she’s a Christian.  I’ll be honest: Christianity is a good start for her; it’s better than nothing (trust me.  She has had nothing, and this is better).  But in the long run it is only going to teach her that God will come and rescue her, God will tell her what to do, God will give her this list of rules to follow.  Instead of running her own life, the church will be running it for her.  But like I said, maybe that is technically better than nothing.

So should I be more “respectful”?  Or should I go on flaunting my secular worldview?

I’ll tell you one thing.  I was slipping and posting my godless drivel in my personal blog.  One friend seemed to really enjoy thinking about the ideas I’d posed.  But now my husband is reading my blog and the sister-in-law too.  So for the sake of peace in the house, this is now my primary blog.

I am an atheist and I am not ashamed.  I like my peace and quiet, however.

So my name is Alice.  Nice to meet you.

Everything happens for a reason

September 12, 2008

I recently had to take action against a man raping and otherwise abusing my sister.  She had been scared to tell me but finally did, at the end of a three-day period I happened to have off from work.  I was glad to have had those days off!  How much longer would this have gone on if the timing of my days off had been different?

I was telling some of this to a friend who knows I am an atheist.  Of course she said, “See, everything happens for a reason!”

Are you saying that God introduced my sister to an abusive, manipulative rapist for the sole purpose of having me save her from said rapist?

And I thought the rapist was manipulative.

[And another thing!  You’re going to thank God because I chose to spend my time off with my sister?  Either you are a jerk for saying it or God is a jerk for demanding the credit for what I did.  Or there is no God.  QED! 🙂 ]

I need to have a better way to say that I can hardly be thankful to god for getting people out of trouble if god is the one who got them into trouble in the first place.  But then, bad things always get blamed on the devil or sin nature.  I guess I used to believe it too; that’s why I try to be gentle.  It would be hypocritical of me to be angry at people for believing the same things I once fell for. 

Or should I be blunt?  I wonder if I would have de-converted earlier if someone had shaken me and told me how ridiculous I was being.

Scientific awe

September 5, 2008

I experienced my first ever moment of scientific awe.


I realize that sounds a little ridiculous.  What is scientific awe?  Well, here’s an example.


I was reading Dawkins on the train to work this morning, and he was explaining the factors that make this universe friendly to life, and how this planet in particular is situated quite nicely so that life can develop here.  He wrote, “The massive gravitational vacuum cleaner of Jupiter is well placed to intercept asteroids that might otherwise threaten us with lethal collision.”  And I had a little moment where I felt aware, on some physical level, of how all these little things are doing something completely innocent (by innocent I mean that Jupiter isn’t out there blocking asteroids on purpose) and perhaps because of it, here I am.


Just now I wonder … will anything I ever do measure up to Jupiter, just spinning around the sun, taking asteroid hits so that life could develop on Earth over few billion years?