Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

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Bearing the Burden…

Posted by dsc01 on December 14, 2011

I’ve mentioned before that letting go of theism lifted a weight from my shoulders. It certainly did. Believing the unbelievable is an unbearable burden. Carrying constant guilt weighs a person down. But that doesn’t mean that disbelief doesn’t come with its own burdens to bear.

I am fairly “in the closet,” as an atheist, for a number of reasons, the primary one being the likely loss of my job, should I ever come out too publicly. However, whenever I can, I strive to be brutally honest–amiable, to be sure, but wholly unapologetic.

Now, my totally reasonable terror of losing my livelihood is ample evidence of societal discrimination against atheists. That’s only aggravating. The discrimination becomes a burden when it hits closer to home.

Recently, my wife and I were uninvited from an extended Thanksgiving celebration that we had been looking forward to. The bearer of the news, one of my best friends, ever, was pretty irate, but he had to keep the peace with his sister-in-law, who expressed annoyance at the invitation of non-family members. You know, in the grand tradition of the first Thanksgiving, which was about familial insularity and not communion with people one usually didn’t associate with (/sarcasm).

Eventually, it came out that my family–my wife and I, that is–was the specific problem. The aforementioned sister-in-law to my dear friend doesn’t trust us wicked atheists around her children.

And there is the burden. It’s one thing to be able to feel righteous indignation about discrimination in our society. It’s another thing to be barred from a family gathering (and I do consider this friend to basically be my family) because one is an atheist.

That’s pretty rough. And it’s a bunch of bullshit. And it hurts.

But that’s life, after all.

Posted in Rants, Reflections & Memories | 7 Comments »

Permission Slip

Posted by dsc01 on October 17, 2011

One of my favorites:

http://27bslash6.com/easter.html

Posted in Humor | 7 Comments »

Family Get Together

Posted by dsc01 on August 12, 2011

From “Space Avalanche,” heir to the “Far Side” throne:

Posted in Humor | 4 Comments »

An Excellent Video on Morality (and its Absence in the Bible)

Posted by dsc01 on July 31, 2011

Posted in Video | 4 Comments »

Why Do Christians Have Such Shitty Lives?

Posted by dsc01 on July 12, 2011

This hardly qualifies as a proper post–just a rant–but seriously, guys! What is Christians’ problem?

Every day on Facebook, my Christian friends post about their trials and tribulations and how awful everything is.

“Oh, God, give me strength!”

“I’m giving it up to God!”

What the fuck does that even mean? The comments stack up beneath these poor martyrs’ statuses–“Just let go and let God,” “It’s hard, but you’ve just got to surrender.”

Does it just mean that they’re going to quit worrying about petty anxieties? You can do that without invoking God (or bothering your friends with self-indulgent pity parties).

How about you just quit being a drama queen and notice how life greets you with good things and bad things every day? And when something really bad comes along–something that wounds you deeply–why not just feel that sorrow, work through it, and quit it with the sackcloth-and-ashes routine?

For a group that so constantly preaches about “loosing the chains,” I’ve never seen so many people in bondage to their own misery.

Posted in Rants | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Christian Comic Explains Evolution!

Posted by dsc01 on December 19, 2010

I’m sure we’ve all seen some of Jack Chick’s idiotic, dishonest, and bigoted comic book tracts. I stumbled across this one, in which both evolution and Christianity are explained. Despite making every attempt to portray evolutionary principles as being ridiculous (accomplished by lying about every single thing), Christianity still ends up looking pretty stupid, even by contrast to the bullshit story he tells about evolution.

[Click to Enlarge]

Posted in Cartoons | 11 Comments »

Christmas Cards

Posted by dsc01 on December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Posted in Cartoons | 2 Comments »

Bo Burnham’s Rant

Posted by dsc01 on November 27, 2010

This is a comedy video that probably qualifies for inclusion in the irreligious songs series, but I don’t think it should be so classified, and since I’m posting it, I’m not gonna put it in the series. So there. 😛

All the seats at the Sunday masses,
Filled with the mass’s massive asses,
Classes pass as fast as molasses.
Ceremonial reading glasses.
Read a little bit of Leviticus.
All the kids are a little too little for this.
All the parents nod in agreement —
“I think I can vaguely see what he meant.”
It’s too early in the morning glory
To read another allegory story,
The father reads a little bit farther,
Assuring the assured that they need not bother
“when god, in verse 45, said the slaves are okay to buy,
He meant that people, all from the start
Each have slaves within their hearts.
Things, that we have sold or boughten, that are forced to pick our moral cotton
God calls us to set these free, free our hearts from slavery…
And then as god goes on to explain the logistics of buying and selling slaves…”

In the back, I sit and I nod to the beats that are bumpin from my iPod
My god, they’re starting to pray
And over the music I can hear them say,
“Dear god, dear lord, dear vague muscular man with a beard or a sword.
Dear good all-seeing being, my way or the highway Yahweh.
The blue-balled anti-masturbator, the great, all-loving faggot hater,
I’d like to thank your Holy Might for making me both rich and white
And though this is your day of rest, I come to you with one request
There’s so much pain beyond this steeple,
Wars and drugs and homeless people.
Sadness, where there should be joy, hate and rape and Soulja Boy.
A world in darkness needs your light, so I’m sure your schedule’s pretty tight
But my dog just had leg surgery if you could fix that first…

Jesus…

Debra Messing’s fingers in a holy place, “Hail Mary full of grace.”

Obama, could you pass some hope to the pope
I know a couple dudes who wanna elope
See the pope said, “nope” so the bros can’t cope.
(The bros can grope but the bros can’t cope.)
They’ve been in love, they’ve been addicted
Who said they shouldn’t? Benedict did.
Cause in the holy land of the lord he’s the holy landlord and dicks are evicted.
Cause you can be a benedict if you’ve been a dick under Benedict but
You can’t have benedicts because there’s only one pope and only one dick
What? a dick on a pope is
Just like a soap on a rope cause it’s
Pointless, unless in prison, throw up your bibles, Christ has risen.
Hallelujah, now it’s raining men,
Because the gender ratio is 1 to 10.
Winos at the eucharist station, trans-gendered-substantiation
Jesus wasn’t the messiah, get back I’m a heretic and I’m on fire
It was Oedipus, and those holy nights
The holy motherfucking Christ.
I’m a blasphemah post-Katrina cruising the marina. on a crusade to cruise AIDS
And blast FEMA
You’re too late, we’re fucked we don’t need ya.

In the name of the father, son and holy ghost
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
Turn up your nose, strike that pose.
HEY MACARENA!

Posted in Humor, Music, Rants, Video | 1 Comment »

Definite Fideism!

Posted by dsc01 on November 26, 2010

First of all, screw you, spell-check! “Fideism” is a word! This started as a response to Paulo’s comment on the “Evolutionary Metaphysics” entry, but then I realized my verbosity was turning my comment into a full-length take-down of Josh Thompson’s “MAN UP,” on his blog, the Outpost. You can find it here.

I think we’ve arrived at a point where fideism is the only alternative to ignorance, for fundamentalists.

If you do a little research, you quickly realize that mountains of evidence tell us that, even if they are in doubt, the origins of life bare little resemblance to what is described in the Bible.

One can only go so long dismissing scientific findings as being the intentional distortions of anti-theistic scientists.

The one thing fundamentalists have on their side (which Josh exploits in this blog) is that they have “unchanging Truth.” Of course, the intellectual dishonesty, there, is massive, but that is their claim–that God’s Truth never changes.

The nature of scientific inquiry is such that the scientist is free to (and should) change his mind as often as new evidence casts doubt on prior hypotheses. “Unchanging Truth” has little value (it only puts the cart ahead of the horse), and the possibility is always open that everything we know about the workings of the universe is not true.

Of course, that’s not a problem. The universe is very complex. What we know about it tells us that there is much more that we do not know and that we are almost certainly wrong–at least in some small way–about almost everything.

But Christians can make that a problem. They’ve got a long history of training their own to be unable to think logically. After all, “Jesus offers us eternal security,” is considered a valid argument for why we should believe in him.

So it’s no surprise that Josh says, “‘Being open to believing anything,’ sounds a lot like fear-based paralysis to me,” and challenges us to “man up” and pick a side.

Of course, he undermines his own position by quoting Rush and their assertion that refusing to choose is a choice. Josh assumes that this is passive, that fence-sitters are indecisive cowards, but it can be an active choice and a brave one, at that.

After all, definite answers are comforting. If sober analysis of the facts, independent of what one wants to be true, indicate that we don’t know what is going on for certain and likely never will, then why shouldn’t one choose to believe just that?

Now, the excerpt he quotes does sort of offer us a stupid dichotomy: either there is some kind of guiding force in the universe, or it’s all random and pointless, so we should remain open to both possibilities. It seems like the author is an agnostic who is afraid to go atheist because (s)he thinks that everything becomes meaningless without the possibility of a God. But who knows?

Anyway, Josh resorts, ultimately, to the odd doublethink that necessarily characterizes fundamentalist philosophy. Unless one chooses to believe in God, he says, “the most proudly open mind in the world is actually already blindly biased.” How does this work? Well, it doesn’t need to make sense, does it? Because faith is independent of reason, and these kinds of crazy non sequitors are like Escher’s impossible stairs to Christians–nonsensical but awesome (and God is awesome and makes the impossible possible, so whatever–proof!).

I suppose that the conclusion to all of this is that we can’t really hope to communicate with fundamentalists in a way that they will understand. Many of us went to school with Josh, and we probably agreed with him when we did. For me, moving away from fundamentalism was a long process, and Josh has spent that time getting deeper into it.

Even though we can’t reach him, I hope that the debate finds its way to those who, like we did, are moving away (or at least open to it).  I think that they’ll realize that our side is the reasonable one, we are not cowards, and disbelief can finally offer the happiness that we were always told Christ would bring, even though he never did.

Posted in Essays on Belief, Faith vs. Evidence, Opinion | 14 Comments »

Irreligious Song #11: Talking Heads, “Road to Nowhere”

Posted by dsc01 on November 23, 2010

Not being a huge Talking Heads fan (though I do respect their work), I can’t say that this song is necessarily about death being the end. It sure seems like it, though, and I love that the tone of the song is so happy. I hate it when people frame death as such a negative thing. I know that the church-choir-like intro was actually added only because David Byrne thought that the song was embarrassingly simple, but I like to think of it as setting the song up as a secular hymn.

WELL WE KNOW WHERE WE’RE GOIN’
BUT WE DON’T KNOW WHERE WE’VE BEEN
AND WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE KNOWIN’
BUT WE CAN’T SAY WHAT WE’VE SEEN
AND WE’RE NOT LITTLE CHILDREN
AND WE KNOW WHAT WE WANT
AND THE FUTURE IS CERTAIN
GIVE US TIME TO WORK IT OUT

We’re on a road to nowhere
Come on inside
Takin’ that ride to nowhere
We’ll take that ride

I’m feelin’ okay this mornin’
And you know,
We’re on the road to paradise
Here we go, here we go

CHORUS

Maybe you wonder where you are
I don’t care
Here is where time is on our side
Take you there…take you there

We’re on a road to nowhere
We’re on a road to nowhere
We’re on a road to nowhere

There’s a city in my mind
Come along and take that ride
and it’s all right, baby, it’s all right

And it’s very far away
But it’s growing day by day
And it’s all right, baby, it’s all right

They can tell you what to do
But they’ll make a fool of you
And it’s all right, baby, it’s all right

We’re on a road to nowhere

Posted in Music, Video | 16 Comments »

Traitors in Our Midst?

Posted by dsc01 on November 21, 2010

It can be easy to forget that not all atheists are of the Dawkins variety, fighting the good fight against ignorance and intolerance. Sure, plenty of us aren’t so much fighting as quietly agreeing with the output of more vocal atheists, but then there are the world’s more baffling atheists, who seem to be complete traitors to the cause.

I’m thinking specifically of S.E. Cupp, a rare female atheist in the public eye, who I discovered through Real Time with Bill Maher, when she was a guest on his panel.

She’s a conservative, which seems as self-defeating as being a gay Republican. Of course, there are all kinds of reasons to support a political party, and it can even be seen as noble to willingly back a group that has always campaigned against one’s own interests because one feels that they will otherwise do what is best for the country.

But that is not at all what I’m talking about. Cupp is just a barrel full of WTF.

Why, for example, did she write, Losing Our Religion, which one would expect to be a defense of her atheism but seems to actually be a disgraceful polemic on the liberal media attack on American Christianity (I haven’t read it, nor could I bring myself to get through much of the bullshit in the lengthy excerpts from it on Amazon.com).

Today, she took a break from tweeting about how excited she is to kill deer, now that it’s hunting season, to broadcast the following inanity from her Twitter feed, “Just discovered @CSLewisDaily. Loving it.”

What?!? Why? Why would she be into daily quotes from someone who ridiculed her beliefs endlessly, in writings that are riddled with preposterousness?

I can only assume that, if she is actually an atheist and not a Judeo-Christian double agent, she has not closely examined her beliefs on God.

While there is room in the fold for a diversity of opinions, and I can imagine how one might justify affording religious views the same validity as secular ones (misguided though that may be), I just can’t believe that someone with thoroughly considered views would write a whole book about the non-existent persecution of those who actively work against those views.

So, seriously, S.E. Cupp, what the fuck?

Posted in Philosophy/Theology, Rants | 39 Comments »

Irreligious Song #9: Tool, “Opiate”

Posted by dsc01 on November 15, 2010

As Noraa pointed out, in a previous entry in this series, Maynard James Keenan writes some lyrics that are deeply offensive to Christians. Years before he explicitly took on the Christian God in A Perfect Circle’s “Judith,” he used his band, Tool, to great irreligious effect.

Now, I could have chosen a number of Tool songs. For example, “Eulogy” contains the lines, “Come down./Get off your fucking cross./We need the fucking space,/to nail the next fool martyr.” “Sober,” their biggest hit, contains the somewhat cryptic, “Jesus, won’t you fucking whistle/something but the past and done?”

But while those songs refer to religion in ways that will offend Christians, “Opiate” is a direct attack on the Christian religion. It’s from the first album, and I think it’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s still decent. The second part of the song is actually a separate song, “The Gaping Lotus Experience.” It’s a facetious “hidden” track, not part of “Opiate” (despite what the creators of the YouTube video and the lyrics transcribers, quoted below, seem to think).

Opiate

Choices always were a problem for you
What you need is someone strong to guide you

Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow
What you need is someone strong to guide you…
Like me
Like me
Like me
Like me

If you want to get your soul to heaven
Trust in me, now don’t you judge or question
You are broken now, but faith can heal you
Just do everything i tell you to do

Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow
What you need is someone strong to guide you
Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow
Let me lay my holy hand a, hand upon you

My god’s will
Becomes me
When he speaks
He speaks through me
He has needs
Like i do
We both want
To rape you

Jesus christ, why don’t you come save my life, now
Open my eyes, blind me with your light, now
Jesus christ, why don’t you come save my life, now
Open my eyes, blind me with your lies, now

If you want to get your soul to heaven
Trust in me, now don’t you judge or question
You are broken now, but faith can heal you
Just do everything i tell you to do
Jesus christ, why don’t you come save my life, now
Open my eyes, blind me with your light, now
Jesus christ, why don’t you come save my life, now
Open my eyes, blind me with your lies, now

Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow
Let me lay my holy hand a, hand upon you

My god’s will
Becomes me
When he speaks
He speaks through me
He has needs
Like i do
We both want
To rape you!

[long pause]

I had a friend once,
he took some acid,
now he thinks he’s a fire engine

It’s ok,
until he pisses on your lighter,
kinda smells,
kinda cool,
kinda funny anyway

satan.
satan.
satan.
satan.
satan.

I had a friend once,
he took some ecstasy,
tried to marry me,
and everyone in the room.

He was sorta loving,
kinda caring,
kinda tried to fuck my lazy boy.

It got a bit messy,
all over the curtains,
armchair covers,
throw pillows,
and carpeting.

getting bored,
I’m getting bored,
getting bored,
I’m getting bored,
getting bored,
I’m getting bored,
getting bored,
I’m getting bored!

Posted in Music, Video | 1 Comment »