Monthly Archives: February 2011

What he sang:

Christian Life
Ben Folds

Everyone sells stuff they don’t believe in
Movie actors do it all the time
Guys with cases full of useless health drinks
In politics they quote statistics full of lies

Bill can see he’s not the worst of the offenders
It’s not like his job causes actual harm
He shares his cake and kindness to old ladies
Getting by with platitudes and charm

It’s just a job, it’s just a job
Too late to change it
Put in the hours, bring home the pay
Watching sports on Sunday after the service
He no longer worries about judgment day

But he’s sure there’s no one else inside his workplace
If he were here, he left some time ago
Some Sundays Bill just waffles on and on about grace
Avoid the subject of what’s down below

It’s just a job, it’s just a job
Too late to change it
Put in the hours, bring home the pay
Watching sports on Sunday after the service
He no longer worries about judgment day

It’s not like there was this one flash of insight
Now how come if there’s a god we get Darfur?
It was just a gradual dimming of that bright light
The realization Christ works best as a metaphor

It’s just a job, it’s just a job
Too late to change it
Put in the hours, take home the pay
Watching sports on Sunday after the service
He no longer worries about judgment day

 

After listening to this song, you may want to listen to this week’s Tapestry program on Preachers Who Don’t Believe in God.

(thanks, Ian, for the song. I love it!)

practically pro-life

One of the most effective ways to describe why I support a woman’s reproductive choice is to show what being “pro-life” looks like, when its principles are practically applied.

It’s one thing to cite the emotionally-evocative platitude of “life begins at conception” — it’s another to see what life looks like when such a talking point is put into law.

Case in point: Georgia Representative wants to investigate all miscarriages

Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin want abortion classified as murder, according to his latest bill, the police will have to investigate all miscarriages to ensure that they were “spontaneous.” Here’s the complete bill.

Via Daily Kos: Franklin wants to create a Uterus Police to investigate miscarriages, and requires that any time a miscarriage occurs, whether in a hospital or without medical assistance, it must be reported and a fetal death certificate issued. If the cause of death is unknown, it must be investigated. If the woman can’t tell how it happened, than those Uterus Police can ask family members and friends how it happened. Hospitals are required to keep records of anyone who has a spontaneous abortion and report it.

One step closer to becoming a Pro-Life Nation — who’s on board?

realization: size doesn’t matter

[oh I can only imagine the spammy comments that title will generate]

Tonight I met with a reading group for the Saskatoon Secular Family Network that I help facilitate.  There were only 6 of us (2 of them being under 4), but we had a great time of connecting and sharing ideas/miseries associated with being parents.  Times like these really charge me up, and confirm for me the passions I have for building smaller communities in the larger atheist/freethinking/skeptic movement.

Right now I facilitate 3 groups/sub-communities in Saskatoon:

It’s funny how each of these groups reflect a passion of mine: family, (rejected) faith, and feminism!

When I first started up the SSFN, the first meeting we had had a turnout of over 20 people!  I remember being stunned at how seemingly-popular this group already was, after only its FIRST meeting.  But as cool its first turnout was, though, I really think that it derailed me in my “mission” (for lack of a better term) in establishing these smaller communities in the larger movement.

After such a high turnout, I spent the next several months feeling bad that each consecutive meeting would have lower numbers — I started questioning myself, as if the reason people were staying away was because of something I had said/did in leading these meetings.  Looking back on those first few formative months of the SSFN, I can still feel the frustration and uncertainty.

Thankfully I smartened up, and realized that my perspective was ALL WRONG.  It wasn’t about hosting “big events,” with monthly themed talks and the like.  The *point* of a secular parenting group is to find support among other parents and family members who are choosing similar parenting approaches.

Since that ah-ha moment, it’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I’m just as happy with a turnout of 5 as I am with one of 50 (though it does help to know ahead of time the 50ish turnouts!).  I recognize that there are amazing connections to be made in the smaller meetings that could never happen in a larger crowd.

And while there are still big, fun events to throw (insert Darwin Day and Camp Hoodoo), I’m just as happy sitting around a table of 4, drinking coffee, and talking about a parenting book with others.

I’m where I need to be.

Darwin Day is tomorrow!

Which means I’m frantically getting things ready, tonight.

Back tomorrow with pictures on how our event goes.  Here’s something to tide you over until then:

Ooops, I did it again…

…stirred up a little bit o’controversy, that is.  I started another Meetup group (yes, Jerry, this will be my last!).

My latest foray into the atheist activist’osphere is a group I call “Reasonable Women.”  Here’s how the Meetup description reads:

Why a group for atheist/agnostic/skeptic/freethinking women?

After reading this BlagHag post about the troubles some women faced at a recent American Atheist conference, we got the idea of forming this group.  Don’t get us wrong — the local atheist groups in Saskatoon are not sexist in their treatment of women members, but we thought it may be fun for the women of these groups to have a place of our own.  And, maybe, having this kind of group available could encourage other female-minded folks to join the movement!

Are you anti-men?  Why aren’t you allowing men to join this Meetup?

Well, this group’s purpose is meant to engage one particular subset of the larger atheist/freethinking movement: the women.  We welcome the men to start their own “Reasonable Men” Meetup!

So much of the current “new atheist” movement is dominated by its male voices — this little group is meant to counteract some of that testosterone by inserting estrogen into the mix!

So far we have 9 members, and it’s only been a day!  I’m quite excited about the potential of having such a group in Saskatoon — not only for what this kind of group can do for our immediate area, but what this type of group can do for empowering women in the larger atheist movement.

And yes, I knew when I started this group that there would be some people who wouldn’t be so keen on the idea of having a women-only group.  So far there have been some interesting discussions back and forth on the pros and cons of a single-gender group — my commitment to the conversation is to not get too defensive when it comes to explaining why I support a women-only group.  For one, I don’t think there’s reason for me to be defensive, and for two, it’s just not necessary at this point.

Anyway, stay tuned.