How Dogmatic Perfectionism Nearly Killed Me — My Latest for Ravishly

When I was a Christian, one of my favorite books was The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. He was a former Franciscan priest who struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. Through his struggles he came to believe that God’s grace was big enough for a ragamuffin like him, and that he didn’t have to do anything to earn God’s love. Because of this amazing grace, he was finally able to be okay with his own imperfection.

“To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story,” he wrote, “the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.”

While I am no longer a Christian — mostly because I read all the parts of the Bible Manning didn’t mention — I still love the idea of embracing my inner ragamuffin. Like Manning, I’m a walking paradox. I love and I hate. I’m peaceful and I’m violent. I’m honest and I’m hypocritical. I fight for liberation and I perpetuate systems of oppression. It’s just now, at 34 years old, that I’m beginning to be okay with it. As the old song goes, “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.”

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Bi Any Means Podcast #134: Skepticism and Social Justice with Cory Johnston

My guest for today is Cory Johnston. He’s the main host of the Brainstorm Podcast, as well the podcasts Skeptic Voices and The Hardcore Skeptic Examines. Today we get to know Cory a little bit more, plus talk about why there’s such a huge rift among skeptics about social justice.

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A State of Contradictions — My Latest for Splice Today

In front of the Talbot County courthouse in Easton, MD are two monuments. The first is a statue of Frederick Douglass, the great civil rights leader born right here. The second is a memorial of the Talbot Boys, members of the community who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. These are monuments commemorating the legacy of a man born into bondage, who was viciously beaten for learning how to read, who eventually escaped from his shackles, and who dedicated the rest of his life to liberty and human rights, and another dedicated to the memory of those who fought to keep men like Douglass in shackles. To know Maryland is to understand the symbolism of these two monuments standing side by side.

Read the rest here.

The Biskeptical Podcast #40: Shithole Skeptics

Today we do another news round-up episode, with the majority focused on Trump proving once again he’s a racist scumbag. We also talk about the “Fire and Fury” book, Oprah and Goop peddling more pseudoscientific woo, and why the ever living fuck skeptics are now rushing to Jerry Sandusky’s defense.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #133: Atheism and Asexuality with Emily Karp

My guest for today is Emily Karp. She was one of the co-hosts of the Recovering from Religion Podcast, and currently blogs about asexuality and fandom at luvtheheaven.wordpress.com. She’ll be co-presenting a workshop at this year’s Creating Change conference about asexuality, so I’ve got her on the show to talk about ace visibility in both the atheist community and the LGBTQ community.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #132: The Iranian Protests with Kaveh Mousavi

Returning to the show today is Iranian atheist blogger Kaveh Mousavi to talk about last week’s Iranian protests. As you’ll hear in this interview, Mousavi is a bit more skeptical of the effectiveness of the protests than Armin Navabi was last week on The Thinking Atheist. Consider my conversation with Mousavi as a companion piece to Seth Andrews’ conversation with Navabi. Hopefully between these two interviews, listeners will have a better understanding of the political situation in Iran.

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My Top Five Favorite Bowie Albums — My Latest for Splice Today

David Bowie gave all the Jean Genies of the world permission to let themselves go and be their true kooky selves. For the two-year anniversary of his passing, here are my top five favorite albums of his.

5). Earthling (1997)

Electronic dance music (EDM) was inescapable in 1997, so Bowie took the opportunity to reinvent himself once again for a new audience. The result is his most underrated album. From the drum-and-bass rhythm of “Little Wonder” to the industrial rock paranoia of “I’m Afraid of Americans,” Bowie proved he could survive pop cultural natural selection by adapting to the evolving musical landscape.

4). Station to Station (1976)

By the mid-1970s, Bowie removed the make-up and dresses for good, and introduced the world to a brand new persona: the Thin White Duke, a “very Aryan, fascist type; a would-be romantic with absolutely no emotion at all but who spouted a lot of neo-romance.” This character was less sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, and more cocaine, Hitler, and the occult. But even out of this chaos, Bowie was able to create the dancing star known as Station to Station, a synthesis of the American soul music of Young Americans and his follow-up Berlin trilogy. Highlights on this album include the funky “Golden Years,” the soft “Word on a Wing,” and the haunting epic title track.

Read the rest here.

This will probably be my only ST article for this week because I’m working on two articles for Ravishly, two interviews for the Bi Any Means Podcast, next week’s episode of the Biskeptical Podcast, and my portion of the workshop I’m co-leading at this month’s Creating Change conference.

This Week On Splice Today: Social Dysphoria and “Western Values”

Almost forgot to share what I wrote for Splice Today last week.

On Tuesday I wrote about how being a non-binary trans person in a gender binary world totally sucks.

And then yesterday I wrote about how human rights should be universal, not just “Western Values.”

Enjoy!

(BTW, since I mostly write for venues other than FtB, I’m not sure what the future for this blog will be in the near future.)

Bi Any Means Podcast #131: Top 10 Favorite Episodes of 2017

Today on the show I’m counting down my top ten favorite episodes of 2017. It’s a similar structure to last year’s best of 2016 episode, but because Spreaker doesn’t list most downloaded episodes in numerical order anymore and I’m too lazy to do the math myself, I decided to just list my personal favorite episodes from this past year instead. That way I can highlight episodes that didn’t get a lot of downloads.

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