…Steve Shives just reminded me why I go “nah”.
(EDITED TITLE BECAUSE WHERE THE FUCK DID I GET 31 FROM? I DUNNO)
Because I don’t want to give the video itself clicks (the cover picture looks like a direct reference to a dear friend who has suffered from harassment that ended up making her sick), here’s a response by Kevin Logan to that video where he just plays the audio.
There will be a bias, of course, because I’m black, and I’m an atheist, and I can’t stand the fucker. Understand?
So, Martin Hughes wrote this blog post after watching a recent video by the shitmuppet known as The Amazing Atheist (who will after this be simply called “The Annoying Asshole”) where said shitmuppet responded to a video called “20 Questions Black People Have for White People”.
Some of those responses were, as we like to say in the liberal side of things, problematic. Also, some were clueless (really Teej? You have no clue how gentrification negatively affects those who LIVED THERE FIRST). Others were downright fucking racist.
Confession: I feel weird when people around me talk about their “how did I convert to atheism/secular humanism” stories.
Most go like “I was involved in such-and-such religion for blah years and then I read this book/listened to this podcast/observed some non-believing person in my life”, which is inspiring and awesome and should be shared with the world.
…and I’m sitting there like, “Officially? I was 12. Read the Bible from front to back. It didn’t mention dinosaurs. None of the Bible stories I was told made sense.”
Look, I am tired. Like, not just in my body, but in my very person. People keep coming at me with the same weaksauce shit excuses for continuing the status quo, and the news just keeps getting more enraging that, in Social Justice Alchemist terms, it’s draining to keep up the “Turn The World’s Bullshit Into Righteous Rage and Mockery” spell/circle/formula/my brain can’t even focus enough to keep up with this shit.
So there may be a little break coming up. I’ll let y’all know when.
I’m still pretty bummed, but I wouldn’t miss this post for the world.
For going on a decade and a half, I’ve not set foot in a church (that changed when I did a talk at a UU church sometimes last year so it kinda ruins this sentence , but work with me here, okay?). As a kid, I found the services boring as shit. Sit down, listen to the deacons do that devotional thing where it ends in the more drawn out and dull rendition of “Amazing Grace” or “Father, I Stretch My Hand to Thee” ever constructed by people, listen to the choir, listen to someone do a prayer, give the ushers money, listen to the preacher, give the ushers money again, someone else talks, and finally I could go home and get out of my pinchy shoes, itchy stockings and dress I’d rather be buried in.
Boring from start to finish, and even more so when I got around 12-13 and realized this God thing was kinda nonsense. Of course, I didn’t have that big of a death wish, so I never told anyone, and continued going and participating (usher or in the children’s choir) and slowly dying of boredom, awaiting the day that I never had to step foot in one of these places ever again.
Regular services were dull enough. And then there’s Christmas and Easter.
Oh fuck me running, Christmas and Easter.
It was like people got together and said, “Hey, you know those services we usually do? Let’s make them even LONGER and more BORING! Oh, and we’ll make everyone have to buy a new outfit for themselves and their kids! There’s usually food involved, but they’ll have to wait until the service is over. It’ll be delightful!”
(The food usually consists of ham, with strikes me a hilarious given that Jesus was all Jewish and shit)
So I show up, in an newer dress I’d rather be buried in (and don’t I dare get it even a little dirty), itchy new stockings in white or sheer white depending on how old I was, pinchy shoes, and my hair snatched back three generations into a high ponytail to sit through an even longer service.
Oh, and I’d have to give a speech. Me and every damn child in the damn church.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, by “speech” I mean “memorized little narratives made for reciting during Easter or Christmas, thus lengthening the service by showing off the cute new clothes of each and every child and keeping everyone from the ham.”
A pageant would have taken less time.
The tiny kids would have one line to say, usual whispered by whoever walked them to the front. “Happy Eaasaa Day!”
And we all go ‘aww’ and move on to the next kid.
The older you got, the longer your ‘speech’, from short little poems to longer poems, all about the same damn event we were all celebrating. All pulled out of some book sold just for this purpose.
And then there was me.
See, I was born and raised in Southeast Georgia, and spoke like a Midwestern newscaster. For real. So I got to do a lot of Bible readings during regular services, because the grown ups liked my voice – when they weren’t calling me ‘white’.
I got the longest speeches. One page, front and back, starting in the fifth grade. Delightful.
I hated it. I still hate it. At least I knew that the sooner I was done, the sooner we could get to the part where we eat some ham.
Unless the preacher really got into the sermon. Or the children’s choir had to sing a few songs. Or if we had to go to another fucking service to recite the same fucking speech all the fuck over again. If I thought prayer would actually work, I would have been on my knees begging Lord Jesus to wrap this shit up faster.
So every time those two holidays roll around, I can’t help but recall those memories, now with a smile because holy shit I’ll never have to do that again. I’m thousands of miles away (in the Midwest, where my voice fits in just fine, thanks), I still don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and the only dresses I buy are comfy. And black. With skulls, if possible.
Also, I get to have all the ham I want at any time. 🙂
(I’m going to be talking about atheism and maybe Dawkins and perhaps some SJW stuff. Here’s your warning: Read my comment policy and yes, it applies to you.
Come at me with anything trying to defend Dawkin’s fuck ups, and your comment won’t even make it through moderation. Come at me with anything accusing SJWs or whatever of trying to take over atheism or forcibly turn everyone into feminists or whatever conspiracy theory you pulled out of your ass, and your comment won’t make it out of moderation. Try to tell me how you don’t see a ‘movement’ or a reason for a movement, and you see where this is going.
Who knows, I might let it through just to mock you…and block you. Depends on my mood.
Your arguments are boring, have been heard before, and I don’t care to entertain them here. Take your Frozen Peaches elsewhere.)
The irony of Dawkin’s smug ass face on featured image of this article is overwhelming as fuck. And people have been sharing it so much on Facebook that it makes me ill.
Now let me let some of you in on what is apparently a secret in the atheism movement: A lot of us managed to figure out this whole ‘no gods’ thing and/or the evolution thing without touching a single one of this man’s books or hearing him talk. We owe him nothing.
I would bet you good money that a lot of those people are poor, not college educated, racial minorities, queer and/or women. Again, we owe the fucker NOTHING, so in my particular case, I feel no qualms about calling him out when he done fucked up.
(and before anyone mentions it, I hope he recovers from his recent stroke. He’s still a fucker, doubly so for trying to blame it on the stress by ‘fellow’ left leaning feminist who he deliberately stirred up recently. So fuck him.)
You know, in light of the re-invite by NECSS, I think the folks in organized atheism really ought to be trying to get involved with actual inclusivity instead of pushing away some of us away by constantly licking the taint of their “Horsemen” because money and/or media exposure. No matter how shit their opinions are or have become about things that also matter, you know, like feminism and racism.
And the exclusion of most marginalized people has been so obvious that it’s breathtaking. Why should conferences have to be told to provide childcare like it’s some kind of gift instead of just a fucking given? Why do people saying stuff like “It sure would be nice to not have all of our gatherings in a bar late at night somewhere where transit doesn’t run or run well” such a radical thing to ask for? Why are big name conventions completely out of the realm for anyone below a certain income? Why do these conventions keep inviting accused rapists and known Islamophobes and anti-feminists? Don’t they know how unwelcoming that really is?
(and at this point, someone may mention that there are people in those categories that I listed above who are perfectly okay with how things are. Good for them. I’m talking about what needs to be done to make organized atheism more welcoming to others like them. So you don’t have to mention it.)
That’s why I support smaller, more social justice oriented secular conferences. Ones that allow talk about social justice issues, ones who have accommodations like gender neutral bathrooms and childcare and quiet rooms – as a given. Ones who take direct responsibility when there’s a fuck up. Ones run by people who try and succeed in having as much of a diverse panel as they can. Ones that give a fuck about actually making atheism inclusive, rather than some special club that you have to adjust yourself to fit in, or have read the right books, or what the fuck ever.
Ones that the big boys probably don’t even know exist.
And on one hand, that’s fucking sad. They should. It’s where the young folks are, you know, the future our of movement?
On the other hand, it’s the sort of atheism that we need so badly. An atheism that goes beyond “I don’t believe in gods”. One that goes past the dictionary definition and into “Now what do I do about it?”.
That’s the atheism I’m interested in. The one that tries to make the world a better place without god. If that’s not yours, fine (okay, not fine, but I’m not going to waste time arguing with you), but get the fuck out of my way.