Archive for December, 2012

Year of the Dave
December 31, 2012

For another look into my Clarketacular Life and how I intend to make 2013 my most Clarketacular year yet, please follow my new tumblr blog “Year of the Dave”.  I’ll still be posting my political and atheistic ramblings here, this will be a fun look at the year 2013 and how I intend to go after it with everything I’ve got!

http://yearofthedave.tumblr.com/

Why Can’t Atheists Stop Talking About Atheism?
December 19, 2012

I hear this all year ’round, but it’s particularly well-used around the holidays, when Christians in the US start to really feel their own privilege and attack just about anyone that doesn’t have Jesus tattooed on their face.

“Why can’t atheists just stop talking about atheism? Why do they have to be “in your face” about it all the time?”

I have several actual answers to this question, and then a follow-up answer on how you’ve imagined the whole damn thing.

Now personally, I live in Texas, where atheists are few and far between and we live in very hostile territory.  But even nation-wide, atheists are a rare breed.  Since we are so rare, it can be difficult to find others to talk to about our philosophy of following evidence and reasoning over superstition and ancient dogma. In fact, many of us believed when we were kids that we were the only ones.  I can remember getting kicked out of Sunday School because I kept asking questions and pointing out that the answers given made no sense.  Because of this loneliness and isolation, when we do find others who think like us, in person or in internet forums or social media, perhaps we overcompensate.  But it’s very nice to find you are not alone in what can, at times, seem like a crazy crazy world.

Some atheists are former believers who have come to realize that what they have been taught all their lives is simply a glorified mythology.  Those atheists experience a kind of conversion fervor, and just like religious converts, they feel so happy and right about it that they want to share that with others.  They want to talk about it and try to help others see what they have seen.  I can’t blame them for their enthusiasm, but I can see how it might annoy believers, just as believers trying to convert me would irritate me.  Look, I sympathize, but trust me, they’ll calm down eventually and settle in to their new outlook on life.  Be patient.

So there you go, a couple of reasons why you might hear atheists talking about atheism a lot.

Only you won’t really hear that.  More than likely, you’ll almost never hear it.  The reason you won’t hear it is because it’s drowned out by the non stop expressions on belief given by believers all day, every day, everywhere they go, and in every single thing they do.

When I wake up and check Facebook in the morning, I get to read the daily religious affirmations of every believer I know.  I turn on the television and am greeted by television shows with religious themes, commercials for Christian services, news showing political figures who are all believers and all discuss the effect of God on their lives.  Every radio show is brought to me believers who tell me every good thing that happens is by the grace of God.  This includes morning shows and musical broadcasts.  I pass churches on every street, with Biblical quotes and other affirmations.  Bumper stickers on a vast majority of cars are emblazoned with expressions of belief.  When I enter a business there are Christian samplers and religious symbols on the walls.  My local donut shop has an open Bible on the counter, turned towards me.  People wear religious t-shirts or carry expressions of belief.  They talk about it openly everywhere.  If someone sneezes, another person will say “GOD bless you”, sometimes putting a strong emphasis on the word ‘God’.  When I leave, I am told to have a blessed day.  Recently, I gave a co-worker of mine some advice she thought would really help her.  She told me I should be a minister.

I never stop to ask any of these people why they feel the need to be so “in my face” about their beliefs or why they talk about God non-stop.  That is considered normal and perfectly accepted behavior in society.  It is I who am the odd one.  I am afraid to talk about being an atheist or to let people know it.  I would never wear clothing that proclaimed it, and I wouldn’t DARE to show it on my car.  When my co-workers talk about God or church as they do every day, I can only smile and nod. I dare not give my opinion.  I don’t know any other atheists in my daily life, and it’s possible this is because others are afraid to say anything either.

Trust me, we are not going around talking about atheism all the time.  We bend over backwards to never be “in your face”
about it, while tolerating a never-ending onslaught of religion every day.  So if you happen to have found a tiny pocket, a safe haven where a few atheists feel comfortable finally lowering their guard enough to give their opinion on something, give them a break please.  We only want a tiny semblance of the comfort you have every day.  We’re not trying to take it away from you, and clearly, we couldn’t make a dent in the mountainous privilege you enjoy, even if we tried.

Sound fair to you?

Hey, Cars Kill People Too
December 19, 2012

In the wake of the Sandy Hook mass shooting, the debate over gun control has been awakened yet again.  And as usual, pro-gun folks have trotted out their arguments about how it’s not the guns’ fault.  There are a litany of talking points and catch phrases tied to the idea that we shouldn’t do anything about guns.

You know and have heard them all a million times, so I won’t repeat them all, but one that always interests me is this one: “Hey, cars kill people too, you know? So should we take all the cars away too?”  Leaving aside the greater issue that the use of cars and fossil fuels is slowly killing us all, and therefore maybe this is a GREAT IDEA, let’s just focus on the gun / car analogy.

Every liberal in the world goes nuts at this comparison and quickly and handily shreds it by pointing out how bad an analogy it is.  And rightly so, because cars and guns are in no way similar.  But you know, personally, I love this comparison, and am more than willing to go with the pro-gun folks on this one.  Yes, pro-gun person, I say, you are 100% RIGHT ON THE MONEY.  I’m so glad you made this comparison, because I think it should the basis for EVERY single piece of gun control legislation FROM NOW ON.  Here’s why:

  • You must be licensed to drive a car.
  • You must be trained to safely operate your car.
  • Your car(s) must be registered, and regularly inspected.
  • There are restrictions on what type of car you may own and operate.
  • There are restrictions on where you may drive your car.
  • There are restrictions on the safe operation of your car.
  • When entering any building, business, or even public area, your car must be left behind.  And it can’t be left just anywhere, there are approved places for them to be parked and an approved manner for them to be parked.
  • If we suspect you are violating these rules, you can be stopped and checked.
  • If you are found to be violating them, you can lose your right to operate your car or have it suspended.

So, I thank the pro-gun folks for coming up with this most apt comparison for use in the crafting of all our gun control legislation.  I’m glad we could agree that guns are a lot like cars and therefore should be handled similarly.  You’ve done us all a great service.

We need to stop talking about this and get it done. NOW.