Monday, September 17, 2012

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority...'s time to pause and reflect.

Ah, Mark of my favorite notable quotables. I could go into a long list of awesome things he's said, but you can do that yourself on Google. There, I've made that even easier for you.

This is one of the quotes, I always smile at, but quickly worry about. I've always been an outsider and it's gotten to the point where I am comfortable being one. It's something I've always taken pride in. However, lately, I find myself with the opposite problem: I can't seem to feel comfortable in ANY group.

It has become second nature to me to always look at the opposite side of any given argument because after being shoveled bullshit for most of my life, that is how I find the truth. I often end up choosing the opposite side of what's popular, not because I get a kick out of being contrary, but because I do genuinely believe what is opposite of popular most of the time. I do sometimes play devil's advocate, or act contrary on purpose just to get people thinking or talking, but I am usually very candid about it. I'll preface with, "Just to play devil's advocate," or, "Just for fun, think of it this way," or, "What would you say to people who say the opposite?"

In other words, I'm rarely ever just trying to get someone's goat. I think only really stupid, immature people do that.....that is to say, there are lots of stupid immature people out there. If you don't believe me, go  on reddit some time.

...or Facebook.
...or twitter.
...or youtube.
...or anywhere else on the web where people can interact semi-anonymously.

Still, although I do argue candidly "for fun" at times, I find myself uncomfortable when I actually agree with a decent amount of people. This makes it difficult to maintain friendships, to continue social groups, to even start new social interactions, to vote, to make decisions, to commit to anything. It seems like whenever I just start to feel like, "Hey, these people are on the same page as me," I have to find some flaw in it.

When I was in Catholic school, I couldn't go along with Catholicism. When I was in high school, surrounded by Baptists who insisted Catholics were pagans, I found myself going along with Catholicism. When all the Baptist bullies finally left me alone about being Catholic, I decided that being pagan was what I "really" believed (I'm sure at the time I believed it, but whatever any teenager believes, even if it is deep within their core at the time, they're still teenagers and can only be taken so seriously). Then, when I got to college and met other pagans, I though, "Well, this is pretty gay," and went around as a general agnostic, one that didn't know there were groups for agnostics and atheists out there. Then, once I met a bunch of agnostics, I felt like they were just wankers who pretended to be intellectually superior but were actually just refusing to pick a side as an insurance policy (I still feel that way, btw). I am now pretty well committed to being an atheist...if one can commit to being nothing.

I've been reasonably active within the atheist community. I attend a monthly atheist meeting and organize a monthly atheist social. I've attended a few major atheist events including lectures, gatherings, convention tracks, and Reason Rally. I've met some really kind, intelligent, loving people with diverse interests that seem to accept me. 

...and there it goes again. I'm starting to feel uncomfortable. I'm starting to find the flaws. The main flaw I seem to keep noticing is that atheists are kind of a bunch of socially awkward cockmasters. They think they're superior to everyone, they think they're better educated than everyone, they think if they whip out terms they heard in debate class this one time, that they're smarter than everyone, they think they get to determine when a discussion or thought process is over, they think that everyone who isn't like them is a retard, worse, they use science in the same obnoxious way religious people use religion: as an excuse to be cunts.

"Herp, me man, you woman, science say me number one, me sleep with 500 women, but you no sleep with other men, you be mom, you like be mom, you do laundry now. Derp."

These things wouldn't be so bad if not for the socially awkward part. It would be one thing to disagree, but all terms of civility have been wiped out of discussion it seems. It's like people don't know how to talk to each other anymore. I don't believe this is a specifically atheist problem, but it seems to be magnified within the atheist community. I also don't want to give extra credit where it is undue. This could be a vocal minority of dingleberries. Most of the atheists I meet in person are nice to me (except for one particular local group that SEVERAL people I know quit because it was full of cockmasters).

There's probably some serious psychological shit going on with me, because it really is MY problem and not everybody else's, and yet I know it's not just me. I am not the only one to feel this way, to write about it, or to publicly discuss it. It's actually been quite the buzz within the atheist community over the past couple years, most notably with the statement, "Don't be a dick."

Sadly, the idea doesn't seem to stick....oh look, I'm a poet and I don't.......wanna be. 

I understand theists and general hippies that believe anything as long as it doesn't involve science-but-it-worked-for-these-three-guys-this-one-time-and-there-are-tons-of-books-about-it can be very annoying people. It's particularly annoying when they take these ignorant ideas to places like Congress or doctors' offices....but then there's everybody else. A very small percentage of Americans are medical professionals or lawmakers. Hell, a very small percentage of Americans are even voters. The number of religious/woowoo people and general retards directly affecting your personal life and freedom is quite small (not that the small amount of them shouldn't be smacked into shape immediately and constantly). On a personal level, mono e mono, there is no reason to treat people like they are less than you.

We all came to "reason" different ways. Some of us were raised in extremely religious households. Some of us thought we were psychic. Some of us had parents that raised us with reason. Some of us still cling to our religious lives even though we know it's an act. We're all at different places and it really hurts my heart to see people being so hateful to each other about it, particularly toward people that are on the same team! I get more hate mail from other atheists than from theists...and I've publicly said bad things about Islam.

People that aren't on your team still deserve respect and kindness. Just because some people are devoutly religious doesn't mean they will stay that way forever. Even if some people do, that doesn't mean they're uneducated assholes that are out to get you, to force you to believe what they believe, to force you to spend money on their beliefs, to change your textbooks, to come into your house and examine what positions you're having sex in, and to throw your condoms and birth control pills in the microwave while they're at it. 

So many atheists are fans of calling themselves "humanists," but seem to pick and choose who they treat as human. It's shameful, offensive, and not helpful to anybody!

Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm really wrong that people know how to treat each other well. Maybe I'm trying to shoehorn humanity into the image of goodness. Maybe people really are just a fat load of stupid pricks that are only out to serve themselves. Maybe that's why, every time I think I've found a group of folks that isn't, I am quickly disenchanted. Maybe it's time to pause and reflect.    

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Almost inspired to pray

I was ALMOST inspired to pray today. As I've mentioned before, I am a HUGE animal lover. I volunteer for the local Humane Society, I always advocate rescue when I can, I do my best to inform people I know about things like puppy mills and poor pet nutrition and I spend an inordinate time looking at, "Awwww," pictures on the web.

I was on my way home from a late night out with friends. I exited the interstate and turned on to my street. It's one of the busiest streets in my county, even late at night, but it's not very well lit. hen I saw a medium sized, black and tan dog standing LITERALLY IN THE MIDDLE of the road with traffic whizzing all around him, my heart nearly stopped. All I could do was honk my horn, flash  my brights hope with all my heart and mind that he would get out of the road. I could do little more than keep my fingers crossed that the vision of the driver in the lane next to mine worked well in the dark.

The dog had no collar and presumably no tag. I feel guilty for not picking him up, but there seemed to be no way for me to do so. Plus, I have no food for a dog and no way to take care of it until I am able to find the owner. Without tags, I'd inevitably have to take it to Animal Control, where he'd likely get put to sleep anyway. Apparently, Georgia law prohibits taking found animals to rescue groups without contacting Animal Control first. I didn't know what to do. I continue to hope of all hopes that other drivers are as observant and gracious as I am. I know most of them aren't and fear for this poor little creature is still haunting me.

I think any atheist that was brought up with any kind of religion has moments like these. Moments where hope isn't enough, moments of vulnerability that inspire a romantic memory of belief in prayer. Personally, I experience them often, even with things that might seem frivolous to the next person, such as hoping there will be no dog blood in the street. I do find myself missing that idea of, "God will take care of it," and, "If I pray really hard, the situation will come out for the best."

Unfortunately, even in those moments of vulnerability, when I wish I could believe, reality sets in. Supposing I did believe in God and his will and his plan, how would I know that the dog getting killed wouldn't just be "for the best?" Even those that "know" the power of prayer are doomed to admit that shit is going to happen. The only solace they have is that it's "for a reason.," which, admittedly, is a nicer thought than, "Because the universe is a cunt sometimes." 

For this, even while rolling my eyes, feeling my skin crawl ever so slightly, and wishing they had something more intelligent and insightful to say, and even knowing they probably won't even really do it, I can't be too harsh on anyone that tells me they're praying for me.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Ranting Redhead Radio, Episode I

Thank you everybody for making my first installment of Ranting Redhead Radio on Aug 7 a success. Of course, if you missed it, it's available here, but more specifically, here.

Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication, the next show will not air until September. The first issue was a sneak peek to be tested out for marketability. Well, guess what, it was pretty awesome. :D So, new episodes will be airing biweekly starting in September.

If anyone has any questions, comments, things they'd like discussed on the air, please don't hesitate to contact me. You can always leave a comment below, like my Facebook page, follow me and tag me on twitter, or, you can use good ol' fashioned email.

Anything you say can and will be used against you on the air, so fair warning. >:D

The next installment will include the following topics:

Chick Fil A

10 Things Pissing Me Off

Tolerance vs Acceptance

History Lesson:
Marie Curie

Charity Spotlight:
Drop Dead Gorgeous, a charity that uses the entertainment industry to raise awareness about childhood sex trafficking.

I will give everybody an updated show date when we are nearer to the time. There are station scheduling factors to consider, but it will be in early September.

One last memo: We are seeking sponsors! If atheism, feminism, rant-ism, redhead-ism, etc., are your things and you want to keep this cute redhead ranting, consider sponsoring!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Chick-Fil-A Hate

I am pro-LGBT. I am pro-freedom. I am pro-do-whatever-you-want-without-physically-harming-others-because-it's-your-body-and-your-life....and that's why I'm a little really effin sick of the idea that everyone who's ever dared eat a Chick-fil-a sandwich is an evil fuckoff that should be ashamed of themselves.

It's not that I particularly like Chick-Fil-A. It's also not that I support the anti-LGBT, anti-feminist agenda, pro-Christian agenda they have. It's also not that I think that people should keep patronizing that place if they have a problem with Chick-Fil-A's "values." It's about being honest. Let's all be REALLY honest with ourselves here. 

Where are most of your clothes made? 
Who provides all the gas you buy? 
Where do you buy most of your food? 
Do you buy produce? 

Yet, you won't hear me accusing anyone of "supporting" child labor, genocide, or slavery and trying to make them feel guilty or ashamed. So, let's not act like anyone who's given money to a place that has bad morals is also an immoral person....because if that's the case, then every last one of us is a blood-soaked predator and have no right to point to the teeth of others. Don't eat at CFA if you don't like it. Don't judge others that do.

Besides, where your money is most likely going is into the pocket of some hard working American who busts their ass off to provide for themselves or their families. Payroll usually comes out of the corporate budget before the Smear-the-Queer money does. Just sayin.....

I don't know if *I* will ever eat there again because of their agenda, but I'm certainly not going to be completely butthurt if others do. 

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

More death

As I deal with the remnants of my uncle's recent death, I can't help but worry my father might not be far behind. He's

My dad had double bypass surgery last year. At first, he improved his attitude about life and eating and exercise, but like with any supposed revelation, the effects were purely transitory. He quickly went back to his old habits of eating and drinking as much as he wanted, as often as he wanted.

If I believed in signs from God, I would say when he contracted an extremely rare, extremely potent form of food poisoning in the summer of that same year that landed him in the hospital numerous times over the course of five months, often because he couldn't even keep water down, that it was a sign from God. A sign that said, "Hey, stupid, quit eatin' so goddamn much! I already saved your ass once this year and if you're not going to start losing weight, exercising, and taking care of yourself, then fine, I'll help you this one last time, but you're not going to like it."

Naturally, since he could barely eat anything for months, he lost tons of weight but, for the first time in at least two decades, he was at a healthy weight. Once the bacteria and its effects finally worked their way out, it was the new year, a clean slate. Of course, rather than keeping the slate clean, he filthied it with grease and alcohol.

My uncle first ended up in the hospital in January. For months, the prospects were still hopeful. In March, my parents went to Detroit to visit and to try to look after some of his business. They stayed with Margaret, my mom's childhood best friend. A few short months later, my uncle passed away. 

In June, when we prepared the memorial, the family again stayed with Margaret. My mother and I stayed a while longer than my dad and my sister. One evening while my mom, Margaret and I were chit chatting, my mom brought up my dad's awful health. She mentioned how he can't stop eating and drinking and in fact, those are the only two activities he seems to enjoy.

Margaret, who has a heart of gold and would never intentionally say anything harmful, remarked, "Yeah, he looked pretty chubby when he was here. He looked pretty good last time but he's put on a ton of weight since then."

It turns out, in three months' time, he had gained between 30 and 40 lbs.

Although raised as a true Catholic, when the majority of the damage was done, my father is not particularly religious. Yet, he clings to the faith that there is some governing force out there, that there is justice in the universe, that if he suffers enough by "doing the right thing," in the end, he will be somehow rewarded. As always with the victims of religion, he refuses to see when he's doing the wrong thing, and has no problem idly waiting to be rescued. 

In one way, I believe this attachment to religion has preserved him because he knows that, by the laws of the church, if he were to commit suicide, he would surely end up in hell. Instead, the attachment to religion is killing him slowly and painfully. While almost all religions have a principle that suicide is the highest of sins, one so offensive that it sends the spirit instantly to Hell without passing GO to collect his $200, there is no specific clause about reckless endangerment. It seems he has a plan of eating and drinking whatever he wants, overworking himself, over stressing himself, failing to relax for even a moment, and never bothering to move his body other than say, from his bed to the shower, from the shower to the toilet, from the toilet to the closet, from the closet to the car, from the car to the desk, from the desk to the car, from the car to the couch, from the couch to the bed. In other words, no exercise whatsoever.

Not surprisingly, this pseudo-hedonistic lifestyle has landed him at the doctor's office numerous times, each time with a set of numerous medications, each medication with a set of numerous side effects. Naturally, as the faithful are apt to do, he doesn't blame his lifestyle on this new set of side effects. It's, "the medication making me sick." Of course, he remains blind to the warning labels of the medication, most specifically, the warning labels about alcohol consumption, then lashes out with derision against the family doctor and how he's, "trying to kill me."

I understand his pain. He has had a painfully disappointing life. Nothing in his life has worked out the way he had struggled and planned, scrimped and saved for. I also can't help but wonder if all of his self inflicted suffering is a subconscious and constant punishment for making the "wrong" decision at a vital time in his career. He worked in the IT department at Ford Motor Company and when Ford dissolved the department, he could choose a path in the auto industry or a path in the IT industry. He opted for autos and we all know how that story goes.

In any case, I can't shake the hope that if he would let go of God or karma or any attachment to "spirituality" and afterlife, that he would commit himself to a better life. I would hope he would realize that he only has a short time left and when it's gone, it's gone. I would hope he would cherish his last, remaining, autumn years and would go the extra mile to get a few extra laps around the track. I would hope that he'd understand his family's love may be all that's there for him, but that it's a precious gift worth savoring every moment of.

Instead, as stubbornness runs high in the family genes, he will insist that his falsely hedonistic, yet incredibly masochistic lifestyle is The Way to go. Thanks, Catholicism, for fucking up my life, yet again.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why atheists will never unite

In a sentence, we're too busy getting high off sniffing our own farts. Atheists think we have a monopoly on intellect. We think that we are superior to folks who can't or won't or haven't yet let go of irrational thoughts. We think that anyone who isn't like us is obviously just a moron and not worthy of respect, and may be worthy of hatred and ridicule. We think people's experiences and perspectives are only worth something if they concur with something that happened in a laboratory.

What a bunch of pricks we are.

Of course, we soothe ourselves to sleep as we swallow a philosophical placebo of "freedom." We tell ourselves, only people that agree with us can be truly free because people who have faith in irrational things are slaves. Since slavery is abominable, we fancy ourselves as freedom fighters, crusaders for rational thought and intellect. We tell ourselves that the end justifies the means, so even if we acted like pricks high on our own farts, it's all for the greater good of the world. In this way, we absolve ourselves of our sins yet we don't realize that we've enslaved ourselves in that mindset.

The mindset of, "I am right, you are wrong and I get to judge and mock you for it. We will never be friends and I will never respect you because you're obviously too stupid to be worthy of my friendship and respect," might as well be concrete walls and metal bars. We're removing ourselves from the majority of society, forming our own little gangs, and making shivs out of scraps of what we think is wisdom.

Then, just like herpes, our overinflated sense of superiority spread to other areas. What started with non-faith has migrated to politics. Because we're used to thinking alike when it comes to non-faith, we're shocked to learn that not every atheist thinks alike. Not every atheist supports the same cause. Not every atheist is a liberal. Not every atheist supports abortion. Not every atheist supports healthcare. Not every atheist is against circumcision. 

It angers and confuses us, so we fight each other, because we've all convinced ourselves we're right and infallible, and anyone who dares question that is worthy of a hearty stabbing or two. So, the liberal atheist gang attacks the libertarian atheist gang. The libertarian atheist gang attacks the communist atheist gang. The communist atheist gang attacks the socialist atheist gang. Meanwhile, the one, lone republican atheist cowers in the back corner of his cell, fearing he will be outed as a right winger and that all of the gangs will unite and slaughter him unmercifully....and he's probably right.

Yet, somehow, even with all this internal conflict, we seem to think we can go to battle as a small herd of wounded cats and claim victory over 80% of the global population. Then we wonder why we make no headway and why religious folks think we're all angry, crazy, hateful, and dangerous, but not so dangerous that we have too much of an effect on things. Sure, one or two of us might bitch about a prayer banner hanging in a public school or make a controversial billboard, but, eh....who cares? We're all going to rot in hell anyway.

While Christians hypnotize themselves into believing think they have a monopoly on compassion, forgiveness, and cute little quote books, atheists should be perfectly capable of espousing those ideas. Yet, so often we don't. We quote their book and say, "Judge not, lest ye be judged," to them, just highlight their hypocrisy, but then we quickly turn around and abandon the principle when it comes to ourselves. Worse, we do it to each other.

There aren't a lot of us in the world, at least not that are "out of the closet," yet, we don't stick together. As much as we want to stroke ourselves saying it's okay to be different, we afford the right to be different only to ourselves, which breaks us up into smaller and smaller gangs and causes more and more dispersion. We scattered ourselves about the earth, and because of our self-proclaimed "enlightenment," there we shall remain, with closed minds and closed hearts.

But, hey, look on the bright side. At least we know we're always right.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Germany outlaws circumcision. Is this a victory?

According to this story, German courts have banned infant circumcision because the, "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents." The procedure has not been completely banned in the country. Boys may decide for themselves later in life if they want to have the procedure done. It also can still be performed if deemed medically necessary.

While, to most atheists, and anyone with a heart and mind of their own, this should seem like a victory over religious barbarism. Unfortunately, we all know just how deeply religion has its diseased talons buried into people and just how infections that disease is as it courses through their veins. There is a sad amount of evidence from other situations that many people are willing to go beyond the law to preserve the cruelty of their faith.

Consider female genital mutilation, which is illegal in the United Kingdom. However, every year hundreds of British girls are genitally mutilated. How do they get around it? Travel or duck. During long school holidays, parents are known to send their girls off to places where the procedure is legal.

What's that, sweety? You want a pony for your birthday? Ok, but he'll have to be made of cotton!

What's to stop parents from doing the same to boys? Worse, since male circumcision can still be performed when a boy has "decided on his own" that he "wants" it done, what's to stop families and communities from pressuring boys into it? There are hundreds of ways to brainwash people into doing crazy things with a few simple tricks. Just like with female genital mutilation, advocates will manipulate scientific data to claim circumcised people are healthier, more sane, do better in school, are more sexually appealing, have MORE sexual arousal, are cleaner, etc., etc. until they have you believing you'd be cruel to deny a child all of these advantages in life.

By the way, at what point is a boy legally and developmentally old enough to decide he wants his cock chopped up?

There is no way that passing a simple law will protect victims from this act barbarism. It will just go into the back alleys and become even more dangerous and damaging. While it is still important to fight against this unnecessary act of cruelty, it must be done by information and not by force. Just like with anything else in life, if you want to influence someone, you have to make them think your idea was theirs all along. Beating them over the head with it usually makes them resist twice as hard. While, as a controversial and provocative topic, it's hard for many of us not to resort to head bashing when we discuss our thoughts on genital mutilation with others, as Maya Angelou said, "People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

On the bright side, since circumcision will still be legal for medical reasons, in order to keep cutting, people will be lining up to admit that religion is a mental illness. Pin It

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Did they have that back then?

I had come a long way from my humble Catholic school beginnings to a university freshman. As is so often the case with freshmen, I was taking several "core" classes that were required before upper level "major" classes could be taken. One of them was world history. We began with ancient history, Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia and all that jazz. As the semester went on, we worked our way to Alexander the Great. My professor, Dr. Wilson, who was a brilliant world history teacher, but whom later disappointed me with his acute interested in southern history, made mention that Alexander the Great was speculated to have been gay or bisexual.

A speculation I had long known of, I found it completely uncompelling. Would that it were the same for my classmates. Several small gasps filled the room followed by an awkward silence. Dr. Wilson looked up, with a brow raised, partially aware but partially puzzled that his statement was the source of discomfort. What seemed like an eternity of silence, but was likely the span of a few seconds, was finally broken by the confused question of a prospective frat boy.

"Did they have that back then?"

The class's reaction was split about 50/50 between inquisitiveness and incredulity. I'm sure you can guess which half I helped populate. Dr. Wilson couldn't help but giggle and say, "Yeah, it's not like being gay is a new thing."

The inquisitive half of the class was still silently astonished.

He continued, "I'm not sure what makes people think homosexuality is a new thing. It's been around since the beginning of time and has been referenced throughout history for at least as long as we've had some kind of recorded history."

The incredulous half of us grinned and Dr. Wilson went back to the lesson.

I was unaware how a person could make it through a minimum of 12 years of education, which is generally the case unless a child prodigy like Doogie Howser comes along, and not know that homosexuality is a perfectly normal, natural thing. Perhaps, the students that were perplexed had attended Christian schools, this was in the Bible belt after all. However, the vast majority of students had attended public schools.

While technically, I had attended a "Christian" school, one can no longer paint Catholic schools with the same brush as Christian schools. In Catholic school we learned about evolution, heliocentrism, the big bang, the birth and death of stars, the real ages of the planets. Of course, once we got to religion class, they tried to push, "Yeah well...God made all that stuff happen," but I'll take that over the alternative. We read books like Tom Sawyer (without the recently forced change of Nigger Jim's name, as it should be), Martian Chronicles, Ulysses, My Brother Sam is Dead, To Kill a Mockingbird, and several other books that have topped the Most Banned Books of All Time list. We got a real, quality education.

Of course, I do remember a time when I was very young and also learning about Alexander the Great and asking the same question. The only difference is, at the time, I was in 6th grade. How is it that I spent the majority of my educational life in a religiously affiliated school and I knew more about basic sexuality than kids who had been in public school the whole time? Am I the only one who finds that disturbing? Worse, this was years ago, before some states outlawed the mere mention of anything LGBT

At the risk of siding with the Catholic church on anything, I am, to this day, eternally grateful for the education I received through Catholic school. Thanks to the top notch education I received, when I decided to go to public high school, I breezed through, as most of it was a review for me. Likewise, I never had to be the target of the incredulous arrows my classmates' eyes shot at me while asking an extremely naive question like, "Did they have that back then?"

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Goddess Trap

Like any other kid of reasonable intelligence who'd been raised Catholic, I began questioning Catholicism and Christianity in general pretty early on. As a kid, I never knew there was such a thing as an atheist. I never realized that it was possible to have no God at all. Had I known that, I probably would have realized the truth much sooner. Alas, I spent a lot of time seeing what else was out there. As a female who, at a very young age strove for equality, naturally, paganism, witchcraft, Goddess worship and all that jazz became my next stepping stone.

When I was very young, girls were not allowed to be altar servers in the Catholic Church. I was always jealous, not because I cared about serving Jesus, or assisting the priest, or sporting those ultra high fashion robes, but I wanted to play with those mystical toys. I wanted to ring bells after incantations, I wanted to carry offerings to the altar, I wanted to light and snuff candles. It seemed exciting and like it would connect me to something greater.

Fast forward a few years, the Pope announced that females could be altar servers, but by that time, I somehow wasn't interested anymore, probably because I had lost almost all interest in the Church. By that time I was sniffing around for a new spiritual home. It wasn't long after that I found witchcraft.

I'd run off with friends to bookstores and sneak pagan books home in my purse. Many of those books were written by men, but that didn't mean they were male slanted the way that Catholicism obviously was. I took great comfort in the idea of there being a feminine power that really controlled the universe. Of course, MOTHER Nature was not a dude and there's a reason people identify her as such.

I read all about the "history" of witchcraft, a lot of which was given a hippy accent, as much of it was revived in the 60s and 70s. I performed "spells," though I never asked for the selfish things most people would expect. I never once performed a love spell nor a money spell nor a revenge spell. I saw The Craft, I didn't want to be responsible for any poor bitches going bald in the locker room, no matter how nasty they were to me.

I did spells to achieve better enlightenment (or so I thought) or spells that thanked the Goddess, the plants, the animals. Though I did once perform a spell to encourage one of my school rivals to understand that being mean to people was harmful to herself and others....I was astounded when it appeared to work the very next day. She had always been rude and nasty to me, suddenly she was kind and polite. Ah, the Goddess listens, indeed!

A note about spells...they're not what you think. They're basically Sunday Mass for one. Depending on what you're focusing your energy on, you pick certain colors of candles, certain scents of oils or incense, certain days of the week or certain moon phases, place certain stones on the altar, say certain "incantations," or a prayer, ring bells at certain times, etc. There's really nothing magical about it.

It all felt very natural. Perhaps because Catholicism is so deeply rooted in paganism and ritual, I felt very comfortable with the tools of this new brand of spirituality I had found. Bells, candles, incense, chalices, tablecloths, all of these things were familiar and so indulged my inner child. I was finally able to be my own altar server and I didn't even have to wear an ugly robe. To top it off, I got to pick my own incense that wasn't the default Catholic Stank scent! How exciting!!

I stayed in this phase a few years until, like with most things, I got too lazy to maintain it. It got to be too much, maintaining a moon calendar, making sure I had all the right candles, scented oils, incenses, cloths, and whatever other embellishments I seemed to believe were necessary. It was all just too much.

I still have all my witchcraft books and even refer back to some of them once in a while. I do still find that certain scents, candles and stones seem to have an effect on my mood, and I enjoy having them around. There is something comforting about having a theme that stimulates all of your senses. I no longer believe I'm "channeling energy" or "casting spells," or doing anything else besides pleasing my senses, which should have always been good enough.

However, one of the main problems I had with witchcraft was the same as with Catholicism. I didn't feel "empowered" like I "should." Just like I never felt Christ's love burning in my heart, I never felt the Goddess' power coursing through my veins. I thought if I just worked harder on it, I'd be a better witch and would one day be filled with this blessing like so many others claimed to experience, but it never happened.

I think it all goes back to my inherently independent spirit. It's even a big joke in the family. Ever since I was old enough to have a sense of self, I've had one, and a very strong one. As young as age three, the family joke was, "There's the right way, the wrong way, and the the Katie way." My mother always joked that she should have named me "Katie Scarlet," after Scarlett O'Hara. My third grade teacher told my parents in a parent teacher conference that, "It's like Katie knows all this is bullshit." I didn't follow the beat of my own drummer, I WAS my own drummer. I had no need to follow or even to be followed.

This spirit is of mine is not interested in begging, beseeching, or humbling herself. This spirit knows that her values and her beliefs and her feelings are the only ones that matter. "Faith" of any kind will never empower this spirit for a very simple reason.

No one is empowered if she's always powerless, left begging, left pleaing, left sacrificing, left to be someone else's pawn in supposedly greater plan only to be discarded like an empty bullet shell just as soon as she's served someone else's purpose; left with the meager hope that someone else's use and abuse of her just won't be too painful, and left to believe that if it is, it's because she has done something unrighteous, or perhaps, regardless of how unbearable it may be, that she should still drop to her knees and thank someone else for making her suffer because she knows it's part of a higher wisdom that she is clearly too stupid, too small, and too insignificant to understand.

Goddess centered religions are no exception.

It's why I feel like so many feminists have cheated themselves by going into these Goddess centered belief systems rather than realizing the whole faith game is a trap. What's the point of giving a sex change to the one that holds you down? You're still beneath someone else, you're still someone else's pawn, you're still begging someone else for things that you could perhaps just as easily take initiative to achieve. If you were in jail for a crime you didn't commit, would you be so much happier being beaten by a female prison guard?

Some will argue that the Goddess is more peaceful and benevolent and doesn't encourage genocide, murder, sexism, racism, and violence, which does seem to be true from what I've read of her, but it's still a cult of the mind. There is no one, central definition of this Goddess, so how do I know? It's not like there's some kind Bible that tells us everything we need to know about her. Suffice to say, she still "has a plan" for you. She still plays favorites with her hurricanes and volcanoes. She still needs to be asked for basic humanity. She still answers extremely selectively. She still works in ways that are so mysterious they make no sense. Comparing God and Goddess is still comparing evils. Why bother with any evil when you don't have to?

Worst of all, it's all so painfully wasteful. I can never get back the years I lost to "faith," all that time I spent begging to be rescued or helped, wondering if anyone was listening and crying when no one did, enduring misery thinking that suffering somehow put me ahead of the game in the long run. All that time I could have been empowering myself to create the reality I wanted. So much damage, that years of counseling may never undo, has already been done.

Some will say that it's my fault, not religion's, for not knowing how to empower myself all along, but those that would are ignoring the self-imposed slavery that any and every faith encourages. Blowing the enemy doesn't make you superior to him....or "her." Pin It

Saturday, March 3, 2012

ATTENTION CHRISTIANS: Prayer has ALWAYS been allowed in schools

The recent news of the Florida legislature's support for prayer in school is enough to make any secularist's skin crawl. There is absolutely no constitutional reason that public prayer should be allowed in school. Christians can lament "oppression" all they want, but the fact is, prayer is something that is impossible to stop unless we become capable of prosecuting thought crime. No one sane, theist or otherwise, would support that.

I think most theists can agree that prayer is something that does not have to be done in groups, nor does it have to be done audibly, nor does it have to be "lead" by someone. It is something that can be done alone, silently, which is often preferable since not everyone likes to broadcast the intimate details of what's in their minds and hearts. So, Christians, let me as you something, and I mean this as a sincere question: even without pre-planned, lead prayers on the morning announcements and before footballs games, what is stopping a student from praying?

Even when I was Catholic, I somehow got the impression that no one could stop me from praying because I could do it without anyone knowing. In fact, I used to try to say the rosary WITHOUT a rosary....I always lost count and started over and then fudged the whole thing, but the fact remains, I didn't have to make any kind of public display out of it. Any student of any religion at any school in any time in history is now, always was, and always will be perfectly free to pray. No one can stop a person from praying. It's something you can do in your mind and heart that doesn't require being done out loud or in a group. If you want people to know, you can, but if you don't, you don't have to.

If you think someone can stop you from praying, then I hate to tell you that your faith isn't as strong as you claim it is. The second you claim someone has stopped you from praying is the second you become a performance artist, a show boater and a village idiot, which is what this is really all about, isn't it?

It's not that you can't have your faith, it's that you can't advertise it in the laziest way possible and be guaranteed not to stand out. No one said you couldn't pray to yourself, pass out Bibles and brochures, wear crosses, invite people to church, lead private prayer circles of your own, or even tattoo scripture on your forehead. But, those things would all take initiative and personal responsibility, which, if you had any of, you wouldn't need some poor, hippy Jew to die for you so you can just live however you want so long as you say, "Thanks," once in a while.

What you really want is anonymity behind yet another sacrificial lamb. You're afraid that, if during the "moment of silence," someone sees you appearing to pray, they might make fun of you, point fingers at you, roll there eyes at you, etc. However, if the quarterback "leads" the group in prayer, you won't be singled out. You'd rather see a bunch of your peers reciting insincere incantations, or at least go through the motions of such, than be thought of as a "freak" for your faith. You're the worst kind of coward. You're a moral crusader as long as someone else leads you in battle, but if your fellow soldiers were all struck down, you'd pee your pants and cry until someone either killed or rescued you.

Let me ask the religious folks another question. Assuming you're not Catholic, and if you are the answer will be, "Yes, some asshole in a hat," can any other living being talk to God for you about what's in your mind and heart better than YOU can? If the answer is yes, I'm sorry to reveal yet again that your faith isn't what you thought it was. So, go ahead, let someone else "lead" you in prayer since you apparently need to "follow" someone else's ideas of what God needs to be begged for. I'm sure the quarterback knows what's best for you, more than you do. Hey, maybe that's why he's the quarterback!

If you're going to believe in God and prayer, is it too much to ask that you believe in yourself? If you have this personal relationship with the Lord, why do you always have to txt him from somebody else's iPhone? If I were God, I'd be kinda pissed to keep getting prayers preceded by "Fwd:" from all my followers. I'd not give them what they asked for just to spite them for being lazy. Maybe that's why, despite Gisele Bundchen's mass prayer emails, the Patriots lost the Superbowl.

Just sayin.... Pin It

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Catholic jewelry

Jews seem to think they have a monopoly on claiming their faith is more than faith, but it's a culture as well. Muslims are increasingly squatting on this territory with their claims of "racism" toward people who think Islam is a big joke worthy of mockery (it is, by the way). Both faiths even get their own special words that are equated with racist bigotry, "anti-Semitic" and "Islamaphobic." Christian faiths don't get to make claims of culture somehow. There seems to be no such thing as anti-Jesusic or Catholiphobia. I guess it's because Christian holy wars are global and not centralized, so they can't be pinned on a particular race, nationality, culture, etc.

Nonetheless, Catholicism is very much a culture, especially if you attended Catholic school. Certain ideas are beaten into you until you think of them as normal, functioning parts of who you are. Many of them take real efforts to extract. Despite my current enjoyment of all things blasphemous, there are still things that I can't bring myself to accept.

I cringe when I see anyone wearing a rosary as jewelry, even as normalized as it has become. I think of how, if this were a Muslim holy relic, heads would literally roll if people were making a frivolous fashion accessory out of it. Why are people allowed to do this to "my culture," but not someone else's?

When I was living in Japan a few years ago, rosaries were all the rage in men's fashion. I hadn't fully actualized being an atheist at the time, but I still found myself at war with the concept of one of "my" holy relics being used as a simple accessory. It did look "cool" on a lot guys, but at the same time, it was sacrilegious to my "culture," even if I didn't fully belong to that culture anymore.

Tokyo is full of small boutiques and accessory shops. One of my favorites, which I'm not sure still exists, was a small ¥1000 costume jewelry shop in Harajuku. Everything in the shop was ¥1000, about $10US. A lot of the jewelry was uninteresting. Typical flowers and sparkles for girls, typical crucifixes and fleur de lis for guys, but there was always one corner of really unique pieces. Every time I visited, I remember seeing one particular rosary, both admiring and despising the brilliant blasphemy it exuded.

It wasn't a true rosary. It didn't have the exact proper arrangement or number of beads (yes, I counted), but it was designed to look like a rosary, so in my mind, the crime had already been committed. As if it weren't sacrilegious enough, purely for its existence, the beads themselves brought an extra line of offense. They were dice, black and white alternating dice. Worst of all, it was made in Italy, the Catholic capital of the world. Holy blaspheme berries, Batman!

Yes, I realize that the Catholic church is no stranger to gambling, but to combine the two in such a blatantly offensive way was unheard of. Yet, for some reason, I had to have it. The day I bought it, I couldn't stop taking out, looking at it, smiling a devilish smile, then putting it away. This continued for quite some time until I eventually threw it in my jewelry pile. I didn't have a jewelry box as I was living pretty much out of a suitcase with minimal furnishings.

I still have this rosary, it's in a box now, and every time I pull it out, that same devilish grin returns to my face. Still, I have yet to wear it. There are a few reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that I don't believe in wearing religious symbols for fashion in general, lest people get the wrong idea. The second is that it doesn't really match anything I have and my accessories are usually perfectly coordinated. The last, and least obvious to anyone that doesn't know me intimately, is that some small Catholic part of me still clings to that idea that it's disrespectful and inappropriate to wear this sacred yet sacriligious relic.

I don't know why I can't seem to let go of it. Recently, one of my few celebrity heroes released his own jewelry line and I found myself thinking slightly less of him when I saw a rosary in his collection (this is after I had already reduced my view of him for endorsing a rather run of the mill, douchey looking jewelry collection; in fact, I think he must have been inspired by the same cheap ¥1000 Harajuku boutique that I used to frequent, but I digress). He's not the only one. I see lots of celebrities, particularly men, wearing them now, and each one of them elicits a knee-jerk, negative gasp of offense from me. I try to reason it out of myself, but it rarely works.

I guess you can take the kid out of Catholic school, but you can't take the beatings out of the kid. Pin It

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thought contraception

I distinctly remember in eigth grade, after we had sex ed. in Catholic school, which was a pretty hilarious ordeal to begin with, a friend of mine named Carrie (all names changed to protect identity) and I were talking about sex and birth control. She maintained that there was no point in using any birth control at all because, "No method is 100%. If it's God will you get pregnant, then it will happen anyway."

I tried telling her, "What if you use two methods? That's more than 100%"

"But it's 198% out of 200%," she explained, she she was correct mathematically, but not logically.

We went around and around in circles until eventually agreeing to disagree. I never thought much of her argument, but I never forgot it either. Recently, with all the Obama vs. Catholicism contraception kerfuffle, I've been thinking about it a lot. We were just kids, 12 years old, and already one of us had been brainwashed by Catholic thought contraception. We went to the same school and I never had that attitude, which means it came from home.

Her parents were big time, old school, hard core Catholics and all around Jeebus freaks. I even remember her mom bragging about how much going to see Billy Graham "rocked." I also remember, even as a kid, thinking, "Lame." The reigns were tight at their house. Even during Robinhood: Men in Tights, during the scene where Robinhood is serenading Maid Marian in front of a screen and the shadow of his sword makes it look like he has a raging boner that would put John Holmes and Ron Jeremy to shame, her dad said, "I dunno, this is getting suggestive," and made us turn off the movie.

Doubtlessly, the attitude toward birth control was coming from home. What scares me is how early it begins. If she had already been brainwashed by 12, when did the programming begin, age 10, age nine, even younger? It's a miracle any girl graduates Catholic high school without a couple of kids clinging to her teets! I guess God is good at picking which ones really need to have kids.

On a side note, I didn't continue to Catholic high school, but one of the girls I went to school with did, got pregnant, and has a child that is now a student in the very school that I attended kindergarten through eight grade. My mother is a teacher a that school and upon seeing the little girl's last name on her class roster said, "Oh, you must be Angie's daughter (name changed)."

"No," the little girl said confused, "Angie's my sister."

The more I think of the "it's not 100%" attitude, the more it scares me. If you can apply "God's will" to equate a 1% chance with a 99% chance, isn't that just encouraging reckless endangerment? You'd think with the Catholic church's zero tolerance policy toward suicide that reckless endangerment would be strictly governed as well. Sadly, it's not.

Seat belts aren't 100%, nor is a helmet, nor a sidewalk, nor any kind of health treatment, nor medication, nor exercise program, nor riding a unicycle across a tight rope over a tank of sharks and crocodiles. So, if it's God's will for you to die, it will happen. Of course, if you do die, do you burn in Hell for suicide? Technically, it wasn't suicide because you weren't trying to kill yourself, you just happened to die doing something you knew was likely to kill you. Wait, if God considers that suicide, why would God will you to die? Just so he can send you to Hell? What a dick.

So, go ahead, kiddies have sex without condoms. We'll see if it's God's will that you get knocked up, get an STD, or turn into a total skank. Maybe if you're lucky, you'll get all three! How's that for a holy trinity? Pin It

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ass Wednesday

Ah, the old Catholic tradition of walking around all day looking like the douchier sector of your friends tried to Hitler you and missed.

This day-long embarrassment is followed by 40 days of refusing to do something you enjoy and swarming Captain D's every Friday. Supposedly, the 40 day "sacrifice" is supposed to mimic the way Jesus chose to deal with his negative body image. He "fasted" in the for 40 days before starting his public ministry. Well, what else was he supposed to do? It's not like they had Spanx back then. Of course, not eating Hershey Kisses for 40 says obviously very comparable.

Then again, maybe giving up a food item is really just making up for all the donuts you ate on Fat Tuesday. How perfectly religious. Engorge yourself the day before making a minimal sacrifice, but still somehow convince yourself that the sacrifice has outweighed the engorgement and made you more holy. This is a whole set of customs I've never understood.

Even growing up in Catholic school, I thought this whole idea was, in a word, retarded. I didn't see how not doing something I liked made me love Jesus more or made me more like him. I usually would lie about giving something up, or I'd give something up for about two days and then go back to doing it. Though, bearing the sign of a true Catholic, I did feel guilty about it....not enough to stop, just enough to feel ashamed of myself.

I do distinctly remember a much better suggestion during one of the many Ash Wednesday services I was forced to attend. One priest said that giving up something in this land of plenty hardly showed our love of Christ or made us more Christlike. Anything we could give up would be a miniscule sacrifice by comparison. Instead, to become better Christians, indeed, better people, doing something proactive to help ourselves, each other, the community would be more purposeful and would more closely fit Christ's mission in life.

He suggested doing things that most people reserve for Christmas time. Donating money to charity, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, doing canned food drives. If we weren't healthy ourselves, we could exercise daily, start diets, which are like giving up candy for Lent, but then stay on them after Easter. If we had friends going through grief, to be there for them. He explained that the whole idea of self indulgent suffering was silly.

It was one of very few sermons that truly touched my heart, and as a kid who spent kindergarten through 8th grade in Catholic school, I heard a LOT of sermons (most of them sucked). What a great idea! Improving oneself! HELPING others! Surely, if Jesus (well, the figure of Jesus we were supposed to believe in) were alive today, he wouldn't want us sacrificing stupid things like bubblegum or individually wrapped peppermints. He'd want us building bridges together, helping each other, making ourselves better people, making the world a better place. I couldn't wait to get home and tell my mom this brilliant notion..

Of course, as a young child, ideas are usually squished by the nearest adult. I remember going home and having my parents be the sacrifice enforcers. I understand why they did. What a pain in the ass. We have to take our kids to go do something every day? No. They're already in softball, basketball, tennis, art club, and theatre. Plus, with my dad being out of town for work so much, this meant mom had to do it all. So, once again, I ended up sacrificing orange creamsicles and learned nothing of it, since the day after Easter, I'd doubtlessly be given whatever it was I had sacrificed for 40 days prior.

Despite my childhood inability to accomplish it, the idea remains solid. If you want to "celebrate" Lent and you believe Jesus a Ghandi+hair kind of guy, then don't give up ice cream, or dirty words, or masturbating. None of that makes you a better Christian human being and it's incredibly selfish to think it does. Giving to someone else is better than taking from yourself. And don't wait for the calendar to tell you when to do it! You could be doing this every day. Alas, if you need the calendar to tell you, then at least 40 days a year, you could do something good for humanity. Besides, if you're going to go around all day having everyone think you've been Hitlered, wouldn't you at least like to get a better sense of self from it? Otherwise, you've just spent a whole day looking like an ass. Pin It

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lent: Mindless Fridays

My parents had me over for dinner last night...well, actually, I invited myself, but they were happy to have me. Mom made a roast chicken and was telling my dad to take it for lunch the next few days, then stopped herself and said, "BUT don't forget, NO MEAT on Wednesday because it's Ash Wednesday." I have a long standing tradition of giving my family the business about Ash Wednesday and meatless Fridays during Lent, a tradition that I imposed long before I became atheist.

First, came the objection to fish. I didn't understand how fish was not meat. Somehow, with no degree in biology, food science, or bioethics, the pope is able to distinguish these highly debatable concepts to a level of certainty that Catholics trust. Fish isn't meat because the pope says so.

Then came (and still often comes), the idea that, okay, the pope says fish isn't meat, but you still don't have to eat fish. I've always liked fish and didn't have a problem with that as a child, but I did have a problem with my folks constantly whining, "Oh, it's so hard to drop by Captain D's during Lent. Oh, fish is so expensive this time of year. Oh, I'm so tired of fish.....oh, blabla, similar whining, whiney whine waaaaah."

As someone who's gone mostly vegetarian, I have lots of advice to give a couple of folks that think meat at every meal is not only preferable, but a human necessity. I love being told my health philosophy is wrong by two obese people with arthritis, body aches, and type II diabetes, by the way. I told them to stop agonizing over fish. They could try omelets, quiches, stir fry, noodles, veggie stews, veggie soups, falafel. Hell, I even told them to order pizza with no meat toppings and THAT wasn't good enough either!

One Friday a few years ago, I distinctly remember practically forcing my mom to make eggplant parmigiana (I would have gladly made it for them, but my mom is a control freak about the kitchen at times). She was all distraught about what to make because it was a year my dad was out of work and the family couldn't afford fish. I, again, presented the argument that you don't have meat at every meal anyway, and that you don't have to have fish. I told her how cheap eggplant was, printed a recipe, and put it in front of her.

"'s really easy! I thought it would be difficult."

Everyone raved about how delicious it was. How many subsequent times has she made it? Zero.

No, apparently, they'd much rather complain than solve their problems simply. Such is the life of a Catholic. They seem to take some sort of petty pleasure in knowing they've suffered. On a side note, never get two suffering Catholics in a room together. It will become some kind of weird, masochistic pissing contest to determine who is suffering more.

As if fighting the American institutionalized OMG MEAT mindset weren't difficult enough, always the question of religious tradition came and was, in their minds, defeated by being ignored. For young parents out there that know they have a reasonably intelligent kid, don't subject them to ridiculous rituals and expect not to have to answer a few questions. Alas, my parents never did and to this day never do address it.

My mother is main culprit. My dad kind of rolls his eyes and says, "I dunno," which in this case the pacifistic marital euphemism for, "I don't actually give a shit, but your mom does all the shopping and all the cooking, so she decides." Once in a while, he'll do what any decent husband should do and stand up for her, even when he knows she's being ridiculous, and say, "It makes your mom feel better, so let her do it."

How doing something that totally inconveniences one's life makes one feel better is beyond me. Again, I claim it's that Catholic affinity for suffering. Just ask Mother Theresa. Still maintaining the silliness of it all, in adulthood, my questioning has gotten to be bolder, "Mom, why do you do this? You don't go to church, you don't say the rosary, you don't even know what's in the Bible -coughandmeatlessfridaysaren'tintherecough-, you don't even like doing this because you always complain you can't get fish, but you refuse to eat vegetarian, and you know exactly how silly it is because in your life time, eating meat on any Friday went from being a mortal sin to being a venial sin, and even at that, now it's only a few weeks a year. Why do you bother?"

Every time we get on the topic, her body and mouth visibly tense up, as if the strain of thinking about these things is too much, and the answer is, "Because!"

Shortly after, we get to the argument that any child above age three has had with at least one parent, "Why?"


"Because why?


Somehow, in the mom mindset, saying, "Because," with determination means you win.

WORSE! She informed me last night, "Well, technically, I don't have to do it because of my age."

"When did that happen?" I asked. I honestly never knew there was an age limit.

"You only have to do it ages 14 to 59," she said. She likely never told us this because as children, my sister and I would have objected and she certainly wasn't going to provide separate meals for us.

"Since when?"

"Since always," she said.

Then I remarked how it added yet one more layer of ridicule to the whole practice, but of course it got me nowhere but the Daytona 500 of why/because.

In my unmentioned number of years on this planet (I don't like to share my age, but let's say I'm at least old enough to have been drunk a lot) I have yet to get an answer beyond that. Sometimes, perhaps when she doubts it herself, she'll actually say something to the tune of, "It's the last straw. If I don't at least cling to this, then it means I have no connection with the Church."

...which is exactly my point. Of all the finer points of Catholicism, THIS is the one that proves you still have faith? How obscene. Speaking of obscenity, why should a meddling, young woman stop her mother from doing something that gives her mother "great comfort?"

I have seen the direct harm clinging to faith has done to her and the rest of the family. Though she doesn't do it the traditional, Catholic way with beads and and pre-written monologues, she claims to pray. She knows there is no power in prayer. She's been praying for a good decade and a half for my parents' economic situation to improve. It never has. Yet, she keeps holding out, keeps clinging, thinking there may yet be a silver lining on this 15 year storm cloud, thinking that God is watching and waiting for the precise moment when it's perfect to help them. Meanwhile, my heart breaks as I watch them both deteriorate, getting closer to returning to the earth's crust from whence they came, never stopping to embracing these autumn years as they should, but rather victimizing themselves while helplessly hoping to be rescued.

She has seen the direct harm it has done to the family. In fact, when I was a child and questioned when her parents visited (they lived in Michigan, we lived in Georgia), why her father never went to church. She avoided the question for years, using the why/because defense as usual. Eventually, when he was close to death and I was still worried for his soul, she told me her father didn't go to church anymore was because one of the many times he had cancer and he and my grandmother struggled to survive physically and financially, the Church told them to just keep supporting the Church financially, and all would be as it should be. He got angry and never returned. How that message never penetrated the females of the family is beyond me. I know that even as a fairly young child, it shook my reality a bit.

So, despite all knowledge to the contrary, they cling to this suicidal hope that someone is going to rescue them. I watch them starve themselves emotionally. If there were anything in the world I thought I could do to change the situation, I would, but they're set in their ways strictly as a matter of principle. They'd rather die than admit they're wrong, and sadly, I know they will. Pin It