Monday, June 27, 2011

Guest Post: Teenage Atheist

Why we do what we do.

So, for shits and giggles (and traffic), I worked a little magic and wrote a guest post over at Raithie's blog, Teenage Atheist. See that 'Teenage' part in her name? Don't underestimate it. Even in high heels, she'll flip your shit and make you sit in it. She's not afraid to mud wrestle some pigs. Actually, if you read this Raithie, I think if you get the right angle, mud wrestling pigs could actually make a really interesting post. Just saying.


It appears as if you have to click.

Deal with it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Should Jerk-Faces be Forced to Shut Up?


Around the world, there are laws restricting the usage of so called 'hate speech' - which for our purposes, is basically when you call a person an asshole for no reason but that they're of some other color, sexual orientation, religious beliefs (or lack thereof), or basically any other thing you can imagine. (Oh, and it's always, always unnecessary.) The penalties extend from nominal fees to downright imprisonment (to even death, if you're in the wrong place at the right time). Oh, and if you're in a gay bar, a black eye may be in order as well.

C'mon. You know we've all wanted it to happen.
Oops. Looks like I'm a hypocrite. Or maybe not.

Many atheists have said something snarky about religion in the past - it's bound to happen; if you know Santa Claus isn't real, you may start to feel slightly superior to those who still think he is. That's understandable, even if it's just an illusion. Perhaps you even said something along the lines of 'you and your beliefs are idiotic'. Fine. Sure. God knows that they have said worse things.

However, I think we can also agree that this is a form of hate speak.

Perhaps it has something to do with growing up in America (or perhaps that I use hate speech in one form or another all the time), where all forms of speech but those directly threatening others is legal, but I believe that as vile as the things that come out Westboro Baptist Church's mouth are, they are perfectly free to say it. That is exactly the definition of free speech. Restricting us from saying anything that doesn't harm another person is restricting us from the very things that make us human.

The second big problem with illegalizing hate speech - assuming it could even be enforced - is, well, where do we draw line? It's a long shot, but I would say that censorship of anything not 'politically correct' could very well follow, and we can't have that. The only way anyone can defend or even formulate their beliefs is when everything is out in the open. Accordingly, how do we stop any sort of bias - what if it's in some largely religious area (i.e. the Southern US, the Middle East) where everyone agrees with the hate speech, then how do we make sure we punish the criminals?

But anyway, enough about me - what do you, dear reader, believe? Should hate speak be illegalized? And if so, where do we draw the line of what is hate speech and what isn't? In addition, what should the penalty be?

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Bucket List Item #8: Skinny dip in dead winter.

My breaths come out in small huffs. Wispy clouds of condensation form in the air, then dissipate as they fall to the ground. Goosebumps ripple up and down my body.

I stand, naked as a jaybird (whatever the hell that means), on a rock at the edge of the icy Susquehanna River in the middle of January. The air nips at my bare body, and I shiver. My clothes – heavy coat, mittens, scarf, and all – hang pathetically from a nearby tree branch. The river below is moving fast – frighteningly so. Small icebergs float along at a breakneck pace.

I’m scared.

Nothing’s stopping me from putting back on my clothes and walking back home. At home, there’s hot chocolate. Ramen noodles. Central heating.  Nothing’s stopping me from erasing this ridiculous, insane thing from my list – pretending it never existed, moving on. No one would ever know.

And yet, without I second thought, I fall forward and plunge into the water.

The liquid (metaphorically) tears through me like a thousand icy knives. Every single cell of my body screams in protest, my mind mortified at the thought of hypothermia. Within seconds, I begin to get numb – my fingers get numb, my feet get numb, various, um, other parts lose their feeling as well.

My hands sinks into mud, my legs do the same, and I begin to thrash. I want out, and I want out now. My mind begins to scold me, but against all intuitive thought, I begin laughing. Water gurgles down my throat, I cough it up, and then I resume my hysterics.

Before I freeze, I drag myself, exhausted, weary, and utterly ridiculously happy onto the shore. Stumbling and shaking, I begin to pull my clothes back on.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I’m an atheist. I’m alive.

My life – your life – is finite. We have a few decades in this wonderful, sparkling world, and then you know what? Ka-put. Nothing. We’re dead. Gone.

So you know what? I don’t give a shit if you’re scared. Trembling, shivering, crying, you must plunge into the water. You might vomit. Hell, you might die. Your entire being is reduced to one basic, primal instinct – survive.

That’s what makes it beautiful.

You know why? Because, in the end, that hot chocolate is so much more satisfying. You appreciate the ramen noodles that much more. Because, in the end, you do not want to be lying on your deathbed wishing you had experienced more in your life.

A lot of people look at atheists, and a few can even see where they’re coming from. However, they see their (the atheists’) existence as a sad, bitter one – one of emptiness, one of sadness. Because atheists think that when you die, you’re gone, that’s that, do not pass go, do not collect $200. You are tiny, you are forgotten, you are no more.

So, fellow atheist, let me ask you – what makes your life significant? What is the point of your existence? Most importantly, why do you live?

Friday, June 17, 2011


A flat why was all I received when I told the man I was an atheist. You can leave it up to central Pennsylviania - Pennsyltucky, as I so affectionately call it - to have a largish population of people who will get in your face about your lack of religion.

If you're like me at all, you are much worse at articulating yourself in person than you are in writing. When you write, you have time to string a bunch of arguments together to make an elegant web that captures any unsuspecting flies. However, when you're put on the spot to argue with one verbally, there are so many reasons in your head that you try to explain every one of them and end up stumbling over them all.

I'm afraid to inform you that it isn't exactly sexy.

So, pumpkins, I've decided that I've going to teach YOU an easy, succulent method of remembering what to say. Ready? OK. L.I.N.D.A.

That's right. The sassy wife of a southern Chicago metalworker is going to help you be all shiny and articulate.

Lack of evidence. 

This one is strangely effective, and for me, has only ever invoked attacks against evolution (but of course, you're the bombdizzle, and you can counter any blow against evolution that they throw at you.) Just don't get too proud and say anything along the lines of "there's absolutely no way there could be a god" - that will get you torn apart. 

If there is a god, I'd have no way of knowing if it's the Christian (/Muslim/Spaghetti Monster/whatever the hell Hindus believe) one.

Be careful with this one - with the wrong wording, it can be seen as offensive, which isn't what we're trying to get across here. Try saying something along the lines of "If there is, by some chance, some higher power out there, I have no means of knowing which one it is. There are more religions than there are stars in the sky - I wouldn't know which one in particular to believe in." There's less vulgarity in there than I'd like, but hey.

No need for there to be a god.

The naturalistic viewpoint works perfectly fine, thank you. This will, of course, bring up some objection against evolution, but if you're not willing to go into that, try "Evolution possibly being false does not prove creationism. If evolution isn't true, than there must be some other way of life coming about, and creationism is not the next best theory." Cheeky, huh? Snap right, snap left, snap right. But again, I must stress - we're not trying to start a fight, we're trying to explain why you're an atheist.

Damnation is too cruel for a benevolent god to allow to happen (see: religion is contradictory)

I think we can all agree that eternal damnation is an absolutely atrocious idea, especially when applied just because a person doesn't believe in a religion. Phrase it carefully, "Damnation just doesn't really seem like something a nice god would allow to happen, to anyone, but the Bible says that god is a perfect, benevolent being. That's sorta contradictory, and I can't believe in something that's contradictory." I know, I know, it sounds ridiculously meek, but we're not shooting for aggressive.

Actually, there is no A. It's here so that I have the excuse to use the phrase 'shits and giggles' in context. 

Well, actually, I guess it has a point, but you can't use it to explain yourself.  Keep your sense of humor. Remember that they're going to try and argue with you. You can't let them irritate you so much that you get angry, because then you'll probably be angry all the time. *nods*

So there you have it L.I.N.D.A. Cool, huh? To leave you with a lasting image, here she is.

Remember. Linda is watching. Keep your cool, play nice, and she won't be forced to assassinate you. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hey there, pumpkins.

Welcome all, be you boys, girls, or topless 368-headed monsters. (We don't judge here.) You have stumbled across a magical website known as

As my may have guessed, this is not your grandmother's blog. Also, it isn't your pet ferret's blog, either. This is a blog for really smart fucking people - people who look at the world and question everything, and don't mind the thought that it wasn't created by a deity of some sort. Those of us who see the world and the way it works with awe and wonder. This blog is for those of us who think the universe is the damn sexiest thing, ever.

Baby, let's work on exercising that little brain of yours.

I hereby promise that I will do my best to provide thoughtful, inspiring posts of great quality for you awesome, sexy people, often. And folks, I'm going to do it with style.

It's about to get really hot in here, kiddies. Really damn hot.

So, pull out your marshmallows. Get your mind ready for some snacks tastier than Bradley Cooper.