George Takei: Why I love a country that once betrayed me

Published on Jul 4, 2014

When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a “security” measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.


The best PR to encourage disbelief, well, it’s belief

I’ve said it. I’ll say it. Read the bible, really read it, and an atheist will soon be “born again.”

Here’s a great read that’s making the rounds (below). It’s from Rachel Hel Evans and the blog is called, How to win a culture war and lose a generation The sentiment has been expressed before, but it’s still a great reminder:

When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” and “too involved in politics.”)

In the book that documents these findings, titled unChristian, David Kinnaman writes:

“The gay issue has become the ‘big one, the negative image most likely to be intertwined with Christianity’s reputation. It is also the dimensions that most clearly demonstrates the unchristian faith to young people today, surfacing in a spate of negative perceptions: judgmental, bigoted, sheltered, right-wingers, hypocritical, insincere, and uncaring. Outsiders say [Christian] hostility toward gays…has become virtually synonymous with the Christian faith.”

Later research, documented in Kinnaman’s You Lost Me, reveals that one of the top reasons 59 percent of young adults with a Christian background have left the church is because they perceive the church to be too exclusive, particularly regarding their LGBT friends.  Eight million twenty-somethings have left the church, and this  is one reason why.

In my experience, all the anecdotal evidence backs up the research.

Read on

I’m talking to you in my nasally voice

I’m not feeling so hot today.

My head is foggy.

My sore is throat.

My drips are sinus-y.

Did you see what I did there?

Gift giving

Tina and I decided that our corporate gift this year to our clients was a donation in their honor to the food bank in their cities. We made several donations before noticing that I had a typo in the message we were sending. A “you” instead of “your”.

I should not have been in charge of this today.

But we wanted to do it. And it feels good to help a few people in need on behalf of the companies who help feed us.

We found out that many of our clients are off this week, so they won’t be getting the email notifications until they get back after the new year. Which means there’s a chance we might get overlooked.

Gosh, I hope not.

Burgers, Beer and TV Reruns

Last night, Tina and I met up with regular reader Paul and his lovely wife Peggy for dinner and some local theater arts. We both knew Paul and met Peggy for the first time.

Tina and I have known Paul for almost 11 years. He freelanced for the same company we worked for when Tina and I met. We stayed in touch over the years.We both worked as freelancers and I can count on 1 hand how many times I’ve seen him in person.

He didn’t know about my atheism, of course, but one day he stumbled on this blog, and now he frequents to see what we’re up to. He shares similar views, and I look forward to spending more time talking about it. As an atheist, you know there are a lot of us out there, but we don’t group up that often. It’s not weekly, put it that way.

I have to say that Paul, and now that I’ve met Peggy, have to be some of the most generous people I’ve ever met. I remember seeing the gifts that he sent over to our mutual client. I take that back, I remember hearing about it. People would say, “I can’t wait till Paul’s annual gift gets here. I call dibs on X.” It was usually a tin of treats that everyone seemed to fight over.

Last night, Paul and Peggy brought Tina a birthday gift, which was such a kind gesture.

We didn’t talk too much non-belief talk last night, but I can tell we could probably work the topic for much longer than we did. It was refreshing to hang out with open non-believers, and we’re looking forward to more get togethers.

Hamburger Mary’s!

We ate at this place called Hamburger Mary’s, which is located in the Andersonville neighborhood a few blocks from our condo. Andersonville is a super cool neighborhood that happens to be heavily populated with the LGTB community. Hamburger Mary’s claims to be the first LGTB run and operated franchise in the US. The burgers are amazing. The atmosphere really cool, too. They like straight people, too … you know, because they understand you were born that way. So all are welcome! How about that.

After dinner, we  walked upstairs to a small theatre space to see a performance from A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company. ARFTCo’s schtick is that they perform bits from your favorite television shows. Last night, they did some Seinfeld, The O.C., 30 Rock and The Colbert Report.

It was highly entertaining and funny. The actors read straight from scripts that were in binders, which can be hit or miss. But all in all, there is some really funny talent, and some people you can imagine would make it in larger theatre.

I know, I know, it’s Wednesdog. I’m working on it. I didn’t get a chance to schedule ahead this week, and it’s biting me in the ass.


Dan Savage: It gets better

Sex advice columnist, journalist, and newspape...

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Dan Savage is a badass. He’s actively helping the cause of homosexuality in the public sphere. I respect and admire that.

This video (below) is a great push for gay rights and for furthering the already changing zeitgeist. It’s the result of lifetimes of torment.

When you hear the part about their adoption, it’s a great moment.

What blows me away is that the torment of hate toward homosexuality still exists. I hate ignorance, and even wondering about whether homosexuality is okay or not is an abomination to academic thought and rational logic.

The pockets of hate happen to be pintpointable to places that idolize conservatism and religion. When I told my brother-in-law about the possibility we’d move to the suburbs, I could see in his face the torment of memories. I said, “You can come out and visit us.”

And he said, “Why would I ever want to visit there?”

His disgust for idiocy blinded him from seeing that he might want to visit his sister and I.

He hated growing up in the suburbs. He sees the city as the opposite of hate. It offers tolerance and acceptance. I’m sure he’ll live his whole damn life in the city, because small-minded dumbasses made his life hell in the outskirts.

One of my biggest and weirdest regrets is how I fell for the ideology that homosexuality is wrong. I hate how those ideas manifested into words, sentences and hate speech in every day conversations. And for what? Because I was taught that kind of behavior was “love.”

My brother-in-law is right; the city is a haven for diversity and acceptance of different ideas. If there were a god, I would thank him or her for the city. Because at least that would show some essence of power.

Anyway, enjoy the video and pass it on if you get a chance.