August 6

Aggressive Atheism

Over time, I have been accused of being an aggressive atheist.

Oh, the terminology has changed. I’ve been called an asshole. I’ve been told I am “proselytizing”. I’ve been told that I am too open and vocal about my atheism, even once by another atheist (or so they claimed at the time).

“Oh,” you are thinking, “You must be one of those anti-theists. You hate religion and the religious.”

Nope. I don’t hate anyone, and find religion to be, at best, annoying, and, at worst, an excuse for people to treat each other badly. Why, then, am I labeled like that?

Because I speak truth to believers. I point out the flaws in their belief, in their logic, and I ask questions that challenge their worldview. Let me give you an example.

Recently, a Facebook friend posted a meme of a “white Jesus” with the question, “Is there room for me on your wall?”

If I had been an anti-theist, my response would have been something along the lines of, “Sure, let me go get some nails.” or “Fuck no! He isn’t real!”

Anti-theism is not about speaking truth. It is about reacting negatively to religion. It can be dogmatic (All religion is wrong and evil!). It is usually very aggressive

What I did was ask why I would want a portrait of Cesare Borgia on my wall. For those of you who don’t know, the images of Jesus used in mainstream Christianity are of Cesare Borgia, a disgusting man from the 15th century who was given a PR makeover by his father. He had a variety of images created with Cesare as Jesus Christ. The campaign was super effective, and very, very few people today know that White Jesus is not Jesus at all, but Borgia.

By the end of it, I was threatened with violence, told by one person they had no idea what I believed (and then went on to tell me what I believed. Or, more accurately, what they thought I believed), told my parents had failed somewhere with me, and then blocked by someone who has known me since I was about eight years old.

Did I throw any insults? Not one.

Did I call people stupid? Nope.

I didn’t even really challenge their faith. But, I made them question it themselves, and that horrifies people. So, while it is acceptable for some Christians to say that other people deserve to be tortured for eternity, inciting thought and critical thinking is a crime worthy of banishment.

CHRISTAIN WARRIOR 1
At least I’m not one of these guys.

Why don’t I insult believers? For the same reason I don’t blame women for being raped, or the elderly for getting ripped off. Religion is a scam, and blaming those that have been scammed does nothing positive. The best thing for me to do is plant the seeds of doubt. In those that have a mind open enough to it, maybe they will realize the scam and get free. Forcing them with insults is not my style.

So, call me an aggressive atheist for challenging worldviews. It could be worse…

 

 

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May 30

Meltdown

I have now been in the hospital for about three and a half weeks.

I am really, really tired of being in the hospital. The people are nice, don’t get me wrong, but I want to go home. At the moment, I may end up at another rehab facility, but I would much rather be with my wife in my own space.

Unfortunately, getting in the apartment is a problem, as I am not walking yet. I hope I am by Wednesday.

The bigger problem is that tempers are short and I keep getting drawn into drama that I really should not be involved with while in the hospital. So, I’m going radio dark for a while. I’m shutting down my connection to Facebook, email, even shutting off my phone. I need a break, I need space to recover and start walking.

If you need to reach me, leave a message. I’ll get back to you, eventually.

February 28

In Memory

Leonary Nimoy. Source: ABC News
Leonary Nimoy. Source: ABC News

We have seen the passing of one of my personal heroes this week, Leonard Nimoy. To honor him, I watched the first five Star Trek movies. The funeral scene in Wrath of Khan made me cry, as did several of the other scenes related to death. I told my oldest that he was one of my heroes, and I realized he was. His views on life, both in and out of character, helped me through some dark times in my life. I mourn his passing.

I have already seen people speaking of him in Heaven, and some dismissing him as an atheist. From all of the information I can gather, he was a lifelong Jew. So, yes, he may be in Heaven, but he is not hanging out with Saint Peter. Sorry to dash your hopes of playing pinochle with him. To be honest, I don’t know if that was a game he liked or not. I could see him enjoying many different types of games. Maybe that is my own projection.

I’m sorry that it has been a long time since my last update. My heath has been an issue; I got a pretty severe head cold, and, with Multiple Sclerosis, it makes everything more complex. When the fever one is running makes it hard to move or think straight, blogging sometimes takes a hit. Thankfully, I survived it, although our finances have taken a hit, with my lovely wife having also been sick and having to take some time off. So, to cover some of my ongoing medical expenses, I have had to resort to a Gofundme fundraiser. Links are to the right.

Yesterday, I woke up and my right hand had gone all pins and needles. It is a new symptom, a departure from the slow decline of my left side, and something quite worrisome. It will probably take me some time to get used to the way my right hand feels now. My typing has slowed, and I am considering teaching myself touch typing with the new condition to improve my speed. Coding will be difficult, but I have too many projects to be slowed down by something silly like a disability.

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January 16

Projection

The Scales of Justice
The Scales of Justice

I know, I know, I should just let it go and move on with my life. But, the whole situation is bugging me, and I think I am beginning to figure out why.

The indiscretion with the estranged wife aside, one of the accusations that my former friend lodged was that I fed her information, and that it contributed to him not being able to see his kids. On the surface, this was an offhand remark that was overshadowed by the perfectly justified anger that my friend felt about the other issue. However, now that I have gotten past the previous issue, I have had more time to examine this combination claim, and realized exactly the implications of what it means. I must say, I am surprised and dismayed at what it reveals, but I think it does shed some additional light upon his mindset.

Let’s look at the first part. Set aside for a moment that, after she used me to attack my friend that I didn’t want to have anything to do with her and move on to the presumption, for the sake of argument, that I was still in contact with her.

Let’s look at the situation at the time. She had moved to her own apartment north of Indianapolis with her son and daughter. He was living with his mistress who was going through her own divorce (as far as I knew. They weren’t talking to me much, either, as they blamed me for revealing the affair to both her husband and his wife).

In the mean time, I was trying to get my life back together, and was focusing on my own business as much as possible.

In the rare incidences that I talked to anyone, I tried to remain neutral, not give anyone any information that they did not have, and basically just be a friend and not a gossip. At some point, my friend and his girlfriend moved out of town, and I found out soon after from the girlfriend it was because he had spent the night with his estranged wife, and had gotten her pregnant.

At this point, I lost a lot of respect for him. He had not only cheated on his wife, the mother of his son, but also then cheated on his mistress with his wife, gotten her pregnant, and then left town. Frankly, at that point, I would have been content to just cut my losses and let him fade into the sunset. He seemed to be in a self destructive spiral, and there was little I could do about it.

However, the girlfriend told me that I should be patient with him, that he was dealing with a lot of emotional baggage, and I should wait for him to deal with it. So, I did.

I got a message from his ex-wife, asking questions such as where he had moved to. At the time, I was not certain, only that he had left the state. I knew that the divorce had gone from messy to bench warrant contempt of court messy, but there was little I could do to help the situation, so I stayed out of it.

I got a call from the girlfriend’s ex-husband, with similar questions, as his now ex-wife had left him with their daughter. Again, I had no information to give.

Soon after, I found out they had moved to Minneapolis, but I tried to stay out of it as much as possible. Had I been called to testify, I would have had no choice but to do so, but it never came up.

So, in the end, there were a lot of factors in the two divorces, none of which had anything to do with me. First, the fact that my friend got his estranged wife pregnant may have changed the nature of the divorce. I am not a lawyer, and am not fully versed in the laws surrounding divorce in the state of Indiana, but I seem to remember having to certify that my ex-wife was not pregnant. Let’s toss that one out, since I do not know enough to say anything about it.

Next, the fact that he moved out of state without (based on the communication with both exes I got) informing the court, considering there were children involved, could be considered contempt of court.

Finally, that his ex-wife refused or is still refusing to allow him to see his kids is a legal issue that he needs to address and has absolutely nothing to do with me, and is solely between him, his lawyer, the court, his ex-wife, and her lawyer. That he is somehow trying to blame me for it is nothing more that projection.

In summation, he is trying to blame me for telling on him for 1) possibly being in contempt of court, possibly for trying to skirt the divorce laws of the State of Indiana, and 2) for not standing up and fighting for his right to see his kids.

I am sure that, if he reads this, he is going to blow a gasket, get pissed off, swear some sort of petty vengeance against me, but, since I have not once mentioned him by name, it just shows how petty the whole thing really is. Instead of standing up, being a man, and fighting for his rights, he wants to waste his energy and time attacking a handicapped man he has already thrown under the bus just to keep from admitting to himself he made a mistake.

Once again, I have been asked to be patient with him. I was once. I am beginning to think that the second chance I gave him then was all he deserved.