I was rushing to yoga practice today. Since it was pretty full, I ended up next to a group of high school-aged girls. While we were holding poses, they were fidgeting around and falling and were all over the place. It was probably a combination of peer pressure, distraction, and lack of conditioning that caused the fidgeting.
It takes a lot of strength to do yoga. It’s a hard practice. And I laud them for getting out there and doing something good for their bodies. When most kids would be out doing drugs, watching TV, or playing video games on a Friday night, these girls were getting their asses kicked of their own free will.
Another plus is they forced me to focus in on myself. If I had focused on them, I’d have been all over the place too. I had to dig deep, breathe, and find my own little bubble of resilience. So tonight was a learning experience all around.
Maybe they learned a Black girl with an afro can be a kick ass yogi. And I learned that my mind and body, when they work as a unit, can overcome wiggly obstacles with just a modicum of resort. I consider it a win on both sides.
Posted in atheism
Tagged teenagers, Yoga
Happy Holidays to all my godless brothers and sisters. The next time someone chides you for not being Christian and celebrating Christmas “just because,” or tells you “Since you are not Christian, why are you celebrating Christmas? You can just skip it,” let that person know what the season is really all about. Or you can just explain to what the holidays mean to you.
People who don’t believe Christian dogma aren’t celebrating Christmas “just because.” We celebrate because we want to be included in our family traditions. We celebrate because we love to see our loved ones’ faces light up when they open up that mystery package. We celebrate because every day of our brief existence is worth celebrating. We are not pretending to be something we are not or usurping a ‘taken’ holiday “just because.” Atheists just want to celebrate life without all the nonsense.
And if we wish someone a Merry Christmas, it doesn’t mean we believe Jesus even existed. It just means we want that person to enjoy the holiday. Christmas means whatever we want it to mean.
Take your Bah Humbug elsewhere!
Christmas is about longer days, iced cookies and family shindigs. End of story.
The real reason for the season.
Oh, and that sciencey obliquity stuff too. Yeah.
I once went to a wedding at a Greek Orthodox church. It ended up just being a religious ceremony with a nervous couple waking around in a bazillion circles in front of a priest for 90 minutes. I wasn’t bothered … Continue reading
I hate this question. Seriously? You are asking an atheist why she hates a god. Those who don’t see the ridiculousness of such a question are incomprehensibly thick headed.
An atheist, by definition, is someone who does not believe in the existence of deities. Atheism is not a religion, it is a state of being. In just the way that I am brown, I am atheist. I don’t believe I am brown. I know I am brown. I reject any assertions I am not brown (unless, of course, you are calling me some fancy synonymic word for brown). In the same way, I don’t believe I am atheist. I am atheist. Atheism is not a belief or a religion. Atheism is the rejection of the existence of deity in exchange for an evidence-based existence.
Atheism is NOT believing that there is no god. Here is an analogy. I don’t believe there is no god in the way I believe I will make it to work on time Monday. Believing I can make it to work on time implies that I also believe there is a chance I could be late. In that case, the logical thing to do would be to wake up and leave the house earlier than usual.
But a person who believes no god exists also may believe there is a chance a god may exist. That is agnosticism at best. I am NOT agnostic. I am an atheist. I know there are no gods. There is zero evidence of any deity. Therefore I reject the hypothesis altogether.
So why would you ask an atheist why they are mad at something he or she does not believe even exists? That’s like asking me why I am afraid of gryphons. It’s a completely illogical question because GRYPHONS DO NOT EXIST!
Seriously. Stupidest question ever.
Yes, bibles are allowed in public school. No, bibles are not banned from public schools. Anyone who tries to tell you bibles are banned is selling you something: that is a flaming bag of malodorous fakery.
Bibles ARE allowed in schools. Just because a kid might feel embarrassed to bring a bible to school is not proof of any claim that the kid is prohibited from doing so. Peer pressure and prohibition are not the same things. Kids can have bibles in school. Kids can talk about religion in school as it may relate to history or literature. If such a discussion goes off on a tangent, I can see how a teacher would want to bring the discussion back onto topic. I can see how a teacher or other students might feel uncomfortable about talking about it. But that doesn’t make it against the rules.
Additionally, I hold that attributing the increased incarceration rate to lack of bible reading is not wholly truthful. Consider the role institutionalized racism has played in increasing the incarceration rate in this country. I believe that racism is the most influential factor in our increased prison population. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics‘ report “Prisoners in 2010,” Black men are imprisoned at 7 times the rate of white, non-Hispanic men. Black women are imprisoned at 3 times the rate for white, non-Hispanic women. Racism stymied education. Racism motivated the War on Drugs, which is singularly responsible for the imprisonment of nearly 20 percent of today’s prison population. Racism drives people to the streets and to crime to earn a living.
Racism is built into our social and government institutions. Urban centers with majority Black populations tend to have poorer schools, higher teacher-to-student ratios, higher teen pregnancy rates, and higher dropout rates. If one cannot get a job because because he or she lacks the necessary education, what does one do? Many people take the easy way out: sell drugs, become a prostitute, go on welfare, join a gang (all of which are arguable harder than taking the high road in the end). Sure, some people can and do turn to a church. But the church doesn’t have jobs for everyone. And joining a church won’t magically earn one a diploma.
Injecting religion into schools serves only to violate the rights of those – like me – who choose not to observe any religion as well as those who observe a different religion. The solution to every problem may seem simple when ones solution to everything is more religion. But religion doesn’t make racism go away. (Heck, religion even motivates bigotry in some cases.) And the fact that a simple claim of religious piety does not elicit the blind respect of yesteryear does not prove that our society needs to dump the First Amendment.
Personally, I’ve got no problem discussing the role religion played in shaping our society. But I draw the line at using lies to support giving religion a higher priority in public schools.
Common knowledge predisposes us to the ups and downs of human existence. The mere coincidence that we live puts each being on this Earth at the mercy of forces beyond control. One day you may be working and playing, minding your business. And the next? The earth could shift and destroy your home. A storm could sweep away everything you cherish. A wrong turn could end your lucky streak. In a day, an hour, an instant, your mood, your health, your well being, and even your life could change.
I think one of the most difficult experiences a person can feel is knowing death is imminent. I do not speak of the inevitable death we all will share. I certainly do not spend my days thinking about my own demise. (Though I spend much of it attempting to prolong my life.) I mean watching a friend die slowly. When you know the end of your days together is too close, when every word, every nod, every touch brings back the horrible memory that this friend’s body is failing him for the final time, the sadness can overtake you.
It can be so hard to put on the happy face. You can try not to think about it. Other people may try to cheer you up. You might over-compensate, forcefully constructing new memories between you at the end. But spending the extra time cannot slow down or stop the ascent of nothingness – the end of consciousness.
It doesn’t matter if this friend is human, feline, or canine. Life’s most precious gift can also be its curse. Years of unconditional love and friendship make the end of it all so much more tortuous. The greater the years, the freer the tears. And there are just so many of them.
I know that death is a part of life. But does great knowledge ease the pain of losing a friend? Can immense wisdom alleviate this affliction the specter of death has brought upon me?
Death is life. We don’t have to like it. We don’t even have to accept it. We just have to deal with it.