25 June 2014

Six-Word Memoirs for the (mostly) Non-Religious

I ran across a book recently called "Not Quite What I Was Planning, Six-Word Memoirs." I found it when researching information about Piper Kerman who wrote the non-fiction "Orange is the New Black" (which is very different from the fictional Netflix series.) One of the editors of the Six-Word Memoirs series is Larry Smith, Kerman's husband.

The book features six-word memoirs from mostly unknown people, but some from names you might recognize, including Larry Smith, Piper Kerman, Arianna Huffington, Dr. Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, Nora Ephron, Amy Sedaris, Joan Rivers, A.J. Jacobs, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephan Colbert, Daniel Handler, Michael Finkel, and Roy Blount, Jr.   I skimmed through the names quickly, so may have missed some. There were some common names such as Steve Allen. In most cases I decide it wasn't the famous one.  In the case of Steve Allen, he died in 2000 and this book was published in 2008, so I figure it was not THAT Steve Allen. And, of course, you might recognize names I missed.

The ones written by famous people were not distinguished from the regular folk.  I didn't even notice most of them until I went back to search for them.

You can read more six-word memoirs in this book or the additional ones (below) or online at http://www.sixwordmemoir.com.  You can also submit your own at that web site.

I was surprised that relatively few were about a complete and total devotion to God or Jesus. On the other hand, there were more than expected about the loss of faith or rejection of religion. My surprise was based on the 15% of our population that fall into various freethought categories as opposed the the 85% who considered themselves religious. Of course, the ones in the book were chosen from many more by the editors, so we don't know the total number of religious vs. non-religious six-word memories submitted.

Here is a sampling of doubters, the lapsed religious, non-believers, freethinkers, disenfranchised, and even one excommunicated......

Catholic school backfired. Sin is in!     ~Nikki Beland

Being a monk stunk. Better gay.     ~Bob Redman

I lost god. I found myself.     ~Carinna Tarvin

Raised Jehovah's Witness. Excommunicated at 22.     ~Kyria Abrahams

Lapsed Catholic; failed poet; unpublished prayers.     ~Marc Sheehan

Baptist Mom. Jewish Dad. Atheist. Surprised?     ~Sara Faith Alterman

Suburban Christian child. Hippie agnostic adult.     ~Shannon Barnes

God chose. Said no. Now what?     ~Adam Blackman

Atheist plus Methodist make Jewish children.     ~Richard Michelson

Beat death thrice. Still not religious.     ~Shan Palmer

God who? Oh, him. No thanks.     ~Carin Rhoden

Friends all Jewish. I'm merely neurotic.     ~ Brian Mahon

Met Jesus early, then ran fast.     ~Cher Tushiah

And a few from the religious (with commentary from me):

Living for Jesus because earth sucks.     ~Johnny Johnson

(Is this one implying that God didn't do such a great job with creation.)

Not a good Christian, but trying.     ~Alexander Tsai

(Does he mean trying as in "very trying"?  At least he's honest ---doesn't come off as holier-than-thou.)

Montana Jew ---drives Toyota, holsters pen.     ~Michael Finkel

(Talk about a fish out of water....)

Mormon economist marries feminist. Worlds collide.     ~Michael McBride

Mormon feminist loves husband, hates patriarchy.     ~Caroline Kline
(I wonder if these two are married.)

Still a very bad Mormon. Yay!     ~Marsha Brown

(Not sure if she is saying "Yay!" to still being a Mormon or being bad at it.)

Atheist alcoholic gets sober through God.     ~Bob Todd

(Maybe he is not longer alcoholic, but could still be atheist.)

Working with what God gave me.     ~David Schmoyer

(Do I sense a bit of disappointment here?)

Girl loved Jesus.  Girl loves boys.     ~Lindsay Robertson

(I notice that "loved Jesus" is past tense---maybe now loves boys instead.)

28 March 2014

March Badness ---vote for the most outrageous right wingers

March Badness is a way to vote for the most outrageous actions or statements by right wingers.

Click HERE to see who is in the running and to vote through April 7, 2014
Small-minded Metcalfe

One of my votes goes to Darryl Metcalfe (unfortunately my own state representative) for preventing an openly gay state house representative to speak.  I guess Darryl forgot we have a Bill of Rights that includes free speech.  

Darryl is one of those little men who can't see beyond his own image in the mirror. He votes against anything that would benefit anyone who is not like him.  He is, of course, white, male, straight, and Christian.

After last June’s landmark Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, which overturned most of the Defense of Marriage Act, Pennsylvania’s first openly gay state representative, Brian Sims, wanted to share his joy in the decision on the House floor.  As soon as he began speaking his mic was cut off by Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe.

Why? Metcalfe said:
“His talking about that [marriage equality] on the House floor would have been an open rebellion against Almighty God and God’s word, against God’s law. And as a Christian, if I would have sat there and been silent, it would have violated my conscience because of my beliefs as a Christian.”
Metcalfe has risen to a leadership position in the GOP-controlled House, serving as the chair of the powerful State Government Committee.  This is despite (or because of) his history of attacks on LGBT, immigrant and non-Christian Pennsylvanians.  Metcalfe has even called veterans “traitors” for supporting cap and trade.

Vote in the #MarchBadness Bracket - #18 (PA) State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe http://www.marchbadness.org/?year=2014&rnd=2&seed=1

26 March 2014

Should Your Employer Control Your Birth Control Options?

If we allow employers to control birth control options based on their own religious beliefs, what else will some be able to control based on their personal belief system?

Some religions don't believe in blood transfusions. If you need one, will your employer's religious beliefs determine if your health insurance will cover a necessary transfusion?

If your employer were a Christian Scientist, could s/he decide you don't need to have any health coverage at all?

Shouldn't all medical options be covered ---and then if an individual chooses not to use birth control or have a transfusion, the individual could refuse to use that benefit, not that person's boss?

I'm a senior citizen who will never need to use birth control again. I'm willing to have it in my health plan if it means that those people who want it or need it will have the option of using it or refusing to use it themselves.

Religious freedom should be an individual choice, not mandated by anyone else, not an employer, not anyone.

Medical decisions should be made by a patient with input from a doctor, not an employer.

Read more HERE.

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