Whenever I can, I love attending atheist conventions. The several that I have attended have been over 2-3 days and have had some really wonderful speakers, events, and vendors. The first atheist convention that my husband and I ever attended was about 2012 or so, I think, at an event called Skepticon.
My husband and I had been chomping at the bit to spend time with others of like mind. We'd watched and listened to other conventions on purchased CDs and DVDs during the naughts with excitement. So we clearly remember the first convention that we were finally able to attend.
Atheists like myself who now enjoy being open will recognize some of the speakers: Rebecca Watson, David Fitzgerald, Richard Carrier, PZ Myers, JT Eberhardt, Joe Nickell, David Silverman. And Greta Christina. Jerry and I felt amazed! The openness, the goodness, it was like taking a drink after being in a desert. Finally, human beings who were openly discussing issues that are so often glossed over in the world.
Greta Christina is a woman who has written a couple of "atheist books" and who is a regular speaker on the atheist convention circuit. I'm delighted that I've had time to speak with she and her partner over several meals shared at the conventions. (though I seriously doubt she remembers me at all. ) Her book Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless is a book that I've read several times and have, even, plagiarized the idea of here on my blog.
This morning a video of her doing the talk came across my FB feed through two friend of mine, Pam and Scott. Listening to this talk again today brought up some other reasons why I, a totally kind and nice and positive atheist, am pissed off at religion. Strap yourself in.
- Today, a cousin of mine posted THIS DRIVEL; and she means it:
This crap is religious rhetoric that is ACTIVELY keeping us all trapped in our homes for fear of continued outbreaks and infection of this hideous virus. Over THREE HUNDRED days after our general and public knowledge of it!
- Now, speaking as a therapist working with human beings who are wounded, traumatized, pained, and shamed by their varied religious upbringings:
- SHAME. Good, kind, well-meaning human beings who are, now, living with a sense of being irrevocably wrong or evil or bad, all thanks to the absolute nonsense taught to them with the expressed goal of making them unable to doubt, question, think clearly, leave their parents' religious community.
- SEXUAL ABUSE. Again, good, kind, well-meaning human beings who are, now, living with a sense of being irrevocably wrong or evil or bad from having been used and abused as children for the sexual gratification of some grotesque adult who was unable to get their sexual needs met in a healthy relationship with a consenting adult. Not to mention the protection that the church has and IS affording the offenders, while shaming, wounding, and not choosing to support the actual victims: the children.
- SELF DOUBT. Good, kind, well-meaning human beings who are, now, living with a sense of being irrevocably wrong or evil or bad, ADULTS who struggle with those long-ago messages that good exists within this tiny box of what is acceptable, necessary, worthy of love. ⃞
- SUICIDAL. Good, kind, decent, well-meaning human beings who are, now, living with a sense of being irrevocably wrong or evil or bad, unworthy of this life because their brain's unlikely ability to break through the brainwashing is allowing for questions, reason, exploration of concepts outside of the box. And the brainwashing tells them that free thought is sinful, unworthy, and not worthy of life.
- TRAPPED. Good, kind, well-meaning human beings who are, now, living with a sense of being irrevocably wrong or evil or bad if they question or attempt to live outside of the male-dominated, white-dominated lists of what is OK.
From domestic abuse to racial disparity and white superiority to male-dominated roles in life, these good hearts, in addition to struggling to change life-long behavior patterns, also have to deal with the negative self talk that they've inherited from their parents, their community, their culture, THEIR GOVERNMENT and their religions.
DAILY, I am working with beautiful human beings who are tortured by the brainwashing and upbringing within religions. Grown men and women who sob, cry, scream themselves into exhaustion for the struggle of the hideous, ugly, bullshit brainwashing...
OH, YOU BET I AM.
Me too, Greta.
P.S. Greta, if you're ever here, PLEASE leave a comment! 😉