January 22, 2017

Facing the New Reality of President Trump as a Freethinker

Donald Trump
By Gage Skidmore from Peoria [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I'm not convinced that it matters much whether 3 people or 3 million people attended Donald Trump's inauguration. Who cares? If there is one thing reasonable atheists should be expected to comprehend, it is that the popularity of an idea (or in this case, a person) has little bearing on the value of the idea (or person). Those claiming that Trump is a failure because his inauguration was poorly attended remind me of religious believers claiming that atheism is flawed because there are so few of us.

What matters now is not how many people showed up in Washington D.C. for Trump's inauguration; what matters is that we now have to confront the new reality of President Trump. For those of us who are freethinkers seeking to transcend destructive tribalism, confronting this new reality is going to mean figuring out how best to support Trump's good ideas and policies while figuring out how best to oppose Trump's bad ideas and policies.

January 20, 2017

Find a Women's March Near You

I suspect you have already heard about the Women's March on Washington taking place tomorrow (January 21, 2017) in Washington D.C. If you are not familiar with it, the basic idea appears to be both an expression of dissatisfaction with the election of Donald Trump and a show of support for women's rights as human rights. Most of the national atheist and secular organizations have announced their support for the march.

Of course, it is not feasible for most of us to travel to D.C. for this sort of thing even if we really wanted to. The good news is that there a number of sister marches taking place in many states and even in several countries outside the U.S. You might be surprised to discover that there is one near you. So if you are looking for something to do tomorrow and you support the mission and principles of the march, you can see where the closest sister march is here.

And yes, I have heard from a few men who are upset about the name of the march because they feel excluded by it. I know it probably won't help those who feel this way, but I will point you to the FAQ page of the march where one of the questions is "I'm not a woman, am I invited?" Here's the answer:
Yes, the Women’s March on Washington (WMW) is for any person, regardless of gender or gender identity, who believes women’s rights are human rights.

January 19, 2017

Interacting With Those Who Disagree With Us

The Charlotte Observer headquarters
The Charlotte Observer headquarters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you care deeply about a particular sociopolitical issue (e.g., reproductive rights, LGBT equality, immigration, income inequality, secularism), it can be difficult to see the value of interacting with persons who are on the other side. It is tempting to perceive them as "the enemy" and to view interacting with them as nothing more than an exercise in frustration. The question to consider is whether refusing to interact with them is a healthy course of action in a society. And what about the impulse to take an additional step and prevent ourselves from encountering their views in the first place? Is this a healthy course of action in a civilized society?

Eric Frazier wrote a great opinion piece in The Charlotte Observer on the subject of the transgender restroom wars, the debate raging over North Carolina's HB 2, and the larger issue of our increasingly polarized culture. Clearly, HB 2 and similar laws elsewhere have been generating considerable attention, fueling tribalism and polarization.

Here's the part that resonated with me:
Thanks to today’s hyper-segmented digital media, you can live in your own vacuum-sealed ideological universe where it’s you and other good folk against the “establishment” or the “takers” or the “1 percent” or whomever your cartoon-character bad guys happen to be. Wouldn’t it help – at least a smidgen? – if we occasionally talked to folks on the other side of the barricades?

January 17, 2017

Demons Licking My Face and Other Missed Emails

I just discovered that a number of legitimate emails received through the contact form I use here at Atheist Revolution have been routed to my junk folder. This is a problem because I check the junk folder even less often than I check my inbox, and I am bad enough about remembering to check my inbox. I'm not sure why this is happening, and I haven't figured out how to fix it yet. I've been completely unaware that some visitors have been trying to reach me.

Here is an example of one such email that I missed (spelling errors and odd capitalization left in tact for your enjoyment):
Evil spirit, I bind you in the Name of Jesus Christ, and command you to go to the foot of the cross. If you Don't beleive, Research people's accounts with Satan. I am just a person who spent time with him. Crossed over eventually. Not that I ever doubted Gods existence. Just hated him. Look. It doesn't matter what you beleive is moral or immoral about God. Yes. God was vengeful and scary at many points. The point is, you will have to face that force. In the end. Lord, I ask that you send demons to visit this person. When they are licking your face and strangling you, you may need Jesus to save your ass.
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