Thursday, March 25, 2010

Been busy...

I've spent the past week getting information together and editing that information down and then re-adding, cutting - you know my usual nightmare of writing. But this time it was for a guest post over at The Friendly Atheist. I'd written a quick note to Hemant Metha about the Christian Religious Education and Chaplaincy programs that I've been trying to get my head around for the past few months and he asked if I'd write something up. Enter panic. Dithering about on my blog about bras, periods and my goofy but lovable kids is one thing, but something serious on an activism blog - big step for me. But I did it.

Hard enough trying to balance this blog between not annoying some family who are Christian and politely ignore my atheism so I kind of don't go too much into the issues, and then thinking, fuck that - it's my blog! Where else am I supposed to talk about this stuff? Feeling guilty because I've lost quite a few regular readers/commenters over the past few years with coming out as an atheist and talking about some of my issues with religion in the world. Yet, finding that I have gained lots of friends who agree and support me has been wonderful. I also have a few folks who tell me "You're being obnoxious and attacking chrisitans. Get a better argument." which I think every atheist needs to hear as does anyone who takes it upon themselves to break the social taboo of discussing religion or politics in public. On the flip, I've also had to talk a few christian friends down from their indignation because any word of criticism of Christianity is taken as a personal attack.

Learning to deal with folks who are highly reactive and happy to condemn my opinion but shut down on any kind of counter has been invaluable.

I've received a ton of emails and links to read and get caught up on. The flow of information is becoming overwhelming - but exciting. Finding the answers and then more questions. Making contact with like minded people.

I need to make an update video, but will have to wax my mustache first and wait for the redness to go down.


Had coffee with other moms this morning which was great. I even talked at length with the CRE teacher who it turns out, has a lot in common with me. She was born and raised in the UK, lived for a few years in Boston MA and now lives in Melbourne with her two daughters. She didn't ask why Shorty wasn't in CRE, but we did talk about how the USA goes well over the top on holidays like Halloween and St. Patrick's day, where it's a much smaller affair everywhere else.

Was talking to Shorty last night about CRE and how she feels about being the only kid separated from the rest of the group for that time. She says she's ok with it. I do worry at some time she'll feel excluded, or the kids will ask questions she'll not know how to answer. Which turned out to be good instincts because when I asked her "Do you understand why we don't want you in the CRE class?" she answered with "Because it's all rubbish," and I realise have to get better about talking in whispers with my husband - this kid has batlike hearing! So we had a talk. Fingers crossed she understood, but may take a couple more chats to reinforce.

Must bake!


phonakins said...

"It's all rubbish" heh

Canberran here who never understood why I was in scripture classes in primary school (NSW) or why the Asian kids didn't have to go (in the days when there was only a few of them in my Newcastle school).

Out as an Atheist now, but now always as vocal as I'd like to be. Times when work won't allow it.

jomamma said...

What an honor! You are so eloquent.

BTW in Texas we don't make a big deal about Halloween and St. Paddy's day in schools anymore.... they schedule Teacher In-Service and Spring Break around them. That way the kids aren't in school on those days.

Anonymous said...

You had coffee with the other moms! That's awesome! I'm glad you're making friends in your new place.

Nej said...

Holy HAVE been busy. That was quite the article! Nice work!

I'm still trying to decide if I'm agnostic, or atheist (and what the difference between the two truly is). I'm intensely skeptical, at the very least. :-)

trinity67 said...

It's been my personal experience that people who label themselves as Christians are also extremely judgemental. So I don't even bother participating when they start blathering as I have more important things to deal with.

Lyvvie said...

Thanks folks!

Phonakins - Nice to meet you. It's a shame you feel you can't speak your mind. What are Canberra laws regarding religious discrimination. Certainly it should extend to non-religious, too? It's why blogging is so important to people who can't otherwise share their opinions. It means they don't burn a slow hole through their stomach linings.

Jomamma - Well, we weren't talking so much about in schools, but society as a whole. We shared stories about trick or treating, and church basement "Ghost walks" and the green beer. I think the SPD stuff is especially insane in Boston.

HiH - Yeah! They meet up every other week and it fits with my new year resolution to say yes more often to meeting up and accept invitations to join in more.

Nej - Well, I think an atheist is one who denies the existence of all gods. An agnostic thinks there's something spiritual and bigger than us all, but so far no man or religion has correctly interpreted what "it" is and they reserve judgment. Others of course disagree, but that's my take on the two.

Trinity - I have a few amazing, open minded and caring christian friends who agree some of the young Earth creationist stuff is rubbish. They'll speak out against the irresponsible and hate preaching Christians. I admire those friends. We need more like them and they need to speak out louder than their less christian behaving "cousins".

Sy said...

Lyvvie, great article. I get so sick of people trying to shove their religious beliefs down my throat that I recoil from religion altogether.