Religious Identity

September 29, 2010

I hereby decree…

I get to choose my own religious identity. You do not.

You know how annoying it is for people to decide for you which religious (or any other for that matter) box you fit in? Especially when it is contrary to what you have explicitly stated?

Some people fit in the neat little box of Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, whatever. But not everybody does, in fact I’m certain most people don’t. And that’s where people get confused.

While I don’t really consider myself non-Christian, lately I’ve been going by Secular Theist. When asked what that means, I say “I believe God exists but I don’t believe in doing anything about it.”

And people totally just nod and say that’s cool…

Oh, wait, no they don’t. They instead insist I’m really agnostic. 🙄

Fuck you, I’m not agnostic. I do believe God exists. Agnostics believe there’s no way to know and may or may not lean either way. I do know God exists.

Or then I get called a Deist. No, I’m not damn Deist, either. Deists believe God created the universe. I do not believe God had anything to do with that. So, no, not a Deist.

Then they get really confused that I don’t believe in a Creator. So that must mean I’m really an Atheist!

No! I’m not an Atheist. What did I just say? I DO believe in God. Just because I may agree with most atheists when it comes to religious fundamentalism run amok, such as the God in School entry a few days ago, doesn’t mean I’m an atheist myself. Just because my belief in God doesn’t take the same form as that of most other theists, doesn’t mean I’m not still a theist.

Or then I get the “oh, you just THINK you aren’t an atheist but you totally are, lulz!” Funny, if I were an atheist, wouldn’t I then be smart enough to be able to have a better idea of my own religious identity than YOU? That must mean I’m either a stupid atheist or an intelligent theist. Can that idea sink into your mind? LOL PARADOX!

Or can you try the idea of not assigning useless labels to people based on what specific ideologies they may have? Or is that too hard?

Shine On

September 27, 2010

As you may recall, back on January 24, 2008, I lost my grandmother. As said in that title, she was supposed to live forever. But she didn’t. -_-

That’s okay! I still had another grandmother who was REALLY supposed to live forever! 😀

Er, no. We lost her last night to massive heart complications. 🙁

Widad S
March 25, 1926 – September 26, 2010

Nice job so far, 2010. First Nigel and now… my last grandparent! What the FUCK?! :doitnow:

Oh, damn, that’s right. My last grandparent. When I was born, I only had the two grandmothers to begin with, their husbands having died in the 1970s, long before I came along. Now they’re both gone, off into whatever happens next. Along with my grandmother, I suppose a certain aspect of my youth was lost with her. Now my parents are the elders. Weeeeeird.

So, what am I to do about it? I realize my response here seems very different from losing Grandma. Certainly doesn’t mean I’m mourning any less now. Just acknowledging that I perhaps deal with this differently from before, and, despite being related to them both in the same way, they still held different roles in my life.

And anyone’s death, especially a grandparent I suppose, serves to remind that we’re all like a whole lot of twinkling stars. We come into existence and shine and shine for however long before we are extinguished. Stars of course go billions of years. We humans go a hell of a lot shorter than that. So we must make sure we shine as bright as we can, and in doing so inspire the other stars to shine bright. Like a shiny chain reaction. Of shininess.

Yeah, what do you want? I didn’t study astronomy and got a D in physics. Whatever.

Anyway, scientific inaccuracy of metaphor notwithstanding, what are we doing to shine bright? What am I doing? Well, I’m with NYRA and as such trying to make the world better by promoting youth rights! Quite proud of that.

Then another thought occurred to me. My newly lost grandmother is my mom’s mom, the Arab side of my family. So, yeah, I’m part-Arab and working on civil rights activism. Nice.

I wonder what other Arab-blooded American activists there are…

Oh, wait…


I have a lot of work to do. :\

(Lower the drinking age.) 😉

God in School

September 20, 2010

Saw the following on a t-shirt not too long ago, and pretty sure I’ve seen it elsewhere as well. Don’t recall exact text, so here’s a paraphrasing.

Dear God,
Why do you allow so much violence in my school?
-A Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student,
I’m not allowed in school.

Okay, hold still while I feed you this tuna sandwich, full of omega-3s to help your brain heal from that.

This is the sort of thing your average social conservative may nod along with, believing a “healthy dose of Jesus” is the cure to everything. Because if only these kids had good old religion in their lives, schools (and everywhere else) would be a haven of peace and love!
Continue reading “God in School”

Primary Prep

September 15, 2010

So yesterday was the primary election day here in Maryland. So I’m at work yesterday with my little electoral packet, looking at the candidates, including of course the governor and congressman and senator up for reelection, and local election candidates whose names I’ve seen absolutely nowhere except on the campaign signs all over the place and in the same packet 2 and 4 years ago. But, since it’s silly to vote for people I know nothing whatsoever about, I went to Google News. Figured I’d search news articles for their names, see if any of them did anything to piss me off that might make me not vote for them.

Eh, didn’t find much. Washington Post and the Gazette had little profile articles on some of them, with experience, credentials, and affiliations, and other stuff. Some had quotes, most of them I was indifferent, very few I either liked or disliked. Some I couldn’t find any information on whatsoever! So, whatever, I got at least a vague idea of who to vote for, so after work I wandered to the usual elementary school and cast my ballot.

So let’s review. In doing my citizen’s duty of voting, this involved… spending some time Googling candidates to get a cursory look at any information about them, and then going to my polling place, telling them my name, putting a stupid little card into the machine, touching the screen to select the candidates I decided probably wouldn’t enslave us all, finished, put the stupid little card into a box, got my “I Voted” sticker, and walked out.

And this, using a search engine and pressing buttons and getting a sticker, apparently, is something people under 18 are somehow too immature to do. 🙄