Living Without Margin (or, The Cost of Poverty)

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In October 2013, I started a new job. I had spent the previous year working at Walmart, earning significantly less than my family actually needed to get by. We had managed to scrape through to the end of our 9-month lease and move out of our apartment without incurring any early termination fees (though the electric was cut off a few days before we finished getting all the furniture relocated and, unable to vacuum or turn on any lights, we ended up with a $500 cleaning bill). We spent two weeks camping in my sister’s backyard while we waited for a paycheck which enabled us to move into a pay-by-the-week extended stay hotel. More

I WAS a True Scotsman

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As an agnostic who professed Christianity for most of my life, I often encounter the “No True Scotsman” argument from well-meaning Christians.  Basically, they insist that if I have in fact fallen away from the faith, my faith must not have been genuine.  Unfortunately, this belief, which is likely grounded in fear (if I was a true Christian and yet fell away, how could they be sure of their own or anyone else’s faith?) is simply baseless, and in my increasing irritation at its repetition, I almost feel like calling it slander. More

Christian Revisionism and Religious Morality

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I think one of the underlying themes that drives Christian revisionist history (the attempt by Christian conservatism to assert that the Founding Fathers were all Christians and founded America exclusively on explicitly Christian principles) is the belief that religion and morality are inseparable — that one’s religion determines one’s morality. The understanding, of course, is that Christianity is the only route to a valid ethical foundation, and that atheism or neutrality in religion necessarily entails a lack of any moral basis at best (and at worst requires inverting “Christian” morality so that evil is lauded and good condemned). More

Guns and Related Issues

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As I’ve been posting and sharing a variety of gun-related status updates, images, etc. on Facebook lately, I thought it might be helpful to elucidate what exactly is my personal position on guns, gun ownership, gun rights, and so forth. More

Agnosticism: If there is a God….

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Sometimes I still catch myself wondering if I might be wrong after all, if perhaps the conservatives and fundamentalists are right, if perhaps there is a God and he is a stern God and he will throw my ass in eternal torment for daring to question his existence.  After all, whatever does not proceed from faith is sin, and if I’m questioning him with logic and reason, I obviously don’t have faith, since faith is the conviction of things not seen.

Then I have to take a step back, breathe, and remind myself of the basic tenets of my agnosticism. More

“Intolerant” of Chick-Fil-A?

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Why are we so angry with Chick-Fil-A? Are we just being “intolerant” of the personal religious views of their founder?

It wasn’t enough that they interfere with the private lives of their employees and strongly suggest that marital problems may be grounds for termination.
It wasn’t enough that they publicly condemn homosexuality for “inviting God’s judgment” by being “prideful, arrogant,” and “shak[ing] our fist at Him”.
It wasn’t enough that they donate money to organizations that attack equality, including a known “hate group” that lobbied in support of executing gays.
Now they are blatantly and illegally defying the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, defending their actions with catchphrases representative of a very small, conservative sector of Christianity that has absolutely no right to interfere in the secular business arena. Chick-Fil-A is a for-profit corporation operating in the public sector, and as such, absolutely cannot use “religion” to defend their illegal discriminatory activity.

We are, indeed, intolerant. We will not tolerate religion forcing its way into the public sector in a way that impedes the public’s ability to do business. We will not tolerate organizations openly scorning the laws by which they are bound to operate. And WE WILL NOT stand by while the rights of defenseless women, families, and minorities are laughed at, ridiculed, trampled, and condemned. Not in our country. Not on our watch.

Those Lazy Welfare Bums!

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Conservatives like to complain about how people on “welfare” (government assistance programs) are living on taxpayer money without having to give an ounce of effort. Some of the programs typically targeted include food stamps, government-sponsored healthcare (Medicare/Medicaid), and unemployment insurance. I’m going to take a look at what those programs actually comprise in my home state of Oklahoma.  (This post will not cover the complex issue of government-sponsored housing options, which in my area have pretty reasonable income guidelines but also incredibly long wait periods due to a lack of available properties.) More

Why I will never spank my child(ren)

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One person can smoke a single cigarette once and develop lung cancer. Another person can smoke a pack a day for fifty years and never suffer from the slightest tumor. Everybody is built differently. This does not mean that smoking is harmless or should be encouraged, and to argue otherwise is to prove oneself either stupidly ignorant or willfully biased in favor of a disproven and groundless claim. More

GOD’S HOLOCAUST

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When sources like this one compare Planned Parenthood’s abortion statistics to Hitler’s genocide in WWII, I can’t help but think of a much greater holocaust that goes unreported by the media and often even unnoticed by those it most affects. Note: We will assume, for the sake of this discussion, that life begins at the moment of conception. My views on this subject will be discussed in a forthcoming post.
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Minced Oaths

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Warning: boring entry.  I’m primarily posting this for my personal amusement.

A few years ago, having been raised my whole life to believe that “minced oaths” (gosh, heck, darn, etc.) were just as bad as “actual oaths” (God, hell, damn, etc.), I decided to take a microscope to the whole interjection issue and uncover the definition and origin of as many interjections as I could think of, to determine which ones were “acceptable” and which ones were not, and why.  Since then (and a good while before my entire religion began to collapse), I decided that words are just words, noting that the third commandment is a directive on lifestyle, not word choice (another person’s explanation here).  However, I recently ran across my old “minced oaths” research, and thought I’d post it here … mainly for laughs. More

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