Hiding Behind a Mask Of Religious Persecution: Deny a Michigan Gay Couple’s Child Medical Treatment

By now most of you reading this have probably already heard about the Michigan Doctor who refused to treat a Lesbian couples young child for medical service. Now lets make one thing clear, she 10897904_10100399546023366_4555240943183328609_nrefused to treat the child, but there were other adequate medical professionals in the building who could treat the child. This is important, as I do not want anyone to feel that I am trying to make a case that this child went without care. The child did get care, but the question of what morals of individuals who hold deep religion beliefs should be upheld verses what is a violation of personal rights and human flourishing of the species.

 

This story hits croi-slose to home because I live in Michigan; and as an atheist, I feel that the doctors religious beliefs trumps a persons lifestyle choice and their biological sexual orientation. It would follow that they would be able to discriminate against others who do not match their religious fundamentals, which is a slippery slope that could restrict treatment to others or deny it all together.
Continue reading “Hiding Behind a Mask Of Religious Persecution: Deny a Michigan Gay Couple’s Child Medical Treatment”

Godless Offering Ep 18: Pastafarianism+Joey’s Meaty Balls

In this edition of Godless Offerings we talk with Joey Lee Kirkman author of Bedtime Bible Stories and Andrea Desky founder of P.A.S.T.A. Foundation about their new support group for Pastafarianism. They talk about their new website, why Joey left his anti-theist beliefs behind, and if pastafarianism can co-mingle with his non belief. They talk about their new membership drive and what it means to be a part of the Pastafarian Religion. Do not miss this great interview and make sure to go check out what they do. If you want more information on their Pasta Foundation, Pastafarianism, and Bedtime Bible Stories please check out our blog below.

Godless Offerings are condensed clips from shows done on the Atheist Analysis network meant to bring a shortened version of our shows or to highlight important points made during the show.

Blog: http://atheistanalysis.com/a-year-long-journey-into-pasta-leaving-atheism-behind/

Original Full Length Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6PA-QHJ86o

Religious Indoctrination Is Child Abuse [VIDEO]

“We all know that any emotional bias — irrespective of truth or falsity — can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value…. If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.”

― H.P. Lovecraft, Against Religion: The Atheist Writings of H.P. Lovecraft 

 

Also Check Out These Hot Blog Post From Earlier:

Have The Some of The Newsboys Turned Atheist?

Top 10 Atheist Websites You Need To Bookmark

[VIDEO] Theists Suffer Massive Losses Over 2014 Atheist Activism

 

Somebody took my folding table, so I’m out of business

Inspiration comes in small packages. Meet “Jeff” “47” from New York as he shares his story:

books“I’d been doing nothing but drinking for months on end, so I was getting pretty despondent. Then one day, a guy walked by with a hand truck, and dropped off two big boxes of books for anyone to take. I decided to set up a bookstand. I got a folding table, and three milk cartons, and set up right across the street. Pretty soon, more people were bringing me books, and I would sell them for $1 apiece. I had a pretty cool selection. I even had books from the 1800’s. But I sold them all for just $1. I called my business The Book Worm. I had a logo and everything—a little worm with reading glasses. I didn’t make much money. Just enough for food and some drinks, but it increased my self-esteem 10,000 percent. I never thought I’d be running my own business. I was drinking less and everything. But somebody took my folding table, so I’m out of business until I can find a new one. It sounds kind of ridiculous, but the whole business hinges on a folding table.”

 

“If this man can create such a dramatic change in his life’s path with a folding table – ask yourself what you can do with seemingly unlimited resources. What’s your folding table?” – Jennifer Rahe

Continue reading “Somebody took my folding table, so I’m out of business”

To Those Who Didn’t Make It, Leelah’s Continuing Story to Fix Society

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“I dedicate this blog to my friend Samantha and all other transgender youth who have been affected by this.  My heart goes out for them.”

As events continue to unfold with Leelah Alcorn, I felt the need to write a brief follow up to my original post, “Leelah, the child god forgot to save.” If you have not read it or heard of the situation, please check it out, give it a share, and comment on it. In short, the article entailed the suicide of a transgender teen whose parents refused to acknowledge her need and desire to transition from her birth gender of male to her correct gender of female. I asserted that religion played a role in her parent’s decisions and actions. I also posited that if religion was not prominent that the world would be better off and have one less barrier to allowing individuals who identify as transgender to be accepted.

A critique that I received was that my post was aimed too heavily at religion, and that I put religion on the center pedestal, instead of the issue that in this country transgender individuals are marginalized. If this is the way the post came off, I apologize. My intention was not to place religion over transgender issues, but to show the correlation between religion and how closed-minded some individuals are, who hold their religious cards close without ever using skepticism to see if they are marginalizing those who are different. It is still evident that Leelah’s mother and father both still hold their religion over their love for their child. Whether or not they understood what it meant to be transgender probably did not stem solely from their religion, but from the culture we live in that does marginalize transgender individuals and that does not always even understand the issue. Her parents only use their religion as a lens to view the world, and while I still contend that without that lens we would be farther along in accepting transgender individuals, I will accept and promote that her parents failed to truly understand their daughter and learn what it meant to identify as a transgender.

Continue reading “To Those Who Didn’t Make It, Leelah’s Continuing Story to Fix Society”

8 Tips to Choosing a New Year’s Resolution Right for You

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Well another year has passed.  A new year offers time for reflection and the feeling of a fresh start.

We enjoy the idea of starting from scratch and improving ourselves in the upcoming year.

Many of us have goals we’d like to get started on, but how do you choose a path that’s right for you?

I’ve given this some thought and have a few tips I’m hoping will get you off to a good start for a successful year.

So while I think you’re fine just the way you are…

8 Tips to Choosing a New Year’s Resolution Right for You

1) Really give your resolution some thought.

You know yourself best.  Avoid impulsive resolutions, especially ones you feel you’re making to keep up with others.  Choose something meaningful that aligns with who you really are.

2) Make your resolution something you want.

Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.  Make sure it’s important to you and not someone else.  It’ll be very challenging to stick with something you don’t really want to do, and you could end up resenting the person you’re trying to please.

3) Be specific.

Wanting to “exercise more” may sound good, but won’t do much to hold you accountable.  Be as specific as you can and do your best to follow a plan. Instead of wanting to “exercise more”, commit to a set routine on set days (with a partner if possible), and make it a priority.  Don’t give yourself too much room to let off the gas.

4) Be realistic.

Don’t set yourself up for failure with a goal that is unattainable.  If you’ve never played basketball before, don’t expect to be playing in the NBA within 6 months.

5) Don’t try to do too much.

Spread your focus to goals that you really want to accomplish. Ones that have been on your mind. You can’t live the next year in a panic with no free time. You need time to relax and enjoy your accomplishments.

6) Go public.

Put a little healthy pressure on yourself by making your goals known. Chat with a friend or loved one every week and talk about your progress and challenges. This will help you feel like you’re being held accountable, organizing your thoughts, and putting things into perspective. Don’t go it alone.

7) Don’t try and change everything overnight.

If your goal is to lose weight, don’t cut calories too drastically, or change every meal right away.  If you want to start lifting weights, don’t jump right into Olympic level workouts.

Don’t kill your motivation by trying to change everything all at once.  Commit to small steps and smaller monthly or quarterly goals.

8) Reward yourself.

It’s better to steadily reward yourself as you see progress instead of trying to wait until you see major changes.

Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something that won’t set you back too far.  Just keep your goals in mind.  If you’re trying to quit smoking, don’t reward yourself with one!

2015 Coming Soon

A few things to remember along the way:

  • You have to make change a priority.  At a minimum, you have to give it at least a month. Those that stick with their goals for the first 30 days are 3 times more likely to be successful! Give yourself a chance.
  • You’re not a failure if you didn’t complete last year’s resolution.  Don’t carry any negativity over from last year.
  • You’re fine just the way you are.  We all have goals and aspirations, but don’t tie your self-esteem to accomplishing your resolutions.
  • Don’t put off happiness until you accomplish your goals.  Don’t make yourself unhappy now while preparing for happiness later. Remember that all you have is now.
  • Recognize that progress is progress.  Don’t get down on yourself if you missed a few workouts last week.  You’re still working towards your goal and doing more than you were last week!
  • Don’t fear failure.  Most of what we do fails. Mistakes are only proof that you are trying and they do not define you.
  • Focus on the process, not the outcome.  Habitual behavior is very difficult to change. You’re not only trying to complete your New Year’s resolution, you’re changing your life. Enjoy the ride, even if you have to take a detour or two.

My Resolutions:

  • Maintain 3.5 – 4.0 GPA
  • Maintain my weekly blog post schedule (start podcasts and interviews as well)
  • Start speaking more consistently
  • Expand my knowledge on mindfulness

Please comment with your New Year’s resolutions and how you keep them.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share!

Re-blogged from: http://bobdempsey.org/8-tips-choosing-new-years-resolution-right/

Leelah, The Child god Forgot to Save

LeelahThe article you are about to read will be one that has touched my heart deeply. Suicide and depression are something that is of a serious nature, but when it comes by the means of bullying and oppression, I have less tolerance for it. This story is important, as I wanted to contribute to the voices that no longer can share their own voice. We need to stand up not only as allies, but also as the voices for this teenager.

On December 28th at roughly 2 am in Warren County Ohio, a teenager took their own life on the side of the highway. The teenager stepped out into oncoming traffic and was killed by oncoming traffic. While this headline may seem shocking and disturbing by itself since all suicides are tragic, a lose of life at such a young age of 17 compounds the emotional train that took me for a journey as I read through the research for this event.

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But what makes this story even more tragic is the fact that there is a suicide note left on a tumblr account. The suicide note, cryptic as it was, reveals that the teenager that committed suicide was a transgender teen struggling with coming out as her true gender identity. Joshua wanted to be identified as Leelah. She desperately wanted to see a counselor so she could start to the process for transitioning. Now many of you may think that this would be a conversation had with her parents and that help would have been provided at least to see a counselor. Instead her parents instead took her to a Christian counselor. I do not want to speculate as to what was talked about, but according to Leelah’s tumblr we can conclude that she at least saw the counselor as someone with a bias torwards what she was going through. We do not know exactly what counselors she was taken to but in her suicide not, Leelah specifically calls them out as having an agenda. What is even more tragic is the call for help she gave to her parents. They instead grounded her and isolated her away from the world, well of course except for taking her to church.Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 2.15.28 PM

This story breaks my heart as I was reading it. It breaks my heart because this lonely girl was trapped in a body she did not feel was her own. She was relocated to the corner of her parents’ life because their religion deemed her “unfit” or “against god” according to what their religion taught them. Their fucking religion came before their own daughter and her health. Their religion or how they acted on their belief is what caused her depression to go untreated. We lost a bright light this week, to the confines and restrictions that accompany religion. So if you will excuse my language and excuse my demeanor, but when this type of tragedy happens, and religion is the driving force behind what denied this young girl the help she needed, I can not help myself when I agree with Christopher Hitchens that “Religion Poisons Everything.” Had religion not been apart of this family’s life, this girl may still be alive. Leelah wanted only a few things, love and acceptance. She was denied love from her family, and she was denied proper treatment. Even if she would not have been able to find love from her family, they could have at least taken her to a counselor that would have helped her to find the strength within her self to appreciate who she wanted to be.

Some will say that her father Doug or her mother Carla were just bad parents, and that maybe it was not religion that helped them make their decision to take her to a Christian counselor. Some will say look how many others have overcome or gained an understanding of gender equality, and do not treat their children in the same manner. To those people I say, “good for you.” But look at what you had to overcome. You had to overcome a doctrine that talks badly about women. You had to overcome a doctrine that calls for the stoning of homosexuals. A doctrine that god calls for the killing of innocent humans because they were “evil”. This book is something that contains atrocities comparable to the holocaust. And even if you could use apologetics to twist what was written into something that makes you feel comfortable worshiping this god of the bible, you still have to contend with the religious side that has mutated to help control the population to make sure that it’s beliefs remain relevant. Even if we left the doctrine alone, we still have the malicious groups who strive to infect their beliefs that only men and women should marry and that there is no such thing as a transgender individual. Some of these groups push that being transgender is a selfish position, and that it is ultimately a sin. So to those who say it could have been the parents, while this could be true, at least their church pushed the belief that being a transgender is not a natural state of being, and we can say that if the religion was not there this belief would have been less likely held by her parents.Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 12.47.59 PM

So now we are stuck here, with a sad story that will haunt us. What will we do? Where do we go? I pose the first and foremost thing is to bring to light the true story. A gracious city official posted this on his Facebook, and Danielle Muscato from American Atheists shared it. She sparked my desire to write this blog, to say something on behalf of Leelah. But we need to do more. We need to get this story to the news. We need to get the news outlets to change their online feeds to correct the conception that this was a young “man” that died and that it was a young women. We need to out what the Christian community instilled in her parents and seek to bring awareness to all those struggling that there is a way out. We need to build communities that welcome in wayward teens who are struggling to find themselves or to help them become the true gender they desire. Most importantly we must not forget Leelah. We must push for the family to give her a proper burial as the girl Leelah wanted to be. We need to get the story to the media so that the truth can be heard.

If you feel moved by this piece please contact her family, contact the media and help me get the word out to correct the perception and allow for Leelah to rest in peace the way she would want to be.

Leelah’s Tumblr: http://lazerprincess.tumblr.com/
Leelah’s Suicide Note: http://lazerprincess.tumblr.com/post/106447705738/suicide-note
Leelah’s pictures identifying her: http://lazerprincess.tumblr.com/post/106096940091/im-seeing-a-bunch-of-people-do-a-6-selfies-of

Leelah’s Father Doug: https://www.facebook.com/doug.alcorn
Leelah’s Mother Carla: https://www.facebook.com/carla.alcorn

Original News Article: http://m.abc22now.com/news/Teen_Struck_and_Killed_on_I-71_in_Warren_County?mobileredirect=true
Recent News Story: http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/warren-county/joshua-alcorn-kings-mill-teen-killed-on-i-71-remembered-as-sweet-talented
Email address of local news station: webteam@wcpo.com

Links if you need help

http://www.transhousingnetwork.com

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Reddit Article: http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/2qufpb/leelah_the_child_god_forgot_to_save/

Godless Offering E06 Jamila Bey What Makes a Good Interview

This episode of Godless Offering Jamila Bey joins us to talk about what makes a good interview. She also talks about her interview with Henry Rollins and what she would ask Bob Dylan.

Please click like, subscribe, and send you feed back to us so we know if we should keep making more. Below is the links to the full episode.

Full Episode Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcDGNo…

Full Episode Description:
Jamila will be talking about the her new PodCast coming out shortly. She will also talk about the politcal climate in America. Finally she will also talk with us about her activism within the atheist community, her speaking roster, and her work with NPR.

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Live Debate Sunday! Should Abortion Be Legal with Trent Horn & Jonathan Brotherton

Atheist Analysis S03 E13: Should abortion remain legal? Catholic Apologist Trent Horn VS Jonathan Brotherton

Should abortion remain legal?

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This will be a LIVE DEBATE between Trent Horn and Jonathan Brotherton. They will be debating whether Abortion should remain legal. Jonny will be taking the affirmative while Trent will take the negative stance. Do not miss this debate as it will be a lively debate and we will have audience participation at the end of the show.

If you would like more information about Trent Horn please refer to the following links. http://trenthorn.com/ and http://www.catholic.com/profiles/trent-horn

To watch the show live and use our interactive chat please click here: http://atheistanalysis.com/current-event/

You can also watch it later on our YouTube page here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOXKVzzZUCo
Continue reading “Live Debate Sunday! Should Abortion Be Legal with Trent Horn & Jonathan Brotherton”

Atheist Analysis Presents the “Personal Journey Series” – Jonny Brotherton



In my younger days, if I wasn’t at home playing video games like any normal child, I was at church…every time the doors were open. As a pastors kid, church was the ultimate place to play. It had long hallways perfect for bouncy balls, and plenty of pews to hide under. We actually had the popular plastic crawl tubes, slides, globes that look like helicopters, giant tic tac toe, and mini climbable nets— the combination of 6 super McDonalds play places combined in our children’s department to make one massive labyrinth of exploration and excitement, complete with multicolored ball pit. It was the place some kids dream of.

From kindergarten through high school I went to a Christian private school where I participated in and eventually lead weekly chapel services. During the summers I was always in a church Bible school or participating in a Christian sports camp. As I grew older I started volunteering to support these events and participated in global mission trips. Every week I sacrificed ten percent of my income to the church and throughout my childhood created several small not for profit campaigns to fund Christian mission opportunities for others. Monday nights were visitation. We would travel to those who recently visited our church, invite them back, and on occasion discuss the Christian gospel. If there was a Christian gathering I was there; Awanas, VBS, Fall Festival, Christmas Concert, Easter Play, you name it. Every Wednesday night was our youth gathering and when I graduated, that became college group on thursdays, where I picked up supporting the audio/video department for middle school. Soon, I was managing our media services for elementary, middle school, high school, college, and even corporate services in a church of over five thousand members. I participated in a band that led worship music for the elementary and middle school departments. I led Christian small groups for middle school students and participated in college campus Bible studies.
Continue reading “Atheist Analysis Presents the “Personal Journey Series” – Jonny Brotherton”