I tend to post a lot from the Daily Wh.at. Instead of starting several new posts, I’m going to throw a handful Daily Whats in one spot.
I recently had a back and forth with a friend from middle school and high school about being an atheist. She wanted to know what happened. I don’t tell everyone about my blog and I decided to use the conversation as an opportunity to write more about non-belief. I thought what I came up with was a good variation on a tired conversation.
From part of a longer letter (re: deconversion from Christianity):
The more people I met, the more I learned intellectually and the more I experienced personally, I determined that — should I never have experienced Christianity — I would never have chosen it on my own. I determined that religion is cultural. Now that there are more ideas and more ways to share those ideas (via the Internet), religious cultures are more easily accessed which is why you see more people converting to a religion that isn’t local (e.g. A blond-haired blue-eyed swede converting to Islam).
Once I determined that free will is free will, I admitted to myself and loved ones that I don’t believe it. I don’t think I ever did.
I tried. I really did. I was a pretty damn good Christian. I even have a certificate on my wall that says, “Christian Excellence Award” from Wesleyan Academy. I witnessed to people. I went out of my way to avoid temptations. I was hardcore. But acting the part wasn’t enough.
I don’t hate god. I don’t hate Jesus. I just don’t think god or Jesus is as great as people say that he is. Should god exist, he has a lot of explanation to do before he goes about saying he’s perfect, just or awesome.
My upbringing demonized all things liberal, humanist, and secular. Yet all the things I loved were humanistic, liberal and secular. I’m pro-gay, pro-women, pro-science. I love all things secular, and I have from an early age.
When it’s all said and done, I embraced what I loved a majority of the time (as a Christian)… all the time. At church and school, you had to pretend to be a certain kind of person. And in reality, I wasn’t that person. When I didn’t go to a Christian school or to church any more, I didn’t have to pretend part of the time, therefore I was whole all of the time.
When I was finished with the email, I made a piechart to show how I much time I spent being secular to being non-secular as a Christian. When you look at it, there’s really no reason to include non-secularism in life. It muddies up the majority of the time I spend as a human.
Most of my religious friends are secular 95% of the time. Religiosity takes up such a small portion of their lives.
Why be non-secular such a small percentage of your life? I say go one way or the other. It’s a much better way to live. It’s definitely more “whole”.
Literally, this guy had to have fired one up before delivering this “sermon”. Check out the name of the ministry he’s associated with. He makes no bones about it.
The LA Times published an article about vaccines today written by Pamela Nguyen. You can read the article here. From the article:
Diseases such as measles and mumps are creeping back as well-meaning parents, wary of an unproven link to autism, refuse vaccines for their children, exposing them and others to a proven risk.
PZ Myers commented on the article here.
Also, reader Liz Ditz updated us on a blog that responded to the Dateline Episode I posted about here.
Kim Wombles is a good source — she’s been following Wakefield for years.
I thought it was a bit confusing and Kim reminded me of why — a lot of the footage was repeated from last year’s admiring interview with Wakefield.
Now of course, not so admiring.
All of this information is worth taking a look at.
Leave your presents on the table over yonder. And grab yourself a piece of cake. Le Café Witteveen turns one this month. I started blogging in May 2009, but I didn’t start getting hits until June. So June is the month I’ve decided Le Café exited the blog womb into the blogosphere.
Thanks to all my readers for making it through one year of Le Café Witteveen shenanigans.
I don’t really think the first anniversary should be celebrated too much. Although, if you’re deadset on it, I don’t mind if you put on one of these silly hats and blow on this noise maker.
They say that a business needs three years before you can weigh in on its success/failure. I’d say it’s probably the same thing with blogs.
I’m still searching for a definitive voice, which usually accounts for the haphazard nature of topics posted here.
You can’t say I don’t have fun with this blog. Well, if you do say it, I’ll ignore you.
Last night, I noticed on facebook that one of my family members by birth made a comment about Obama, his dirty connection with BP and his unwillingness to FIX IT!!!
Here’s the comment screen capped.
Since this guy made the comment, he removed it as well as a slew of updates he made about his family’s military achievements and accomplishments.
All of those updates — including the military ones — were deleted from his profile this morning.
I speculate that this uncle is wackaloony toons, and I tend to screen cap his updates on occasion, because he deletes them, I reckon, after he sobers up. I don’t know this for sure, but it seems like he gets loose lipped with a little booze, and since he has no friends except for the “what’s on your mind” space on facebook.
So for the record, I wanted to remind him of Obama’s stand on “offshore drilling” back during the campaign. Here’s an article from BBC News. From the article dated July 14, 2008:
President George W Bush has lifted an executive ban on drilling for oil in most US coastal waters, and has urged lawmakers to follow suit.
He wants Congress to end its separate ban on drilling, in order to reduce US dependence on oil imports.
Republican John McCain is in favour of offshore oil drilling, whereas his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, opposes it.
Here’s a prophetic speech he made in Jacksonville FL on the campaign trail June 20, 2008 (notice the part about when benefits from offshore drilling would take place):
***UPDATE*** Thanks to a comment by Adam Roberts, I would like to add a link to an article from March when Obama reversed his campaign promise to oppose offshore drilling. Here.
I imagine Jon Stewart is going to have a hayday with a segment called 2008 Obama versus 2010 Obama.
And if you’re really curious about the first update above that says, “Why do I even hope???” (in reference to the Chicago Blackhawks win last night) That same person posted an article saying she disliked that President Obama decided to go on vacation rather than be at Arlington on Monday. I told her it was recompense for posting the article about not liking Obama’s decision to go on vacation on Monday.
That’s the closest I get to superstition … it’s sarcasm about superstition.
This is so worth a watch.
Via Cynical C
I posted this, because I was looking for an episode of Dateline that aired over the weekend about the vaccine discussion. It featured Andrew Wakefield, but I’m not sure this article was referring to the episode. If I find the correct reference, I’ll re-post.
Sunday, Aug. 30: ‘A Dose of Controversy’ NBC News’ Matt Lauer will take an unprecedented look at the emotional debate surrounding vaccines and the suggested link to autism on Sunday, August 30 at 7 p.m. ET with “Dose of Controversy.” In the one-hour Dateline, Lauer speaks exclusively with Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 medical study was the first in the world to suggest a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The British doctor has since influenced the lives and stirred the passions of millions of parents worldwide looking to solve the mystery of what causes the complex developmental disorder. But Dr. Wakefield’s theories have also raised serious questions from the media and the medical community. Lauer interviews investigative journalist Brian Deer who wrote a critical report for London’s Sunday Times in 2004 detailing what he said were potential conflicts of interest that Dr. Wakefield had never revealed. Lauer also talks with Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of … (more)