Jesus loves racial stereotypes

The only way to summarize this video is my reaction:

“Oh lord, awful Native American stereotype. Wait, they’re cutting out to a diverse group. They’re not going to go through each – wait – yes, yes they are. Jesus, the Asian eyes aren’t even glued on properly. …Good lord it gets worse and worse. OH MY GOD THE BLACK PEOPLE WTF. …And the white people are from the South, of course. I’m so glad that’s ov-OH MY GOD JOSE! JOSE! I want to cry. I’m losing my mind watching this.”

You know you need to sit through the whole thing now.

Atheists need to wear more polo shirts

From the Purdue Exponent:

Fashioning a polo shirt that complemented his witty humor, an atheist high school math teacher recounted how he won his tussle with an influential right-wing group.

What? That wasn’t the takeaway point from this article? I guess for Purdue students, it’s important to illustrate that atheists aren’t always running around naked. That misconception may be partially my fault.

Glad Hemant’s talk went well at my alma mater!

PS: Club members report that about twice as many people showed up than the Exponent reported. Boo, student reporting!

Off my ASS for the SSA – Week 4

Starting weight: 186.4 lbs
Last week’s weight: 179.8 lbs
Current weight: 178.6 lbs
Weight loss this week: 1.2 lbs

My weight was so perfectly stable at 179.8 for the whole week that I thought my scale was broken. But then I magically lost 1.2 lbs this morning. Weight loss is weird.

But yeah, not a good week for being healthy, thanks to lots of stress at school, no time to go grocery shopping for healthier food, and womanly issues. Yay hormones!

Though now’s my chance to pull way ahead of JT, while he’s at an atheist conference gobbling up conference food all weekend. Mwahaha!

The Pop Evolutionary Psychology Game

My friend Jason and I accidentally invented this game while at a party last week. The rules are simple:

1. Make an observation about a particularly odd aspect of human behavior.

Example: “Why is it that everyone congregates in the kitchen at parties, even when there’s plenty of space elsewhere?”

2. Come up with an explanation for how that behavior would have increased fitness in hunter gathering societies.

Example: “Well, food used to be sparse, so humans would congregate at food sources, so you’d be more likely to find a mate there, and thus have more babies.

3. Bonus points are rewarded for including 50′s era gender stereotypes.

Example: “Well, we KNOW women are drawn to the kitchen because they’re inclined to gather food, so they’re always in the kitchen anyway. The men just go there to be around their potential mates.”

Hours of fun guaranteed.

A new way to prank atheists?

Over at Atheism Resource, Katie Hartman discovered that you can send Mormon missionaries to anyone’s house by simply providing a name and address. Oh the discoveries boredom makes. I feel bad for the missionaries that end up at JT’s house.

Oh, and those of you that know my address? Don’t even bother – I live in an impenetrable fortress known as an unmarked basement apartment with a practically hidden entrance. And that’s even if you can find the house at all, which is tucked behind a wall and shrubberies. My apartment is totally missionary-proof.

And anyway, even if they could find the address, they’d just end up bothering my landlord.

…on second thought…

One woman’s story of leaving religion

A friend of mine emailed me her story about leaving religion, and I thought it was so revealing that I asked if I could share it. With her permission, please check out her story:

Leaving religion was a very hard thing to do and there are still people from my former church who still do not know that I have completely given up God; although since they know my husband is an atheist, I am sure it would not surprise them. I do know they still pray I return.

I grew up Catholic but was really apathetic about it once I got to college. I wasn’t very religious after college; but as soon as I got married and had our first child, I rejoined a church because I “just knew” I had to have our son baptized. We moved a lot when our kids were younger and finding a church home helped fill the void of not having family near. My husband travelled a lot as well and here was a great group of people offering to help out; a welcomed support for a mom of two children, eighteen months apart and in a new town. The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in my town became my life line as I met other young moms.

With church comes Bible study and I participated in one called The Excellent Wife. This book reinforces your hypothesis Jen, that as a woman our place is in our homes raising our children, taking care of our families and supporting our husbands and church. I fell into it hook, line and sinker. I was extremely grateful that Phil’s job gave us the freedom to allow me to stay home with our children. (Being a SAHM is something I would do again without any hesitation.) So I thought it best to do as this study taught and live by those guidelines. I did the woman work of the church: Sunday school teacher, vacation bible school leader, etc., and took the advice of this study and let Phil be the head of the household: not shared responsibilities. From the outside looking in I had the best Christian family out there. Inside looking in, not the greatest; that decision put a great deal of unnecessary stress on Phil.

Then three things happened: Phil became a vocal atheist, I am diagnosed with bipolar and Phil and I agreed to do a book swap. Phil left the church and of course this spreads like wild fire. I get pitied wife looks, lots of prayers, etc. Then I am diagnosed with bipolar. This too spreads like hotcakes but now I am told that this is God’s punishment for marrying an atheist. Here I thought God was going to help me through this horrible illness of up and down mood swings. My pastor even said so. An older member of the congregation thought otherwise. To be fair, my inner circle of friends at my church were amazing, understanding and incredibly helpful while I went through those early days of a correct diagnosis and figuring out the best meds to help stabilize me. However, cracks began to form.

The last thing that pushed me out of religion was a book swap. Phil asked me to read one of his books and I gave him one of mine. His choice was Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation. Another crack.

Through what would seem like a careful orchestration of events by my husband, I finally left religion completely behind. Those events involve TAM, Phil Plait, an LCMS church behaving like a Pentecostal one, and an insensitive pastor during my grandmother’s final days. Leaving God was easy. Leaving the church family, I had come to love, was not. My routine was hijacked, which threatened my stability. I had to go through the death of my grandmother without the comfort of God, and felt as if I had no real sense of purpose for awhile. I still miss a good potluck; Lutheran woman know how to cook (I just pretend the fruited jell-o mold isn’t there).

I have attended many skeptical/atheist events but I am tired of always hearing about god. I would much rather have a glass of wine and hear about your kids, your partner, your school work, your job, than about god. This is what Christians do very well; they have lunch with you before they try to convert you. I attended a leadership workshop on evangelism that pretty much said: have a picnic with someone, make a vested interest in their life before you bring up god. I was never a good evangelist, but I loved the getting to know people part.

I have a feeling that this is a common story for women. Like I said before, religious women often find their only source of power within the religious community. Leaving that can be shattering. Imagine how hard it is for women who don’t have a godless spouse to encourage them. Being aware of the particular difficulties women have in leaving religion is the first step to making atheist communities more welcoming and diverse.

One woman's story of leaving religion

A friend of mine emailed me her story about leaving religion, and I thought it was so revealing that I asked if I could share it. With her permission, please check out her story:

Leaving religion was a very hard thing to do and there are still people from my former church who still do not know that I have completely given up God; although since they know my husband is an atheist, I am sure it would not surprise them. I do know they still pray I return.

I grew up Catholic but was really apathetic about it once I got to college. I wasn’t very religious after college; but as soon as I got married and had our first child, I rejoined a church because I “just knew” I had to have our son baptized. We moved a lot when our kids were younger and finding a church home helped fill the void of not having family near. My husband travelled a lot as well and here was a great group of people offering to help out; a welcomed support for a mom of two children, eighteen months apart and in a new town. The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in my town became my life line as I met other young moms.

With church comes Bible study and I participated in one called The Excellent Wife. This book reinforces your hypothesis Jen, that as a woman our place is in our homes raising our children, taking care of our families and supporting our husbands and church. I fell into it hook, line and sinker. I was extremely grateful that Phil’s job gave us the freedom to allow me to stay home with our children. (Being a SAHM is something I would do again without any hesitation.) So I thought it best to do as this study taught and live by those guidelines. I did the woman work of the church: Sunday school teacher, vacation bible school leader, etc., and took the advice of this study and let Phil be the head of the household: not shared responsibilities. From the outside looking in I had the best Christian family out there. Inside looking in, not the greatest; that decision put a great deal of unnecessary stress on Phil.

Then three things happened: Phil became a vocal atheist, I am diagnosed with bipolar and Phil and I agreed to do a book swap. Phil left the church and of course this spreads like wild fire. I get pitied wife looks, lots of prayers, etc. Then I am diagnosed with bipolar. This too spreads like hotcakes but now I am told that this is God’s punishment for marrying an atheist. Here I thought God was going to help me through this horrible illness of up and down mood swings. My pastor even said so. An older member of the congregation thought otherwise. To be fair, my inner circle of friends at my church were amazing, understanding and incredibly helpful while I went through those early days of a correct diagnosis and figuring out the best meds to help stabilize me. However, cracks began to form.

The last thing that pushed me out of religion was a book swap. Phil asked me to read one of his books and I gave him one of mine. His choice was Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation. Another crack.

Through what would seem like a careful orchestration of events by my husband, I finally left religion completely behind. Those events involve TAM, Phil Plait, an LCMS church behaving like a Pentecostal one, and an insensitive pastor during my grandmother’s final days. Leaving God was easy. Leaving the church family, I had come to love, was not. My routine was hijacked, which threatened my stability. I had to go through the death of my grandmother without the comfort of God, and felt as if I had no real sense of purpose for awhile. I still miss a good potluck; Lutheran woman know how to cook (I just pretend the fruited jell-o mold isn’t there).

I have attended many skeptical/atheist events but I am tired of always hearing about god. I would much rather have a glass of wine and hear about your kids, your partner, your school work, your job, than about god. This is what Christians do very well; they have lunch with you before they try to convert you. I attended a leadership workshop on evangelism that pretty much said: have a picnic with someone, make a vested interest in their life before you bring up god. I was never a good evangelist, but I loved the getting to know people part.

I have a feeling that this is a common story for women. Like I said before, religious women often find their only source of power within the religious community. Leaving that can be shattering. Imagine how hard it is for women who don’t have a godless spouse to encourage them. Being aware of the particular difficulties women have in leaving religion is the first step to making atheist communities more welcoming and diverse.

Why do skepticism and feminism go hand in hand?

Because facts are very useful things to have in your tool belt when arguing your point:

Women do not suffer mental health problems such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of having an abortion, researchers reported Wednesday.

The study, published by Danish scientists in the New England Journal of Medicine, adds to a growing body of scientific literature that has failed to find that abortion causes psychological problems, as some abortion opponents have asserted.

Too bad there are too many people who don’t care about science or facts. Oh well, they’re a lost cause anyway.