Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Posts Tagged ‘Atheism

The Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab and I Said Namascray, Bitches

My friend Lisa has been asking me to go to yoga with her for going on three years. I did Pilates before and I really rebuffed the woo of yoga. 

I had been so wrapped up in my atheist identity that I left no space for anything that might be misconstrued as metaphysical or a threat to my non-belief. 

But I got to rehab and it was 12 Steps and find a higher power and honestly, my higher power is me! There’s nothing bigger than my own will to do right by myself.

I met Christine. She was our yoga and DBT instructor. Learning to sit with my own thoughts, listen to my own breath, stop worrying about who is checking out my ass in down dog was a very difficult task.

Christine invited me to be completely non-judgemental. With myself and with others. To laugh at myself if I fell out of tree pose. To cry when she touch my forehead during savasana. To feel my feelings and stop attributing those feelings to anything outside of myself, including god or whatever, that I am human and imperfect and that’s okay.

When Amy left and I was so alone, it was yoga class that helped me cope.

I am learning to understand that inner intensity, meditation and emotional literacy within myself is not connected to anything metaphysical if I don’t want it to be.

(Look! I can bloom my tree!)

I’ve got a long way to go. But I believe that this practice is saving my life, well, I believe that my choice to practice and commit is saving my life and is so much more useful than 12 step navel gazing and guilt and shame and war story sharing.

I am grateful for my mat. 

Written by thelittlepecan

May 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Things I Did Not Respond to on Facebook Today

I decided, with some trepidation, to return to Facebook.  I have some rules for myself, though.  One is to not get involved in religious, political or otherwise contentious pissing contests.  In an effort to maintain my sanity, I’m going to try out a series whereby I passive-aggressively respond to the ridiculousness I see there here. That way, I can have my say and not burn down relationships with people I love.

Episode 1:

Well, at least they don’t list Mary Magdalene as a whore. I’m unsure why we would consider those who are short, have speech-impediments, are skeptical, drink or are aging to be imperfect.  It’s rife with all the -isms.  It also misses a golden opportunity to scream HYPOCRITE! to about 10 people who I’ve seen post this.

As a fat girl myself, I’m all for body/sex/fat positive stuff.  But that isn’t all a scale is telling you.  Especially since your “relationship” (mine is rather complicated, as evidenced by all my bruising.  Hey! come to think of it, I haven’t fallen down in a while) with gravity isn’t constant (see the moon) and your body fat percentage is what it is no matter what celestial body you happen to inhabit.

Dear people of the car rider line…your child shouldn’t need a teacher to open their door to get out of the car. SHOULD your child require this…park yo butt and stop holding the line up!

All the abelism…all of it.

and my favorite

Well, let’s talk about this…

2/3 of those who receive state benefits are children, the elderly and the disabled.  Another portion include veterans and the currently enlisted and their families.

Several studies, including a 1996 report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, have found that there is no significant difference in the rate of illegal-drug use by welfare applicants and other people. Another study found that 70% of illegal-drug users between the age of 18 and 49 are employed full time.

Because poor people can’t afford drugs.
They drink.
A Florida television station, WFTV, reported that of the first 40 applicants tested, only two came up positive, and one of those was appealing. The state stands to save less than $240 a month if it denies benefits to the two applicants, but it had to pay $1,140 to the applicants who tested negative. The state will also have to spend considerably more to defend the policy in court.

And it’s unconstitutional because you have to have probably cause to search someone, it  can’t be preemptive.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority, said that the drug testing was an unreasonable search. The state can impose drug tests in exceptional cases, when there is a public-safety need for them (as with bus and train operators, for instance). But the Fourth Amendment does not allow the state to diminish “personal privacy for a symbol’s sake,” the court said.

“The simple fact of seeking public assistance does not deprive a TANF applicant of the same constitutional protection from unreasonable searches that all other citizens enjoy,” the court held.
And for more
The reason your employer can make you take a drug test is because they are not the government and they are not bound by the Fourth Amendment. Don’t like being drug tested by your employer? Form a union and put it in the union contract that your employer cannot drug test you without probable cause. To simplify this, the government cannot search your person (peeing in a cup is searching your person) without probable cause. Being poor is not probable cause. Your employer has a fairly wide latitude of things that it can require as a condition of employment.
and this
Fact one, drug testing by the government without probable cause is in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Fact two, in the studies done so far, there is no benefit to performing these drug tests. Fact three, your employer is not the government and is not bound by the Fourth Amendment. Fact four, drug abuse is not just restricted to the poor. It goes across all social classes, and just because the poor have no voice does not mean that they can be made into scapegoats.
Thanks for reading and more coming soon…

Written by thelittlepecan

November 6, 2013 at 11:35 am

Sunday Alcohol

Worry not; I’m still not sick of complaining about being an atheist in the South.

So, Sonny Perdue is out and good thing since he was effectively the laziest governor in the history of the state.  I’m not sure that, well, strike that, I’m quite positive that Nathan Deal with wreak havoc in Atlanta, but at least he was willing to let the idea of Sunday alcohol sales go to a vote.

But, shock that it may be, the Christian Coalition has effectively killed any sneaking measure that would let adults chose when they buy alcohol and on what day they drink it.  Oh.  Wait.  We are already allowed to drink on Sunday.  What’s that you say?  We can buy it by the drink on Sunday, too?  And, holy crap, drive home afterwards?!

Coalition president Jerry Luquire says, “We’re suggesting that our supporters tell their city councilman or commissioner to call their state senator and say alcohol is an issue that divides us. Just leave Sunday alone.”

What, exactly, about it are we supposed leave alone?  Plan ahead, I’ve heard.  Why?  Why do I need to do that?  Is there some reason Sunday should be sacred to me (other than the sacred standing of sleeping in)?

I will never understand why grown-ups insist on policing other grown-ups over something completely legal in every instance except the most ridiculous one.

Oh, and yes, the Christian Coalition still exists.  Thanks, Ralph Reed.

Update:  There’s a protest planned for the Capitol on Wednesday.  Some are planning to attend drunk.  I have to work.  A load of crap, I tell ya.

Written by thelittlepecan

February 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Posted in atheism

Tagged with ,

What’s in a non-belief?

My friend Kent sent me this NPR article by Penn Jillette, who’s like the funniest atheist out there.  He’s also pretty poignant and I gotta give him credit for this one.   When you don’t believe in god, there is no one to alleviate your sins, no one to forgive you but the people you’ve wronged and no one to shoulder the guilt you feel but you.

I’ve been having a bit of a time with this recently.  My parents, my step-mother and my father, recently allowed me to move into a townhome they own while I pursue my master’s degree.  I’m responsible for utilities and any living expenses and they will waive my rent.  This is a fantastic opportunity for me and my son and really, even for my mother who’s been ready for me to get out for a while.

It’s also opened up a lot of really deep wounds, wounds that are barely scabbed over and quite honestly, wounds that have probably been weeping with infection for the better part of five years, maybe even longer.

This is not the first time this offer has been made to me.  The last time, I lived in a family rental for four years.  It had been renovated after an elderly family member (who was a hoarder) died so that it would be habitable again.

When I moved out, it needed a second renovation.

It’s taken me all these five years of sobriety to even begin to look back on my drug use with any type of reality.  I try to leave excuses by the wayside and own up to the decisions I made, but that’s hard.  It’s hard to admit that we’ve taken advantage of those we love.  It’s hard to admit that you lived in filth, of your own doing, even though an alternative was clearly provided.  It’s hard to admit that we’ve stolen, that we have been liars, that we were not a person of integrity.

Who wants to admit those things about themselves?  No one, but we have to.  We have to first be honest with ourselves to begin the path of forgiveness.

Here’s where the non-belief kicks in.  God is not going to forgive me these things I have done.  The only person, who can forgive me, is me…and each individual that I have wronged.  That’s probably the only one of the 12 steps I agree with, making amends.

I had dinner with my step-mother last night.  I was really nervous, but glad we were taking steps towards healing our relationship.  She was honest with me and I tried to be honest with her.  Sometimes that is really difficult, the honesty.  Admitting the whole of who you are to someone can be really scary.  I came out as an atheist and that felt really good.  I made a promise to live up to a new commitment and I really felt like I received a level of forgiveness that was wholly undeserved, but truly appreciated.

Without god, there is no one but me.  Me and who I am, for better or worse, and how I approach my relationships.

We made a commitment to honor the word honesty in our relationship.  That’s all I’ve got for the New Year.  I think that will be quite enough.

Written by thelittlepecan

January 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Posted in addiction, atheism

Tagged with , ,

What’s a Good Atheist to do During December?

Well, hopefully spread good cheer.  Right?

(Plus all the other stuff I talked about in The War on christmas Pt. 3)

One way we can spread good cheer is to just spread the good.  I’m broke, a new grad student who’s had almost no luck finding a job, but I could at least spare $5.  Donate a small amount, or whatever non-perishables in your pantry that you know you won’t eat to a food bank, clothing to Goodwill or a few hours to a soup kitchen.  Even better, do all of them! This year, at the request of one of my Religious Roundtable friends, I donated to a charity that helps find homes for disabled orphans in other countries such as Serbia.

Another way to spread the good holiday cheer is to get involved in holiday events in your community, like these good folks from the Brazos Valley Vuvuzela Atheist Marching Band did by participating in the Bryan/College Station Christmas Parade.

[The idea that a vuvuzela is an instrument that’s players can  be organized into a “band” is another topic altogether that makes me cringe mightily.  We’ll let that go for now.  (It’s not nearly as annoying as it sounds…or loud.)]

Apparently, and certainly not surprisingly, the efforts of the Marching Band were not seen as cheerful or particularly welcome as you can see by a local mother’s reaction in this news cast.

As you can see in both videos (or by reading the write-up in the Examiner) the band played several traditional Christmas songs, wished people Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa, so as to be inclusive of as many people as possible in their greetings.  This was met with “disgust” that local children might be exposed to a different world view.

We are, as they say, damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

I’m starting to realize that there is no “high road.”  We are to be silent.  We are to especially be silent during the Advent, Lenten and any particularly patriotic seasons, lest we tarnish them with our presence.

So, what is a good atheist to do during December?

Shut up and hide.


Written by thelittlepecan

December 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Posted in atheism, religion

Tagged with , ,

The War on Christmas Pt. 2

So, yesterday I talked about why people push back against differences of opinion, especially on religion.  This comes out expectedly during the holiday season.  When minority opinions challenge the perceived best interests of the majority a threat to hegemony is revealed, causing friction.

Today, I want to talk about the dichotomy of “keeping Christ in Christmas” versus the capitalistic orgy that is the holiday shopping season.   I recently wrote a paper, “The Business of Being Christian,” (shameless plug!) about the transition of capitalist consumerism and affluence as an example of Godly blessings to religion being a capitalist commodity all its own.   This, l have realized, is painfully obvious during the Christmas season and is more than a little difficult for many believers to accept or reconcile.

Christmas is arguably the most (or second most, depending on who you ask about Easter) important holiday in the Christian religion.  It is definitely the most important season during the American fiscal year.  There’s no other time when businesses can almost guarantee a jump into the black no matter how poor the previous 8-10 months have been.

Now, I don’t doubt for one second that many believers actually do abhor the rampant consumerism exhibited during November and December.  But, for many this seems to be a hidden conflict that is projected onto those who wish to take Christ out of Christmas or those who fail to acknowledge the “reason for the season” just by their preference to celebrate a purely secular version of the holiday season.

The reason for the season has been for many, many years rampant consumption to the nth degree.   As religion becomes a bigger commodity (The Creation Museum, the Holy Land Experience, and Prosperity Gospel are all fine examples of this) it becomes very difficult to separate the secular  (or Profane, thank you, Weber!) from the sacred.  So, if the blame for this fuzzy line between the two can be placed on those who do not wish to celebrate anything sacred, then those who truly move the transition along are exempt from responsibility.

The war on Christmas is not being fought by non-theists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews or Muslims but is a product of the ever increasing commodification of Christianity by Christians themselves.

Written by thelittlepecan

November 30, 2010 at 11:46 am

Posted in atheism, religion

Tagged with , ,