I went through a lot of old paintings to find one that didn’t show nipples. They have yet to haunt me with guilt or fear.
American culture, especially on the more conservative side, has borrowed a lot from the example of the Puritans and other intense religious groups in how they treat the human body. I think the core ideas of such an ideology are closely related to issues like body shaming, sexual obsession and violence, and the fear of nudity. It all comes down to how we treat sexuality, which has been unfairly linked to the natural state of having no clothing on.
One of the inspirations for this article was a comment by a woman who was upset about the push to allow transgender students in school to use the restroom matching their identified gender. She made one statement that made me laugh and then feel kind of sorry for her kids. She was talking about how she didn’t want a transgender guy (physically female) using the same locker room as her son, and freaking out that her son might get “an image of a girl that he will struggle with for the rest of his life.”
I was reminded of how my father talked to me about pornography when I was twelve or thirteen. He pretty much had the same approach, that he’d looked at porn when he was a teen and ever since then he’s “struggled” with sinful images in his mind. I think if you obsess over it and thoroughly convince yourself that it’s evil to see someone without clothes on, of course you’re going to keep yourself trapped in guilt. Of course you’re going to keep remembering.
Or as one of my atheist friends likes to say in response to Christians asking him if he struggles with lust, “It’s only a struggle if you resist.”
There’s nothing wrong with imaginary friends. What’s concerning is when an adult sincerely insists that their imaginary friend is real.
In this article I’ll be addressing one specific argument for the Christian god that I’ve heard too many times. When I first wrote about not being a Christian, one response I got was that I must have never been saved because if I had experienced “true salvation” I would know it and would never forget it. In other words, if I’d been “truly saved” I would have felt subjective feelings so strongly that I would be absolutely convinced for the rest of my life that the Christian god is real.
The problem with this, aside from the fact that people think they know my private thoughts, is that subjective feelings will never be reliable evidence of anything outside of your own mind, let alone an infinite invisible god. Christians like to say “I know God exists because he talks to me and I feel his presence.” But how meaningful is that, really? What if someone who believes in a very different god has the same experience?
When asked why he didn’t wear a shirt, the angel replied, “My pecs are too glorious to be contained by any fabric.”
Two angels touched down near Houston in a $2.2 million private jet on Sunday morning and immediately called for a press conference at 8 AM Monday.
During the 24 hours leading up to the much-anticipated event, media around the world was abuzz with speculation. Many thought the arrival of the luminous beings validated Christianity, while others pointed out that their unique headwear clearly identified them as Muslim angels. Skeptics explained that the whole thing was obviously a publicity stunt for a local megachurch, but after the angels were witnessed levitating large aircraft to pass the time, the prevailing non-religious theory shifted to the possibility that they were aliens visiting from another star system.
Transitioning out of your childhood religion can be a traumatic process. Nobody likes to discover, through a search for the truth, that they’ve been raised on a steady diet of bullshit. Some reject the discovery, but others, the ones who honestly want to know, have no choice but allow it to change them. It’s a process that a large portion of the population experiences, because we are not static beings.
To some extent I think everyone has experienced something like it…being forced to give up closely-held beliefs after a new discovery proves them wrong. So perhaps we can all appreciate how difficult it is, especially when the ideas that must be discarded were a source of comfort and happy memories.
It doesn’t help that those of us making such a transition away from religion are usually vilified by the tribe we are leaving, or that we have a different perspective from people who have never been religious. We’re sort of in the middle, still torn between reality and a religion that shaped so much of who we are.
Miatas are so adorable
The year is coming to an end, and what a great year it has been. Back in May (or earlier) I imagined keeping up my average of one new car per month, not thinking that I’d actually do it. But I did. I’ve acquired twelve cars total this year, and currently have five which is a new record.
Yes, five cars at once is a little excessive, which is why two are for sale. Or rather, the Volvo wagon is for sale, and the Miata is sort of for sale but I’m not telling anyone yet because I like it and I want to keep it until we get some warm and sunny weather.