28 October 2008

Threat to Marriage?

California's Proposition 8 is shaping up to be the most expensive contest in next week's election after the presidential race itself. A yes vote on Prop 8. will overturn the CA supreme court decision that allows same-sex couples to marry.

There will always be the cries of "activist judges" going against the will off the people. The people who emit these pathetic wails are clearly unfamiliar with the concept of checks and balances and the tyranny of the majority. Part of a judge's job is to determine when laws are unconstitutional. Discrimination counts.

Another complaint from the narrow-minded is that the term "marriage" should be reserved for heterosexual couples and gay couples should have all the same rights in a "civil union." This separate but equal policy didn't work during the era of the Jim Crow laws and it won't work now. All it does is alienate a segment of the population by treating them as second-class citizens. It violates the constitutional tenant of equal protection under the law.

"But, they'll teach it to my kids in school!" Perhaps, if it comes up. Mostly boys marry girls, but sometimes boys marry boys and girls marry girls. This is a fact. Why shouldn't it be taught in schools? No child will be told in any public school who they should marry. (It might happen to a home-schooled child in a separatist Mormon encampment, though...)

There is also the absurd claim floating around that it violates individual freedom of religion. That is an utter crock. No one will be forcing anyone to marry anyone, dammit! You can even continue to believe that homosexuality is an "abomination" or just "hate the sin, love the sinner." If you are a bible literalist, you know that the punishment for homosexuality is not to deny them marriage, but for them to be put to death. You will even be free to believe in this horrid retribution as long as you don't act on it. You can hate whomever you want for whatever reason you like, but our government can't give you the right to discriminate.

One of the most vapid grumbles is that this will somehow violate the "sanctity of marriage." Read your first amendment. The government doesn't do "sanctity." If you are so concerned about the sanctity of marriage, work to legislate a ban on divorce. See how that goes over.

The arguments that gay marriage is somehow a threat to society simply don't hold water.

No on 8. Another straight white man for equality.

Think Well,


27 October 2008

Balancing Quantity and Quality.

Vjack of Atheist Revolution regularly posts tips for new bloggers. I am not able to follow all of his advice due to time constraints and my own lack of technical know-how. I also confess to squandering a traffic spike vjack sent my way by letting TA lie dormant for over a week. Vjack recommends one post a day! I won't be able to manage that, but I will try for 3-4 posts a week. I understand there is also an argument against the one-a-day rule. I certainly don't want to sacrifice quality for quantity.

I'll try to get to one step a week. I surely should have more than 3 posts monthly.

It may get a bit political here (this week anyway...)

Think well,


19 October 2008

Addiction v. Divorce.

Here I use addiction as a metaphor for overcoming religion. Ex-christian.net has pointed me towards a documentary by Native Shore Productions using divorce as a comparison. They have collected and filmed 25 interviews with people leaving their spouses at the same time as questioning their religion.

The documentary, "Divorcing God" will be out in Jan. 2009.

Think Well,


Act for yourself. (step 3.)

3. Made a decision to return our will and our lives to ourselves instead of an imagined higher power.

Every time I see an athlete praise a deity for one of their own accomplishments, my first thought is "c'mon, give yourself some credit." It is, after all, the athlete themselves who wakes early to train, practice the requisite skills, keep themselves in shape with diet and conditioning, and sometimes even risks bodily harm (and legal action) by using drugs to enhance performance.

Oddly enough, the higher powers are never at fault when the athlete fails. If two coaches pray to the same god that their team win, one team will still lose. Is it the team whose coach prays louder or better the winner? No. It is the team that plays best, or, at a minimum, makes the fewest mistakes.

Similarly, there are those who ask deity du jour for help with getting a new job, securing that (car, home, business) loan, getting pregnant (or not) and any number of things. You might get the job if you have worked to gain the qualifications and there is not a more qualified applicant. You may be just as capable as you closest competitor, but her personality is a better fit for the company. You may have applied for a job for which you are not fully qualified. (There's nothing wrong with challenging yourself.)

If you don't get the job, you can say "Oh well, it wasn't god's will," but this is a dead end on the road to self improvement. It would be more productive to analyze what went wrong and attempt to rectify it. i.e. "I need more skills in xxxxxx," or "maybe I would be better working as a yyyyyyy."

When the imaginary divine plan is removed, you get to take credit for your success, but you must also take responsibility for your shortcomings. It takes courage, but you can do it.

Think Well,