We lost Christopher Hitchens last night. Many of us have a feeling of emptiness today, we know how amazing he was. Many of us have been influenced by his style, and because of this he will live on. Because we read his books and use his arguments, quote him in arguments, and are influenced by him, he will live on. Christopher Hitchens seems irreplaceable. It's only in the strength of our collective voices do we consider the notion that we could possibly fill his shoes. And we will try, this is obvious to us, all of us had a collective atheist head nod today. We know we must pick up where he left off.
A blog was written today on the implosion of CFI Canada. As long as we keep having these accomodationist vs confrontationalist arguments we will continue to have implosions. Frankly, it disgusts me that we have done this. I felt the wrath of the accomodationists when I was known for being a confrontationalist. I probably will still have the perception of being one. Even though I am creating a feel good project that supports all atheists. I think I am a blend of both. I hope you are too.
Being able to adjust your method depending on who you interact with is a strong suit. And if someone sees you are confrontational, why must they label you as always confrontational? It is also highly hypocritical to be an accomodationalist but be confrontational on the issue of confrontationalists. It's time for us to elevate our game. This division has gone on long enough. We must think critically and with reason.
Wow Darrel Ray is brilliant. He nails it on "First generation leadership." Because of my type-a personality and my inability to trust easily I was unable to spot future dedicated activists when they aligned with me early in their activist "careers." Ashley Paramore and Shelley Mountjoy were by my side at the beginning. If I could have known to expand their leadership role early enough, they might have never needed to go become superstars elsewhere.
Check this article out if you would like to learn more about how atheist groups function, and how we can improve them.
Two Types of Leadership in the Secular Movement
Parent Claus is bringing the kids presents? Don't want to hear O Holy Night while you shop for those gifts? Want to help support online atheism while buying Grandmom a necklace for the Winter Solstice?
Please shop at Amazon and they will help pay for our new server! This really works and it's a huge help. We are on the cusp of something great, help push us over the edge. This is a great way to help the cause while buying stuff for yourself. The customer service at Amazon is incredible, they won't let you down.
I saw someone ask a facebook group to state when they became agnostic/atheist. First of all, please feel free to answer the question yourself, in the comments below. I responded, and then I expanded on it briefly for facebook. After 30 minutes it's got a bunch of likes and comments, I realize it's a moving story to some and so I'll expand just a little more about it here. But I also ask that anyone who has a similar story share it below. I know I am not unique, religion has caused the destruction of millions of relationships over time.
I was born an atheist, at 5 I was sure God existed because I was told by the person I trusted the most that God existed. As I learned about the bible and started to understand the world I became a little more agnostic on the idea and was an agnostic catholic at 8. At 13 my mother decided the Catholic Church wasn't exciting enough and we joined a born again Christian Church, I was 13. I said the special password prayer you need to say to let Jesus know you want in to heaven. Literally, this was the argument and justification, say this prayer and you won't burn in hell, you'll go to heaven. What 13 year old that still trusts his mother wouldn't do that? I did it... I was an agnostic Born-again Christian. I talked to Jesus at night before bed, and I tried to get my father on the proper path as well. I was tortured over the thought of him going to hell.
I just had the chance to listen to the new Syqnys album. I was surprised to see I could listen to the whole thing free online. That's smart, it made me buy it. His messages we're on point. He said lots that made me think, and lots that made me want to go back and hear it a second time. Syqnys once wrote a song called "I am Rational Response Squad."
Syqnys had all kinds of original thought in his album, which usually makes it one of those albums that you can listen to over and over. You should check it out, listen to it... then buy a hard copy for $10, once you buy the hardcopy you get the download for free. He also allows individual downloads for $1. I told Syqnys that my readers would want to know more, so I asked him a few questions and here is what he had to say:
What is the main theme of your new album?
Tonight in Pittsburgh a straw broke a camels back. After the Ravens beat the Steelers, Ray Rice gets interviewed and credits god with the win. He said he told his team last night that they need to put themselves in the right positions on the field to receive the Lords blessings. He also said that on the field he reminded his players to be in blessings positions.
"I kept going to em and saying 'it's his will' 'it's his will.'" - Ray Rice on what he told his team during the game
He finishes this epic god dick sucking fest with, "to come out and win like we did today, I tell you God is amazing." Wow. It's moments like this that fuel my activism. We've got to speak up to drown out those voices that have such a huge stage. I'll start with sending him a few strongly worded tweets. Read these from the bottom up if you want to read them in order.
I along with almost everyone I know supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. I was included in an email yesterday from Emily Paine. I'd really like to give her piece a bigger audience, so with her permission, here is what she had to say about Occupy and how a connection to us.
Dear Fellow Atheists, Secular Humanists, Freethinkers and other Nontheists,
Why is it that we don’t see many Christian fundamentalists or Tea Partiers taking part in Occupy? Because of an alliance that began in the 70s. Back then, corporations wanted more of a voice and religious Americans needed more cash. The result was the “Moral Majority.” This 40-year alliance explains why religious right wingers, who claim to be moral and pro-family, vote with Tea Partiers against help for families and the working class – after all, we can’t afford all that and letting corporations off the hook in paying taxes.
It didn't go unnoticed that I am more active over the last few weeks. I'm glad to have the time again, and I'm glad you told me you were happy to see me more active. My better computer was out of commission for a little while... like 9 months. I was on a laptop with a wireless connection and very busy since March. The better computer has been fixed and the main room I conduct business in, has been revised over the summer. I was almost finished the room but then I fixed the computer and well... it'll probably be the spring before I work on the room again. Now that I'm moving fast online again I can cover a lot more territory. I'm right back in the swing of things. My real job is somewhat seasonal and it'll be slow until March. I'll get less hours. Those hours will be spent here.