September 13, 2015
I browse Twitter and Facebook and other websites, I find many pithy
remarks and quotes with which I tend to agree. I'd like them to
reach a wider audience, but because I have very few
followers of my own, I dont bother to retweet these
comments. Instead, I copy them into a virtual notebook.
Here are some that Ive collected over the last four months.
The more popular a party is, the less likely I am to be able to find
a place to sit or to understand one damned thing anyone says to
me. And why, if we can't hear each other, does there have to be music?
Most common phrase used when cleaning your garage Thats
where that ended up.
If we ever make contact with aliens, my first question would be,
Is you guys' planet named for your word for dirt, or was that
I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my
opinions. It looks fun.
I want to stop being irritated by things other people do and
think. They just need to meet me halfway by being less
stupid. I'd settle for people seeming less proud of never
learning something that changed their mind.
We're a nation almost staunchly proud of our aversion to
reason. Yay, us. Human reason is the most astonishing
evolutionary development in the history of this planet. How
tragic that so many opt not to use it!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Every schoolchild
should learn the basics of constructing a logical argument.
That includes learning what does not constitute a rational
argument: straw men, emotional appeal, anecdote, deflection.
Faith does not give you the answers. It just stops you asking
The people who have total faith in Me tend to be the ones I have no
faith in whatsoever.
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out,
which is the exact opposite.
I have an odd fondness for the song When You Wish upon a
Star, even though I disagree fundamentally with its
philosophy. I don't think there's anything wrong with wishing
upon a star or praying to your god(s), as long as you don't mistake
that for actually doing something to make something happen.
I confess I don't chat regularly with conservative Christians, but
is this view of prayer as God is my genie pervasive?
Movies like War Room and Little Boy view prayer
through a lens that's almost shockingly infantile. I really had
no idea. I suppose on some level it's in keeping with
prosperity theology, this idea that winning at prayer
proves your faith. Ugh.
Prayer is founded on the fundamental misconception that I take requests.
I trust science over religion, not because science is always right
but because, unlike religion, science is capable of self-correction.
I like it when we collectively react to science as a cool thing that
helps us understand the universe better, instead of a devious threat.
(condensed from this article)
The more we learn about the workings of the universe, the more
purposeless it seems. Scientists have an obligation not to lie
about the natural world. But we have elevated respect for
religious sensibilities to an inappropriate level that makes society
less free, not more.
In science, the very word sacred is profane. What
is sacred to one person can be meaningless (or repugnant) to
another. When we hesitate to openly question beliefs because we
dont want to risk offense, questioning itself becomes taboo.
It is here that the imperative for scientists to speak out seems to
me to be most urgent. We owe it to ourselves and to our
children not to give a free pass to the suppression of open
questioning in order to protect ideas that are considered sacred.
Five hundred years of science have liberated humanity from the
shackles of enforced ignorance. We should celebrate this openly
and enthusiastically, regardless of whom it may offend.
If glass comes from sand, why are there still beaches?
Global warming isn't real, because I was cold today!
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish,
he'll add to the global overdepletion of the oceans. So just
give him the fish.
Also great news: World hunger is over, because I just ate.
I think the afterlife is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.
Where is my faith? Even deep down there is nothing but
emptiness and darkness. If there be a God please forgive me.
reports that in Afghanistan, men threw acid into girls faces
for going to school. Twitter reacts...
No one would do that if it wasnt for religion.
Every time I hear some religious nut spouting off about all the good
religion does, I remind them of this.
The harm of religion is very deep and real. When we point that
out, we get anger and fear from believers because they know
At its core its harmful, because it indoctrinates children and
teaches that belief is equal to fact. Not true.
Probably no story in all the world is told more often, in so
many ways and in so many languages, than the story of the nativity
the birth of Jesus Christ. But to small children,
Christmas means one thing: Santa Claus is coming!
Yes, just about everyone in the world knows the story of the birth
of Christ ... except for children, who couldnt care less about
our Lord and Savior and instead worship a bastardized, commercialized
version of an ancient Germanic deity, the greedy little pagans.
Almost 1% of American mothers claim to be virgins when they give
birth. So apparently Mary wasn't that unusual.
Toxic Christian belief says distrust all emotions, and distrust your
Now Im feeling some sympathy for the poor stunted
Christians. Theyre told they cant trust feelings,
but they cant trust logic and reason, either? So
theyre just stuck with accepting what theyre told by
religious authorities? Tragic.
As for the Bible, its a book of self-serving legends and
stories that an ancient people used to identify themselves. I
wouldnt consider it a book of lies if people accepted it for
what it is: a collection of myths, poetry, metaphor, and
garbled history. Its when they try to promote it as
something more, a detailed and perfectly accurate history of the
world, in defiance of all of the evidence, that it becomes a tool for
The greatest plot twist of all time is in the Bible where, halfway
through, God suddenly turns out to be nice.
Yes, God's love is a major theme of the Bible. But
it's clear what happens if you don't accept.
I dont know how I would react if I encountered your
psychopathic thug of a god. If there were such a thing as an
all-powerful super-being who confronted me, I know Id be
afraid, especially if he were threatening me with torture if I
disagreed with him, and eternal enslavement if I obeyed him.
Id probably also feel despair that this was the nature of the
universe, a kingdom ruled by a hateful tyrant.
Hell is reserved for those who spent their lives telling others they
would go there.
Pastor E.W. Jackson said, There does seem to be a rising
hostility against Christians in this country because of our biblical views.
NOTICE TO CHRISTIANS:
No one cares about your biblical views or beliefs. We care
only about your behaviors.
If you don't want persecution, then practice your
religion among yourselves and leave others alone. If you don't
believe in marriage equality, for example, then don't marry a person
of the same sex. It's that simple!
Now if you go out and try stopping others from enjoying
equality, then that is when your behavior hurts others and you
can expect to be called out for it or as you like to call it, persecuted.
No ones being jailed for practicing her religion.
Someones being jailed for using the government to force others
to practice her religion.
(to a longtime friend)
I knew you were conservative, and I knew we agreed to disagree on a
lot of points. But over the past few years, something
shifted. Then it got downright weird. Scary, even.
And today you equated marriage equality with pedophilia! I
don't know when exactly you fully embraced the dogma you hold as
truth, but I really think it's toxic.
You grieve for me as some kind of lost soul. You
believe I'll spend eternity in a lake of fire because I'm the wrong
kind of Christian (United Church of Christ, if you're curious).
I'm an unrepentant sinner destined for damnation. At least my
atheist, agnostic, (insert 50 Christian denominations here), Jewish,
Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Shinto and especially by your
standards, apparently LGBT friends and colleagues will keep me
company, I guess.
I'm so sorry, but this is a wrap. I just can't engage
face to face, phone to phone, or message to message with
anyone who holds such a terribly ugly view of the people I hold
dear. Your God has condemned me, and those I care for, to
infinite torture. My God has never been that angry.
Strikingly, 64 percent of self-identified millennial evangelicals
support same-sex marriage. As the literal future of orthodox
Christianity, they are a portrait not of a post-Christian America,
but a post-homophobic Christianity. Liberty, freedom, and the
ever-bending arc toward equality have won. Intolerance and hate
To those who remain in the fringe minority stubbornly mired in
hatred and the dark rationalizations of the past, please try to lose
gracefully. You are not being exiled. The world is simply
moving on without you.
Maybe evangelicals will focus on their own marriages now.
Lower those divorce rates, folks.
If you're paranoid enough to think that someone is going to take
your guns away, someone should probably take your guns away.
NRA Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Well then, we should be really strict about who can
have a gun.
Not what we meant.
America was founded on the obliteration of one race, the enslavement
of another, the mass cultivation of a death crop ... and moxie!
Nationalism teaches you to take pride in things you haven't done and
hate people you've never met.
Much of this effect may have to do with oxytocin the so-called
love molecule. This neurotransmitter, while
helping us to forge tighter bonds with people in our ingroup,
performs the exact opposite function for those on the outside
it makes us suspicious, fearful, and even disdainful of others.
Ultimately, the ingroup bias causes us to overestimate the abilities
and value of our immediate group at the expense of people we don't
America is the greatest country on earth when it comes to telling
everyone it's the greatest country on earth.
You'd have to be completely psychotic to believe that America is as
great as we've always been told.
I came across this quote from Steve Schmidt, who was one of the main
guys behind John McCain's campaign in 2008. He was asked to explain
why Donald Trump was doing so well and he replied, We're at the
moment in time when there's a severability between conservatism and
issues. Conservatism is now expressed as an emotional
sentiment. That sentiment is contempt and anger.
You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by
A majority of the Republican Partys base is living in a
right-wing bubble where facts dont matter and it has
become increasingly acceptable to publicly voice racist positions
because the leading presidential candidate is modeling that behavior.
If you dare step out of line, youre quickly and aggressively
attacked by many Republicans as not being a real
conservative. Not only that, but conservatives constantly
cling to the past. Heck, its 2015 and theyre still
basically just recycling the same policies and ideas from Ronald
Reagan who was first elected 35 years ago.
ENTER NATIVE AMERICANS' LAND
immigrants refuse to learn local language
get food assistance
With all the publicity and support that Trump and other
Republican candidates are getting, expect a surge in racism,
homophobia, xenophobia and classism in the next couple years since
kids who are watching this are thinking This has to be true if
people are supporting this!
Stand up to the racists, homophobes, xenophobes and classists, and
tell them that their fear-mongering is not welcome in our
society. Use your voice. Use your power. Use your
heart to help heal this world.
Their ranting and their crusades, the extremism of their
language and their point of view, it just sounds crazy. Some
minister blames Hurricane Katrina on the gay lifestyle in New
Orleans, or Pat Robertson proclaims that God is punishing our
sinfulness by making people from another religion fly planes into the
World Trade Center. You listen to this foolishness and you
wonder, Have these people completely lost their minds?
Who's going to believe any of this?
The answer to that question is this: People who aren't like
you. These leaders and commentators are speaking directly to
their followers, who totally agree with them.
As a bonus, our outrage at their ridiculous comments reinforces
their certainty, because the believers believe that we the
passionate critics of their leaders are going to hell.
Here's what you need to remember. When leaders appear on
national television, and you reflexively think, They're on
national television; that must mean they're talking to everyone
don't do that. Why? Because when they start saying
outrageous things, you're going to immediately think that they're
nuts. They're not. They're just not talking to you.
(They may be nuts too.)
Christianity is so far removed from Jesus' teachings that it has to
be considered a new religion. Bigotianity.
America, I cannot in good conscience bless you anymore.
What conservatives have always feared about health reform is the
possibility that it might succeed, and in so doing remind voters that
sometimes government action can improve ordinary Americans'
lives. That's why the right went all out to destroy the Clinton
health plan in 1993 and tried to do the same to the Affordable Care
Act. But Obamacare has survived, it's here, and it's
working. The great conservative nightmare has come true.
And it's a beautiful thing.
When I brought up to a very conservative friend about paying taxes
to support education, her reply was, Well, I don't have
kids. So why would I pay for something I am not going to
use? Let the parents pay for it! It is not the
governments job to take my money to use for someone else.
My reply to such ignorant questions is, everyone around you and
everyone taking care of you is a product of those schools. Do
you want your babysitter or personal care nurse to be able to read
your medicine bottles? Do you want the people building your
house to know what they are doing? Do you want your accountant
to be able to do long division?
All reasonable arguments, but you're talking to someone who isn't
interested in facts or reality. They have their fantasy
world they live in, and that's all they're willing or able to perceive.
They care nothing about society at large or the good of this
country, only themselves and their selfish needs.
People who get the power they lack in their life by acting out
behind the wheel of a car are pathetic and dangerous.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
After the loss of a loved one, those who beg for the death penalty
and demand closure are just using a vacuous term in place
Racism is so mind-blowingly dumb feeling superior for being
born a race when you had nothing to do with being born that race.
(near end of Civil War, March 29, 1865)
Are people whose heroism has been attested on many battle fields and
still better attested in acts of perilous kindness to dying prisoners
of the Union, to be still kept down as a debased, disfranchised caste?
We hold that it is impossible to found firm and enduring
institutions upon an uneven foundation that an upper and lower
caste are as dangerous to a free state as Liberty and Slavery.
We used to sing this at camp a song of tolerance and respect
for those we disagree with, around the world, and also at home.
proud to be me, but I also see
just as proud to be you.
may look at things a bit differently
lots of good people do.
just human nature
why should I hate ya
For being as human as I.
get as we give
we'll live and let live
And we'll all get along if we try.
proud to be me, but I also see
just as proud to be you it's true
just as proud to be you.