Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Goddamn I hope they don't have lions in Texas.

As you have no doubt guessed, I am something of an internet wanderer. As such I come across a lot of things. Some of these things are good and useful things, other things are bad, evil, hateful things. I bet a lot of you were expecting some illustrative links there, weren't you? Well... tough. Find your own damn porn if you want it.

In any case, I recently came across a very interesting blog through the help of everyone's favorite intolerant intellectual, the Raving Atheist. This newly-discovered blog chronicles the experiences of one Shirley Setterbo of Houston, Texas, who is "coming out" to her coworkers and clients. In this case, however, she is not coming out about homosexuality, or bisexuality, as some of you may have expected. Rather, she is coming out about something entirely different.

She's telling them that she's an atheist, and that she has been for thirty years.

This may not sound like a lot, but Ms. Setterbo is in the heart of the bible belt. Those of you who have some experience with the region have some idea of what this actually means. Despite what must be a constantly confrontational environment, however, Ms. Setterbo has managed to speak with considerable eloquence and wisdom. This is particularly evident when she responds to the common Christian concern that we atheists are going to hell merely because we are atheists:

You know, if I were sitting at the Lord's right hand, and knew someone good, and decent was in the firey pits of hell, I'd try to talk God out of it. You know, reason with him. "Lord, she was good. She never intentionally hurt anyone, she worked hard, she adopted homeless dogs. She just had a mind that was more suited to logic than faith. And Lord, you did create her. You made her that way. You should give her a break". If I'm wrong, hopefully someone will argue for me.

I find it endlessly interesting, and more than a little disheartening, that most of the atheists I know regard the god they don't believe in much as Ms. Setterbo does, while most Christians seem to regard the one they do believe in as a callous, foolish, wrathful being. I also have to admit that her explanation as to why she has chosen to "come out" to her associates resonates with me:

I honestly NEVER had anything against Christians. I liked Christians. They were nice, I was nice, everything was cool. Then everything changed a few years ago. It was the most casual thing, but it changed me forever. I was just watching the news, and there was some protest in front of the White House, and I can't even remember what the issue was, I really didn't care about things like that then. Some sort of seperation of Church and State issue. And I saw this poster some Christian was holding up. It struck a chord in me, that I don't think will ever stop ringing until the day I die. It changed my life. It said, "One Nation, Under God...get it?". I was frozen. The image of that poster, came into my brain, and was etched there forever. It was like I was stuck in a repeat mode, I just kept saying, over and over, what? what? what does that say? what? What does that mean? you mean... "If it's one nation, and it's under God... then if your not under God, your not in the Nation?" "holy shit...they're trying to run me out of my own country". And my eyes were opened. And I began searching for like minded individuals to help me figure out what to do, to stop the madness. I think our government has made many mistakes, but I also think that if we try, we can make it right.

What will happen in the future? There's no way to know, except to follow along and hope for the best. I wish Ms. Shirley Setterbo all the best, and will be following her adventures with interest. I urge you to do the same.


Blogger Michael Bains said...

I blogged it bro. Your post is better though.



Tuesday, July 19, 2005 3:35:00 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

that's an interesting point you make about the atheists you know generally seeing god in a much kinder light then many religious folk.

i am an atheist and often find myself defending god's benevolent side to my bible thumping friends.

the debate typically seems to break down around not accepting the lord as my saviour. It would seem that acts of kindness won't get you into heaven unless you do them in god's name. i generally speculate that this is man(or women, or maybe even a power elite) projecting his own egoism on a authoritative, no matter how fictitious, deity in order to legitimate his own actions. i doubt that a truly omnibenevalent and all knowing god really cares if he gets royalties, especially since he's already supposedly complete.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Drek said...

Well, it's always nice to hear that people are liking the blog. Baffling, sure, but nice.

Chuk, I've often had the same thoughts about any god that might exist. Seems to me that any god worth worshipping in the first place would be far more expansive of spirit than we can easily contemplate.

In any case, welcome to both of you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 3:13:00 PM  

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