18 August, 2011
I really like that non-believers are getting out there and able to say, "Hey, we're here and we're not immoral, evil, baby-eating freaks, we just need to see some more evidence before we jump on your band wagon and start praising Jesus or Allah or whomever!" It's even nice to see the various atheist/humanist groups not get along on things because dissension and discussion is so important to growth, learning, knowledge, wisdom, humanity itself. That being said, I am a human with my own opinions and have every right to state such opinions on my own blog whether I think anyone will care to read them or not. So here goes.
I don't really care if a cross-beam from the World Trade Center gets put in a museum. I find myself objecting to a lot of the lawsuits that American Atheists bring out, carrying the flag of the ACLU. I love the ACLU and appreciate that American Atheists can be credited with getting the word out that closet atheists or skeptics aren't alone, but there are more important things to be fighting against.
A bunch of people in a country made up mostly of Christians found comfort in a cross at the World Trade Center after a horrific, terrifying and tragic event. Regardless of the fact that "it's a religious symbol," it's there. It's part of that day, it's part of that history. Bring to the museum some things that people from other religions (or non-religions) found comfort in and have a multitude of symbols that everyone can look at and say, "Wow, different people find comfort in different things." That, to me, is win-win. This lawsuit just isn't worth it when you have places like Texas that want to pull Thomas Jefferson out of their textbooks and put in John Calvin in his place as a Founding Father. It's nothing but a distraction from the fact that women in some states are being forced by law to carry zygotes in their bodies because that state has determined that it can decide and legislate moral and philosophical questions about the origin of life based on a book written by superstitious desert nomads from the Middle East.
Humanism, secularism and atheism should be concentrating on these glaring issues facing us today, not possibly setting a legal precedent by losing cases like the WTC museum lawsuit. It's irritating to think that real church/state separation issues are getting less spotlight than the bickering of street names ("Seven in Heaven") and cross-beams. If secularism is going to be a movement, they should start by picking their priorities.
10 August, 2011
It's interesting to me how Christians have tried to co-opt feminism and rebrand it as women taking on the old, submission roles and loving it no matter what, damnit. Womens' jobs are still housework and child-rearing while men are reminded how they are the stronger sex, the leaders, the head of the household and need to be responsible with this awesome power and use it to support their meek little wives.
Kirk Cameron's Marriage Strengthening Event was infiltrated by Annie Thomas writing for Friendly Atheist. Was there anything useful at all to marriages? Apparently, not. It's the same old, "submit to your husband," stuff that they've been spouting for hundreds of years, but it's now dressed up as "empowerment" through subservience.
Whenever he referred to how hard a woman worked during the day, it was always in reference to her cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children — never to a woman’s professional life.Would you expect anything less? Now that I myself am married, I can look forward to...giving up the career I found that I love, stop going to school and just clean up after my husband? And since his employment in academia means he gets the whole summer off, we can just both do nothing until I start squirting out children and hope the tax break will pay our rent. God will drop us an extra welfare check or something, right?
So there you have it folks, feminism in the twenty-first century! Stay weak, stay at home, stay married no matter what. God says so.
Posted by Unknown at 8:15 PM
03 August, 2011
With all the talk of how unamerican it is that the US doesn't have it's own way to space anymore, it's easy to get indignant with national pride and start wanting to blame someone. The public is upset at NASA, Congress, and whoever else they want to blame for the end of the Space Shuttle program, but in a way, they have themselves to blame. Not only did the public not have enough interest in space travel to write their congress people or vote for politicians that would have funded not only the Space Shuttle program, but also the programs that were supposed to eventually replace the Space Shuttles, but this disinterest cause NASA to create a program that was ultimately a failure.
After the first moon landing, public interest rapidly waned. People had been so proud that we had gotten to the Moon before the Russians and yet had failed to be interested in what we found in subsequent missions. They weren't interested in the Moon itself, they were only interested in being able to say they had beat the Commies.
As public interest waned, a new generation of NASA engineers began formulating the next phase of space flight, a phase that was to only be a stepping stone between the Apollo rockets and a new era of space vehicles that would have taken us to the Moon again as colonists perhaps, or even to Mars as explorers. The problem was that they were overzealous and worked on timelines with expectations that were beyond what they could reasonably do.
NASA, time and again, had to make decisions during missions that basically juggled with the lives of the astronauts that they had sent into space. Twice, they dropped the ball, the biggest cost being the 14 lives of the crews of Challenger and Columbia.
The Space Shuttles were designed and built to operate for about ten years. They flew for thirty. Some see that as a success, and can point to successful missions and projects such as Hubble and ISS as testimony to the grandeur of American progress and ingenuity, but statistically, the failure rate was two out of 135 in the tests that matter most. It's amazing that more of them didn't explode. The program was also supposed to save us millions and instead cost us almost two-hundred-billion dollars.
Now Americans are crying and whining about having to go up in space with Russians, and weep about their national pride and heritage in space. NASA is to blame, the government is to blame, but most of all our society is to blame, for not recognizing the sugar-coating and aggrandizement of a dangerous, outdated and extortionate shuttle fleet. Cry all you want, America, but you should be weeping that you didn't care enough to bring these failures into the light sooner or that you kept voting for people who refused to commit to taking the next step into space flight. Ultimately, it's your own fault.