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My kids go to youth group

We live in a small town that doesn’t have a lot of social outlets for kids, so much is church based. All their friends go to youth group and they’re always inviting my kids. The little ones don’t go. We went to MOPS for a while. I liked the free food and didn’t mind that it was religious until I found my 4 yr old playing “sinner, sinner, saved” instead of “duck, duck, goose” with the childcare volunteers. I should have been alarmed when they brought home coloring pages with a bloody crucified Jesus on them, or scripture verses about obeying authority. After a while I’d go and enjoy the breakfast buffet and contact with grown women and leave the kids at home. Not anymore, the MOPS group I attended stopped meeting and I’m just not into it enough to want to move over to the other church. After going there for 4 years, I realized I didn’t really know anyone’s name and wasn’t really friends with anyone. I made smalltalk and ate a huge hot breakfast, that’s really all I wanted. I liked that they celebrated motherhood. Pregnancies and new babies were cheered and monthly guest speakers gave home organization advice and we’d play games & do crafts. It was fun, and I didn’t have too hard of a time ignoring the bullcrap.

But this is crazy. My teenagers keep going to these youth group meetings so they can hang out with their friends, but the stuff they’re teaching these teens just kills me. The other day it was all about how Believers go to heaven. Non believers, Jesus respects that decision but you still go to hell. If you’re on the fence, however, you are the worst scum of the earth. Apparently being unsure is disrespectful. WTF??? What teens are sure of ANYTHING? How can they not see this as psychologically damaging?

Another time, the “message” was about how kids need to forgive their parents for EVERYTHING. No matter what is going on. If your Dad is beating your mom, forgive him. If your mom is cheating on your Dad, forgive her. If they both poke you in the head with needles every time you use foul language, forgive them. I don’t have a problem with forgiveness, but telling a teenager that God wants them to forgive their parents for being assholes is a bit extreme. Don’t bring God into it. Doesn’t their God hold marriage vows sacred? Doesn’t their God say that he’s the final judge, not humans? Sure- it’s good to forgive people. But it’s also good for people to not be jackasses, and if we train our teens to put up with the abusive bullshit of people around them, why would they strive to be good people. You’re forgiven simply because you’re Christian is the most fucked up bullshit in the world. If they could do away with any one of the ten million stupid little lies they tell themselves, this single ONE could change the world.

I asked my daughter how can she stand to go to these things. She said “It’s an experience.” I wish I could say that I’d embrace the experience the way she does. I wouldn’t though. I think I’d be fuming in my seat for the long-term psychological damage these inconsistencies are capable of. The complete lack of logic is insane. How do they not see it? God lays out all these rules for humans to follow and simply believing that Jesus is his son makes you exempt? WTF???

I can’t wait to get my kids out of this town.

Wanna donate to Atheist missionaries?

UPDATE- the cruise is postphoned until April 2011 because of the earthquake damage. Please use these charities, in a note recommended by the Girl Scouts

We’re planning to go on a cruise in April, the Unschooling Adventure Cruise. The price is surprisingly inexpensive, about $100/night per person. Still, we have a big family. It’s a lot. We’re using our tax return (whenever it arrives…) but we still need to do some fundraising.

I just discovered that the itinerary originally planned for the day we’ll spend in Labadee, Haiti, was replaced with clean-up work, which is really exciting.

From the cruise coordinator:

“We have organized for our day there to include volunteering to help clean up after the earthquake. This is going to be an *awesome* opportunity for families to experience hands-on work in a country that desperately needs our help.”

I love that we’ll be able to participate in a big-group-helping project that is NOT from a religious perspective.

I don’t know about you, but it always bothers me that so many efforts to volunteer and help on a large scale occur in the name of religion. This one is in the name of LOVE- and KINDNESS. We’re so excited to be part of this.

My family would appreciate any and all donations to help with this trip. PLEASE use paypal to send donations to kathy@atheisthomeschool.com
or use the sidebar button.

It’s not a tax write-off, sorry.

Thank you 🙂





Atheist Homeschool Forums

Shamefully, the forums here were just so dead. In order to make them a little more prominent, I’m blogging about them (see) and I am tweeting about them (hence the hashtag in the title- which alerts other people interested in homeschool and atheist topics to this post)

SO- Go check out the Atheist Homeschool Message Boards. I redesigned the page so that they’re visible and live on that page. Please feel free to post random conversation starters and to respond to the conversations of others. Use the link above or at the top of the page.

Enjoy 🙂

if only this were true…

A facebook status from a Christian woman reads:
” Did you know that 70% of children who grow up in Christian homes are walking away from their faith as young adults??? According to a survey done by Focus On The Family, the number one reason is because of hypocracy of their families and their own homes. Faith begins at home!”

Do they not get it, that religious faith IS hypocrisy? (I just had to spell it right.) Wouldn’t life be nice if there were 70% less Christians with each passing generation. I don’t mind so much, people who believe there’s a God but not in religion. It’s religion that ruins the entire concept of God. They take a fine idea and just ruin it all with a bunch of silly ethnocentric, egocentric and generation-centric, political-centric crap. How uppity to think the creator of the Universe would trouble himself with piddly crap like that. If you wanna believe the Universe was created by a consciousness, that’s fine. To start assigning a personality and motivation to it is just beyond ridiculous. To make life decisions and profess love for this force is even more ridiculous. Get a life, people.

Jesus, it’s over.

I thought this “Dear John letter to Jesus” was funny.  As a teenager I remember thinking that the biggest signs of personal weakness were allergies and religion. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would choose to have faith in something other than themselves. YOU are the only one you really have control over.  I’ve rethought my position on allergies, although I am sure that if the world was nontoxic there would be lessa llergies. It’s probably a good thing that our bodies reject certain things and perhaps allergies are an example of that. A sign of strength.  Religion, still wrong.  I’m loving the book The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris.

God Says “No Flu Shots” I’m sure of it.

I’m very NOT interested in religion, just the constant pursuit of that which is right, fair and kind to everyone (in deed that is, nasty thoughts about people at the grocery store are in no way against my secular morals)

So I wonder if religious people ever second-guess their allegiance with man-made institutions like governments, the medical establishment, clubs and other causes.

Is there a religion that doesn’t allow people to join clubs? I mean, it would be a good idea. It sounds biblical when you say

“Thou shalt not profess allegiance to any man or group of men.”

The anarchist in me sympathizes with the counter-culture writings of biblical times that make up the Bible, but the cynic in me disdains the editors and publishers who used the writing to create a different message. Or perhaps that’s the writer in me. I bet that line was in there before it was edited.

Either way, how can a religious person not trust that their bodies are made perfect, a complete representation of that which God intended them to be.

How can a religious person get a flu shot? I’m not judging here, I’m just wondering.

I don’t want either, but it seems to me that behind each phenomena (medical science and religion) are two opposing ideas. One says “Only God can save” and the other says “we will save you.”

There’s really nothing to be saved from. Life is good.

I’ve Decided that evil DOES exist

I almost called this “We are fundamentally flawed”

I am sure this is one of the primary faults I find with religion, the belief that deep  down in our bones, we’re all flawed.

All men are in violation of God’s righteous requirements and His holy character both by nature and act.  – Washington Association of Teaching Christian Homes

It’s bullshit, it’s just something they say so they can control and manipulate one another. Why would I assert my personal preferences or power if I believed I was flawed. It’s basic psychology. When people believe that something is wrong with them, they won’t act in their own self-interest. Teaching children that they’re born sinners is f-ing crazy. It’s a recipe for insanity.

For the record, I didn’t start this blog to bash religion. I really intended to just write about our nonreligious life. However, I only really come here when I get SUPER upset about the evils of organized religion.

Here’s a thought- if we’re made in God’s image, then aren’t we perfect? How can they not teach their children that we’re perfect expressions of God’s will?  Wouldn’t that be the loving perspective?  Aren’t they supposed to be loving?

Here’s what ticked me off today.

Ezzo and the Pearls

Ezzo is a jackass who wrote a book that teaches parents that their newborn babies are manipulating them and that it’s the parent’s job to wage war upon the child’s manipulative sinful soul.

Newborns have teeny tummies and they know exactly when their tummies are empty. Ezzo fans don’t care, they’re not about to let that little demon control their house.  Ezzo newborns eat on a timer. Time to start eating, time to stop.

It’s funny- so many of the Ezzo moms complain about their milk supply being low- AHEM – do they have no idea how breasts work?  Boobs can’t think for themselves, they require a suckling infant to stimulate milk production. Trying to nurse on a schedule interferes with that process.

Babies know what they need, trust them.  They have no agenda, to assume that they have an evil plot to take over your Godly home is absolute insanity.

The Pearls. These guys are Ezzo’s evil twin. they teach “child training.” They want readers to know it’s different than discipline. Chidren who are TRAINED don’t need to be disciplined. If you’re not sure what training is, it’s a method whereby even tiny babies are hit with sticks until they’re too fucking scared to move or cry.

Think I’m exaggerating. they even waterboard their babies. One of the cult ladies who escaped from the Jessup thing was interviewed and she said that the father would take the newborn into the sink and hit the baby to make it cry, then pour water over his head until he stopped. Every time the baby cried, he’d get wet.  Sure- I’ll bet that baby was TRAINED not to cry.

Imagine, being so afraid of your father drowning you that you’d rather not mention that you’re hungry, wet or cold.

One of their followers actually killed her child using these techniques. They recommend a specific kind of plumbing line to beat the children with.

They have this thing called “blanket training’ The Duggars do it, too. They sit the baby on a blanket (crawling age, so 4-9 months oldish) and place fun things just on the other side of the blanket. When baby attempts to crawl off the blanket, they say no and hit the baby with a stick.  This way, the baby associates the word “no’ with pain. they actually use the word pain, they know that they’re hurting their kids and they don’t care.

WHY?

Because they believe that the babies who have grown in their bellies for 9 months have come to earth simply to make their life hell, to disturb their Stepford-appearance and to ruin their husband’s sex life.

Oh yeah, they go there.

According to the Pearls, if a man cheats on his wife, she must forgive him and try to be a better wife. If a man molests his children, she must forgive him and try to be a better wife. After all, all men are in violation of God’s righteous requirements and his holy character both by nature and act. (pardon my bitchiness here, but I just HAD to un-capitalize the word “his” It’s a fucking pronoun, OK)

Page 79: “A Command Man who has gone bad is likely to be abusive. It is important to remember that much of how a Command Man reacts depends on his wife’s reverence towards him. When a Command Man (lost or saved) is treated with honor and reverence, a good help meet will find that her man will be wonderfully protective and supportive. In most marriages, the strife is not because the man is cruel or evil; it is because he expects respect, and is not getting it. When a wife plays her part as a help meet, the Command Man will respond differently. Of course, there are a few men who are so cruel and violent that even when the wife is a proper help meet, he will still physically abuse her or the children. In such cases, it would be the duty of the wife to alert the authorities so that they might become the arm of the Lord to do justice.” (Created to be his helpmeet by Debi Pearl)

These guys are so crazy and evil that even other Crazy Christians are concerned. Wanna see more crazy quotes?  Seriously, you won’t believe this insanity.

Here’s a few tidbits, I think they call them Pearls of Wisdom on their ministry site “No Greater Joy”  because hurting babies is fun, right?

“It is apparent that most parents never attempt to train a child to obey”

Ahh- nevermind, it sickened me too much to read it all, besides the entirety of it all is so insane that perhaps you should just read it yourself to see how crazy it is.

Their pathetic daughter Rebekah is defending them but the fact is, if the Pearls followed their own advice, all of the abuse would have occurred before she could even speak. Perhaps she didn’t reat the article, you have to torture them when they are BABIES- that way they don’t dare step out of line as they get older. THAT is what they teach.

They had 5 kids, I’m trying to find them all. Shoshanna is one of them, she runs an online herb store she started as a teen. No flashing “we’re the devil” banner, it just makes me want to be sure that I order herbs from a pagan supplier, just to keep the Universe in balance next time.

One of them runs a forum where they give people homeschooling and marriage advice (all based upon complicated biblical bullshit)
My biggest concern here is that they seem so normal, but under the surface is a bubbling roiling hellfire.  Their techniques are rooted in evil, yet they’re portraying it as good. Yes, I can hear you already “How can an atheist use the word evil” and I don’t really even know the answer. I could approach it from a child development perspective, a psychological perspective, a medical perspective, a sociological perspective and absolutely every way you look at this beating-of-babies thing, it’s wrong.  THAT warrants an evil in my book.

The thing we need to be concerned with is that they seem so normal.  Sometimes I think that if one of my kids wante dot marry a Christian, I’d be OK with it.  Until I read this crap.

HURTING a baby has got to cause some psychological damage. Surely, anyone who believes this crap is clearly damaged. It’s so… convoluted.

Anyway, I am so glad I vented. I hope these wackos follow the incoming links and hear me out.  Although I doubt they’d listen. It’s clearly Evil.

Crazy religious freaks

So I come across this website for “missionaries behind bars” and find reports of some woman in prison- the writing is mainly done by her children, or typed in from letters she’s sent. She’s cleaning the kitchen, she’s trying to get into a halfway house and hoping to be released early, except she’s not. She;s PRAYING for early release.  As if God can decide to influence her captors.  Like if she’s godly enough she can go home. I’m reading line after line of endless lame dribble about her prayers and wondering- what the heck did she do?  Of course it says nothing of her crimes on the website, so I had to google “hovind prison” to discover the truth.

Her and her husband were running some kind of bogus creationism cult and didn’t pay taxes. This is America, you can do whatever dumb-ass thing you want, as long as you pay taxes on it, OK. her husband claims to be a Dr but that’s debatable.

I just don’t get why these people cling to religion like this. Why beg God to send you home. Wouldn’t you say “God wants me here?” isn’t denying reality somewhat of a sin?  it should be. I wonder if she says that Satan is the root of her imprisonment?  Because that would be like saying that Satan was more powerful than God. I wonder if they plan to pay their taxes from now on.

Can people get any stupider?

Atheist Bumper Stickers, Funny but not for my car

more
Image by Napalm filled tires via Flickr

The question of whether to bedeck our bumpers or not to bedeck our bumpers with atheistic messages is one with no easy response. On the one hand, we feel entitled to express our religious views as openly and as frankly as many Christians do with their schools of proclamatory fish and their “No Christian Left Behind” attitude. On the other hand, we don’t necessarily want to scandalize the neighbors. In a sea of “One Nation under God” stickers, atheists often feel they have to choose between censure and silence.

For those who decide to make their rejection of faith public, deciding on the right bumper sticker can be a tricky matter. Is saying you’re “Proud to be an Atheist” enough? Is asking “In case of Rapture, can I have your car?” too much? Will a sticker that’s playfully irreverent be perceived as arrogant and antagonistic? Will a sticker that gives no quarter result in a keyed car door or a punctured tire? In the end, it might be better to endure the rapture stickers of theistic drivers in silence rather than to slap something equally offensive onto our own bare bumpers.

Unfortunately, when we drive in public, we have very little control over who sees our bumper sticker or what they think of its message. You never know if the next person to read it will be the pompous hypocrite you were hoping to provoke into rethinking his own vehicular verbalizations or the quiet Jewish kid from down the street. And given that most of us can ill afford to offend the people who live and work near us, discretion is usually advisable. After all, what will your boss think when he sees what your evolved Darwin fish is doing to his Christian ichthys?

An atheist friend of mine recently learned this lesson the hard way when a Christian coworker spotted his “Don’t pray in my school, and I won’t think in your church” sticker. When his attempts to evade the coworker’s car failed, he found himself apologizing afterwards for what surely must have been perceived as an insult. The fact that some Christians select stickers that effectively threaten non-believers with an afterlife spent in an eternal lake of fire in no way made him feel any better about matching their offensiveness with his own.

So while it may be tempting to counter indignity with contempt, a more rational and humanistic message, such as “Coexist,” might serve you better. After all, the negative reputation you earn from that single inflammatory message can stick around long after your bumper sticker has disappeared from the other driver’s field of vision or has been removed from your car.

If, in spite of what any sense of decorum might tell you, you decide to bedeck your bumper with the most controversial statement you can find, be prepared for disapproving gestures and accusations to come your way. You may be ready to argue it out with an equally opinionated theist driver, but it takes a certain brand of jerk to keep from flinching when the blue-haired granny in your rear view mirror shakes her head in dismay.