But…I don’t like ponies…
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So, wonderful, amazing, hilarious Jen McCreight over at Blag Hag has very kindly pointed out this nice little Conservapedia tidbit:

Ponies vs. Atheists:  Ponies Win.

I don’t have much to say about this article…in fact, I don’t even want to read it.  It seems like it’s reaching to me.  Not least of all is the fact that so what if ponies win? It’s a false dichotomy. It isn’t like the women of America can only choose between Ponies or Atheism, although, that would make the country a very interesting place. In fact, I think there might be, and this is a big MIGHT, there might be women out there who are atheist AND like ponies.  Don’t quote me on that…my sample set is very small.  I myself do not give two rips about ponies; I do, in fact, care more about atheism; however, I think I may even know a couple women atheists out there who DO like ponies.

Maybe I’ve missed something. Do Dawkins and Harris have some sort of secret anti-pony agenda that Conservapedia has somehow sniffed out?  Are they actually more like unicorn men? Or maybe even zebra men?  Maybe they don’t like ponies because ponies are notoriously religious.  I don’t know. I don’t think I know enough about ponies to even make an educated guess.  Like I said, I don’t like ponies.

I hate to break it to the goddies that write for Conservapedia, but unlike you guys, who have to put your god above all else in your life, because he is, in fact, a jealous god, we atheist do not have such a controlling and abusive relationship to think of.  We can care about being an active atheist (for instance, trying to keep religion out of legislature and off our uteri) and still care about other things more.  We can put our families’ health and happiness ahead of the happiness of our non-god.  We can obsess about our careers without offending science.  We can listen to music, read books, enjoy pornography instead of going to church or praying in the evening.  Atheism does not come with a dogma that dictates what order our priorities should go in.

I am rather interested in reading atheist blogs and news stories that pertain to religions and atheism…but if I had the choice between reading about atheism or watching Timothy Olyphant…Timothy would win…hands down.  I would give up reading Pharyngula, The Good Atheist, and Blag Hag if it meant that I could constantly be watching sexy Timothy Olyphant.  If I had the chance to go on a date with Timothy Olyphant, I would forgo attending a debate between Matt Dillahunty and Ray Comfort.  If I had the chance to chloroform Timothy, tie him up, bring him back home, and keep him as my own personal sex god without any chance of repercussions, I’d give away my tickets to The Amazing Meeting (If I was ever lucky enough to be able to purchase them, of course).  It is safe for me to say that I worship Timothy Olyphant far more than I worship Satan, Dawkins, Darwin, Science, or the flying spaghetti monster.

I mean…LOOK AT HIM!  Ponies ain’t got NOTHIN’ on him!!

Except this one…She’s kinda sexy.

 

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June 3: Hug an Atheist Day.
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Apparently, today is the 3rd annual Hug and Atheist Day.  Considering we atheist are the most broadly discriminated group in the United States, some folks on facebook started the Hug an Atheist Day event!

Make sure to let them know you’re attending!

According the the event:

1. Find an atheist, agnostic, ignostic, nontheist, antitheist, antireligionist, apatheist, secular humanist, skeptic, misotheist, dystheist, structuralist, freethinker, naturalistic pantheist, absurdist, deist, therevada buddhist, zen buddhist, nihiilst, marxist, pastafarian, spagnostic, gropaga, existentialist, or anyone else who doubts the existence of a god.
2. Run up to that nonbeliever, and give him/her a gigantic hug!

You don’t have to be an atheist, you just have to hug one!

 

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The Right Not To Be Offended
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I had the following conversation on facebook.  I was put in the uncomfortable position of defending the Westboro Baptist Church (the “God Hates Fags” people).  I feel strongly about free speech and I would be a hypocrite if I let this slide.  I’d love to hear other people’s take on this.

PS:  I apologize for the typos, but I was in a rush.

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Who The Hell Am I?
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Why, I’m Dan Gomiller, Ari’s fiance. I haven’t posted on here yet, as I felt I should introduce myself before I start telling you what to think. Of course it’s taken me this long to write my intro because I’m a lazy procrastinator. ANYWAY, I guess I’ll start from the start.

I was never really very religious. I grew up in a rather “hands off” type household. My dad was… preoccupied… with substances, so my grandma basically raised my brother and me, but she was feeble from osteoporosis and never left the house. Despite the lack of oversight, we were probably the most well behaved kids in the neighborhood. One thing my grandma did make sure we did as young children was go to Sunday School and church (Methodist). My brother and I didn’t buy into the religion part much, it was mostly the arts and crafts and stuff we went for, and spent a lot of time screwing around. I remember when the actual sermon started we would be busy playing in the pews and getting scolded. Once we were too old for Sunday School, we just stopped going. Despite being pretty religious herself, my grandma never forced anything on us kids, and I have to thank her for that.

Skip a few years later to me as a teenager. For a long time I never really thought about god; it just never came up. Then all of a sudden I started considering his existence. I think I was technically an agnostic deist, in that I was willing to assume that some being made the big bang and let us go from there, but wasn’t sure. But just in case my grandma was right I started praying in my mind at night (since of course god can read minds). I didn’t know what Pascal’s Wager was at that age, but I used it none the less.

That phase lasted about a year until I figured, “If God is real, and he can read minds, why do I need to tell him anything?” I also had a thirst for science, especially astronomy. Since about 3rd grade I ate up books about space, planets, aliens, and moved on to fossils, evolution, hominids, etc. I was encouraged by my dad to watch a lot of Discovery Channel (this was before it became another reality TV channel, no offense Mythbusters). All this input and knowledge slashed away and destroyed what meager acceptance of a god there was. At this point I considered myself an agnostic (in the colloquial “I just don’t know” sense). I was non confrontational and it was easier to say that. I stayed like that for many years.

Ari, my fiance, considered herself an atheist, and we would have discussions about the difference between agnostic and atheist (oh how ignorant I was!) One day I stumbled upon Thunderf00t‘s YouTube channel and his Why Do People Laugh At Creationists series.  I learned from him that there were people who honestly felt creationism trumped science and wanted to impose that view on the rest of us, which I felt was VERY wrong.  On top of that he utterly quashed any hold outs I maintained for a deist-type god.  From him I discovered cdk007 whose videos do an EXCELLENT job of describing the science behind such things as life from non-life, where the flagellum came from, and other such canards trotted out by creationists.  I also discovered the Atheist Experience public access TV show, with Matt Dillahunty basically teaching me, through their phone calls, the basic concepts of logic and fallacies.  I went from apathetic agnostic to active atheist in about a month or so.

Since then I have discovered such great resources as Pharyngula, The Friendly Atheist, The Nonprophets, and even joined the Atheist Community of Austin (backers of both the Atheist Experience and The Nonprophets).  These people have lit a fire in my belly to add to the voices calling for change.  One important thing I learned is you need to make noise.  In 2005 the Supreme Court allowed a 10 Commandments monument from 1961 to stay in Texas while forcing Kentucky to take down their 6-year-old framed copies because, well, the statue had been there for 40 years without anyone complaining.  That means we need to complain ASAP folks, or this precedent will allow for terrible breaches of rights.

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Abstinence only education DOES NOT WORK
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So, Pharyngula posted a blog entry about Bristol Palin becoming the new spokes-model (I say that because I don’t think they chose her for her great big brain!) for some foundation promoting abstinence only education.  Yeah, and she’s making hand over fist money there, but that’s not what pisses me off.  Well, partially, this is about as irritating to me as when PETA wanted to bring Michael Vick on as a spokesperson…really?  No, you cannot exonerate these people by assimilating them into your little groups.  They are the spokesmodels for the exact problem you are fighting AGAINST…bringing them on isn’t going to make your organization look better!

But that isn’t the only reason I am enraged.  I hate, hate, HATE abstinence only education.  For one, it promotes the religious shame that has somehow wrapped its greasy tentacles around what SHOULD be a pleasurable and equalizing part of our humanity.  Instead, they make it into something evil and disgusting (somehow twisting it up with “original sin,” although, correct me if I’m wrong…but when Adam and Eve ate the apple…wasn’t the first thing they did was put some damn clothes on?  I mean, besides the mormons…don’t people usually take clothes off before they do some humpin’ and bumpin’?).

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A facebook rant
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[Friend]…it may not mean much,. but I’m going to preface what I have to say by telling you that you are awesome, I respect the shit out of you, I think your talent and passion are an inspiration. You are the reason that I have found a writing group and I am working my ass off to sell a novel.

Also, I do not think that your Christianity, and other moderates like you are the problem.

However, when you tell us, essentially, to shut the fuck up…you are limiting our rights, for one…no where in the constitution does it say that you have the right to not be offended. You do, however, have the right to delete your outspoken friends off Facebook…no one is stopping you there. It would be a shame, because that would severely limit the influences you would have on your life, but, to each their own.

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Ain’t it the truth?
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We only put the God one as 2% in order to make it actually show up in the pie graph. So, other than that part, this is COMPLETELY accurate. I have, on more than one occasion, changed my course of action to one that was more “moral” just because I was afraid that there was a chance that John Kramer could kidnap and torture me. Call me paranoid…but it’s just the way I think…

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Storm by Tim Minchin
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Nothing beats a combination of two of my favorite things: Skepticism and Comedy!

That being said, I know this is old news by now, but for those of you who have somehow missed it, here is a 9-minute beat poem by the adorable Australian comedian, Tim Minchin, with an amazing knack for putting words to my feelings about the most frustrating ideas in our society.

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Jesus He Knows Me…
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This song and video are brilliant. They may seem over the top, but really, if you actually watched Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, or Benny Hinn you might be disturbed to see that Genesis’ version is not really overdramatized.

What is even more interesting is that this song, released in ’91 actually talks about the preacher having an illicit, homosexual affair. This song predates the case of Ted Haggard’s homosexual scandal by a good fifteen years!

I am not claiming that the rock band Genesis is in any way prophetic, but it does beg the question about exactly how common this sort of hypocritical behavior is in the televangelist circles.

Also, Phil Collins sounds so much like Robin Williams in this video!

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If You Are Not Angry, You Are Not Paying Attention.
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Hello friends!  Ari Jarvis, here, your guide to the fantabulous world of atheism!

“What is atheism?”  You ask.

“Have you been living under a rock?”  I ask.

“Stop harassing me, I only asked a simple question!”

“Well, you have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, and yet, instead of making use of Google or Wikipedia or the dictionary you ask a blog post?  I’ll stop harassing you when you stop acting so st—”

I’m sorry…that is no way to start…what was I saying.  Oh, right.

Atheism, you may or may not know, is, put simply, a rejection of belief in the existence of deities.  Deities meaning gods.  In my case, that means I don’t believe in a personal god, supposedly guiding the world and its people in day-to-day actions; apparently listening to prayers; or perhaps keeping a tally of the wrong doings each and every person commits as they go through life.  I also do not believe in a prime mover, a deity who, some believe, set the universe in motion (leading to maybe the big bang, or turtles all the way down, or evolution.

I am an Agnostic Atheist.  I do not KNOW that there is no god, and I do not pretend to have evidence to prove the inexistence of a god.  That is actually impossible.  There is no way to prove that something does not exist.  However, due to the lack of compelling evidence, I strongly BELIEVE that gods do not exist.

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