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BACK DOOR BOY IN A FRONT DOOR WORLD
OUTSIDE OF SOCIETY - THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO BE
People Are Strange... 
8th-Dec-2003 09:51 am
Religion:
I was having a discussion with a fundamentalist a couple of days ago, in as much as you can have a discussion with a wingnut like that, about many things. I was told that as an Atheist, I was partly responsible for the wrong in the world. This person refused to acknowledge any fact I brought into the conversation, and eventually I had to concede defeat by reason of sanity and logic. Arguing God to a fundie is rather like fucking for chastity or trying to keep a drunk from the ever annoying and equally pathetic "Drunken Crying Jag". I did get a few points in that I felt like sharing, though. According to Religious Tolerance.org, there are many more world religions than people consider and all are as varied as their congregants, nationalities, and dogmatics. There are commonalities in each, and for the most part they all desire the same core belief systems. {Personally, I think it's the Christians that are the wackiest, Catholics in particular, but that's just my own observation.} Then I have a friend who is also a nonbeliever who posted about the Jehovah's Witnesses proselytizing at her front door and how she ripped them apart before slamming the door in their faces. This bothered me, mainly because it bothers me any time people give shit to the devout for trying to share their message but also because you cannot fight religious intolerance by being intolerant. It's much the same way I view prayer, really. When my religious friends tell me they are going to pray for me I take it as a compliment. It means they wish good things for me, and it is an act of love and respect. Conversely, when people say they're going to pray for you because you're bound for hell, it is just laughable and that is the appropriate time to suggest they talk to themselves more often and less to the rest of us. Sure, as an Atheist I think prayer is a waste of time, but there is an undeniable merit to prayer, albeit a psychosomatic one. If it makes you feel better and harms no one, then I certainly see the benefit. Prayer is like masturbation for the soul, really. Myself, I choose masturbation over prayer. Also, consider that there is no harm in simply being devout or religious, until or unless it infringes on another person's right to live in direct abjection to it.

Atheists get a lot of flak from the Religious Reich for what I personally think amounts to a great big nothing. Outside of my own family, it is not my responsibility or even my concern what others believe or idealize. Frankly, I could care less. We live in a (mostly) democratic society, and religious freedom is a part of that. It is my choice to be respectful of religious and/or spiritual adherents, it gives me an opportunity to be enlightened to another's point of view. The institution, however, can kiss my balls. I do not care in the least if anyone respects my decisions and choices, I'll make them with or without another person's respect. That is where I think a lot of people get hung up and from that point it is all semantics and assorted pissing contests. No one has to like you or like what you believe in order for you to live as you see fit. As a matter of fact, most rational people would prefer it if you just believed as you saw fit - so long as you fuck off and do it somewhere else.

Take Satanists, for example. Were it not for the fact that it's an organized religion and there's a bit too much pageantry involved for me {remember, I'm the guy who shaves his head because I cannot be bothered with hair to waste time on, and wear pajamas out in public because FUCK fashion, you know?} I think that the Church of Satan (click on the Theory/Practice button for a synposis of the church's belief system, core values, rules, and percieved sins) is a much better idea than most other religions, if only for its practicality. I agree with almost all of their tenets, much moreso than with the majority of the bible. Oddly enough, there appears more principle compassion in the Satanic Bible than in the Christian counterpoint. What does THAT say? In light of this all, you would think that the religionistas would lay off the Atheists and go for the Satanists' collective jugular, being that they are the truer enemy of the church - but no, the Satanists are too scary for the Christers and so they tuck tail and run. Tedious, very tedious... ::invokes the spirits of Hannibal and Torquemada::



Conservative/Republican Jizzbuckets
People/institutions to be aware of:



It Does Get Better:
Things are changing in the world for the better. Heterosexuals can no longer blame us for their failures, we cannot and willnot bear the crosses for their transgressions against the sanctity of marriage anymore. There are historical changes going on in the government around the world, and people who once kicked doors in for the rest of us who take such actions for granted are reaping the benefits. Already in New Jersey, Iowa, California, Ohio, Louisiana, Wyoming, Switzerland, the UK, and many other places we are seeing highly visible changes for equality.

Last night I saw part 1 of the film Angels In America, which was as brilliant a piece of cinematography as anything I've ever seen. A few days ago I saw a documentary called
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<font size="+1"><u>Religion:</u></font>
I was having a discussion with a fundamentalist a couple of days ago, in as much as you <i>can</i> have a discussion with a wingnut like that, about many things. I was told that as an Atheist, I was partly responsible for the wrong in the world. This person refused to acknowledge any fact I brought into the conversation, and eventually I had to concede defeat by reason of sanity and logic. Arguing God to a fundie is rather like fucking for chastity or trying to keep a drunk from the ever annoying and equally pathetic "Drunken Crying Jag". I did get a few points in that I felt like sharing, though. According to <a href="http://www.religioustolerance.org/var_rel.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Religious Tolerance.org</u></b></a>, there are many more world religions than people consider and all are as varied as their congregants, nationalities, and dogmatics. There are commonalities in each, and for the most part they all desire the same core belief systems. <i>{Personally, I think it's the Christians that are the wackiest, Catholics in particular, but that's just my own observation.}</i> Then I have a friend who is also a nonbeliever who posted about the Jehovah's Witnesses proselytizing at her front door and how she ripped them apart before slamming the door in their faces. This bothered me, mainly because it bothers me any time people give shit to the devout for trying to share their message but also because you cannot fight religious intolerance by being intolerant. It's much the same way I view prayer, really. When my religious friends tell me they are going to pray for me I take it as a compliment. It means they wish good things for me, and it is an act of love and respect. Conversely, when people say they're going to pray for you because you're bound for hell, it is just laughable and that is the appropriate time to suggest they talk to themselves more often and less to the rest of us. Sure, as an Atheist I think prayer is a waste of time, but there is an undeniable merit to prayer, albeit a psychosomatic one. If it makes you feel better and harms no one, then I certainly see the benefit. Prayer is like masturbation for the soul, really. Myself, I choose masturbation over prayer. Also, consider that there is no harm in simply being devout or religious, until or unless it infringes on another person's right to live in direct abjection to it.

<a href="http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/" target="_blank"><b><u>Atheists</u></b></a> get a lot of flak from the <a href="http://www.neopagan.net/ReligiousReich.html" target="_blank"><u><b>Religious Reich</b></u></a> for what I personally think amounts to a great big nothing. Outside of my own family, it is not my responsibility or even my concern what others believe or idealize. Frankly, I could care less. We live in a (mostly) democratic society, and religious freedom is a part of that. It is my choice to be respectful of religious and/or spiritual adherents, it gives me an opportunity to be enlightened to another's point of view. The institution, however, can kiss my balls. I do not care in the least if anyone respects my decisions and choices, I'll make them with or without another person's respect. That is where I think a lot of people get hung up and from that point it is all semantics and assorted pissing contests. No one has to like you or like what you believe in order for you to live as you see fit. As a matter of fact, most rational people would prefer it if you just believed as you saw fit - so long as you fuck off and do it somewhere else.

Take Satanists, for example. Were it not for the fact that it's an organized religion and there's a bit too much pageantry involved for me <i>{remember, I'm the guy who shaves his head because I cannot be bothered with hair to waste time on, and wear pajamas out in public because FUCK fashion, you know?}</i> I think that the <a href="http://www.churchofsatan.com/" target="_blank"><b><u>Church of Satan</u></b></a> <i>(click on the Theory/Practice button for a synposis of the church's belief system, core values, rules, and percieved sins)</i> is a much better idea than most other religions, if only for its practicality. I agree with almost all of their tenets, much moreso than with the majority of the bible. Oddly enough, there appears more principle compassion in the Satanic Bible than in the Christian counterpoint. What does THAT say? In light of this all, you would think that the religionistas would lay off the Atheists and go for the Satanists' collective jugular, being that they are the truer enemy of the church - but no, the Satanists are too scary for the Christers and so they tuck tail and run. Tedious, very tedious... ::invokes the spirits of Hannibal and Torquemada::

<img src="http://www.thedigitalghost.com/judebennett/rainbowdivider.gif">

<font size="+1"><u>Conservative/Republican Jizzbuckets</u></font>
People/institutions to be aware of:
<ul>
<li> <a href="http://www.trbc.org/" target="_blank"><b><u>Thomas Road Baptist Church</u></b></a>, led by none other than the Reverend <a href="http://www.365gay.com/lifestylechannel/intime/Index.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Jerry Falwell</u></b></a> <i>{speaking of Torquemada}</i> is one of the scariest places on earth.

<li><a href="http://www.afa.net" target="_blank"><b><u>The American Family Association</u></b></a>

<li><a href="http://www.cc.org/index.cfm" target="_blank"><b><u>Christian Coalition</u></b></a>

<li><a href="http://www.cwfa.org/main.asp" target="_blank"><b><u>Concerned Women For America</u></b></a>

<li><a href="http://www.eagleforum.org/" target="_blank"><b><u>Eagle Forum</u></b></a>

<li><a href="http://www.faith2action.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=aboutus.home" target="_blank"><b><u>Faith 2 Action</u></b></a>

<li><a href="http://www.frc.org/" target="_blank"><b><u>Family Research Council</u></b></a>

<li><a href="http://www.family.org/" target="_blank"><b><u>Family.org,</u></b></a> a division of Focus On The Family

<li><a href="http://www.rfcnet.org/news/default.asp" target="_blank"><b><u>Religious Freedom Coalition</u></b></a></li>
</ul>
<img src="http://www.thedigitalghost.com/judebennett/rainbowdivider.gif">

<font size="+1"><u>It Does Get Better:</u></font>
Things are changing in the world for the better. Heterosexuals can no longer blame us for their failures, we cannot and willnot bear the crosses for their transgressions against the sanctity of marriage anymore. There are historical changes going on in the government around the world, and people who once kicked doors in for the rest of us who take such actions for granted are reaping the benefits. Already in <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120803njPartner.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>New Jersey</u></b></a>, <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120703iowaDivorce.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Iowa</u></b></a>, <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120503calReferendum.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>California</u></b></a>, <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120503ohioDoma.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Ohio</u></b></a>, <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120503laStudent.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Louisiana</u></b></a>, <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120403promVictory.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Wyoming</u></b></a>, <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120303swissPartner.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Switzerland</u></b></a>, the <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscontent/120103ukRts.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>UK</u></b></a>, and many other places we are seeing highly visible changes for equality.

Last night I saw part 1 of the film <a href="http://www.hbo.com/films/angelsinamerica/?ntrack_para1=feat_main_title" target="_blank"><b><u>Angels In America</u></b></a>, which was as brilliant a piece of cinematography as anything I've ever seen. A few days ago I saw a documentary called <a href="http://www.riverfilms.net/alansmith/index.html target="_blank"><b><u>Questioning Faith: Confessions Of A Seminarian</u></b></a> that was also amazing. It comes on HBO now and then, if you see it's coming on, record it and pass it around to anyone worth your time. There are many illuminating films that deal with <a href="http://www.filmakers.com/GAY.html" target="_blank"><b><u>lesbian, gay and gender issues </u></b></a>, and they are all very thought provoking and insightful. Use them as learning tools.

<img src="http://www.thedigitalghost.com/judebennett/rainbowdivider.gif">

<font size="+1"><u>Writings, Essays, Articles, Polls, Surveys, and Other Interesting Things:</u></font>
Do a <a href="http://directory.google.com/Top/Society/Sexuality/Politics_of_Sexuality/" target="_blank"><b><u>Google Search on the politics of sexuality</u></b></a>, you'll be interested at what you find. Also, check out <a href="http://directory.google.com/Top/Society/Gay,_Lesbian,_and_Bisexual/Politics/" target="_blank"><b><u>Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Politics</u></b></a> for further investigation. Recently published were some interesting <a href="http://www.ngltf.org/"><u><b>National Gay and Lesbian Task Force</b></u></a>'s<a href="http://www.ngltf.org/issues/issue.cfm?issueID=10" target="_blank"><b><u> findings and opinions on same-sex marriage</u></b></a> that I think are worthy of much exploration.

Groups like <a href="http://www.splcenter.org/intel/hatewatch/" target="_blank"><b><u>Hatewatch</u></b></a> <i>(a division of the Southern Poverty Law Center)</i> and <a href="http://www.splcenter.org/center/torg/toler.jsp" target="_blank"><b><u>Tolerance.org</u></b></a> are very useful in keeping awareness at the forefront where it should be, so that you cannot look the other way anymore like you're unaffected because you are.

Two great writings I've read as of late are <a href="http://www.metropulse.com/dir_zine/dir_2003/1322/t_gamut.html" target="_blank"><b><u>"Socially Acceptable Bigotry: A Primer In Discrimination Against Us GOPers" <i>by Willy Stern</i></u></b></a>, and <a href="http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml%3Fi=20031020&s=ireland" target="_blank"><b><u>"Republicans Relaunch the Antigay Culture Wars" <i>by Doug Ireland</i></u></b></a>, so I reccomend them as well. Of course, there's always the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/" target="_blank"><b><u>Gallup Poll</u></b></a> for statistical information, as reliable an impartial source as you're going to get.

Remember - any belief or opinion in objection to your own is valid. They serve to either help you change your mind for the better or reaffirm your existing belief. Let others speak their minds, because you want to be able to speak yours. If you don't support other people's rights to say what they want to say, even if you don't necessarily want to hear it, then get fucked. Chances are you're a whiny candyass who takes your freedoms for granted and I'd most likely want to rip you a new ass for espousing some bullshit you should really should consider not saying in the first place.

<img src="http://www.thedigitalghost.com/judebennett/rainbowdivider.gif">

See you at my <a href="http://www.thedigitalghost.com/judebennett/images/hbd.jpg" target="_blank"><u><b>birthday dinner</b></u></a>, hope you all can come!
Comments 
8th-Dec-2003 07:09 am (UTC)
Okay, I ran out of time to read below the part Writings, Essays, Articles, Polls, Surveys, and Other Interesting Things, but I did want to say something very scary happened when I read this:
I am reading this from the Civil and Environmental Engineering building's computer lab, and the link to family.org was marked as a *visited* link.
Who are they? I kinda have to go take a final, so I can't clickety-click away and scrounge for detials myself.
8th-Dec-2003 07:56 am (UTC)
Right wing religious nuts and Christ nazis, basically.
8th-Dec-2003 05:46 pm (UTC)
there are some crazy conservatives at Tech, which I'd like to forget sometime. But using the campus computers for personal reasons, I'm shocked! ;p

Happy Birthday by the way - everyday "they" let you live, you convert another, or at least help the rest of us convert another
8th-Dec-2003 11:03 am (UTC) - birthday dinner
Are there any specific non-invites to this one???
8th-Dec-2003 11:06 am (UTC) - Re: birthday dinner
All are welcome as far as I'm concerned, just do me a favor and check with David to see if he's cool with it.
8th-Dec-2003 11:06 am (UTC) - Re: birthday dinner
He hasn't told you???
8th-Dec-2003 11:07 am (UTC) - Re: birthday dinner
Told me what - I haven't seen or heard form him since Damien's birthday.
8th-Dec-2003 11:10 am (UTC) - Re: birthday dinner
We're back together... It was decided at like 12am December 1st...

We've been talking... I was totally being paranoid. Just because I've yet to make it through a relationship without it turning to shit, it doesn't mean it'll happen this time.

We're back together.
8th-Dec-2003 11:11 am (UTC) - Re: birthday dinner
Congratulations - here's to hoping it all works better this time!
8th-Dec-2003 11:13 am (UTC) - Re: birthday dinner
Thank you.

Where in the past I was right for ending it... this time, I guess I just let the phantom paranoias and the "past repeating itsself" to get the better of me...

Time to grow up and buckle down.
8th-Dec-2003 11:40 am (UTC)
i enjoy freedom of religion. my main issue isn't even what other people believe, so much as them trying to get ME to believe it. i think that's what i rail against the most. i want freedom FROM religion.

catholics are bad, if for no other reason, than the priests need to learn some self control. the main branch i've had issues with are the baptists.

funny you should mention that about satanism. i did some reading on that a few years ago, and i've talked with a few satanist friends, and have drawn the same conclusion. in my experience, christianity is a faaaaar cry from being anything remotely resembling compassionate. (prime example being how everyone BUT they, are going to hell.)

i also have my reading cut out for me now. :)
15th-Dec-2003 11:21 pm (UTC) - Actually...
It was the Mormons.. who I have had repeated problems with about them trying to convert me.
16th-Dec-2003 04:37 am (UTC) - Re: Actually...
That's funny - last week they came by here, but they were actually very nice and polite and oddly enough they were very hot!
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