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Bad Arguments vs. Facts Regarding Omar Mateen

Yes, I’m still thinking about Orlando. As long as the unceasing parade of bad arguments posited about Omar Mateen continue, so will I continue to seethe about them.

That he was mentally ill. That he was an American, therefore Islam had nothing to do with it. That his reasons had entirely to do with his allegedly being closeted. That he couldn’t have been Muslim because he drank alcohol. That Islam is absolved because that one is theologically against LGBTQ people doesn’t mean one condones violence done against them.

Thankfully, others are speaking out as well: about the realities of mental illness, about the homophobic environment in which Omar Mateen was raised, about the homophobia revealed among Muslims by the attack, and about the responsibility of Muslims for combating that homophobia. Continue reading “Bad Arguments vs. Facts Regarding Omar Mateen”

Bad Arguments vs. Facts Regarding Omar Mateen

Toe Bean Tuesday: Pointer & Clicker Training a Kitty

Since May 2015, I have been a cat foster with Stray Cat Alliance, a no-kill org. Through them, I have helped rescue, reform, love, and adopt out 46 kitty lives and counting. I have two cat-related goals I hope to accomplish in the next two weeks.

To this end, I will be making a post about SCA and Duchess at least once a day every day for the rest of this week. Donating will help me to meet one goal, but sharing my posts will help both goals, so those of you unable to give in other ways have the chance to make a huge impact. In other words, every single share you make of this or any other SCA/Duchess related post goes a long way, so thank you!

Today, I’m going to talk about how I have been clicker-training our now-reformed Duchess. Yes, that Duchess is being directed with a stick. Continue reading “Toe Bean Tuesday: Pointer & Clicker Training a Kitty”

Toe Bean Tuesday: Pointer & Clicker Training a Kitty

Meow Monday: What “My Cat From Hell” Really Means

Since May 2015, I have been a cat foster with Stray Cat Alliance, a no-kill org. Through them, I have helped rescue, reform, love, and adopt out 46 kitty lives and counting. I have two cat-related goals I hope to accomplish in the next two weeks.

To this end, I will be making a post about SCA and Duchess at least once a day every day for the rest of this week. Donating will help me to meet one goal, but sharing my posts will help both goals, so those of you unable to give in other ways have the chance to make a huge impact. In other words, every single share you make of this or any other SCA/Duchess related post goes a long way, so thank you!

Today, I’m going to talk about the marvelous bait-and-switch titling of Jackson Galaxy’s excellent show, My Cat From Hell, and how it helped me reframe my view of cats like our foster, Duchess. Continue reading “Meow Monday: What “My Cat From Hell” Really Means”

Meow Monday: What “My Cat From Hell” Really Means

Erasing LGBTQ Muslims & Islamic Homophobia

In the wake of Orlando, there appears to be a move by the well-meaning to dredge up and bring up every example of anti-Muslim bigotry and non-Muslim anti-LGBT sentiment as well as absolve Islamic homophobia. All are well-meaning, and some are less blatant in their erasure of Islamic homophobia, but none reflect reality or do anything to help anyone except straight, cis Muslims.

One example I have seen across my feed one too many times is a screencap of this tweet:

Yes, the Christian Right has been behind a lot of awful actions against LGBTQ people. Yes, never-Muslims of all stripes have been, can be, and are anti-LGBTQ. No, that doesn’t somehow absolve Islamic teachings and bigoted Muslims from their culpability and complicity in anti-LGBTQ sentiments. Erasure and denial of a problem never did a thing to solve it. Continue reading “Erasing LGBTQ Muslims & Islamic Homophobia”

Erasing LGBTQ Muslims & Islamic Homophobia

5 Reasons Why Gullfrazie is the Orange Candidate Who Gets My Vote

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care about that may not have serious implications for atheism or social justice. Any day is a good day to write about whatever the heck we’re interested in (hey, we put “culture” in our tagline for a reason), but we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun. Enjoy!

The joke is that, eight years after electing its first black president, America is now ready for its first orange president. Orange is the new black and all.

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Now that the orange man in question is no longer a joke candidate, if it really is the case that we need someone orange for president, I nominate Gullfrazie!

Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Gullfrazie is the Orange Candidate Who Gets My Vote”

5 Reasons Why Gullfrazie is the Orange Candidate Who Gets My Vote

Learning to Read Books Again: A How-To

I began to read at a very early age. Spurred on by spite (thanks, cousins who mocked me for being a baby who couldn’t read when I was a literal baby!), I became an incredibly strong reader by kindergarten, eagerly devouring the chapter books designated for the older kids. Beauty and the Beast was the first Disney movie I saw in a theater, and what a lovely coincidence it was that Belle and I shared the same primary hobby.

Part of why I was such a devout follower of Islam was that I fed my very literal young mind with extensive religious reading. After I’d exhausted the theological options available at my parents home (not to mention finishing the children’s dictionary a few times), the school library as well as the community one became my true home. After spending most of my childhood, adolescence, and college years reading extensively, that I was a bookworm was one of the few stable aspects of my identity. In a way, you could blame the books themselves for the majority of the tumult in terms of who I was (i.e. strong Muslim then progressive Muslim then secular deist then avowed atheist).

At some point in my early 20’s, I got caught up in the whirlwind that was social media and blogs and think-y journalistic outlets (Slate, Salon, and so on). I also began catching up the TV shows and movies that I’d missed as a super-bookish, overly-pious Muslim kid. I didn’t realize that I’d shifted so hard in the focus of my media consumption until it was too late. When I realized I hadn’t read a book in a while, I picked one up — an exciting and fun one, no less, one I’d been looking forward to reading for years — and tried to finish it. I found that I…. couldn’t?

It was as simple as that. I had lost the ability. And it was shocking. Continue reading “Learning to Read Books Again: A How-To”

Learning to Read Books Again: A How-To

What Eschewing Online Dating Says About You

It has always been fashionable to say that online interaction is inferior for any number of reasons and to urge those of us who prefer the Internet for whatever reason to “just go outside”. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of dating. Think-pieces upon think-pieces extol the virtues of meeting people in a more “real” setting than the virtual ones available in this year of their Lord 2016 (notice the distinct lack of studies upon studies).

Online dating gets blamed for hookup culture, disposability culture, sexism, standards dubbed “unrealistic”, the death of romance, and, bizarrely, the end of dating (all of which predate the Internet, which merely expose them out in the open). Declarations of being done with dating sites have become common. This all leaves my over-a-decade OkCupid veteran self at a loss. While I see nothing wrong with saying no to a tool that doesn’t work for you, to me, saying that you refuse to put up an online dating site often if not quite always means that there is something going on that doesn’t apply to those of us who find dating sites to be useful tools. Continue reading “What Eschewing Online Dating Says About You”

What Eschewing Online Dating Says About You