Tag Archives: Atheism

Thoughts on Jesus from Your Friendly Neighborhood Buddhist Thinking Atheist

Disclaimer:  Though I was forced to memorize Bible verses in the Lutheran school I attended in Kindergarten and first grade, and though I sat through many Bible lessons in Baptist summer camp, I am in no way familiar with the Bible.  I tried to read it as an adult, but became angry at the misogyny.  I am not looking to learn about the Bible, and if you knock on my door with a pamphlet, or just to chat about Jehovah, I will sick my poop-eating dog on you.  She kisses.

The whole Cosmosgate (Thanks to Megan S for this groovy term!) thing has me super irritated.  Did you know that there are people out there who are offended by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new version of Cosmos? A station in Oklahoma even went so far as to “accidentally” cut the evolution part out of the premiere episode.

This irritates me to no end.  I have friends who are Christians, and they have no issue with learning about science, too. Who are these people who are terrified of Cosmos?  It seems like there are always people speaking for Jesus, and making up crazy things that he cares about.  Even with my limited knowledge of all things Jesus, I’m pretty sure that he would probably be more concerned about famine, war, and the way we treat each other in general than the endless list of things people seem to care about on his behalf.

For example, Jesus probably does not care if you:

  • Eat meat on Fridays.   He’s got bigger fish to fry.  Pun intended.
  • watch Cosmos.   If God really did create the universe, Jesus is totally cool with you learning about it.
  • use the term “Mother Nature.”  I witnessed someone criticize someone else on Facebook for asking Mother Nature to make the weather better.  This person was angry because OBVIOUSLY “God makes the weather.”  Don’t get me started.
  •  drink alcohol.  HE MADE WINE.  He DOES care if you drive drunk.  This could hurt someone, and that is a no no.
  •  kneel to pray.  He just doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would require this.
  •  get married if you are a priest.  If he’s all about love, everyone should have the opportunity to find lasting love.
  •  what you do on Sundays.  With all of the calendar changes throughout time, how do we even know if Sunday is Sunday? And so what if you are working to support yourself or a family.  That’s a good thing.
  •  wear a cross around your neck.  Think about it.  He DIED on the cross.  Crucifixion was the go to execution method back then.  This is kind of like wearing an electric chair around your neck.
  •  say his name in vain.  Personally, I would be thrilled if someone hollered out my name whenever they hurt themselves or had an emotional moment.  Feel free to do this if you want.  You can drop the R to make things easier.

My step-dad, who was raised Catholic and became an atheist, used to say, “Jesus was a hippie.”  I think he’s right.  From what I gather from my religious friends, Jesus was all about helping people and maybe having a glass of wine or two.  He did after all make the stuff.

The nectar of the gods
The nectar of the gods

Allies in Atheism

Of the hundreds of blogs I’ve written, my most popular pieces are Atheism 101 and Bobby Kent and My Anxious Parenting. This kind of shocks me because, for the most part, I am a humor blogger and a sometimes YA novelist.  It was even more shocking when the meme from the Atheism 101 blog was stolen the first time.  It took me all of five minutes to make it, and since I’m pretty sure only my husband and my mom actually read my blog, I didn’t think anyone would actually see it. But see it they did, which was followed by stealing it.

https://lisarpetty.com/atheism-101/
My original is on the left. Some douche canoe’s screwed up version is on the right.

The first thief took most of what I had written and created an entirely new meme, changing a couple of the entries. In my opinion, this person ruined the meme. Over the past year and a half, I got used to seeing my meme plagiarized every couple of months.  Every time I saw it, I did some research and I wrote to the person, asking them to stop using it.  If they weren’t making any money from the meme, I just sort of left things alone.  That was my line in the sand.  I didn’t want people making money from MY meme. I even created my own Café Press store to try to make money from my own meme.  Well, let’s just say that I still have my day job.  So, when I found out the Atheist Agenda was going around again and even being sold as a t-shirt on a site called Skeptical Generation, I was pissed!

I went into rabid bloodhound mode and hunted down the creator of the t-shirt. I sent threatening emails with words like plagiarism and lawsuit.  I figured I would just be ignored like I always had in the past, but I wasn’t. I got an email from an 18-year-old woman named Marilyn, chastising me for picking on a teenager. Then, she asked if I wanted her to remove the t-shirt from her site or just give me credit for the design.  She was giving me options!

After I read her email, I felt kind of bad.  I was really harsh on her.  Also, the English professor in me knew that this was a teachable moment – for both of us. I wanted to teach Marilyn that she can’t just take someone else’s ideas and turn them into cash.  She taught me that there are actual human beings on the other side of the computer screen.  Of course, I KNEW this already, but like a lot of people, I can be quite terse in writing because I’m not seeing someone’s face in front of me.  Being the mom of a 19-year-old son, my maternal instincts kicked in. When I talked to my son about the situation, he told me that people see “popular memes” as kind of public property.  I was flattered that my meme was considered popular and I kind of understood where Marilyn was coming from.

I think all creative folks just want credit.  I mean sure, enough money to pay the bills is nice, too, but I have a cushy day job and a good life.  I gave up actually making a living from writing long ago.  So, I thought about it and asked her to put a link to my blog under the shirt.  I didn’t ask her for a percentage of the sales or anything because she is a young person starting a business, and I have plenty of everything.  I’m just not a greedy person.

I honestly didn’t think she would actually put my link with the t-shirt.  After all, I had never met Marilyn. For all I knew, she could be a 53-year-old fuzzy knuckled man in Detroit who makes a living from selling pirated movies and stolen memes.  I was wrong. Marilyn had the link to my blog posted with the t-shirt in under two hours.  She also shared the meme on her Instagram and linked to my blog there.  For a couple of days, I had A LOT of readers, not just my husband and my mom.

I have emailed back and forth with Marilyn since then, and I asked her how she felt when she received my email.  She said she was terrified and “literally shat bricks.” She had just started watching Orange is the New Black and thought she was going to end up in jail. Poor girl! I can’t believe I caused someone that much anxiety.  I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks my whole life.  I would never want to cause anyone that much hell.

I’m really glad I got to know Marilyn, and I’m really proud of her.  It is not easy to be an atheist in this very religious world.  I know this from personal experience.  To see a young person really put herself out there like she does, makes me happy.  So, if you are looking for an Atheist Agenda shirt or other funny shirts, check out Skeptical Generation.  Honestly, Marilyn’s shirts are way better looking than the one’s I half-assed designed and never sold. You can also follow Marilyn on Instagram, where she and her co-admins post a lot of atheist humor.

http://www.skepticalgeneration.com/
The shirts on Skeptical Generation are cool.

 

Chewbacca Lady, WTF?

Unless you live in an off the grid tiny house in a rain forest, you have heard of Chewbacca Lady, the latest in a long line of asinine internet superstars. Okay I get it.  I’m a big ole Oscar the grouch pajama wearing meanie.  I don’t find Chewbacca Lady deserving of all of this media attention. I also didn’t think Kim Davis deserved it, or Rebecca Black and her godawful Friday ear worm. And let’s not even talk about the Kardashians here.  Really, here in Murica, a whole lot of people doing nothing of importance become “celebrities.”

So, when I first saw that Chewbacca Lady had gone viral for putting on a mask and laughing, it irritated me.  When I found out she was using her way more than fifteen minutes of fame to push Jesus, I became more annoyed. In case you are unfamiliar with Atheism, let me clarify.  I don’t have a problem with Chewbacca Lady because she is a Christian.  I have a problem with her pushing it on everyone via a Star Wars mask.

Since her video went viral, Candace Payne has been on numerous TV shows. She has spoken at Christian conferences. She has toured Disney World and Lucas studios.  Mark Zuckerberg himself invited her to tour Facebook and tagged her in a post.  Now, Southeastern University in Florida wants to give Chewbacca mom and her family FREE college.  It’s crazy.  She put on a mask in a car and laughed her ass off.

Just to be clear, I don’t think Candace Payne is less deserving of her pseudo celebrity status because of her beliefs. I just wish that other causes and people would receive this much attention. For example, my friend Heidi Floyd, a Christian and pastor’s wife, travels all over raising money for cancer research while still battling the disease. I wish SHE could get this level of attention so that more people would donate to cancer research or volunteer to help cancer patients etc.

I also know a young woman named Heather who just turned 30 and is battling pancreatic cancer.  Heather has two young kids, a husband, many family and friends, and patients who rely on her.  That’s right.  Heather is a nurse who has not been able to work because of her disease. You may know how I feel about Go Fund Me, but in this case, I would love Heather to get all of the funds she needs for her mountain of medical bills. If you can help, please do visit Heather’s page and donate. Not only is she battling the disease, but she is raising a lot of awareness, too.

There are many people out there actually doing things to help others.  They deserve this level of attention.  They deserve to have everyone know their names.  Candace just is not one of these people.

Religious friends, I can hear you.  “But Lisa.  Chewbacca lady is doing something wonderful.  She is spreading the word of God and the joy of Jesus.” Maybe she should put on her Chewbacca mask and laugh her way over to Africa, the Middle East, or anywhere in the world really and tell all of the starving children without safe places to live about this joyful Jesus and his daddy, God. I bet the kids think true joy would come from a sandwich and a roof, not an invisible man in the sky.

We need to start putting people in the spot light who deserve to be there. We need to place more value on those who help others, like nurses, teachers, firefighter, doctors, and volunteers.  Imagine what we could do as a society if we actually came together and helped each other rather than admiring viral video stars and other b-rate celebrities.  If you know someone who is really doing something good, please leave a name and or link in the comments section.  Let’s publicize the people who really deserve recognition.

 

 

 

Atheism 101

THE Atheist Agenda

Last week, I watched CNN Special Report: Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers. I figured it was going to be a serious, in-depth look at atheism. After all, the show has TWO colons in its title. That is serious. While the show was a pretty fair look at atheism, there are some things that just weren’t fully discussed. So, I would like to give you my take on being an atheist.

Atheist Agenda – Some religious folks think that atheists have some sort of agenda to take away religion. This is simply not true. Most atheists do not care if people worship God, or Tinkerbelle, or cheese, they just want God to stay out of their lives and government. In other words, atheists don’t want religion forced on them, and it is in many ways, like:

Worshipping Satan – The CNN reporter kept mentioning that a lot of people think atheists worship Satan. This is beyond illogical. Atheists do not believe in any supernatural being. So, the devil does not exist to them. If Satan does not exist, he can’t be worshipped. Atheists aren’t dark and scary. They would just rather have brunch than go to church. Think of them as your non-praying Belgian waffle-eating friends.

No Morals – I have had religious people ask me how I can have morals without God. This is scary because it tells me that the only thing keeping some people from raping and killing is a belief that there is an invisible man in the sky watching them.   It’s kind of like Santa Claus for grownups. I tend to think more like Katherine Hepburn, who said, “I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other.” People without morals are called psychopaths, not atheists.

Angry at God – Now that we have established that atheists do not believe in any supernatural beings, we can probably do away with that whole, “You’re just angry at God” argument. Just like you can’t worship something you don’t believe in, you also can’t be angry at something that doesn’t exist.

Religious Knowledge – The CNN reporter said that she was shocked to see an atheist pursuing a graduate degree in religion because she couldn’t imagine an atheist being comfortable learning about religion. A lot of atheists enjoy reading about all sorts of things, including religion, but they don’t do it because they want to be persuaded to believe in God. Some religious folks think that an atheist just needs to go to church and read the Bible to be convinced.   The parents of an atheist college student in the documentary referred to their son as a dead man, and regretted not forcing him to go to church more. They believe that would have made a difference. More religious education is not going to make God real for atheists. God is just something that feels fake right from the beginning.

Some Splainin – Most atheists are confused and a little bit angered because the burden of proof seems to fall on them, especially in the USA. Why do people WITHOUT an imaginary friend owe an explanation as to why they don’t believe in an invisible supernatural being? This is especially evident by the fact that CNN felt it necessary to create a documentary to look inside the world of non-believers, like they are mystical creatures who must be studied behind glass. It’s really simple. Atheists do not believe in God, any god at all. They don’t believe in Jesus, Allah, Zeus, Jupiter, or any of the thousands of gods and goddesses. They don’t believe because there is no real evidence that gods exist.

Splainin

I am an atheist. I have been an atheist my whole life, even when I was being forced to attend Baptist church by a family friend. I was still an atheist when I opted to get baptized in college because it’s what normal people did. I volunteer at the zoo. I work and take care of my family. I appreciate a good martini. I love Christmas trees and Easter baskets. I am a nice person unless you ring my doorbell and try to sell me something, including religion, or make laws to discriminate against my friends. Then, I’m a bit irritable.