Cellar Door Skeptics #91: Military Transgender Ban / Voting in Off Years / Gerrymandering / Physics Life

Coming back this week with a politically charged action packed episode, we will be discussing the Transgender Ban from mr Donald Trump with Marissa McCool.  Later we tackle voter registration with Christopher Reader and why local politics are needed in off years.  We also will cover Gerrymandering and what the new Michigan law will bring if it gets passed.  Lastly we close talking about if Life came from nothing and if it was random chance or design.

 

#Transgender #MilitaryBan #VoterRegistration #Gerrymandering #Physics

 

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Links

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https://www.facebook.com/IncitingIncidentPodcast/

https://www.facebook.com/Cisplaniology/

http://incitingincident.libsyn.com/

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/us/politics/transgender-military-trump-ban.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/us/politics/trump-transgender-military.html?_r=0

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https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/MVIC/VoterSearch.aspx

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/olmstead/why-you-should-vote-today/

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/07/17/group-submits-michigan-ballot-proposal-end-gerrymandering/485228001/

https://www.wired.com/story/controversial-new-theory-suggests-life-wasnt-a-fluke-of-biologyit-was-physics/

In Defense of Rachel Dolezal

This is going to be very unpopular.

I expected conservatives and people further to the right of the political spectrum to demonize Rachel Dolezal, the self described transracial woman and erstwhile Spokane NAACP president; but the vitriol coming from the left and social liberals has taken me completely by surprise.

 

1

 

The uberliberal everyday feminism posted a video by a transgender African American woman transplaining why Rachel Dolezal isn’t allowed to transition from white to black.

 

2

 

Mic.com posted a collection of “amazing tweets” concerning her interview with Matt Lauer, which is really just a collection of half witted one liners like this Jem which sounds like something your bigot uncle might say at thanksgiving when your cousing comes out as transgender.

3

 

Here’s the rub. Just because Rachel Dolezal lied about her identity and background, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s lying about identifying as a black woman and as feeling a closeness to black culture. Just as someone who is transgender doesn’t feel at home in the social role that has been ascribed to them, Rachel and others like her don’t feel at home in the culture they’ve been ascribed.
Continue reading “In Defense of Rachel Dolezal”

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

leelah

“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”

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.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 2.14.36 PM

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/