Black History Month Extravaganza #3: Business and Pleasure

Welcome back to another installment of black history you may have never learned! Today, we’re going to meet some enterprising entrepreneurs, discover that some of our most important STEM breakthroughs have been due to people of color, and admire black artistry.

Continue reading “Black History Month Extravaganza #3: Business and Pleasure”

Black History Month Extravaganza #3: Business and Pleasure
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What Christianity Teaches

Many of the things Christianity teaches are horrible. Darcy’s description of what was drilled into her as a child is harrowing. Some of you will be tempted to think that what she’s describing here is extreme, fringe, the teachings of a few outlying cults. But it’s not. It’s hidden behind prettier language, but it’s right there in the mainstream.

(Content note for spiritual and child abuse, rape.)

Even raised in a mostly-secular and decidedly non-church-going household, I absorbed it. I didn’t even have uber-religious friends until high school, but I still got the message.

From babyhood they said “You are a dirty sinner, there is nothing good in you, you are destined for hell because of your nature.”

So we, small humans, awoke to a world where toddlers need the sin and foolishness beaten out of them with switches and wooden spoons and belts.

They said “Only with Jesus are you worth anything.”

So as small children we begged Jesus to come into our hearts and make the dirty clean.

They said “Because of your sin, God cannot look at you, Jesus had to die. You killed him.”

So we mourned that we were so sinful that God couldn’t look at us without someone else standing in our place.

They said “You are human, a sinner, you cannot help it, only Jesus can make you worth anything.”

So we felt that we were worthless, that no matter how hard we try, we will never be good enough, while some kept trying anyway and some completely gave up.

They said “If you fall in love with a boy, you are committing emotional fornication.”

So we guarded our hearts lest sin defile us with merely a thought, and when our hearts betrayed us and we fell in love with a boy, we hated ourselves and knew we were worth less than before, we had lost a piece of our hearts we would never get back.

They said “Your body needs to be hidden because it is dangerous and if a man lusts after you because of your clothing or movements, it is your fault”.

So we covered our bodies from head to toe, swathed our femininity in fabric hoping no one would notice the curves, and spent years of our life worrying that we may cause a man to stumble and thus defile our own hearts and his.

They said “Boys only want one thing, so be sure you don’t do anything that makes them think they can take it from you. They can’t help it, this is how God made them, we must help them.”

So we lived in fear of men who God made pigs then placed the responsibility for their pig-ness on us.

They said “If you kiss a boy, you’re like a lolly-pop that’s been licked, a paper heart that’s been torn, you are worth less than before, and you’ve given away a part of you that you can never get back.”

So we spent our days afraid, terrified we would lose our worth and have nothing to give a future spouse.

They said “Virginity and purity give you value, don’t give that away.”

So whether virginity was taken forcefully or given lovingly, we were left worthless, used goods, and told no godly man would want us now.

Continue reading “What Christianity Teaches”

What Christianity Teaches

(Sorta) New at Rosetta Stones: Some Magnificent Eruptions Photos Have Funny Stories…

We’ve reached the areas where some of the most iconic photos of the early moments of Mount St. Helens’s catastrophic May 18, 1980 eruption were taken. The good news is, everybody lived! The bad news: not all of them were wearing pants…

(I totally forgot to schedule this. I’ve been working on fiction and suchlike this week and got a little discombobulated. Sorry, everyone!)

(Sorta) New at Rosetta Stones: Some Magnificent Eruptions Photos Have Funny Stories…

Mystery Flora: Translucent

Yes, indeedy, we’re going with another mystery flower this soon. It’s because the bloody birds aren’t cooperating, the arthropods aren’t out in force yet, and I’m too busy with a dozen other projects to go back through old photos at the moment. You’ll love these beauties, though, I promise.

I have no idea if they’re natives or if they’re something S rescued from a garden and brought home, but they are definitely making the area around our concrete retaining wall more interesting.

Image shows two blooms in profile. They are a transluscent lavender-gray, with green centers and projecting anters and stamens. There's a bit of gray broken concrete slab behind them, which is part of the retaining wall.
Mystery Flora I

It’s not often I run across flowers with nearly-clear petals. These barely even seem to be living things: they rather look like unfinished plastic flowers, waiting to be painted brilliant colors. Continue reading “Mystery Flora: Translucent”

Mystery Flora: Translucent

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXIII: Holy Chemistry, Kids!

Earth Science 4th Edition butchers geology in agonizing detail rather than bludgeoning it quickly and leaving it for the vultures. So, while we plod through that interminable mess until it’s caught up to Science of the Physical Creation’s next geology unit, we’ll go ahead and do up one of the things SPC has got that ES4 does not: a section on chemistry.

Now, you’re probably wondering how creationists will manage to fuck this one up. Oh, trust me, they’ll find ways. Let us discover them together. Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXIII: Holy Chemistry, Kids!”

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXIII: Holy Chemistry, Kids!

“We Were Nearly Starving” – Escape Chapter 13: Move Home

Carolyn’s back home after graduating college, but that home is anything but sweet. She and Tammy are the only two wives trying to make the family chaos more orderly. Merril’s business has been fined for violations of some sort, and they have less money than ever to manage on. He gives them only $100 per week to meet all the needs of almost 40 people. Merril’s older daughters, the nusses who had lorded it over all the other girls in school, are now stuck at home doing housework and childcare, and they show their displeasure by doing a piss-poor job of it.

Content note for financial and verbal abuse, food insecurity, starving children, and forced marriage.

Merril, of course, doesn’t let himself or his favorite wife suffer. He and Barbara enjoy expensive dinners out in Page. When he comes home, he takes all of his wives out to eat – which only increases his daughters’ resentment.

Carolyn and Tammy take over the shopping, organize meals and cleaning, and plant a garden. People who haven’t gardened in the northern Arizona desert won’t understand what an undertaking is, but it’s not simple to nurture plants in that environment. “Personal items” like soap are a luxury they can’t afford, so the household does without. The two women are virtual superheroes. They keep everyone fed and the house somewhat in order – as much as is possible under the circumstances – but Merril isn’t grateful. He’s upset to the point of tantrums that they didn’t consult Barbara on their activities first. He expects them to follow the orders of a woman who is never there and doesn’t have to live in dire poverty. He’s beyond ridiculous. Carolyn can’t even think of him as her husband: he’s “that man, an egocentric bully,” forced on her, and not a “gift from God” as her religion teaches. But she still clings to her faith. At this point, it’s very nearly the only thing she has, aside from her kids.

Winter arrives. There’s no more produce from the garden, just a dwindling supply of tomatoes picked green and left to ripen in buckets. The family is subsisting on cracked wheat for breakfast, and tomato sandwiches for lunch and dinner, while Merril and Barbara live it up in Page. Children, including Carolyn’s son Arthur, are losing weight, and she’s afraid she won’t get enough nutrition herself to keep producing breast milk for baby Betty. Continue reading ““We Were Nearly Starving” – Escape Chapter 13: Move Home”

“We Were Nearly Starving” – Escape Chapter 13: Move Home

You, My Readers, Are The Best!

I asked you for help making my rent and car payments for this month, and you came through! Thanks to your donations and my blogging income, I was able to pay the bills and eat and continue writing. None of that would be possible without you.

Image shows the Eleventh Doctor, pointing at someone off-camera. Caption says, "Who's awesome? You're awesome!"

That’s right – you are! I’ll never stop being grateful several times a day, every single day, for you, my darlings.

If you want to help keep the geology and social justice flowing here in the cantina, there’s several ways available. Continue reading “You, My Readers, Are The Best!”

You, My Readers, Are The Best!

Black History Month Extravaganza #2: Social Justice Express

Black History Month is still filling my Facebook feed with extraordinary people and events. Today, we’ll focus on some social justice aspects, including many people who fought and are fighting for justice.

Image shows a grayscale photo of Frantz Fanon, looking toward the right with an intense and serious gaze. Caption says, "We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe." Frantz Fanon (July 20, 1925 - Dec. 6, 1961)
Frantz Fanon, via Sincere Kirabo

There are so many incredible black folks who did and are doing amazing social justice work, large things and small things and all things in between, that we could fill libraries with them. Here are just a few who have crossed my feed this month: Continue reading “Black History Month Extravaganza #2: Social Justice Express”

Black History Month Extravaganza #2: Social Justice Express

How Would You Like Your Really Terrible Bible Stories Served Up?

Who would be interested in paperback copies of Really Terrible Bible Stories volumes 1 and 2? I’m trying to determine if it’s worth our time to make them available in dead tree editions.

Also, right now, they’re exclusively available through Amazon. Are there many people still using Nook? Would you want them available on that platform? Any others I should be looking in to? I want to know all the best ways to provide you with the most terrible stories!

Image shows all three covers for the Really Terrible Bible Stories series on a maroon background.

How Would You Like Your Really Terrible Bible Stories Served Up?