On February 26, 2014 Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a “Religious Freedom” bill that had sailed through the Arizona congress. It has been called the “Turn Away the Gays” law that hypothetically would have allowed businesses to deny commercial services to gay men and women without fear of civil lawsuits if the business owner had a sincere religious belief that being gay was a sin. The impetus for this bill is at least two cases where Christian business owners denied services to gay customers – a bakery in Oregon refusing to do a wedding cake for a gay couple, and a photographer in New Mexico who refused to photograph a gay wedding. The failure of this bill to pass into law has been hailed as a victory for gay rights, and the country celebrated Jan Brewer for making the right decision. [Read more...]
I have been an atheist for almost half my life. At one time in my youth I was a Bible believing, Bible teaching, born-again Christian, but as it is written in 1 Corinthians 13:11:
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
I want to explain to you what an atheist is, and offer you some advice on how to convert an atheist (I’m making a North American assumption that you are a Christian and not a Muslim).
By Martin Bell from the book The Way Of The Wolf
Once upon a time in a large forest there lived a very furry bunny. He had one lop ear, a tiny black nose, and unusually shiny eyes. His name was Barrington.
Barrington was not really a very handsome bunny. He was brown and speckled and his ears didn’t stand up right. But he could hop, and he was, as I have said, very furry. [Read more...]
(This is not something I wrote. It is something I grokked from the internet a few years ago. I think it is entirely appropriate and “right”.)
My Dear children,
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you’ve forgotten that I wasn’t actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime. [Read more...]
Years ago, I delivered a sermon about the origins of Christmas at the Unitarian church my wife and I attended. It was, understandably, well received by most of the congregation. In that sermon, I disclosed that the holiday we know as Christmas is not new, was around and in full swing long before the celebrated birth of Jesus, and that many, if not all, of the symbols of Christmas – from the manger to the tree – come from decidedly non-Christian sources. The fact is, “Christmas” doesn’t belong to Christians only, and Jesus is not the only “reason for the season”. [Read more...]
One of my favorite all time TV shows was Northern Exposure, and on that show, in one episode, came the best Christmas story and the most inclusive tidings of comfort and joy I have ever heard. It deserves to be repeated – and repeated – and repeated.
Chris, the local DJ, known for his love of Whitman, is on the radio one Christmas and shares this brief, but beautiful story of Christmas. [Read more...]
I wish I could give a dollar to the Red Cross for every time I’ve been asked this question.
“But you’re an atheist. How can an atheist celebrate Christmas?”
I’ve tried to come up with some deep meaningful answer that encompasses the history of Christmas – that winter celebrations of new life existed long before there was a Jesus figure – that the customs and trappings of a traditional Euro/American Christmas are more rooted in Germanic pagan customs than nomadic Semitic customs. [Read more...]
It is the first day of November 2013 and I have already had two posts show up in my Facebook stream about the “war” on Christmas. Seems my Facebook friends are sharing articles about a) people and businesses saying “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas” and b) public school choral concerts being required to eliminate the heavy Christian overtones of their holiday concerts. [Read more...]
Let me preface this blog post with two very important facts:
- I really don’t care for Starbucks coffee. As a home roaster, I find their coffee roasting technique somewhere between meh and blech. I have bought, and probably will buy when pressed into it, coffee from them. But I am not a fan.
- I own and am permitted to carry a pistol.
Now let’s talk about guns and coffee.
I am – kind of by default – a sci-fi fantasy comic book movie nerd/geek. While not even close to a die-hard fanboy/girl, I love the genres and cultures that your event attracts. Creativity, artistry, and ample attractive cleavage are what makes Dragon*Con awesome.