A blogger’s dilemma

I got out of my biology laboratory about two hours early thanks to my awesome lab partner being bored and coming in to start an hour early. As I was happily walking home, I ran into something you’ll reliably see on a fall afternoon at Purdue: the two Mormon guys with their Books of Mormon and posters about Jesus.

Mormon: Hi, do you have a minute to talk?
Devil on my shoulder: Oh my god, this will probably make a hilarious blog post. Who doesn’t like illogical arguments from Mormons?! Do it, do it.
Devil on other shoulder: I’m want to go home, drink a coke, and take a nap. Don’t you dare.

Unfortunately for you guys, lazy Jen won out and I just said “No thanks.” Well, I guess I’m still making a blog post about it, so whatever.

To be honest I don’t like engaging random preaching theists unless something special really draws me in. I have talked to the Mormons once, and it went something like this:

Me: *accidentally makes eye contact* Oops
Mormon: Hi, would you like to hear the question of the day?
Me: Oh no, now I’m curious. Sure.
Mormon: What’s the meaning of life.
Me: Life has no preordained purpose, only that which you give it.
Mormon: *shocked look, like no one has said that to him all day* …What? You don’t believe in a God given purpose?
Me: I’m an atheist.
Mormon: …What? *even more shock*

Unfortunately I needed to run to class so I couldn’t stay and answer his further questions about my godlessness, not like it really would have made a difference. I would have gone on being a heathen, and he would probably still be giving away pocket bibles in his short sleeve dress shirt and little backpack*.

*As a side note, would someone like to enlighten me why the Mormon missionary outfit is so dorky looking? I mean, I understand that they don’t want to walk around in jeans and a t-shirt, but why not a long sleeved shirt or a polo? Why where the little backpack that straps in front at all times? Do they dislike homosexuality so much that they refuse to listen to basic fashion advice?

A form letter response to Porn and Popcorn

On Monday I wrote to the Purdue Student Union Board about the problems with the Porn and Popcorn event. I thought I may have slightly better luck since I somewhat know the President (had a couple classes together, are Facebook friends, will wave hello when we pass, etc). Here’s my email:

This past Friday I and approximately 25 members of the Society of Non-Theists attended Porn and Popcorn, an event cosponsored by the Stewart Cooperative and (according to the flyers) PSUB. I am writing you because I am very disappointed that PSUB decided to sponsor such an event, as it seems against its purpose to “Present programs designed to meet current entertainment, cultural, recreational, social, and educational needs of students.” I have two major complaints about the event:

1. No part of the event was based on factual or scientific information even though it claimed to be education. They presented gross misconceptions and outright lies about human sexuality to young adults, individuals who need proper health information the most. They went as far as saying that “Protective sex is a joke” and that you would get diseases and pregnant no matter what sort of contraception you used, which is simply a falsehood. It appalls me that such dangerous information could be connected to PSUB‘s name, especially when Purdue University and PUSH work so hard to educate Purdue students about sex. If anything, this was detrimental to the educational needs of the students.

2. The event slandered non-Christian students by stating that “To connect with an unbeliever is to connect with the devil” and “If he can’t be a faithful to God, he can’t be faithful to you.” As an atheist and the President of the Society of Non-Theists, I am extremely concerned that PSUB would sponsor an event that told downright lies about a significant percentage of Purdue’s student body. Their discussion that non-believers are of the devil and are certainly going to cheat on their significant other is troubling, and hopefully you can understand why. In addition to this, when the speaker was asking questions about audience member’s boyfriends and girlfriends, and asked if anyone had a “crazy drama girlfriend,” two of our female members raised their hands. A student then walked by and called our group “Faggots.” I know neither Stewart nor PSUB can control audience members, but this sort of “If you’re not a straight sex-abstaining Christian, there’s something wrong” attitude seemed to be the main theme of the event. I understand that the majority of Purdue students are Christians, and thus PSUB will likely sponsor Christian programming, but I am disappointed that this event was not welcoming to non-Christians.

I in no way want to ban further Christian events from being held at Purdue – they have every right to have their voice heard – but it worries me that PSUB, which is supposed to represent the student body as a whole, was associated with such an event. Thank you for listening to my concerns, and hopefully these problems won’t occur again in the future.

Jennifer McCreight
[email protected]

Unfortunately, all I got in response was a form email:

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for your interest in campus programming at Purdue and your concerns in regards to the Porn and Popcorn event. Part of PSUB’s mission is to promote student programming on campus that enrich and entertain and recognize the campus’ diversity of interests. One way we meet this mission is by offering co-sponsorship opportunities to other student organizations seeking to hold programs on campus. We provided monetary support to the Stewart Co-operative Council for this event to help promote campus programming. The information they provided on their co-sponsorship application met our requirements and so the event co-sponsorship was granted by our Board of Directors. If you would like to further view the co-sponsorship guidelines and application, it can be found on our website at union.purdue.edu/psub.

Thanks again for your interest and concerns and I’m sorry you did not enjoy the event.

Wow, talk about a non response. So it’s totally okay that they provided misinformation and lies about sex and non-Christians because they didn’t include those things on the forms? Is there absolutely no consequences for people who do such things, or is it that once you get PSUB’s money you can do whatever you want with it? They apologized for me not having fun (even though the event did amuse me, but not they way they intended), but didn’t apologize for anything that really mattered.

I think it’s time for a letter to our student newspaper.

Sometimes accidental journeys bring you back to the beginning

You know when you start looking up the Wikipedia article for fly fishing and then you’re somehow reading about Impressionism in Poland? It’s even odder when that happens outside of the confounds of Wikipedia or Google. For example, look at the journey I took today:

1. My friend asked how I got interested in Evolution. I said I didn’t remember how I was first introduced to it, but around age 14 I started thinking a lot of Intelligent Design arguments made sense. I asked my then Science Olympiad coach (former 7th grade science teacher) if he could explain how evolution worked to me, and he promptly explained why ID was bunk.

2. I remembered I wrote a debate paper for AP Composition near the end of my senior year of high school why Intelligent Design shouldn’t be taught in school. Said teacher was a source (paper required one interview.)

3. I wondered if I ever wrote down my thoughts about Intelligent Design/Evolution/Atheism since I had a journal at the time. Old journal was terrifyingly emo, mildly hilarious, occasionally insightful, and full of emoticons and quizzes. It was also full of quotes from said teacher since I pretty much had the biggest crush on him for a long long time (I feel no fear admitting this because pretty much everyone in the universe knew about it, including him. Yeah, young girls aren’t too subtle.).

4. Remembering he had a blog, I go to check if it was updated. Hadn’t been updated since shortly after I graduated high school.

5. Wondering if he maybe kept the same username but moved to a different blog, I search for his username in Google. I see one of the links goes to Pharyngula, so I click.

6. I find this comment by him in late April, 2006:

Thanks for making available your presentation. As a science teacher, I recently recommended some links (including Pharyngula) to a student preparing a debate paper against teaching ID in science classrooms. Her paper was finished prior to this (and it was superb), but I will be sure she sees this piece.

Again, thanks.

That was him talking about my previously mentioned ID paper. My initial reaction was “Wow, he thought it was superb?!” with a sort of basking glow and those same girly butterflies in my stomach (old crushes die hard, I guess). But then it dawned on me. That’s how I found Pharyngula. People were always asking me how I stumbled upon it, but I never could remember. It was the first blog I ever read, but did I Google it or what? But now I remember – he linked me to it for that project. He was also the one who introduced me to the Index to Creationist Claims.

When I think about it, that man affected my life in pretty much every way I could imagine. His class was the first time I really got interested in science. He made me fall in love with genetics, and in a year I will be going somewhere to get my PhD studying it. He was always there to answer my questions about evolution, and made me passionate about the surrounding debate. His encouragement of logical thinking helped me get out of my weird supernatural deist funk and back to being an atheist. He even linked me to Pharyngula, which would eventually motivate me to become an atheist activist and start a blog, and be the thing that made my blog somewhat popular. And on the risk of sounding creepy, he likely started my trend of being attracted to sarcastic, somewhat cocky, skeptical, scientific men.

Hm.

Friend: He reads Pharyngula? PZ has linked to you a ton. What if he reads your blog?
Me: …I would be honored, and he might be creeped out that I just wrote this big post about him.

Creation Museum Lecture

In case you’re anywhere near Purdue, I just thought I’d let you know that I’m giving a talk on the Creation Museum on Monday.

When Dinosaurs Walk with God
A godless biologist’s trip to the Creation Museum
Presentation by Jennifer McCreight, President of the Society of Non-Theists and Purdue senior majoring in Genetics and Evolution

Mon, Sept 21
6:30 – 8:00 pm
LILY G126
Free and open to public

This summer Jennifer visited the Creation Museum, a multi-million dollar enterprise by Answers in Genesis to spread the gospel of literal Biblical Creation. The museum teaches that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, evolution is a lie, and human reason and science are dangerous. Its child friendly environment complete with animatronic dinosaurs and a petting zoo is worrisome to those interested in science education in the US.

She’ll be presenting a virtual tour of the museum with some commentary and rebuttals of the scientific inaccuracies seen within (did you know that a T-Rex was a vegetarian until the fall of man?). There will be time for a Q&A session at the end.

I’ll admit, it’ll be similar to the blog posts I made about my trip, but more cohesive and with more background information. We’ll also probably head out to dinner together afterward, if that’s more incentive for you to come!

No scientific knowledge in radio personalities

Every once in a while I’ll search for “Indiana, atheist” just to see 1. If the Society of Non-Theists has made the news without me knowing or 2. What stupid things people in Indiana are saying about atheists. Unfortunately, it almost always results in number two. For example, take this lovely editorial by Peter Heck, radio host of Kokomo, IN’s Peter Heck Show (self described as “a conservative Christian commentary on social and political issues”). It’s titled “No atheists in birthing centers” and offers the birth of his child as proof of God. It’s like an I Spy of illogical theist claims! At quick glance I can find:

What can you spot? Or better yet, how many of you are dying to get out of Indiana or happy to have escaped?

Dear Pastor Tom

Hey there! How’s it going? Oh, don’t seem surprised – I know you’re subscribed to my blog since twice now you’ve written a rebuttal to my posts within 24 hours of my original posts. I just want to say it’s incredibly cute how you’re too afraid to mention my name or link to my blog lest someone read an alternative opinion and make their own decisions. I mean, we don’t want people thinking or coming to their own conclusions, do we? I giggle every time you make up a new excuse to not name me, like:

“Many atheist bloggers have expressed joy over this, but it’s not worth taking the time to tell you about any more of them.”

and

“because I don’t subscribe to the language and advertising on the blogs that are defending pornography, I’m not going to give any links, and will not permit any to be posted on this blog.”

But please don’t stop. I get a certain amount of glee knowing someone feels so intimidated by my arguments – must mean I’m explaining my points really well! And what an honor that you’ll mention Pharyngula and Friendly Atheist all the time, but Blag Hag is just too much of a threat! I am a little disappointed, though, that you didn’t come up with some witty pun of my blog to put under your “Evil Sites” links like PharyTales or Hateful Atheist. Can I suggest “She Who Must Not Be Named?”

Your favorite atheist blogger,
Jen

Anti-Porn event – emotional appeals and dangerous misinformation

*I apologize for this post being so long. If you want to read the most humorous parts, scroll down until you get to the quotes from the former porn actress, Shelly. They’re the “highlight” of the show.

As many of you know, last night I attended Porn and Popcorn, a Christian anti-pornography event hosted by the Stewart Cooperative, the Purdue Student Union Board, and other various Christian organizations and local businesses (Chick-Fil-A was one, nothing too surprising there). Oddly enough, about 25 other members of the non-theists joined me. At least I had an excuse of “this will make a good blog post,” but I think they’re all just a bit masochistic. Or in it for the free pop and popcorn, which we received without bursting into flames or being struck with lightening.

Proof I wasted my time going to this thing

We settled down on Slayter Hill, a big open air amphitheater on campus where you just sit on the grass to watch the stage. There were about 600 – 1000 people there (wide range, I know, I’m not good at guestimating crowds). The band was already playing (not well, but playing), and I was amazed that they weren’t playing Christian rock. Actually, the fact that they were singing songs I enjoy unnerved me a bit, because I suddenly heard the lyrics from a different perspective (Wait, this is about God and not his girlfriend?!). They even had about 10 female groupies in front of the stage jumping around with their hands in the air. Eventually they had 20 people holding hands and skipping around in a circle, at which point the giggling began.

As we were waiting for the real show to start, they had PowerPoint slides cycling through with what would be the only “scientific” facts of the entire show:

  1. “90% of kids age 8 – 16 have seen porn.” What a wide age range. I’d love to see the distribution of that, because I’m sure the vast majority of those numbers come from the older kids. When you have a skew like that, you can’t just keep including a lower age for shock tactics.
  2. “True or False: 18-24 year olds are the highest porn users – False. 12-17 use porn the most.” Wow, shocking. Maybe that’s because 18-24 year olds are actually having sex and are less curious about human sexuality because they’ve already learned about it? Oh wait, no, we’re supposed to be in shock that middle and high schoolers are looking at sexual things. Sorry.
  3. “Women are more likely to act out their sexual urges, like casual sex, multiple partners, or affairs.” Um, no. Buss 2006 summarizes the many studies that show men desire casual sex more than women, and both sides would engage in the same amount since they need to be doing it with someone, assuming heterosexual sex. Men and women would on average have the same number of partners, but men desire more. Laumann et al 1994 found that 25% of married men and 15% of married women had an extramarital affair at some point in their marriage. Nice try with the lies to slander women.

The show opened with a nicely produced video set to some hip hop music (dude, they get us) about how horrible sex and porn is. They had some skeevy looking guy taking of advantage of what I have to think was a thirteen year old girl, especially since they had toys and children’s drawings everywhere. Afterward the pastor* comes out and tells us this is a reality (*Side note: I just want to make it clear that these are the “good” Christians who say Jesus loves everyone, only God judges, love the sinner hate the sin, yadda yadda). Yeah, sexual abuse of children is a reality, but it has nothing to do with pornography and should not be used as an emotional tool. But that’s the only tool they have. The entire two hour presentation contained nothing but emotional arguments and personal stories – those “facts” I listed above were as close as you get to “science.” To illustrate my point, here are some of the scare tactics they used at the beginning (bold is their arguments):

  • Senior citizens are the highest porn users. Doesn’t that make you want to throw up? Wow, way to marginalize an entire group of people for being sexual. Oh wait, that’s the whole point of this presentation.
  • A mother called us saying her 8 year old son stumbled upon a porn site. Yeah, he “accidentally” found it. Rigggghttt.
  • Porn destroys the economy because you’re wasting your money on it. This said right after they tell us how porn is a multi-billion dollar institution. Doesn’t that mean it would be stimulating the economy? (EDIT: Apparently even Gingrich agrees with me)
  • When this anti-porn Christian group went to a porn convention, everyone their loved and accepted them. Therefor they’re doing the right thing. Could you imagine a Christian convention accepting a porn group? Or maybe people at porn conventions are more liberal and open minded, and accepting of people who are different than them?
  • Men feel terrified and guilty that they have to hide porn from their wife. Maybe you shouldn’t marry someone who’s so uptight and anti-sex that she’s not cool with you watching porn. Some great communication you have in your marriage there.
  • Porn is a gateway drug to child porn. What. No.

They then brought out a former porn producer to talk about how he saw the light, quit the porn industry, and became a Good Christian. Every story he told didn’t shed any light on the evils of porn – it just showed that he was a giant douche bag. He cheated on his wife multiple times before even getting started in porn. He secretly was a porn producer for 3 years without his wife’s knowledge, and then when she found out, she left him. It’s not porn that ruined your marriage – it’s that you’re a lying dick who was duping your wife. He then went on and on about how he ruined all of these women’s lives and tricked them into porn, how in between shoots they would curl up in the fetal position and suck their thumb, how they needed surgery to correct the sexual things he made them do. I’m going to call Bull Shit on all of this, but even if it was true, that just further reflects on the guy’s character, not porn – he’s a giant insensitive ass.

Pastor: What did you think of our group when you first saw it?
Porn Producer: I thought you were a porn site making fun of Christians, and I thought it was a great idea!
Us: *laugh* …*realize we’re the only people laughing, go quiet*

He then went on to tell the story of all his inner turmoil because of porn (no, because you’re a jerk) and how he used to be a troll at Christian forums. But they were all so nice and even though they banned him they kept telling him over and over again that they would pray for him. And eventually he prayed that God would give him sign.

Pastor: At some point you need to give up.
Us: …

His car broke down and while the mechanic told him it was something wrong with the spark plug, he knew it was God. And that’s when he stopped being an atheist and accepted Jesus. …Yeah, buddy, if you’re asking God for signs and you’re willing to believe events with rational explanations are signs, I’m inclined to believe you weren’t an atheist. Stop trying to make us look bad. He then went on to say how he was at peace, which including crying and puking… uh, okay, sounds real peaceful to me.

Porn Producer: There are bad Christians, but not a bad God.
Josh: Because there’s no God
Me: *high five*

These sort of emotional, personal stories went on all night: they never presented any scientific studies or even included possible credentials they have (anyone have a degree in Psychology? no?). It even included a video of Pornmobile Confessions where people talk about their porn problems while riding in the backseat of a Mini Cooper at night. Their main argument is that they get people writing them all the time about how porn has ruined their lives. Um, have you heard of sampling bias? You only see the people who have been negatively affected by porn because those are the only people who are contacting you. The vast majority of people have had a neutral or positive experience, but you don’t see them because you’re not seeking them out. I’m sure some people really have had negative experiences with porn, but they’re blowing it way out of proportion.

And with the people who did have bad experiences with porn, those were all caused BECAUSE OF THEIR RELIGION. People feel guilty/scared and hide porn from loved ones, and it ruins their marriage because of bad communication. People feel guilty for being sexual beings or need to turn to porn for their sexual curiosity. You know where this guilt comes from? RELIGION. If conservative Christians didn’t beat over your head that sex was so evil to begin with, people wouldn’t be having these problems. We’d have comprehensive sex education and open dialog about human sexuality so little kids wouldn’t have to turn to the internet for information. We wouldn’t feel guilty for engaging in normal sexual activity. We’d be able to talk about sex with our loved ones before marrying them and finding out they have incompatible viewpoints.

It’s like Christians have fabricated the problem of sex so they can come down and fix it. And that’s the only solution or “reasoning” they give: Jesus. All they repeated is that you need to follow God’s plan and be a pure person. “Jesus died and can help you,” but they don’t say how. They never give a single other reason other than God. What about people who aren’t Christians? What’s their incentive to stop watching porn? I guess they either forget us non-Christians even exist, they figure we’re a lost cause, or they see this as a good method to get us to convert to Christianity. The Religiosity Level was through the roof at this point as they told people to give themselves up to Jesus, and I really expected them to ask people to come up on the spot, but they didn’t.

And as an important side note, this whole beginning piece came off as very demeaning towards women. All women were painted as fragile children who couldn’t make their own decisions and were duped into porn. I never heard the pastor or the porn producer refer to females as women or ladies – they always called them “girls.” Whether you were a helper in their movement, a porn actress, or the producer’s wife – you were “Girl.” Way to show some respect to adult women.

Then the night took drove right past Religiousville and took a right into Bizarroland. They brought out Shelly, a former porn actress who talked so nonsensically that the whole audience (not just us) was murmuring in confusion and convinced that she was either high or that her brain was permanently warped from years of drug abuse (which she later admitted to). Her talk was not only rambling, but incredibly sexist and racist, which was even more ironic coming from a black female. It was so rambling that I can’t form coherent paragraphs about what she was saying, so here, have some lovely statements:

  • “Women were created as helpers. Isn’t it lovely how Christianity can brainwash you into subordination? Why do women take this shit?
  • “Chosen virginity” Apparently those times you lose your virginity when you were a confused heathen don’t count. You get to start over when you’re Christian again!
  • “Once you start having sex, God’s plan doesn’t want you to stop.” Or maybe you don’t want to stop because you realize how nice sex is. What does that have to do with God’s plan? If he doesn’t want you to have premarital sex, why would he keep you going unless his plan is flawed?
  • “If he can’t pay for the movie, he can’t pay for the rent! You don’t want him!” What the fuck? So that’s all women want in a man – support? I rarely have had guys pay for dinner because we usually split, but if he does, I’ll usually pay for dinner sometimes to. I can’t imagine the idea of a boyfriend paying my rent. My parents raised me to be able to take care of myself without a man, thank you very much.
  • She was introduced to masturbation by her African Studies Professor, who said it was the best way to have an orgasm. She also supposed he was sleeping with half of the students. First of all, what is the purpose of pointing out he was an African Studies Professor? Second of all, since when is it okay to make wild libelous claims that you give absolutely no proof of?
  • “Think of a clean glass of water. Now imagine greasy finger prints all over it, like I was just eating fried chicken. That’s what masturbation is.” …I don’t know what’s more disturbing here, the fried chicken comment, or the fact that masturbation is considered dirty.
  • Many women like masturbation more than sex, and that ruins their sex life. Therefore masturbation is bad. Or maybe their lack of communication ruins their sex life because they’re too ashamed to tell their partner what they enjoy.
  • “Women were created to receive.” …Feminist rage in 3…2…
  • God created sex so you could be one with your partner. Every time you have sex, you’re creating oneness with that n

    ew person, so you’re fracturing your soul into pieces. OMG SEX CREATES HORCRUXES. That’s really how Voldemort was doing it, but Rowling had to keep the book rated PG-13. Man, so does that mean when I reach 7 sex partners I’ll become all powerful? Sign me up!

  • Do any of you watch soap operas? *looks at audience* A DUDE watches soap operas? Man, we’re going to need to have a talk. Yes, because you’re not conforming to your gender stereotypes! Oh, she then went on to say soap operas were evil, which I guess I’ll agree with to an extent.
  • “Non-married sex is fake, it’s counterfeit. The devil came up with it.” …Yeah, around this point she started invoking the devil. I have to admit this made me really uncomfortable. I mean, I’ve heard a lot of ridiculous religious things before, but just something about someone going on about the devil’s influences and truly believing he exists unnerves me. It’s such a convenient excuse for all the bad things you do that it absolutely absolves you of personal responsibility or control.
  • I had four abortions because my friend told me they were an option. Yes, blame your friend for your irresponsibility. Four, really? I mean, I’m pro-choice, but at a certain point you have to learn to be responsible. Maybe if she had proper sex education she would have known how to properly use contraception.
  • I had such bad self esteem that I would sleep with any guy who complimented me to thank him. Yeah, how is this porn’s fault and not some serious issues you have? Go see a Psychologist, not Jesus.
  • I was sleeping with this gangsta guy who was had seven girlfriends at once. Again, what does this have to do with porn? This just shows that you made really poor life choices and have bad self control when it comes to sex.
  • I was a wedding planner for my best friend, and I slept with the groom. Okay, what are all of these stories illustrating other than you’re uneducated about sex, out of control, have severe psychological problems, and are a horrible friend? Oh, that’s right, they’re setting you up to be incredibly hypocritical:
  • To connect with an unbeliever is to connect with the devil. and “If he can’t be a faithful to God, he can’t be faithful to you.” Yep, can’t go a whole Christian event without bashing the atheists. This quote made me fume. I just listened to a bunch of Christians go on about how they cheated, had promiscuous sex, kept giant secrets from their spouses, got STDs, did drugs, had abortions, etc etc – but that’s all okay because they found Jesus. But those atheists? They have no morals, so they’re all going to cheat on you. What a bunch of fucking shit. Our whole group was sitting their in awe of how morally bankrupt these people were, because we’re actually good, honest people, and then they go and say we’re the cheaters. Or as my agnostic friend said, “My current girlfriend (atheist) is the first one to not cheat on me, compared to all the Christians I dated.” PSUB is going to get quite a few unhappy emails about how they’re sponsoring events that slander non-believers with unfounded lies. I yet again had the wonderful feeling of being an outcast; that if I introduced myself to random people at Purdue and they found out I was an atheist, the vast majority would instantly not like me. But if you can believe it, that wasn’t the quote that upset me the most that night:
  • “Protective sex is a joke.” Wow. I can’t think of a more horrible thing to be telling a crowd of 18-25 year olds. This is just plain irresponsible and dangerous. Again, I can’t believe PSUB would sponsor an event that could have a severe detrimental affect on the health of students at Purdue. I…I’m really left without words.

After they basically had to kick Shelly off the stage because she ran over her time and refused to stop talking, they went right back into the Christian rock band. That’s right, no time for questions. But you know what, it doesn’t really surprise me. This type of religion isn’t about asking questions or thinking for yourself. The event was to give you a biased view (no one pro-porn there) and to tell you what to do and how to think or else God will be very disappointed in you. I guess I was naive to assume they would encourage any intellectual discussion.

We then left and went to Qdoba to eat food and rant, and I’m sure some of the arguments we came up there were far more intelligent than the things I have just said. But I’m getting to the point where thinking about this depresses me, so I’m going to leave the rest of the insightful comments to you guys, and give you some funny highlights from the event:

Pastor: What better truth than the Bible?!
Non-Theists: *giggle*

Pastor: God wants to come inside you!
Friend: Woah, kinky

Shelly: *first comment* Sex outside of God’s intention is desicration.
Me: … *feeling insane at this point, lays down, covers face with notebook, and has a stifled tear-producing giggle fit, which in turn makes all the other members giggle inappropriately*
Friend: Jen’s down! Jen’s down! Monya [Treasurer], you’re our first in command now!

Shelly: How many of you are virgins?
Audience: *some people put hands up*
Shelly: I mean a real virgin. Oral sex and anal sex and masturbation count.
Audience: *everyone puts hands down*

Shelly: What’s that one guy’s name with the long flowing hair?
Me: (from all the way in the back) FABIO!
Shelly: Yeah, Fabio! He’s used as a sex symbol -
Non-theist females: Ewwwww Fabio

Shelly: Any of you ever want to admit to having a roach in your apartment?
Me: *only person in audience who raises hand*
Shelly: Yeah, you live it up, girl!
Me: …Wait…IS SHE TALKING ABOUT MARIJUANA? I MEAN THE INSECT! *horrified, lays down in grass dying laughing along with all the other Non-Theists*
Minutes later
Friend: Jen! Now she’s talking about bugs! Either she was always talking about cockroaches or she just got confused mid metaphor.
Me: Knowing her, it’s the latter.

Shelly: How many of you girls have asked a guy what his life goals are before dating him?
Non-Theist girls: *raise hands*
Shelly: Only you four? You go girls! (Yeah, those evil, corrupt atheists…)

Shelly: How many of you have had one of those crazy drama girlfriends?
Some Non-Theist girls: *raise hands*
Angry Christian nearby: Faggots

Yeah, that last one wasn’t funny – just wanted to illustrate what we’re dealing with at Purdue.

Religious fanatics and 9/11

Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings. – Victor Stenger

I posted this as my facebook status, fully knowing that it would probably turn into a flame war. And of course, it did. But I wasn’t just trying to piss people off – I think this is something people seriously need to think about, especially on 9/11.

A mildly religious friend responded that this wasn’t all religion, just the fanatics. This sort of view is a problem, really just a one true Scotsman fallacy. They say, bad people of religion aren’t really religious – they’re just abusing real religion, which is good. But do you just get to conveniently draw the line between religion and fanaticism so it arbitrarily suits your needs?

You simply cannot deny that so many atrocities have been committed in the name of religion – to do so would be delusional. This is different than a religious person just doing something bad, or someone who happens to be an atheist committing a wrong. There are good and bad people whether you look at theists or atheists, but who has ever heard of killing in the name of atheism? Religion doesn’t corrupt all to the point of suicide bombings, but the fact that it occurs at all should make us care.

The thing I find most interesting is that these so called fanatics – the evangelical Biblical literalists, the fundamentalists of Islam – they are the ones most accurately representing their religion. They take their holy books at face value and don’t allow for metaphorical interpretations or loop holes. They’re not the ones who use doublethink to tell themselves God is good when he’s ordering genocides, that slavery is bad even though it’s condoned in the Bible, that anal sex doesn’t really count as losing your virginity (yay saddlebacking). While I’m glad these people aren’t subscribing to archaic views, they’re also being hypocritical in saying that certain groups aren’t “real” religion.

September 11th certainly was caused because of political reasons, but we cannot ignore the religious aspect. Would these people go fly planes into buildings if there was no reward of eternal afterlife? Would we have had the initial political divide if we didn’t have this mentality of Christian nation versus Muslim nation? If anything, being an atheist makes it all seem sadder to me: people who believed in something that doesn’t exist died and murdered thousands for a reward that doesn’t exist, and the one solace of their families is that they’ve gone to a better place…which doesn’t exist. To say religion played no part in the deaths of thousands of Americans cheapens that tragedy.

Questions for the anti porn people?

Hello there loyal readers! Sorry I’ve been somewhat absent lately – this week has been absolutely destroying me. Guess my professors feel like they have to make up for us having Monday off. Anyway, I’m capping off my week by going to that vile Porn and Popcorn event tomorrow with some other club members because 1) Other people don’t want to go alone 2) I’m a masochist and 3) for yooooouuuuu *insert hearts and sparkles here*. If this event is as mind numbing as I suspect it will be, you all owe me. If you have no idea what Porn and Popcorn is, go here and here.

Does anyone have any good questions they’d like the anti-porn people to be asked? Any scientific studies I should have under my belt (links would be nice)? Suggestions of alcoholic remedies for afterwards? Maybe I’ll have a Sex on the Beach followed by a Screaming Orgasm.