Saturday, May 7, 2016

"Need Prayers"

Another thing I've been thinking about lately, is this. What do other non-theists say or do when someone posts or asks or prayers? Do you ignore it? Do you say "thinking of you" or something similar? It kind of makes me uncomfortable when people ask for prayers -- especially when they don't tell you why them want/need them. Like do they think I'm a jerk if I don't offer any? Am I supposed to acknowledge the request at all?

I'm in a few Facebook groups, and from time to time, somebody will just post "need prayers" and nothing else. There is no handbook to tell me how to respond to that. I don't have any prayers to give them, so usually I just ignore it. But then if not enough people respond, does that make them feel like nobody cares? What do they want from me??!!

Now, I'm pretty open about my atheism, so none of my personal friends ask me for prayers. Although some people I know do broadcast a general prayer request. Which I generally ignore, also. But the people I know tend more often to be the new age type who ask for "prayers, healing thoughts, or white light." Which, I can think thoughts, so that's OK. It's not actually going to do anything, either, but I feel like I can honestly participate in thinking about them. If it was within my financial ability, I'd actually do something for them, too.

I also don't always know how to respond people who say that they'll pray for me. Usually it's meant in a kind spirit, and I'd just thank them. And then there are those people who say it passive-aggressively, and I tell them that their prayers won't work, because I have magic shields that keep out spells, witchcraft, voodoo, prayers and other occult rituals. But every now and then you just can't tell. I end up not responding in those cases. Probably for the best, I guess.

I think the worst would be having someone ask me to pray with them. I really can't do that. Although I suppose in the horrible situation where they wanted me to lead a prayer, I could (panic disorder permitting) thank the farmers and the grocers who made the food available or something. Or thank the doctors and nurses, aides and orderlies who take care of the sick people.

Seems like it would be easier to just thank those people, if you really wanted to, but that would probably weird them out.

Thoughts about Needing Help

So I haven't updated this in years.Usually I only posted when I was annoyed with something, anyway. But I was just thinking about some stuff, and figured this was the best place to work out my thoughts about it. Mostly it's stuff to do with being a non-believer in an overly religious world.

The thing I was just thinking about was how, if I were a different sort of person, I would just pretend to be religious. You get all the breaks that way. You get to be in The Club. You don't get socially shunned. The Church helps you out when you need money. And I guess that's where I am with that thought.

A church-going woman I sort of know through acquaintances has some fairly severe mental health issues. We'll call her Patty. So Patty has undiagnosed something or other, probably at the very least bipolar and some psychosis (no judgment here, just making an observation from what I know of her). She really needs treatment, but won't get it. Not sure why. Anyway, that's not the important thing. Until recently, Patty has been holding down a full time job with varying degrees of success. She's not been fired, so that's pretty successful. Her husband, from what I hear, lost his job years ago, and since then mostly sits on the couch and drinks. Her kids are mostly grown. I think one is still in college. She takes a lot of time off. Like whenever anybody else gets time off for any reason, she suddenly decides that she also needs time off. She's not working a high paying job. It's not minimum wage, but it's definitely paycheck-to-paycheck working class if you're the only one working. Anyway, she talks about how, if she doesn't have enough to make the mortgage, the church pays it for her. Which explains how they haven't been thrown  out on the street.

Now that's nice of them. I don't want to see anybody thrown out on the street. But I see stuff like that, and a part of me wonders if I should have been playing the religion game. Because I also have mental health issues. I also have not gotten financial help from my kids' father since... damn, the 90s? And my panic disorder is so bad that I can't even work. Never mind my other health issues that I'm unsure if I've ever had properly diagnosed. But since I don't believe in gods, I don't have a religious community to help me out. And since I'm too honest to pretend to believe in gods... well, there you go. I can't do it. I can't believe, and I can't pretend I believe. And when I say I can't believe, it's like if somebody commanded a religious person to believe in the Easter Bunny. Or trolls under bridges. I could say that I did, but it would be a lie. And AFAICT, there are no secular programs to help with a mortgage, or taxes, or water bills. Which just keep piling up on me. There is no property tax relief from my city (I've asked) or my state. There are no programs to assist with water/sewer/trash bills, which are high in my city. And those bills are higher than my actual mortgage. Which, there are also no programs to assist with paying. There are supposedly programs that will get me into a rental, but I've been on the section 8 list since 2010 or so, and still haven't heard from them. So whatever.

Another part of me feels like there is something I'm missing, and some way to make money that I ought to be able to find. But I'm not finding it. Like rich people just make money out of money they already have, and thin air. But I can't do that. Really, I'd just like to be able to repair my house and pay my bills. I could make a whole blog post bout the house repairs I need to make. Ugh. So many. Anyway, that was one of my two big thoughts lately. I'll put the next one in another post.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's a miracle

"All these people died, and I got shot, but I didn't die! It's a miracle, praise Jebus!"  Oh, FFS. Seriously? You're happy with a god saying "hey, honey, you can live, because I like you. Fuck that little 6-year-old kid, and those other people, though." Because I'm not really impressed with that. I would have let everyone live. I think I should run for supreme deity. Here's my 7-day plan.

Day 1: Feed the World (Also make sure everyone has clean water.)
Day 2: End Religious Wars by saying "hey, I'm the Supreme Deity, now quit fighting." World Peace!
Day 3: Cure diseases, heal amputees/injured humans & other animals, invent safe cold fusion
Day 4: Repair planet, re-balance ecosystems, clean up space debris
Day 5: Terraform Mars, invent transporters/interplanetary travel (incorporate any existing Martian life)
Day 6: Ensure self-sustaining mundane tasks, make sure everyone can have a meaningful, fulfilling job that helps the world. Abolish money.
Day 7: Party! The best way to spend a day in my honor is by being nice to each other and having BBQs.

I think that looks like a pretty good week.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Every waking second?

What is up with people who insert gods into every single subject? I was just reading an article on HuffPo about a girl who died from huffing off a helium tank (yeah, that was bright), and some woman responded that if only we all lived as god intended, the article would not have been written. WTF? Along with what basically amounted to "if it had been my child, oh well, we don't live forever." WTGDPF?!

But anyway, are these people so weak/crazy/whatever that they can't go five seconds without being completely immersed in god-bother? These are the same people who boycott Halloween, and want to call it Jesus-ween. Which is seriously messed up, BTW. Guess what? Not every holiday is all about you. These are the people who get pissed off that they have to take down their "Our Heavenly Father" prayers that hang in public schools. Even though the very same people would fly into a foaming-at-the-mouth rage if somebody hung up a prayer to Allah, or Wicca, or Vishnu. Fuck these people. Fuck everything about them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

People really believe this stuff?

I get that people are brought up to believe that gods are unquestionable lest you damn your eternal soul. So I can see how people would be afraid to question those beliefs. But ghosts? Seriously? And not even in a "well that was weird and I'm creeped out" kind of way. Some of the people commenting on this Cracked article are all "ZOMG, my Aunt Zelda saw a ghost woman who answered her questions!" The fuck she did.

It's one thing to believe this stuff when you're a kid. It's another to be in full-on adulthood and think that incorporeal dead people are flying around talking to you. Or anybody else. I can't even get my head around this. Do they think Sixth Sense was a true story? FFS people.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nerd Crush Alert

I am crushing on Ricky Gervais right now. I've kind of had him on my nerd crush list since before he lost weight and was suddenly hot. But after reading the linked article and its followup, he's square in the nerd crush realm. He gets it. And he can explain it. And it's funny. That's made out of win.

I don't date, but if I did, I can't imagine being with a guy who was a believer. What would you say when they talk about their magical thoughts? I can hold my tongue or just agree to disagree with a friend, but I could never get serious with or live with someone who thinks gods are real. The notion is so absurd to me that I just can't get my head around it. And that's OK with believers who are just friends, acquaintances, relatives or whatever. You can believe that the moon is made of green cheese, that aliens walk among us and they want to mutilate cattle and experiment on hillbillies, or that you have a personal relationship with an invisible man in the sky. Just don't expect me to join in.

But when you are in a relationship, that's not really possible. No, I'm not going to church with you this or any other week, including Christmas. No, I really don't want to hang out at your church functions. No, I don't want to be The Atheist Girlfriend in the family. No, I didn't like Signs. Yes, I did like Contact.

I guess those two movies spell it out plainly. I had a religious friend who really did not like Contact. I think what bugged him the most about the movie was that he didn't believe Jodie Foster's character would be turned down because she was an atheist. And he didn't like the way they portrayed Rob Lowe's character. I totally believed it, and everything Rob Lowe's character said was something I've heard or seen Christians say. OTOH, I didn't like Signs at all. I barely managed to sit through it. But we were at the drive-in with a bunch of my daughter's friends for her birthday. They weren't really watching it; they got out of the car and sat on the ground in the drizzling rain (with no sound). But they enjoyed being out somewhere, so we stayed. The whole thing was completely implausible to me. All those things were related? Seriously? The aliens were defeated by WATER? WTF were they planning to do if it rained? I'm guessing an awful lot of religious people went "aw, God took care of those people." No, bad writing and a horrible premise took care of those people.

Actually, now I wish I had seen that movie with someone like Ricky Gervais. That would have made it infinitely more entertaining. Too bad atheist conventions cost money, require interaction, and are apparently not girl-friendly (elevatorgate much?). I don't know where else to meet sane people.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Holidays

So it's that time of year again. The time when people pretend there is a war on Christmas. Now I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas. I tend to see winter shopping season as a reminder that I'm poor, fat, cold, and hate crowds. Religion doesn't even come into my equation. What other people do at this time of year is their deal, not mine.

And yet I've already seen multiple posts by more than one of my Facebook "friends," saying that it's "their" holiday, and anyone who doesn't like it should "go home." I posted this as my status last night in response:
Before you copy/paste somebody's status complaining about how you are getting your rights trampled on if you don't get to dictate the cashier's greeting at Target, please consider how that sounds to everybody who isn't you. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays, and asking stores to force, for example, Jewish cashiers to wish you Merry Christmas is more than a little unreasonable.

And then ask yourself how it is in keeping with the spirit of whatever winter holiday you celebrate to tell me that if I don't celebrate the same thing, in the same way, and using that same words that you do, then I need to "go home"?

What does that even mean, "go home"? Like to where I was born? You want me to go to California?? Or do you mean to where my ethnicity originates? Because I'm an adopted person, and I don't know where that is. So I guess Africa, like everybody else. Are you coming with me, then, since you're from Africa, too? Africa's going to get crowded.

Plus if we all go back to Africa, shouldn't we be celebrating whatever it was we celebrated when we were all Africans? What did we do back then, make antelope paintings on cave walls or something like that? This seems overly complicated somehow. Maybe we should just forget it and tell everyone that we hope they enjoy their holidays, and let them worry about how they want to celebrate them.
What I would be interested in learning is whether or not these same horribly oppressed people would be OK with a Jewish cashier wishing them Happy Hanukkah. Is that OK? How about a pagan cashier wishing them a Blessed Yule or a Happy Solstice? Can I say Joyous Saturnalia just to be contrary? Because Saturnalia was apparently way more awesome than Christmas. What if this hypothetical cashier is a Puritan (are there still Puritans?) or a Jehovah's Witness, and doesn't celebrate Christmas? Can s/he say Have a Nice Day? Or is it that everyone needs to just celebrate the modern religio-retail version of Christmas with its Coca-Cola Claus and STFU about their own beliefs and/or traditions? Because it feels a lot like that last one.