On Barricades and the Stifling of Divergent Opinion

I’m going to use some ugly words in this essay. It makes me squirm whenever I have to do that, but in this case it’s necessary in order to make my point.

 

During the formative years of my life I spent every Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening at the Missionary Baptist Church in which my parents (well, mostly my mother) raised me. I got to know that church’s teachings very well: I was one of those kids who took everything very seriously and listened carefully to what the authority figures – chief among whom was the pastor of said church – had to say. I was then (as now) a very impressionable, vulnerable person. This trait is sometimes described as “hypersensitivity.” It’s the reason that I became a musician. It is also the reason that I have taken “spiritual” things so seriously throughout my life: there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve read the Bible much more closely than most Christians, and I’ve scrutinized the holy books of some other cultures almost as thoroughly. More importantly, I have reflected deeply on that reading: have tried to download it into my very cells. I’ve been open to it all, and believed it all. I need to enlarge a little on that in order to make my meaning clear.
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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”

Top 10 Atheist Websites You Need To Bookmark

1

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/

 

Finding the “best of the best” can be a daunting task. You want it. You need it. You crave it. Reddit has a system of “voting” basically. It allows users to rate content from all over the web so the good stuff is in plain sight, and the less than good stuff gets buried. Reddit is the world’s web’s largest atheist forum covering all topics related to atheism, agnosticism and secular living.

 

2

http://www.atheismunited.com/wiki/Huge_list_of_atheist_agnostic_skeptic_humanist_websites

 

Resources are key. You have to be able to find what you are looking for in a moments notice. This page “keeps the links on a given page to a reasonable number.” avoiding Social Media Groups/Pages and Spam.  Atheism United Wiki List, might just be the most conclusive list of websites related to atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, humanism, non-belief, and any other godless word you choose to use.

 

3

http://www.atheistsites.net

 

Again, Resources are key. No one site has them all. The structure of this site is simple and effective. This directory includes most of the top atheist websites plus some useful small sites. Note that the category structure is necessarily imperfect since some sites could fit into more than one group. Also note that several categories contain links to articles and other resources that might interest an atheist.
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Top-10 Books That Changed My Life

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My life as a reader really began while tearing through “The Cooper Kids Adventure Series,” by Frank Peretti. My parents bought me the entire series as a gift, and I read at least a few of the books during an family vacation spent winding through the western U.S. in (or around) the summer of 1992. Since that trip, and were I to guess, I’d say I’ve read 1,000+ books. Compared to many in my social circles, it’s a relatively modest number. Crunched into the calculator, it’s like averaging one-book-per-week for 22 years, or somewhere thereabout. But my reading habit waxes & wanes–and I’m no speed-reader! At times, my reading schedule is pure mania, barreling through book after book in my library. At other times, however, it’s difficult for me to even pick up at the pages I left off. (Life is life & seasons are seasons, right?) But through it all, through every one of my life’s many twists & turns, books have been an integral part of my day-to-day.
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