Category Archives: Conservatives

How to Deal with Religious Bullying and Spiritual Abuse

My oldest daughter, L, is now in the 3rd grade. Recently she brought home a Chick tract, which a girl in her class brought to give everyone in the 3rd grade. The tract is a “comic” designed to appeal to kids and get their attention, turning the story into the story of how to be “saved by Jesus.” Never mind that the school is allowing the tracts to be passed out to the entire grade (and probably the entire school)! That’s a battle I want to fight. But I digress.

L says this girls bugs her regularly because she knows L doesn’t go to church. It turned into bullying in my view when L asked the girl to stop talking to her about it and the girl refused.

I decided to look up the website on the back of the tract for some background information. I won’t post it here, but let’s just say this girl’s dad is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. His website claims that the “power of Jesus” healed his mental illness and it can “do the same for anyone.” Yikes. Shit just got really real.

My husband and I told L to respond like this: “I’m not interested, so please stop talking to me about it.” And if the girl refuses, we’ll take further action. We were clear with L that she should not respond hatefully, nor should she tell the girl that she’s wrong or try to engage in any kind of argument with her. As we often tell her, you can’t argue with stupid. Probably not the nicest way to put it, but just look up a religious Facebook or YouTube comments argument and you’ll understand.

Anyway, it’s been about 2 months since the last time L came home saying that this girl was bothering her, so it sounds like the kid got the point.

The moral of the story? Respond firmly, but kindly. It’s not this little girl’s fault that her dad is pressuring her to bully. But, I hope L can help her understand it’s not ok to do so.

Two posts in one day…I must be coming down with something…*cough*…

Bee

Thoughts on Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage have prompted a slew of Facebook status updates declaring “for” or “against.” I’m still friends with a handful of people I went to church with as a teenager, and many of them are clearly against gay marriage. One shared this status update, which he got from a friend:

“With all of the marriage equality focus in the news, I thought I would offer one man’s view on what it means to take a Biblical stance on the issue and still be Christlike In the process. My reason for sharing is that the media refuses to show this side of Christianity, instead making us out to be anti-gay when in fact I am anti-sin of all kinds, including my own. Without question, even a cursory reading of the Bible makes it clear that gay relationships and marriage is wrong and sinful. However, homosexuality is no worse than any other sin. Sin is sin, and we all fall short of the glory of God. So when I say that I am for Biblical values and against gay marriage, it does not make me a bigot or a hater or any of the other words that the media would throw my way. It means that I am a sinner who has been forgiven based upon my faith in Jesus, and that my mission in life is not to single out gays and make their life miserable. My mission is to love them as I do all of mankind, and to hate their sin as much as I hate my very own. My desire is to see all sin cease, including my own, so that my God and Savior will be pleased with what He sees. So you see, when I take a Biblical stand on the issue, I am expressing my right and freedom to practice Biblical values in hopes that the land that I live in will see things the same way. If in the end laws change that show that the majority of people in the land I live in disagree with Biblical values, then it will be my fault as a Chrisitian for failing to show the love of Christ and teaching others to live as He commands us to. But at no time is it acceptable for me to hate others and single out their sins. If more believers would focus on their own sins instead of others, and spread the Gospel rather than hateful words toward others, then maybe just maybe people who are caught in all kinds of sins would be more prone to listen to what we have to say. In short, if you are gay, please know that while I disagree with your lifestyle choice, I love you and will help you in any way that I can if you ever need me. Though your sin in wrong just like mine is, Jesus will heal and forgive you if you will turn to Him in faith.”

There are so many things wrong with this that I didn’t know where to begin. I messaged him privately with a link to this article, You Can’t Quote Leviticus to Prove God Hates Homosexuality, which I found to be an excellent read. It’s a great argument for why Old Testament law no longer applies to modern Christian life. I mean, if it did, and Christians took the entire bible literally, they’d have to outlaw shellfish and pork as food, fortune tellers would be stoned, and tattoos would be against the law.

First, where in the bible does Christ command people to live as heterosexuals? Second, you may think you’re not a bigot, but you are, by definition:

“bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance” (source)

This whole status update makes me very sad because these people are so blindly following a religion that seeks to keep certain groups oppressed. He preaches love, but at its foundation is hate, and he doesn’t even realize it.

Christians don’t seem to understand why freethinkers have a problem with their beliefs. This is why. Christians constantly try to force their beliefs upon others because they are told to “share the faith” and “bring others to Christ.” They think they’re doing a good thing by bringing people to Christ, but they’re really oppressing large groups of caring, loving people who want nothing more than to be accepted in society.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Think Birth Control ‘Poisons’ Women’s Bodies

Let’s just get this out in the open. I am hopping mad over this situation. I flew into a rage on Facebook, where I saw the ThinkProgress article posted. Then I went over to the Tulsa World and read the story of this man, Senator Clark Jolley (R-Edmond), who is “morally against contraception.” Here’s what I have to say to Mr. Jolley – get your religious beliefs out of my government!

His constituent, a “natural family planning consultant and women’s health researcher” (yeah, right), a cardiologist named Dr. Dominic Pedulla, believes that birth control “poisons women” and that women are “worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are.” What kind of an idiot takes this man seriously? Mr. Jolley, it appears. And nine other people on the Business and Commerce committee. Someone please explain how contraception is related to Business and Commerce!?

Would you like to give Mr. Pedulla a call? Here’s his practice phone number: (405) 947-2228.

So this Mr. Pedulla believes that women are defined by their ability to have children. I have two kids, and I love them very much. I love being a mother and I love everything that comes with it. But motherhood does not define who I am. It is not the only thing that describes me. I certainly don’t feel deprived because I’m no longer having children. Actually, I feel more suppressed and poisoned when businessmen with no regard for science and fact try to make decisions about my body! I wish for just one minute that someone would force these men to do something that takes away their freedom. They have it so easy.

“Studies show that women using contraceptives consider pregnancy more unwanted than wanted, he said.” You’re damn right, Mr. Pedulla! We choose whether or not we want to bear children. We choose to use the available options to plan our families. We choose when, where, and how we have our children. This is our right as women, and you are trying to take it away, and put more power into the hands of large corporations by allowing them to deny coverage. I don’t agree with Catholic organizations denying coverage, but I understand it. Allowing any company to opt out of providing proper care for women and protecting a woman’s right to choose how to plan her family is morally wrong.

The problem is that they’ve lumped abortion in with contraception in this measure, and these are two fundamentally different things. Contraception prevents abortions, and studies have shown this! Denying abortion coverage is one thing, but contraception is a basic female need these days.

I fear for my girls’ future. I fear for their ability to make choices for themselves. We must stand up to these two men, and we must not let this pass. The problem is that I have no experience fighting lawmakers and I have no idea how to go about it. Tips and advice? I really want to be involved in taking this measure down. It’s unacceptable, and it’s time for this to stop. If you have ideas for what can be done, I’d love to hear them!

Republicans, are you listening? As long as you pull crap like this, you will never win me over. Ever. 

The Election and the Church

It’s time for me to weigh in on the 2012 Presidential Election. Are you sick of hearing about it yet? I am, but only to a degree. Several well-written blog posts have popped up that discuss the churches’ role politics. One of the more interesting ones appeared on my Facebook feed this morning. It’s a Christian blogger, but you may want to head on over and read it. Then come back. Promise you will! I’ll wait. It opens in a new window. Also, you don’t have to read all the Jesus stuff at the bottom. I’m talking about her sections on the various groups of people. I know it’s hard for atheists and agnostics to read about Jesus stuff.

Grieving and Hope After the Election

What do you think about this post? Her statistics are the same ones I remember learning in my social issues class last spring. I believe she’s right. The church has been on a power trip and has aimed to oppress these groups, perhaps without even realizing it. The things she talks about in this post are the things that are driving people away from the church. I personally don’t think much will change. I think the right will go more right while the left goes more left.

One thing is for sure, though – as long as long as Republicans keep aligning themselves with religious extremists, they will continue to lose supporters. I was hoping for a Republican candidate that had good ideas and well-rounded values. Instead, I got Nutty McNutjob and Liar VanLiarson. I’m not given to calling names, but those sounded fun. :)

All that being said, I think Jen’s blog post is a good one and that all Christians should read it. I think it’s time for the church to wake up to the reality of the harm they’re doing. It may not happen across the board, but if even a few Christians can be a voice for reason and love in their churches, then maybe it will get better. Not that I’m advocating that the church needs to gain members. I’d love to see them lose people in droves. But there will always been people who stay, and families who stay. Maybe those people can learn to treat people with respect.

One more thought that I want to share publicly: I am so sorry for ever trying to force my beliefs upon someone. I was terrible to people. I chastised innocent people for listening to rock music, for saying curse words, and for watching pro wrestling. I was a terrible person, and I’m sorry.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Wants Us to Pray for Rain

That’s right, our lovely right-wing governor is requesting that Oklahomans of “all faiths” stand together in prayer with her to end the drought.

One lovely Tulsa resident was quoted to say, “It’s the bible belt that’s what we do, we pray.” Right, because everyone in Oklahoma is a Christian. Geez, people, have you no sense of what’s around you? Beyond this being a blatant intermingling of church and state, and beyond the fact that rain is controlled by weather patterns and many physically measurable scientific factors, the thing that truly gets me is how oblivious these people are to the fact that not everyone believes the same way they do. As an atheist in Oklahoma, I find this disturbing and frustrating. We cannot control the rain. There are more important things to be concerned about that we can control.

Choice

The “Us vs. Them” battle is raging in Washington D.C. and I have to say, it’s frightening on both sides. It should be so simple to decide what is right and what is wrong but so many people don’t seem to understand that right vs. wrong is not the issue here. Our differences seem so broad but really, they’re so simple. It comes down to choice.

I see it much like Dale McGowan writes in Parenting Beyond Belief when he says, “The key distinction is the attitude toward difference.” Our attitudes determine our life stance. The problem I see with some viewpoints is that the choice is taken away. For example, I believe it is wrong to force my children to pray before bedtime, therefore I do not force them to pray. A conservative believes that it is wrong to have an abortion. So, instead of just applying that belief to their own family, they attempt to apply it to everyone. Why not just abstain from abortion in your own family and let the rest of us have the right to choose? If you believe it’s wrong, then so be it. It sucks that abortion has to happen sometimes, but I believe the choice is what’s important. Why must our choices be taken away because of one group’s belief?

It’s frustrating to me that conservatives cannot see how they are stifling our choices. I do not force their children to believe in evolution, so why must they attempt to force my children to pledge allegiance to a god? I will fight that until the day I die.

I’ve never been a minority in my whole life. But I certainly am now, and I recognize the difficulty of life as a minority more and more each day. I know it’s only going to get more difficult as my children get older and start attending elementary school, but I’m preparing myself to fight the good fight. I’ve always been one to stand up for my principles, and standing up for choice is one of the noblest battles I can think of.

So let us be different, for a world where we’re all the same would be incredibly dull. But let us all have the choice to believe and do what we want as long as we aren’t hurting others. After all, this country was not founded on god, but on the freedom to choose to believe whatever we want to believe.