Pole dancing for Jesus just seems seedy

March 23, 2011

Back in 2007, mojoey was “What the hell”ing over an article he’d found about Christian women at a spa who’d started a pole dancing exercise group and today I come across another such story.

“God gives us these bodies, and they are supposed to be our temples and we are supposed to take care of them,” instructor Crystal Dean told ABC affiliate KTRK-TV. “And that’s what we are doing.”

For one Sunday each month, Dean teaches free classes to Christian women who bring in their church programs.

There is biblical approval of mixing religion with song and dance, namely, Psalm 149:3: “Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.”

The assumption being, sexy in the bedroom with a pole will stop husbands from becoming adulterers and thus sinning out of the bedroom. Or as Ms. Tweed states, it “actually brings a husband and wife together as Christians to deepen the marriage bond” so go ahead and install one, presumably.

Dean and her students say the class is indeed just another opportunity to worship God and practice their faith. The students dance to contemporary Christian music.

One local pastor is less than convinced by their arguments, however. Rev. Ron Krueger is quoted in the article as he tries to play the “it’s demeaning to women” card which just makes me laugh, considering how many bible verses there must be about women needing to be subservient to men and should shut up when a man speaks and yadda yadda.

Contrary to my post title, I’m in the “they can if they want to” category. If the marriage is worth improving and this looks like a way to spice it up, crazy go nuts with it. Anyone who wants to try this to spice up a love life should take the opportunity. They’re not wrong about the fitness aspects of it. I’ve seen pole dancing done and I was really impressed. Sure, there are other ways to get fit but they want to show off their newly fit bodies during a private bedroom activity designed for an audience of one and the pastor is not the one being invited. What two people choose to do in their bedroom is up to them. Personal opinions to the contrary should stay out of it.

Part 2 for the Break the Silence conference

March 19, 2011

So then in the afternoon, there were a lot of choices as to where to spend time. For my first session I chose to listen to three different people talk about their experiences. Eric is a university student who made the transition from tomboy to lesbian in his teen years to real boy now and reported on how supportive the USSU Pride group at the University of Saskatchewan campus was as he went through this, and continues to be family and support for him and so many others.

Deanne McKenney, a professional educator, talked about the man she once loved who went through the process of becoming a woman and how she herself dealt with that surprise – badly. She shared her mistakes and regrets and very emotional, heartfelt moments from her life as she went from anger, to grieving for the loss of this man she knew, to getting to know the woman she’d become and finally realizing she was still the same person after all. It was quite moving, especially for some nursing students in the audience who realized their education was missing something very essential in terms of how to deal with this end of the medical spectrum. Some of them hope to entice a speaker to a conference they’re prepping so more students can become aware of these issues.

The third one was actually the second to speak but I wanted to write about her last because Sara went through a bullied hell at my old high school, a hell I never imagined it’d ever be there. Mind you, I was there from 1990-92 and was totally clueless. I hung with the church girls and went to bed early. I never knew about parties or drugs or alcohol or gangs or anything else that was going on while I was there. I was so very, very sheltered and ignorant.

I do recall there was an area in the school called Jock Hall, though, where all the cool sporty guys would hang out and tease anyone who looked a bit weird. There was one guy I knew who dealt with that all the time. I don’t know if he ever reported it as harassment though. Probably not. I know other kids were in the habit of taking the long way around to classes and lockers just to avoid them. So the idea of Sara being bullied wasn’t unsurprising, but the extent of it shocked me, from assaults in the hall to swirlies (people actually do that?!) and other shit.

[edit Mar 20/10: looking at what I wrote here, this needs amending. I just meant that bullying is so ubiquitous and it doesn't take much for a kid to be made a target of it. It's bad enough to be picked on for hairstyle or weight or physical features or interests (this I know all too well). When it ramps up to the level of insulting one's identity through race, religion, sexuality, and people still don't do a hell of a lot about it, then that's a bigger issue than what's happening to one kid. PFLAG started an ad campaign in Saskatoon to raise awareness of this issue, and has posters for schools, too.]

It got bad enough that she had to switch schools. She found a lot more acceptance coming out as gay there, and got involved with a Gay Straight Alliance group there. They soon came to the conclusion that it’s not enough to have such a thing at one school; the whole city is in need of it. So they made arrangements for space somewhere in town and just had their first meeting. She never said how many turned up but she was pleased with the number. It’s about time the city’s crappy motto, “Where life makes sense,” edges a bit closer to reality.

Since that talk was titled “It Gets Better,” the Youtube videos that run with similar promises got a mention but one of our Freethinkers attending this session pointed out that it’s not enough to make that promise. It’s not enough to assure kids that things will improve after high school. Things have to improve now. Things need to be getting better now, and the only way that’s going to happen is if support is there from every side, gay, straight, or whatever. They need allies every step of the way.

The other talk I chose was done by Carla Blakely, an ally herself, and a Lutheran pastor. Her focus lately has been on going back to the original translations of the bible to reexamine its interpretations, especially considering the fact that most interpretations have come from a heterosexual male perspective from a time when the notion of “woman” as we have it today didn’t really exist. She shared some alarming medical nonsense people used to have about what women were (misbegotten men) and how reproduction was thought to work (sperm was babies). She showed illustrations from old medical texts where the uterus was considered to be an inverted penis and the fallopian tubes were mislabeled as testicles. They just weren’t making the cognitive leap that women were a completely different gender with different sexual organs. They supposedly didn’t even know there was such a thing as a clitoris until Renaldus Columbus “discovered” the thing in 1559.

Yeah, her talk was really really really interesting.

Anyway, the point she was getting at was that beliefs about humanity and men and women and male and female and theories about the “reality” of Genesis versus the nature of creation mythologies has had a big role to play in where people get the idea that God hates gays and why they’ll embrace that nonsense and fight any attempts to increase the rights of gays and lesbians. She suggested that some of this trouble has lied in the way the original Hebrew was translated, losing its intent through misunderstandings and misinterpretations. She gave an example out of the Greek, too, a Roman soldier asks Jesus to heal his slave. She said in the original Greek that word wasn’t slave, it was “dear one,” suggesting to her that Jesus accepted the nature of same-sex relationships and had no problems with it and translations edited it to be other than intended. She also said she’s run into people who believe the bible’s always been in English. I find that to be quite hilarious.

And that was that for the 14th annual Breaking the Silence On Issues in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity conference.

Well, almost. An achievement award was given out. It’s named after the late Peter Corrin, who I never heard of, but he and his long time partner, Murray, were heavily active in gay rights across Canada and their list of accomplishments is a long one, including the right to adopt and foster children. What also interested me was a situation in Surrey B.C. involving a fight between a teacher and his school district regarding his desire to include three gay-friendly storybooks in his classroom as part of a lesson plan. The school vetoed that idea initially but in 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada

held that a local school board could not impose its religious values by refusing to permit the use of books that sought to promote tolerance of same-sex relationships.

So that was good. Anyway, the recipient of the award this year was the one name I did not write down. I guess I was too busy listening at the time but now I don’t even remember what he said.

This day was so jam packed with education and information..it really could have been set across two days for the amount of stuff they had going on. Other Freethinkers were in attendance and went to some of the other sessions so after I’m done my oath talk and discussion session tomorrow, I hope I can find out what some of them got out of it.

One point that did get brought up on our way out today, the concern that this conference is going to get too religiously leaning. A lot of sessions had to do with how churches are dealing with gay rights and that’s going well and terrible, depending on what church they talk about, or even what parish of what denomination. Some of the speakers were gay and Christian, or at least still retain much of what must have been giving them some solace during their struggles, but I think I can return to the question Shawn was asking here: why stay with a group or community that isn’t going to respect you?

Yeah, some churches are changing, allies are coming out of the woodwork and willing to put their careers on the line for human rights and a good fight and all that but over all, will the stress of this be worth it in the end? Will changing the churches get easier as young people take up the spaces elder (bigoted?) leaders will eventually leave behind? Are they going to make a difference? I heard a few speakers mention other churches aligning themselves with countries like Uganda, which consists of a government that’s on the cusp of making a terrible decision for dealing with homosexuality: death sentences. If any of those churches have their fingers in local political pies, what kind of future policies will they support or kill?

Something that maybe could have gone on the evaluation for suggestions… I wonder if they’ve ever asked GBTL atheists to share stories. There must be some who lost their faith as they embraced their sexuality. There have to be some who realized their religion wasn’t going to allow them the freedom to be themselves, questioned what they’d always been told and came to realize freedom could be easier once free of god-belief. I think it’d be worth getting that word out, if they haven’t yet. [mar 20/10: meant people in and around Saskatoon or further who'd come and speak at something like that.]

Saw Marci McDonald speak last night; should’ve read her book first

March 19, 2011

It’s called The Armageddon Factor: the Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada. A revised paperback edition is coming out later this year with some updates, some of which I think she touched on last night. I think I’ll get myself a copy when it comes out.

Marci’s the keynote speaker for Saskatoon’s 14th annual Breaking the Silence On Issues in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity conference. She’ll be discussing other things regarding her political journalism in a session at the university today, but there are several running at the same time and I’m at a loss for deciding which ones I should sit in on. They’re running two sessions over the afternoon with a choice of 4 talks in each one.

A few sound like they’re geared mostly toward educators, counselors and others who might work with youth. For the ones that interest me, one’s called “Giving Voice to the Trans Community: A Saskatchewan Perspective” which will deal with trans people and their thoughts about the DSM-IV and revisions to the section on Gender Identity Disorder. The other is “Three Different Stories About How It Got Better: Opening a Conversation” where people who’ve dealt with social and personal challenges are willing to talk about those experiences.

In the second session there’s a talk called “Que(e)r(y)ing the Image of God” which gets my vote for most likely to pique my interest. According to my weekend itinerary the talk

“challenges the foundation for the male/female binary which undergirds cumpulsory heterosexuality, the foundation of heterosexism. The queering and querying of the traditional interpretations of traditional myths destabilizes heterosexual hegemony and offers an image of God which is inclusive of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transexuals, and intersexed persons.”

There’s also one about human rights that would be good blog fodder, though, as might “The Hetero-Patriarchal Gaze: A Capitalist Story” which will focus the straight white men that dominate media and corporations. No doubt I’ll find myself wishing I had a time turning device so I could repeat the same hour three times and hear all of them.

I’ll write up a synopsis of the day when I’m done it, I guess. Things kick off at 8:30 am and I see there are three talks filling the morning – one about a couple people exiled from church, another from the police about bias and hate crimes, and something called “Good News: Hope We Can Believe In” which will get us to lunch.

It should be good and informative.

Breaking the Silence

March 7, 2011

Should they wish to fork out for this, those in and around Saskatoon can attend the 14th annual Breaking the Silence On Issues in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity conference. If you register by March 11, it’s $40 for the whole thing and $50 after that date (there’s a cheap deal for students, retirees and the under-waged). It’s being held at the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business and they did nothing in the way of making their website about this pretty. But no matter.

Marci McDonald will be speaking in ESB’s Room 18 on Friday, March 18th. She wrote The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada and will be talking about where “in Heaven’s Name” Canada’s politics are going. If this is all you want to take in, $10 is all they’ll charge you. I haven’t read her book but it looks pretty interesting.

Other weekend events listed on the program:

A plug for Camp Fyrefly: “Canada’s largest, volunteer-based, summer leadership retreat for sexual minority and gender variant (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, two-spirited, intersexed, queer, questioning) and allied youth.” — as stated on their site.

Plus workshops —

* Andre Grace: “Helping Sexual Minority and Gender Variant Youth Grow into Resilience”
* Jai Richards, “Giving Voice to the Trans Community: A Saskatchewan Perspective” • Sheelah McLean, “Sexy You!(th): ‘Buying in’ to Raunch Culture”
* Zakaery Gudmundson, OneSong Transgender Support Services, “Human Rights and the Transgender Individual”
* Jen Green, “The Experiences of Lesbian Teachers in Saskatchewan Schools”
* Kit Loewen “Habits of the Heart: Teacher Advocacy for Social Justice”
* Deanne McKenney, “It Does Get Better!”
* Carla Blakley, “Que(e)r(y)ing the Image of God”
* Peggy Schmeiser, “Conversations with Marci McDonald”

It’s really sounding like it’s worth the money. Consider checking it out.

New Brunswick pedophile claims God touched him

March 1, 2011

But in the good way, not the way Michael Gary Gilbert manipulated and abused boys as young as four over the course of eleven years. From the Times & Transcript:

A pedophile told a court yesterday that his desperate need to keep his homosexuality a secret led him to have inappropriate relationships with children that he now knows were wrong.

I find that to be a curious phrase. Where on earth would he have gotten the idea that it could be right?

For the first time in more than two years, Gilbert openly addressed the court about his crimes.

He said he’s sincerely remorseful for his actions and that the fault is his. Gilbert, who appeared casual and relaxed when sheriff’s officers escorted him into the courtroom in custody yesterday, had sex with six different boys at various points between 1997 and 2009.

While some of the victims were in their teen years at the time of the offences, one was only four years old when he had sex with him, which included anal penetration, and another was seven.

Five of those boys were coerced into starring in home-made porn movies besides.

In a letter he wrote to the judge, Gilbert apparently explains that his behaviour was triggered by the belief that he couldn’t admit to people that he was gay, let alone admit it to himself.

He’s glad he was caught, he said, but the last two years out of the closet, even though they were spent behind bars, have been among the best of his life because he’s free of the lies. Gilbert said his crimes were his fault and he expects no sympathy from anybody.

“I pray daily that (the victims) all find peace and healing,” he said.

Gilbert, who’s been in custody since his arrest Jan. 27, 2009, said he’s found God while in custody and plans to help other offenders to get back on the right track when he’s eventually released from prison.

“I am completely confident I am at no risk to reoffend,” Gilbert told the court, noting he’s not an evil person.

No doubt the parents of these boys think otherwise. Families have been wrecked by what he did and some of the boys were so young it’s unknown as yet what impact this experience really had on them.

In his pre-sentence report interview, he told a probation officer that he doesn’t feel he needs counselling.

Hopefully he’ll get some anyway. Maybe it’ll be mandatory as part of his sentence. Stating a new belief in God and declaring “I’m a changed man!” won’t be enough to reassure anyone that he actually is capable of modifying his behaviour in order to make good on the promise of helping others later. If he actually wants to help, he’ll have to go through counseling and then learn how to properly counsel others. It’s not like you can solve the problem by throwing a bible in the lap of a child molester and say, “Play with this instead.”

The Crown prosecutor, Karen Lee Lamrock, thinks he ought to get up to 20 years for his crimes and

said the sex offender does a disservice to the gay and lesbian community by suggesting that his efforts to hide his sexuality led to sex with children. Morris said his client didn’t mean that his sexuality led to the crimes.

“I don’t think he was making that excuse,” he said.

He said the crimes have nothing to do with Gilbert’s sexuality but rather with a condition from which he suffers: pedophilia.

“It’s a disease. It’s a mental illness,” Morris said, noting his client needs counselling. “I think he has to have help.”

Lamrock probably has a good reason to assume he’s blaming his sexuality for his crimes. There are still some who think homosexuality and child molestation go hand in hand.

Judge Alfred Brien will announce his sentencing decision on March 21st. I’ll try to remember to check back and see what results.

Weighing in on a sexism issue

February 18, 2011

There’s been a discussion/airing of grievances going on regarding a recent panel discussion at an atheist conference and the treatment of women there and elsewhere. Things got testy after some suggestions were made about women and men, and how each acts and reacts to certain behaviours. You can read the original post at Blag Hag that started this most recent round of debates on the issue, or this one from the same site trying to clarify the original article, or this one at Butterflies and Wheels that comments on video taken from that conference or even P.Z. Myers’ recent “shut up and listen to the women” post and the comments it inspired.

One of the gals in my Freethinker group has decided to start a Reasonable Women group and her decision has been met with mixed reviews. Some think it’s sexist to start a women-only meet but I’ve decided to give it a try because I’m often the only girl who turns up at pub nights and while the guys have interesting conversations, it’d be nice to talk to women, too, who might have other interests or approaches to topics that guys might not consider.

Now onto what I really wanted to write about. I’m wondering how much of the trouble between the sexes is caused by language and how each gender has been socialized to interpret it.

For example, I’m a big fan of FARK. I’m in there on a daily basis reading whatever gets posted as news, often finding myself amused by the word play used for the headline submissions. Sometimes I’m more disgusted than amused, though. Read the rest of this entry »

Journalist to therapist: still can’t pray out the gay

January 17, 2011

Journalist and gay-rights activist Patrick Strudwick went undercover (with his tape recorder under cover, too) to Lesley Pilkington’s office to see what tactics she would use to change him into a heterosexual man. The result of their meeting might spell the end of Pilkington’s career.

Mrs Pilkington, a devout Christian who says she ‘understands the issues’ because her son is gay, has treated around ten patients using the controversial Sexual Orientation Change Efforts programme over the past decade.

In tapes of her sessions with Mr Strudwick he asks her if she views homosexuality as ‘a mental illness, an addiction or an anti-religious phenomenon’.

She replies: ‘It is all of that.’

He complained to the BACP and it launched disciplinary proceedings against her, accusing her of ‘praying to God to heal him [Mr Strudwick] of his homosexuality’ and having an ‘agenda that homosexuality is wrong’.

Mrs Pilkington, who is fighting the case, accuses him of entrapment. Her defence is funded by the Christian Legal Centre.

She said she wanted to help ­others who were in a ‘similar place’ to her 29-year-old son who, she insisted, was ‘heterosexual. He just has a homosexual problem’.

‘I am not in this because I am judging people,’ she said. ‘I am in it because I understand what the issues are.

Strudwick runs the Stop Conversion Therapy Taskforce and believes Pilkington and her ilk create a bigger problem than they think they solve.

‘Every major mental health organisation in Britain and America is opposed to attempts to change someone’s sexuality… because there is good evidence not only that it doesn’t work but that it is harmful.

The APA approved the use of conversion therapy back in the 1990s, according to Religious Tolerance, but I found an APA pdf which states

All major national mental health organizations
have officially expressed concerns about therapies
promoted to modify sexual orientation. To
date, there has been no scientifically adequate
research to show that therapy aimed at changing
sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative
or conversion therapy) is safe or effective.
Furthermore, it seems likely that the promotion
of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and
contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay,
and bisexual persons. This appears to be especially
likely for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who
grow up in more conservative religious settings.

So at least they’re aware of how tenuous a prospect it is. The British Medical Association condemns the practice so I suspect Pilkington’s lawyers are not going to make much headway in terms of winning this one, unless they can prove Strudwick’s method for getting his information was illegal or something.

To finish, check out the article Strudwick wrote last February about his experiences with other gay-to-straight conversion therapists.

The purpose of this investigation was to find out how conversion therapists operate. What I didn’t expect was that I would learn how their patients feel: confused and damaged.

I began to constantly analyse why I found particular men attractive. Does that man represent something that’s lacking in me? Do I want him because he looks strong which must mean I feel weak? Did something happen in my childhood? The therapists planted doubt and worry where there was none.

My experiences, I learn, are typical. I speak to Daniel Gonzalez, one of Nicolosi’s former clients. “Conversion therapy is a very complicated form of repression,” he says. “It’s a way of convincing yourself that your same sex attractions have some alternate meaning. It continued to haunt me for years.”

I also speak to Peterson Toscano, who spent 17 years in Britain and the US trying every different reorientation treatment available. He says simply: “It’s psychological torture.”

“Why can’t the media be on our side?” — Because sex sells

January 17, 2011

Email Brigade has some anti-copy thing on it, so I can’t easily quote Marsha West’s article titled Tinseltown is on a mission to sexualize young girls. She includes some stats from the Parents TV Council’s recent study regarding this, taken from here (pdf):

The presence of an underage female was associated with higher amounts of sexualizing depictions compared to the onscreen appearance of an adult female. Though an older female character is more likely to have sexualizing dialogue in the scene, a younger female character is more likely portrayed in sexualizing behaviors onscreen.

Out of all the sexualized scenes depicting underage or young adult female characters, 86% of those female characters were presented as only being of high school age.

Only 5% of the underage female characters communicated any form of dislike for being sexualized.

One or several instances of implied nudity and/or sexual gestures (e.g. suggestive dancing, erotic kissing, erotic touching and/or implied intercourse) were in every onscreen scene that contained sexualized depictions of underage girls.

West partially blames the Devil for luring Tinseltown into creating girls full of sin

but not before she blames the Safe Sex movement and schools that don’t teach abstinence-only education. She includes some information she found at movieguide.org (a Christian family movie resource website) about how common STDs are in teen girls. It’s appalling, I agree:

A new scientific report [as of 2008] from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 25% of young American women aged 14-19 have at least one sexually transmitted disease! Eighteen percent of the girls studies had the HPV virus, or human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer. Also, of the 50% of teenage girls who admitted having had sex, 40% had at least one STD. Although some of those who want to undermine morality tried to spin the evidence by blaming abstinence-only sex education, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council noted that 75% of American public schools teach sex education based on birth control and condoms!

She mentions another movieguide article that gripes about the fact that little girls don’t want to be little princesses who dream of marrying a prince and living happily ever after any more, Disney: No More Fairy Tale Movies!

“By the time they’re 5 or 6, they’re not interested in being princesses,” said Dafna Lemish, chairman of the Radio and TV Dept. at Southern Illinois University and a self-proclaimed expert in the role of media in children’s lives. “They’re interested in being hot, in being cool. Clearly, they see this is what society values.”

And has for a while. It’s hardly a new phenomenon. What’s changed is how soon young girls can obtain sexualized imagery, clothes and toys and how that’s affecting their mental health and overall image of self worth.

West’s ultimate hope is that every conservative Christian will support and join PTC to stop the “degenerates [who] won’t be satisfied until our younger generation is wallowing in unbridled hedonism.”

I took my post title from a Hollywood Reporter article on this topic.

The PTC argues that girls are increasingly shown as having their worth dependent upon their sexuality, a media phenomenon it says leads to passivity, depression, eating disorders and low self-esteem.

The report notes that 73 percent of televised sexual incidents that involved girls under 18 were designed to be funny, thus using “laughter to desensitize and trivialize topics that might normally be viewed as disturbing.”

The study says 98 percent of the portrayals of underage girls acting in a sexual manner occurred with partners with whom they have no committed relationship, and 75 percent of such shows don’t include the “S” descriptor beforehand to warn parents what’s coming.

I’ve discovered there’s an advertising gimmick called podbusting. It’s not a new trick (MTV was using it in 2008 already), but to compete in a Tivo/commercial skipping environment, advertisers are filming actors from various shows (and/or imitating the sets) to catch the eyes those who try to avoid ads. The ads might have the feel of the program so people will stop the fast forward in case they’re missing something vital from their show and wind up seeing the ad anyway. Sneaky, eh?

I’m guessing that a similar tactic is getting used to avoid tripping the V-Chip parents can use to avoid sexual content — using a definition of what’s appropriate for young viewers that’s far looser than what a concerned parent would.

I don’t really know what would work as a solution though. PTC probably won’t be satisfied until everyone’s watching repeats of Seventh Heaven and nothing else. Advertisers and the media in general are still going to be pushing the envelope in terms of good taste without stopping to consider the age of those who might see what they do and be adversely affected by it. That’s rarely factored into the bottom line.

The media will never be on their side because sex sells and the more sexualized content they can get away with, the more eyes will be focused on their ads and programming. If it winds up being scandalous, so much the better. Nothing drives up interest better than a scandal. I doubt they’d want to go back to the world of innuendo and symbolism when televisions provide so much in the way of quality hi-definition. To quote the greencine article’s last line as mine:

The days of whistling lessons are long over.

Let’s talk about (secular) sex, baby…

January 14, 2011

I’m quoting an email I received in full.:

I am forwarding a message from Darrel Ray, author of The God Virus. He is conducting a survey of human sexuality, and is asking non-believers to complete an anonymous survey. Please complete the survey within the next ten days.

“I thought I would let you know about a groundbreaking survey we are doing on sex and secularism. I wonder if you could help us get the word out and encourage people to take the survey? We will collect data for a month or so, then shut it down and analyze it. Depending on what we find, we may publish it in a journal but it will definitely be used in my next book in some capacity. Here is the link:


This is a short survey about how your sexuality has developed over time and how it has changed in relation to your lack of belief in a god. The research is being conducted by Dr. Darrel Ray, author of The God Virus and Amanda Brown at the University of Kansas.

This survey is for ATHEISTS, AGNOSTICS, SPIRITUALISTS, HUMANISTS, and SECULARISTS. We need to have people who do not believe in a deity, or organized religion, of any sort. One additional concern is that we really want to encourage women to take the survey. Men are overwhelmingly represented in the secular community so we want to ensure we get as many women as possible.

“Jesus does not care” billboard makes people care a lot…

October 21, 2010

which was the point of advertising the website in the first place, apparently. Suffice it to say, the billboard upset a few people.

That’s a little like saying rain is wet.

“Some people have been unhappy with it because they see the phrase itself, and they don’t look past the phrase,” explained Community at Lake Ridge Pastor Brian Swiggart. “Because it is true, Jesus doesn’t care about a lot of things.”

The Community at Lake Ridge wanted some attention for its new message series about forgetting your past. The pastors didn’t expect the violent backlash.

That’s because people really want to believe the opposite of this information provided on their website:

Jesus doesn’t care who you are,
where you’ve been, what you’ve done
or how good you are. He does care
about knowing you and having a
real relationship with you.
So instead of asking what Jesus
cares about, maybe we need to ask
what Jesus does not care about.

These are people who care too much about the fact that people are gay and want to get married or want to be in the military because they want to stop gays from doing any of that.

These are people who care too much about people who support evolution over creationism and want to stop them from having control over what gets taught in schools.

These are people who care too much about Boys Scouts because they refuse to let atheists and gays in out of fear that their boys will experience different kinds of thinking and different kinds of people.

These are people who care too much about who we are and what we’re doing because they don’t like who we are and what we’re doing and think they have a god-given right to stop us.

These are people who will never be anything like Jesus and no amount of clever advertising will change that.


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