No more tiptoe

An atheist comes out as an atheist. In Kentucky.

I have often tiptoed around stating my lack of religious beliefs because, like
many people in a minority, I fear being shunned and judged. I’ve described
myself with words like non-religious, humanist, and freethinker and have most recently been playing with the “Unitarian” label. But as my kids get older, I don’t want them thinking there is anything wrong with me saying exactly what I am, in terms of my personal religious faith: an atheist. There, I said it. I am an atheist. I AM AN ATHEIST!

Hey Leanna. There are lots of us out here.


He knew what God wanted, and what men wanted

Woho, looky here – the opposition looks at Vision Forum.

A former stay-at-home-daughter and now stay-at-home wife and mommy says she wishes she’d gone to college.

All of these books taught that the world was a very dangerous place for a woman. God had designed her to be at home, creating a peaceful haven for her husband and children. The books said that any girl who left her father’s protection and went out into the world to get an education or job would end up sad and alone, because she was not living the life God willed for her.

God wanted us to dare to live differently. His plan for women involved getting back to the family principles the home was founded on. Girls needed to be brought up knowing instinctively how to care for babies and keep house. They needed to be taught to be quiet, submissive, and modest and pure. The only way to do this, was to keep separate from the world. So my parent homeschooled and kept me from doing much of anything outside of our family circle, so that I would never get used to experiences outside the home, and I would learn to be content in my homemaking role.

It sounded so romantic when I was ages 10-13. I was going to be amazing someday! My husband was going to be pleased that I was so good at caring for children and keeping house. I was practicing submission to my father, taking it very seriously whenever he pointed out some behaviour of mine that “would infuriate my husband someday.” He knew what God wanted, and what men wanted. If I wanted to be successful and happy someday, I had to start by pleasing my Daddy.

In other words…….it’s just what it always sounded like: a scheme for making men happy. (It seems like a radically flawed scheme, to me, because the price of all that obedience and submission is living with an idiot. I would think an adult companion, however independent, would be immeasurably better than a kind of animated doll. But the patriarchs don’t seem to see it that way.)

So it’s a scheme for making men happy by training girls to be slaves to the men they marry. It’s a sick little system for obliterating women so that men can use them in any way they feel like.

Sometimes I wished that I had the chance to study more than just cooking, cleaning and sewing, and I did ask my parents if I could take some classes while living at home, but I was reminded that it would only be a waste of time and money to go to college when none of that education would apply in the home. A college atmosphere could take my focus off the Lord, and fill my head with thoughts of career and rebellion. After some begging on my part, Dad said he would permit me to take a few online courses from a very conservative school if I insisted, but it was clear that this was not what he felt was wise. He also said that I had to finish all my high school material first, and that my school work could in no way interfere with my household duties. I was so overwhelmed at the thought of trying to keep both my father and a school happy, that I gave up on the idea of further education.

“Dad” would be a credit to the Taliban.

Frankly, people do think you’re a nutter

Christina Patterson doesn’t share Tony Blair’s affection for injecting “faith” into politics.

You might think that someone who doesn’t believe in a theory
accepted by almost every scientist for more than a century, and who wants to
restrict the rights of half the population to make decisions about their own
body, and thinks that every human being in the world who doesn’t “accept Jesus
as their saviour” will literally go to hell, would have US voters rolling their
eyes. But it doesn’t. You can’t, in fact, even think of running for office in
the world’s only superpower if you don’t, in the now famous words of Alastair
Campbell, “do God”.

Bad combination – superpower, and must do god. Even worse combination, world’s only superpower and must do god. Horrendous combination,  world’s only superpower and must do crazy dominionist or Reformed Whateveritis Barking Mad god.

Here, thank God, Allah, or Big Brother, you can. Here, if you start talking about Jesus, or hell, or hurricanes as warnings from God, you’re more likely to make it into a jungle with Sally Bercow than the Pillared Room at Downing Street. Here, if you start talking about the “inerrancy” of the Bible, or “intelligent design”, you’re likely to trigger some serious concern. Even Tony Blair, who was the nearest we got to a Messiah for a while, didn’t, at least when he was elected, and for quite a while afterwards, talk about God. “It’s difficult if you talk about faith in our political system,” he said in a TV interview after leaving office. “Frankly, people do think you’re a nutter.”

And then you leave office and start doing god with a vengeance and people realize you’re a nutter.

In this country, if you’re in public life, you can’t talk about God, but you can talk about “faith groups”. Faith groups are what Tony Blair was thinking of when he started his Tony Blair Faith Foundation. “I set it up,” said the man who helped to start a war that killed more than 100,000 people, “to make the case for religion as a force for good”. Faith groups, according to this view, are nice groups of nice people all wanting to make society better. They are not groups of people who think that people who don’t go to their church, or mosque, or synagogue, or teenage girls who get pregnant, and don’t feel ready to start a family, or people who are sexually attracted to their own sex, will rot in hell.

Which is why that view is so stupid and so wrong.

Women have fought hard for the right not to have their bodies controlled by
somebody else’s God, and so have lesbians and gay men. It’s beginning to look as though we might need to start fighting again.

Without any help from “faith groups.”

And all I got was this stupid T shirt

Really, J C Penney? Really?


What the hell is that, skool for future “Sex and the City” airheads? A scheme to make all women as empty-headed as the “real” “housewives” of New York/New Jersey/Hollywood/Las Vegas/Miami/Topeka? Or just a calculated insult to women in general?

They’ve withdrawn the T shirt now, thank you for small favors, but why did they come up with it in the first place? What next? A funny-haha girls’ T shirt saying “I’m too stupid to do homework so I’ll just go to work at J C Penney when I grow up?”

A better butterfly

The wheels are in motion (or do I mean they’re turning, or grinding? I want to get my clichés right, here) and I’m just about ready to start posting at the Freethought B&W. Once the banner is in place I think that will do it.

Josh fixed up my avatar, so it’s more elegant now. Less sloppy and less sparkly, both.

Test Post

This is a test post, the sole purpose of which is to see whether automatic cross-posting from Butterflies and Wheels at FreeThoughtBlogs to Butterflies & Wheels Prime works.