Response to Mr. Pooky: Fw: [atheists-36] Debate in the atheists community

From: Norma Jeane Y.
Sent on: Monday, July 29, 2013 7:59 AM
Mr. Pooky,
 
I agree with everything you've said--the different angles you looked at the issue from -- the pros & cons & inbetweens.  You have illustrated your position by showing the value of the contrast between the "street language" -- raw & politically incorrect from the 14-yr.-old young Texan woman -- & the academic, "thought-through" style that you have responded in.  BOTH are valuable, as you have asserted.  There's a time to "tip-toe" -- & there's a time to put it in plain language.  The 14-yr. old female citizen of Texas spoke in the vernacular that was meaningful to her.  Yes; it had "shock value."  And, like genius humorists/comics -- all the way from Mark Twain to Lenny Bruce to Bill Mahr -- sometimes the Truth has to "jump out & Grab you" to "Get Through." 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When people are free to think for themselves -- & not just mouth platitudes or regurgitate "politically correct" dogma -- then the "wisdom of the whole" can work for the benefit of the community -- And the individual.  That's why Freedom of Speech is such a precious right in our democracy (or Republic, if one wants to be "technical"). 
 
 
 
 
 
And Right to Privacy is "right up there With" Freedom of Speech.  The young Texan woman was asserting her U. S. citizen Right to Speak her Mind about what she feels is Invasion of Her Body by the name of the "lord" who is actually running the Texas legislature:  Jesus, "guru" of the Christian religion -- or followers of what Jesus is supposed to be about.
 
 
 
                                                                       ***
 
 
 
 
LOVE is a very complex word.  It is not an easy "black or white" morality.  It comes in every shade of color.  Many decisions are extremely complex & necessarily involve a whole spectrum of choices & assessment of potential consequences.  Decisions that are deeply personal, such as this young woman is speaking about -- the Choice to conceive a child (or Not) -- or terminate a pregnancy are not approprite territory for the church or government to get involved. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
That's what she's saying:  "Keep your church (& government by extension) hands OFF my BODY!"  She chose the word that "says it all":  "Jesus" -- because it's the "Jesus freaks"/"Jesus enforcers/Controllers she is protesting.  She said in a few words what many people "beat around the bush" to say -- & then never Really SAY it!  Sure it feels jarring to hear it--especially to people who hold that word sacred.  However; like the prophets in the Old Testament in the Bible who delivered messages to the people to jolt them out of their stupors, this young woman did the same thing:  She "jolted" people out of their blindness.  She got their attention-- & Ours.  Once you get people's attention, you can perhaps get them to listen.  But only if you can get them to "open their minds" a bit.  If they insist on keeping their minds closed -- & want to inflict their closed-mindedness on your mind & life, then other measures have to be taken--such as Dr. Martin Luther King demonstrated with his eloquent & non-violent confronting & protesting of the centuries-long scourage on the public morality & individual humanity of slavery and its continuing aftermath of racism.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Just as Adam said, blacks & women & gays didn't win the rights they have (so far) by "keeping quiet."  NO!  They spoke OUT.  They got out & Marched.  They put themselves on the line.  They said, "Enough is Enough."  Sojourner Truth, a female slave in the early pre-organized feminist movement days challenged, "Ain't I a woman too?"  Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus -- & women in the later feminist movement that began in the '70's symbolically burned their bras as a protest to All of the "Chains" (Restrictions & Constrictions) (sanctioned by sexist, toxic religions, including major Christian denominations) that were binding them in a prison of inequality.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So--I salute this brave young woman for speaking out--even though the manner in which she did offended many.  Milder speech was falling on deaf ears.  The Texas legislators refused to Listen to the female citizenry of their state.  So--stronger, plainer words needed to be spoken.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mr. Pooky, your last comment about unbelievers choosing to discover the world with "honesty and integrity" -- but without "magic":  I would say that Life is "magical."  If one has the Freedom to Live it.  The "magic" of a sunrise or a sunset or the ocean or any other of nature's beauties-- the "magic" of a smile or a hug or the softness of a kitten -- any of the wondrous & wonderful experiences that are a human's right to experience -- are not possible if one is denied the right to Love -- in all ways as consensually desired -- safely -- without fear of unwanted pregnancy.  Young 14-yr.-old Tuesday was protesting Her Life & Her Joy! --her "Right to Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness" as the U. S. Constitution guarantees & our "founding fathers" intended -- being "taken away" by the Texas State legislators--literally Invading Her Body & deciding whether to "sentence her" to a life of fear of loving & being loved (which lack of birth control & access to abortion as a backup to failed birth control affords) in a Safe -- & therefore Free way.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Love is the most important thing in Life.  It is the Only thing that can heal the wounds that have come down to us through Time.  It is the Only thing that can heal the fragile state our planet is in.  This young woman was protesting her Right to Love being taken away from her. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Beatles' song from the '60's sums it up well:  "Love is All You Need."  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"What is Love?"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First of all, it is not "one size fits all."  It is something that has to be interpreted again & again as life & people, situations & environments change.  It is something that people need to be able to think about freely, individually -- without mindless religious brainwashing interfering.  The Texas (mostly male) legislators have No Right to tell this young woman -- or ANY woman Who to Love, When to Love & How MUCH to love.  They don't live in her mind, body, spirit & emotions.  Thus; she was every bit justified in "telling them off" -- for they had "crossed a line" -- They had invaded the boundaries of her Personhood!  Since they weren't listening to Reason, she had to Shock them with something they would pay attention to:  a word they hold sacred.  And -- it was not "blasphemy" in the "way" she said it, either . . . in my viewpoint . . .Because. . . 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                         ***
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In my formal studies of Christianity when I was in the fundamentalist religion (& as I was leaving it & since then) & force fed from childhood through college, I read & pondered Jesus' messages.  I realized that Jesus' essential message was far different than what the churches were teaching & doing.  That's why I wrote the Letter to the Editor of the main city newspaper in Chattanooga, TN in 1971.  I entitled it, much like the young woman's placard in what I felt were truthful, though "inflammatory" words:  that "Jesus was a Feminist" -- & like Tuesday, the young woman in this situation -- released a "firestorm of backlash."  I received hate mail, threats, name calling -- many ugly accusations. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The blinded religionists could not Hear what I was saying, even though I quoted from the Bible itself & reasoned from those quotations in my letter to the editor.  I referred to Jesus' treatment of women on earth, his decrying of the double standard; his denouncing of hypocrisy.  He confronted the greedy, sexist Pharisees.  He consorted with a "woman of the night."  He accepted & loved the "undesirables."  He refused to be an elitist.  He taught equality for everyone.  And he also said that people should listen to their "Inner Guides," as he said "the kingdom of heaven" was "within."  In other words, think for yourself -- & speak your mind.  That's what he did.  He modeled love & compassion. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If he were literally alive today, walking the earth (instead of existing in a mythological or historical record;  he would be appalled at the things being done in his name.  He was an original rebel.  And--I believe he would rebel, as this young woman did-- at the attempts to control her Right to Love.  He was about Love & Freedom.  He would have made a good hippie.  He was a revolutionary.  But the Church has corrupted Jesus' essential message & substituted one of their own.  One of Ego & Control & Subjugation of Women.  Jesus uplifted women in a time of gross sexism by the Jewish religion &  culture. 
 
 
 
 
 
So--this young woman was "Right On!" to use his name as an authority for her Right to Love & her Right to Ownership of her body.  Jesus was for individual freedom--not groupthink control.  If the religious fundamentalists could "open their eyes & minds," they would realize that she was "standing up" for Jesus & denouncing those legislators who were acting very "UnJesuslike" -- in fact; Pharisaical!  Jesus wasn't into "Control."  He was into individual freedom & thought--doing what your heart told YOU was right--not what some Outer Authority said! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Even though she said it in a street language style, she was actually defending Jesus' essential message & being a "prophet" herself for her time.  A "dick" would be a male person who would be discouteous, unethical, obnoxious & invading of others' boundaries.  That's what the young woman said the Texas legislators were doing.  Being "dicks."  And she said Jesus would not do this. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Jesus isn't a dick!. . ." her sign proclaimed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
He would never do what the Texas legislators were doing, her sign asserted:  Invade her body with their laws.  Jesus defended & advocated for the "spirit" (heart) of a person -- not the "letter of the law" like the Pharisees did.  The Texas State legislators are modern-day Pharisees--trying to legislate the personal behavior of everyone--even in their bedrooms.  That's what the Pharisees were trying to do:  Control People's private lives.  Jesus condemned that attitude & behavior.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So -- really, the Texas State legislators -- & all Christians should feel Complimented by the young woman's sign, even though "coarsely" written.  Jesus was not a "dick" -- a Controller.  He wouldn't Invade her body -- he would Free her Body!  -- to Love without fear! -- to Love by Choice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
--Norma J. Young
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Death Pooky
To: [address removed]
Sent: Sunday, July 28,[masked]:21 PM
Subject: Re: [atheists-36] Debate in the atheists community

   The nice thing is, there is no "right answer" on how to behave.  Atheists come in all forms - the only commonality is the one thing we don't believe in.  We need all types in our community...if everyone was polite fewer people would be aware the atheists were out there fighting for our right to be heard.  On the other hand - If everyone was aggressively outspoken then neither side would bother listening to the other.

    We have seen recently the positive attention as well as the negative feedback to the outspoken and contentious atheists (Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, etc.).  Their controversial nature is what makes them great interviews regardless of which side of the debate you're on (Fox has been a great partner in giving atheists airtime despite their intent to override the atheists).  We need people to see these outspoken atheists and realize there is a growing voice of the non-believer.  Without these representatives getting their "message" out there, the soft spoken and reasonable members of the community could be dismissed as isolated "deluded" individuals.  Instead people see it is another valid choice when deciding what to believe.

   Take note of the women's rights, civil rights, and gay rights movements: What success do you think they would have if they were all quiet and non - controversial?  Do people default on these issues that silence implies consent?  Possibly.  An issue is certainly easier to ignore if nobody is making a fuss.

   I don't want you to infer I'm saying that the less provocative people are less important...I think they are MORE important: being able to discuss rationally and calmly the issues of modern day religion is the way to show the issue is personal and reasonable, and to show that we are all just trying to discover the world with honesty and integrity.  Some of us just choose to do it without belief in "magic".

Death Pooky


On Jul 28, 2013, at 8:37 PM, Jeffrey wrote:

I agree with your contention that religion has been used for "evil" purposes - one of the reasons I became a non-believer.  The debate I am raising is how to we deal with the issues regarding religion that furthers our cause in the general public rather than hurting it.  I understand your approach of "you are either with us or against us".  I am not sure I agree with this approach.
 
I am aware of the divide in the community between the "neo" wing that espouses visible and proactive (and some would say provocative) action versus the more "passive" wing and everywhere in between.  I am interested in the debate - I do not know what the "right" answer is.


-----Original Message-----
From: Adam
To: atheists-36 <[address removed]>
Sent: Sun, Jul 28,[masked]:18 pm
Subject: Re: [atheists-36] Jesus isnt a dick, so keep him out of my vagina

In the last decade we have dispatched American troops to foreign lands with religious scripture on the recievers of their weapons, used religion to deny gay people their constitutional rights, and used religion to truckle women who want control over their own bodies so yes, I do thinly these issues rise to the same level of importance!

Do you disagree??

Sent from my HTC on the Now Network from Sprint!

----- Reply message -----
From: "Susan
Date: Sun, Jul 28,[masked]:19 pm
Subject: [atheists-36] Jesus isnt a dick, so keep him out of my vagina
To: <[address removed]>

You must be kidding me.... Likening the freedom of religion to slavery and sodomy laws?

Sent from my iPad

On Jul 28, 2013, at 4:27 PM, Adam wrote:

>
> Well, black people did not win freedom by softly opposing slavery and gay people did not overturn sodomy laws by being ever so subtle about their freedoms, why should we be different? I think the sign makes people think; makes them uncomfortable with the directness of the young girls position and points out the exact and intimate way a woman sees their intervention into her personal matters.
>
>
> I do not espouse violence or confrontation of a physical or abusive nature but I am all for making the religious uncomfortable about the absurdity of their position.
>
>
> Bigots, self appointed moralists and control minded
> egotists only understand direct and passionate opposition everything else is seen as a positional weakness to be exploited to strengthen their case and weaken ours. Sadly, it is not a rational discourse it is an argument between the rational and the irrational, that is the truth of the matter!---
> Stay well,
>
> Adam
>
> This message, and any attachments to this message, may contain technical data that is subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) controls and may not be exported or otherwise disclosed to any foreign person or firm, whether in the US or abroad, without first complying with all requirements of the ITAR, 22 CFR [masked], including the requirement for obtaining an export license if applicable. In addition, this message, and any attachments to this message, may contain technology that is subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and may not be exported or otherwise disclosed to any non-U.S. person, whether in the US or abroad, without first complying with all requirements of the EAR, 15 CFR[masked], including the requirement for obtaining an export license if applicable. Violation of these export laws is subject to severe criminal penalties.
>
>
>
>
> \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"To make an apple pie you must first create the universe\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"....Carl Sagan
>
> --------- Original Message --------
> From: [address removed]
> To: "[address removed]" <[address removed]>
> Subject: Re: [atheists-36] Jesus isnt a dick, so keep him out of my vagina
> Date: 07/28/13 13:49
>
> Then the question is how to you deal with the religious extremists without alieniating the moderate and tolerate religious.  Somehow, I feel that the sign does more harm than good.
> There is that old saying that you attract more flies with honey than vinegar - or whatever it is if I blotched it.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam >
   To: atheists-36 <[address removed]>
> Sent: Sun, Jul 28,[masked]:58 pm
> Subject: Re: [atheists-36] Jesus isnt a dick, so keep him out of my vagina
>
> I used to espouse tolerance and respect as well and found that it was mearly seen as not being secure in my position.
>
> I no longer tolerate the religious by respecting their position since they do not respect mine. They are the ones making the absurd claims and thus the burden of proof is on them and I point that out.
>
> My position is not that god does not exist (no need to prove a negative) it is that there is no proof or even credible evidence that he does and therefore the concept at its core is flawed. To not point this out is to legitimize an illegitimate concept and thus admit doubt as to the atheists position of skeptisism.
>  
> I used to make this mistake out of the desire to not embarass the religious by bludgeoning them with rationality but after seeing the evil religion has done in the last decade, the wars, the humiliation and attempted subjugation of women, and the attempts to control our public discourse from the pulpit I realize that silence or concilliation equals consent to continue the pattern. I do not consent and therefore I speak up without apology or any form of respect for the absurdity of religious feilty!
>
>
> ----
> Stay well,
>
> Adam 

> This message, and any attachments to this message, may contain technical data that is subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) controls and may not be exported or otherwise disclosed to any foreign person or firm, whether in the US or abroad, without first complying with all requirements of the ITAR, 22 CFR[masked], including the requirement for obtaining an export license if applicable. In addition, this message, and any attachments to this message, may contain technology that is subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and may not be exported or otherwise disclosed to any non-U.S. person, whether in the US or abroad, without first complying with all requirements of the EAR, 15 CFR[masked], including the requirement for obtaining an export license if applicable. Violation of these export laws is subject to severe criminal penalties.
>
>
>
>
> \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"To make an apple pie you must first create the universe\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"....Carl Sagan
>
>
> --------- Original Message --------
> From: [address removed]
> To: "[address removed]" <[address removed]>
> Subject: Re: [atheists-36] Jesus isnt a dick, so keep him out of my vagina
> Date: 07/28/13 13:15
>
> While I understand the thinking behind the sign, I think that being disrespectful of religion will do the movement more harm than good.  It gives them an excuse to sway the majority of the population that are more moderate and tolerant.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: joseph
> To: atheists-36 <[address removed]>
> Sent: Sat, Jul 27,[masked]:58 pm
> Subject: [atheists-36] “Jesus isn’t a dick, so keep him out of my vagina
>
> A 14-year-old Texan stirred a considerable amount of controversy last week with a quippy sign protesting the state’s sweeping new abortion restrictions. Tuesday Cain’s message, written on brilliant pink poster board, read: “Jesus isn’t a dick, so keep him out of my vagina.”
>  Billy and Tuesday Cain outside the Texas Capitol (Credit: Billy Cain)
> Soon after, an image of Tuesday and her advice to Texas lawmakers started making the rounds on Twitter, and reproductive rights opponents (and jerks on social media) wasted no time in losing their damn minds over it.
> On Monday, Tuesday’s father, Billy, came to his daughter’s defense, writing for the Guardian that he was proud of Tuesday’s willingness to stand up for her convictions — and her basic human rights — by coming out to protest the law (with some serious flair):
> As parents, we believe that children should be taught continually, instead of just at school. My daughter and I have been to city council meetings to watch and discuss how politics gets done in the city. We have taken our children to the Capitol repeatedly because it is important for them to understand how politics affects them personally. When Sen. Wendy Davis was stopped from filibustering, I woke my daughter up so that she could watch the proceedings on the internet. We stayed up until 3.30am watching more coverage and researched the issues together. I explained as best I could what the bill itself would mean to women in the state of Texas, as well as how it would influence politics throughout the United States if it were passed. When my wife and I decided to go to the Capitol, we welcomed her to come along
>
>
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