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Faith

Everyone else seems to talk about their faith, so it's my turn.
I saw a bumper sticker that amused me. It read...

MILITANT AGNOSTIC
I don't know, and neither do you!


I don't think I know any militant agnostics, but militant atheists? Ahh, I StumbleUpon them frequently. I chose "atheism/agnosticism" as one of interests on StumbleUpon. Agnostics always get lumped with atheists. Some of my stumbles hit very interesting things, but then others are typical insult stuff. No better than the fundies they mock. Though, I'd admit I laughed at the one referring to Jesus as a zombie. I play the Zombie app on Facebook, and I'd imagine if Zombie Jesus was a level I could reach, it would kick ass. Or do something disappointing like bring my Zombie army back to life. Blah!

In one of my stumbles, I watched an interview with the famous atheist Richard Dawkins (who btw is married to Lalla Ward, who was Romana II in Doctor Who). It was refreshing to listen to someone who didn't mince around the subject and didn't apologize. Though, when it got down to it, Dawkins admitted that his position was agnostic. That kinda irritated me, but only in the sense that he is mislabeled and accepts it. Dawkins wants to be confrontational and I understand why. He wants conversation and for people to think. People of no faith suffer just as much intolerance as some faithful claim. Maybe more if you count people trying to convert you. And somehow, he feels being called atheist is the way to go. Too bad.

Agnosticism is somehow considered wimpy by believers and atheists. I guess everyone thinks you're hedging your bets. Too gray for the black and white argument. Not at all. Believing there is absolutely nothing beyond without a doubt is just as illogical as literally believing in Eden or Noah's Ark or Zeus' hijinks. No evidence is no evidence. And while I find current popular religions thoroughly unconvincing, maybe there is some spiritual something else. Or maybe not.

In the hospital for the stroke, I didn't even think of praying to or cursing a god. Deities didn't cross my mind, except for when a nice couple we met wanted to pray for my recovery late in my stay. I was a bit proud that my lack of belief didn't waver. Didn't even think to waver. When I was in ICU, Cliff turned away a priest from visiting me. I found out afterwards and I was glad because I was in no mood to be humoring a well-intentioned sincere person. That would have brought me no comfort. Not knowing is okay with me.

Well, I've blathered on enough for now.

Friendly Fire in the War on Christmas?

My mother bought my grandmother (her mother-in-law) a cross pendant necklace for Christmas. The cross was sterling silver had gems on it. It had garnet, blue topaz, amethyst and citrine. I saw the pendant before my mother mailed it to my grandmother. It was quite lovely.

My grandmother decided it was "of the devil" and is returning it to my mother.

Huh.

The devil traffics in semi-precious stones and sterling silver. Who knew? Considering my jewelry box, I may be in deep spiritual trouble.

For the record, my father's family uses religion like a drug. And they are all junkies when it suits their purpose--God forgives all sinners, after all. Appear righteous and you can be as morally ambiguous as you like. Just ask for forgiveness afterwards and it's all good. Oh, and cling to batty fundamentalist crap. God just loves that. After all, God is the one that buried the dinosaur bones to confuse scientists. What a funny guy!

I credit them with making me the agnostic I am today.
I just don't get some people. Mostly those people work for National Review, but still...



BTW, I'm tickled pink by the "Pimpzilla" Firefox theme. It amuses me.

War on Christmas 2: Electric Boogaloo

When even Dubya won't pander to your "War on Christmas"? It's a Terri Schiavo MomentTM! Whatever will Bill O'Reilly and the Faux News people do?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/06/AR2005120601900.html

'Holiday' Cards Ring Hollow for Some on Bushes' List

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 7, 2005; Page A01

What's missing from the White House Christmas card? Christmas.

This month, as in every December since he took office, President Bush sent out cards with a generic end-of-the-year message, wishing 1.4 million of his close friends and supporters a happy "holiday season."

Waaah! Who cares about the tyranny of the majority! We are the majority so might makes right!!1!Collapse )

War on Christmas?

I try to stay away from the extreme right-wingnuttia, but this whole "secular war on Christmas" is a steaming pile of horseshit. There is no war on Christmas except in the minds of people like Bill O'Reilly et al. I know these holier-than-thou people have nailed themselves to the cross years ago and have the part of professional victim down to a hypocritical art, but day-um. My eyes just roll out of my head. Like Christians in America are some sort of discriminated class. Yeah, right. Let's try it the other way around for the truth, hmm?

Oh! Clutch the pearls!

Personally, the arrogance inherent in "defense" of Christmas (like it was in DANGER) gets to me. Christmas isn't the only holiday around this time. And we're not ALL Christians. Why is it so terrible to acknowledge that? I don't understand what is supposed to be so offensive in the term "Happy Holidays"? Even ignoring Hannukah, Kwanzaa, etc., I just thought it was just an easy way to include "Happy New Year" into the mix. I'm not sure "Happy Holidays" was even a "PC" invention in the first place. Perhaps someone can tell me differently.

Of course, it seems these days that common courtesy is considered "PC". Sure, there are examples worthy of ridicule. But it isn't all a liberal phenomenon. At my husband's company, you don't have a Halloween potluck, it's a Harvest potluck because there is one very devout Christian who objects to celebrating Halloween.

I'm agnostic, so I'm supposedly part of the war on Christmas. But I like Christmas. Wish me a "Merry Christmas" and I'll appreciate it. Then again, for me, Christmas isn't about celebrating Jesus' birth. It's a time of family and giving and being thankful for what I have. I, like many others of non-Christian faiths, appreciate Christmas for the bigger meaning it has.

I suppose this "bigger meaning" is what is so threatening to the Religious Right. Teh evol secularists and others are co-opting THEIR holy day, but not their faith. I think they ought to be flattered, but they aren't consulting me.

I bitch about this, but I'd guess this whole trumped up "War on Christmas" is just a cynical way to whip the Republican base up to a nice froth and make sure they continue to get out and vote.

I did my part

I voted yesterday. The stupid ban against gay marriage and civil unions in Texas passed by a large margin anyhow. And in other depressing news, Kansas Board of Education is backing Intelligent Design. *shakes head*

I occasionally get into political discussions with one of our non U.S. born faculty members. F is convinced there's something fundamentally wrong with Southern or Bible-Belt culture, or at least is inferior to the culture of the Northeast/West Coast. Hence the lower education, literacy and income levels. The divorce rate is less than 3.0 per thousand in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. The rate was 8.5 per thousand in Nevada (highest in U.S.), 6.4 in Tennessee, 6.1 in Arkansas, 6.0 in Alabama and Oklahoma. (http://www.ncpa.org/pd/social/pd111999g.html )

I'm not saying F is right because sometimes the situation can be more complicated. Besides, idiots live everywhere. The South just votes them into office more often. But I can see how someone who isn't U.S. born would take a look at the numbers and make such a conclusion.

Southern red staters spend much time mocking the *evol* liberal humanist Northeast (a.k.a. "the Elitists"), and yet when it comes to family values it's the NE that walks the walk of family values on a greater scale. Things that make you go hmmm!

Though on the bright side, the Dover, PA voters kicked out the ID supporters. Yay!

Pastafarian

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Okay, I'm finally hip to Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. I support it. I will have an icon, laws yes. After all, I want to see the Beer Volcano when I go to heaven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster
http://www.venganza.org/

Long live the Great Spaghetti Monster! May his glorious noodle appendages bless those and keep those in his sauce.

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