Elevatorgate: Atheist in FundyLand weighs in

Posted by Atheist in FundyLand     Category: Miscellaneous Blog Entries

My first opinion on what has come to be known as “elevatorgate” came from The Amazing Atheist.

As an aside, why must every single scandal have the word “gate” attached to it? Why can’t it be “elevatorpassageway” or “elevatordoor” or “elevatormovable-barrier-in-a-fence-or-wall”? C’mon people. It’s been 37 frickin’ years. You’d think we’d be more creative than that. Then again, we’re talking about America. Alas for my country!

As much as I enjoy the videos of The Amazing Atheist, I think he can be a douche. I agree with him 85-90% of the time, but I unsubscribed due to his douchey behavior. Obviously, I still watch the guy or I wouldn’t be talking about his take on elevatorgate.

The Amazing Atheist made perfect sense and I was on his side until I heard the actual story (not a strawman version) and read Richard Dawkins’ obnoxious response:

Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so . . .

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.


My god. Or rather: my sky-daddy-I-don’t-believe-in-anymore.

Is Dawkins really that big of a dick?

I didn’t want to believe it. I’ve always thought of him as my favorite horseman of the apocalypse. I’ve always wanted to meet him. I’ve had actual dreams about meeting him. I admired him that much.

And you thunk Christopher Hitchens was a douchebag!

At age 43 (and barely holding), I should have given up on the idea of heroes long ago. Part of the problem is I put Dawkins on a pedestal he obviously doesn’t deserve. He didn’t ask to be put there. I put him there myself.

So I guess it isn’t entirely his fault my opinion of him has dropped from adulation to low-level contempt.

Will I still buy his books? Probably. But I’ll remember there is another aspect to his personality. He’s an arrogant, privileged denizen of the UK who has never faced life as a woman. He doesn’t know what it’s like to walk alone in a scary parking garage (one of my phobias) or end up alone with a man who is hitting on you in an elevator at 4 a.m.

I thought feminism had pretty much done away with the worst of misogyny, but Richard Dawkins’ inability to understand why Rebecca Watson found the elevator guy “creepy” makes me realize we still have a long way to go.

Ostracized by a Thousand Cuts: Cut One

Posted by Atheist in FundyLand     Category: FundyLand Community Chorus, Miscellaneous Blog Entries, Ostracized by a Thousand Cuts, Throne of Thought

Just before the FundyLand Community Chorus™ sang Mendelssohn’s Elijah, one of the soprano soloists got sick. Upon hearing the news, a voice in the chorus rang out, “Let’s have a group prayer!”

Something deep inside me began to sob. If this went down, I would have to “out” myself as an atheist to everyone who didn’t already know. Every single time I’ve “come out” to a Christian, I’ve been rejected on some level. The first and worst time, my friends tried to cast a demon out of me (no, I’m not kidding) then abandoned me. I’ve never fully recovered. Like all old, very deep wounds, this one hurts like hell every time I think about it.

Lately I’ve decided to pick my battles, but this was a battle my conscience would not let me ignore. FundyLand Community Chorus™ is funded by the state. A group prayer would violate both my civil rights and the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

As the familiar burning sensation of remembered rejection seeped from my heart into my thorax and throat, I prepared myself. Oh god, this was going to suck.

My singing buddy (the only black person in the chorus and one of the few black people in FundyLand™) shouted, “Yeah, let’s do it!” She doesn’t know I’m an atheist. What would she say if she found out? What would she do?

I glared at the chorus director. He and I have had our own problems over religion and from my perspective, he owes me a huge-ass apology: an apology I’m likely to receive about the same time Harold Camping accurately predicts the rapture.

My eyes said, “Do it and you’ll be hearing from the ACLU tomorrow.” His eyes met mine for a split second. Was that guilt I saw in them? I hope so.

“OK, chorus,” he said, “I want to look at ‘The Fire Descends’.”

“That’s right, you little Ned Flanders clone,” I thought. “That’s right, you little fundy fucker. Move along. Move along.”

I wasn’t in a very charitable mood. Thinking about it again just now, I’m still not in a very charitable mood.

Chorus members were dropping like flies due to some godawful bug. During the rehearsal, I asked the alto soloist how she was doing.

“OK,” she said. “I’ve had a few issues with my voice, but I had my husband pray for me and anoint me with oil.”

Anoint you with oil????

I envisioned her husband dumping an entire quart of high-viscosity Pennzoil 10W-30 over her head.

“Hey, that’s wasteful!” I imagined telling him. “Just baptize her in the Gulf of Mexico, why don’t you? Hire a helicopter pilot to fly you out to the Deep Horizon plume, tie some weights to her legs so she’ll be certain to make it to the proper depth and give her a little push. While you’re at it, why don’t you take the entire church? You can ask some of the other churches to join you. Turn it into a big ‘Anointing with Oil’ party. Hell, take the whole fucking town! It’ll be just like the rapture!”

Maybe then I could have some peace of mind. Maybe then someone halfway interesting would move into this god-infested town and actually stay for more than six months.

After the final concert, I was sitting in the church’s reception room frantically erasing notes I’d made in my score (it was a rental). My singing buddy, Louise—the one who had seconded the “Hey! Let’s violate the first amendment!” motion—gave me some mammoth ivory and some lovely beads for my web store. It was a very sweet thing to do. I was touched.

But in the back in my mind, Atheist in FundyLand™ was on the warpath: “What do you think would happen if she found out you’re an atheist, hmm? Do you think she’d give you beads then? Would she still want to sit with you in chorus? Would she even want to be in the same room with you?”

Experience tells me she would not.

Louise had brought the beads in a little black shopping bag that said “Sephora” on the side. As cramps began to creep into my hand, a pair of fellow altos started talking about their churches and made plans to visit the church of a pastor who was in the chorus. By that point I was fundied out. I just wanted to erase my score and get the fuck out of there.

Another alto approached me and read the word on the bag. “Sephora…isn’t that the name of the village Jesus helped build?”

I nearly wanted to scream. While Church Chat was going on in one ear, I was being “Jesused” to death by a third fundy in the other. This was the same fundy who once told me scientists had learned the carbon in potassium decayed at a much faster rate than previously thought. (If you don’t immediately know why this is batshit crazy, take a look at the periodic table of elements.)

Sephora? I’ve never heard of such a thing. It’s certainly not in the bible and it’s not in any history I’ve ever read. What I wanted to say is there isn’t a whole lot of evidence Jesus even existed, but you can guess how that would have been received. Personally, I believe there was some crazy-ass sonofabitch running around Israel circa 30 AD and the religitards of that time attached their own mythology to him (See The Life of Brian). But it hardly matters. Jesus, if he existed, was not the son of god. He didn’t walk on water. He didn’t turn water into wine. He wasn’t born of a virgin. And he most certainly did not rise from the dead.

As the nosy fundy prodded, I became VERY engrossed in erasing my score.

When she finally walked away, I took an objective look at the chorus. Every single person—except for a couple of college students—is older than I am. Most have gray hair.

I peeked into the auditorium and took an objective look at the lingering audience: White, gray and blue hair dominated. Nearly everyone was caucasian.

I’ve come to the conclusion that this town is dying. Maybe religion will die with it, but in the meantime I’m trapped here.

As always, this is Atheist in FundyLand™ saying, “Won’t you please, PLEASE, PLEASE send help?”

Fundies say the damnedest (darnedest?) things.

Posted by Atheist in FundyLand     Category: FundyLand Community Chorus, Humor, Miscellaneous Blog Entries

The other day my mother and I were on the phone planning to go out for dinner. I have diabetes and was a bit shaky so I said, “Is it going to be awhile? I’m hungry now.”

“Just put something in your mouth,” she said.

Gee, Mom, exactly what should I put in my mouth, hmm? :)

I was talking to her on the phone last night and told her I wanted to text chat with my transgendered friend.

“I don’t understand why those people can’t keep that stuff to themselves,” she said. I thought about her inability to keep religion to herself, but didn’t say anything.

“Uh, Mom, being transgendered is an integral part of who this person is.”

“Well, we all have different facets. I don’t always show all those facets to everyone.”

“Yeah, but this isn’t a facet. All the facets of this person’s psychological makeup reflect the fact he is transgendered.”

“Your first cousin is one of…those,” she said.



“Jimmy is trangendered? I didn’t know that.”

“Yes. Jimmy is gay.”

“Uh, Mom. There’s a difference between being transgendered and being gay.”

“Well, I don’t want to know anything about that stuff,” she said. The “I don’t want to know” factor held by so many fundies and right-wing nutjobs led directly to the “I know! Let’s call ourselves Teabaggers!” disaster.

How odd. How strange. How perfectly predictable.

I’ve noticed that fundies don’t want to know much about anything. When I go into my mother’s house, I see The Bible and books by the likes of Lee Strobel, Jerry Falwell, Hal Lindsey, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. Fundies are afraid to read anything else. They’re afraid they’ll come across something that doesn’t completely line up with their preconceived notions of reality. As a result, they’re completely ignorant and make extremely poor conversationalists. Living in this god-infested town is starving my brain to death.

Once after I’d had eye surgery and became functionally blind due to complications (scary!), the director of the FundyLand Community Chorus™ drove me to my ophthalmologist’s appointment nearly two hours away from FundyLand™. He’d recently had an opportunity to ship the kids off and spend some quality time with his wife.

He said, “It was great having the time to plug in to my wife.”


“So tell me, oh mighty chorus director. How many times a week do you ‘plug in’ to your wife?” I asked.

I began laughing uncontrollably, slamming my open palm repeatedly on the dashboard, tears streaming from my eyes. I laughed so hard I started coughing, but I still couldn’t stop. “How (cough, cough, COUGH!) many (cough, COUGH, COUGH!) times?”

I couldn’t see, but I’m guessing his face turned an interesting shade of magenta.

“Atheist in FundyLand™?” he said. “Atheist in FundyLand™, stop that. I mean it. Stop that right now.”

Even now I get a little chuckle, especially when I hear him in my mind, addressing the alto section, “Come on, ladies! Put out!” Does he even have the slightest clue what that means? Does he not want to know?

Ah, yes. Our little Ned Flandersesque chorus director / pimp. The funny little guy who could be so bright and interesting if he’d just ditch Jesus and pick up a fucking book.

Probably no one has bothered to tell you fundies this, so I will:

ATTENTION FUNDIES! You are fucking boring. Being around you makes my skin crawl and I’m pretty sure if it could, my skin would crawl right off the rest of my body to ooze as fast as it could away from you. You don’t read. You don’t learn. You don’t do anything that would make you even slightly more interesting. So the best I can fucking do is laugh at you when you say stupid things.

Fuck that shit. I want out of here.

I am SO HAPPY to be an atheist.

Posted by Atheist in FundyLand     Category: Miscellaneous Blog Entries, Proselytization Attempts

I just got a wrong phone number: someone looking for the “Petersons,” who haven’t lived at this number for at least seven years. As soon as the caller said, “Well, you live in the FundyLand™ area, so maybe you’ll be interested,” I braced myself for a proselytization attempt. But today I’m in a really good mood. I suppose it’s the promise of spring and the changes in the weather.

“Would you like to join us to celebrate the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection?”

“Nope,” I said happily. “I’m not a Christian anymore and I’m SO HAPPY I don’t have to put up with all that crap. I’m SO HAPPY to be be an atheist, SO HAPPY to know that crap isn’t true. Now you have a nice day, all right?”

By “that crap” I’m sure you know what I mean: heaven and hell; endless obedience; endless guilt; endless worry; endless rules. I don’t have to be a slave to “that crap” anymore.

Hallelujah! To my enlightened mind be the glory.

I didn’t even get pissed. :D

Mendelssohn’s Elijah: Why can’t we sing it in German?

Posted by Atheist in FundyLand     Category: FundyLand Community Chorus, Humor, Miscellaneous Blog Entries

As a classically-trained vocalist, I need my music fix. Open MIC Night was a blast until I met up with the fundy rock-and-fossil-shop owner. She happens to be heavily involved with Open MIC Night. I happen to feel I’m under siege. This town is too fucking small!

I’ve tried to get “Rock-and-Fossil-Store Fundy” out of my system, but every time I think about her, I am pissed anew. If she were just some average Jane, I might feel differently, but a rock and fossil shop owner has a duty to learn about evolution and geology. To do otherwise is a betrayal of natural beauty and that, to me, is unforgivable.

OK, OK. I’ll try harder to forgive her. No one ever said living in FundyLand™ was easy.

So now I am seeking my music fix in the FundyLand Community Chorus™. We’re doing Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn, a bloody story depicting the fall of the worshipers of Baal. Mendelssohn wrote Elijah in both German and English. Usually, I prefer the language of the original composition, but that annoying Mendelssohn jerkwad had to go and make the lyrics completely understandable. Fuck that guy.

“But Mom! I don’t listen to the words! I only listen to the music!”

OK, I try to only listen to the music, but when the lyrics are in English, it’s hard not to notice the bad writing and contradictions.

For example, Chorus 29 is entitled “He Watching over Israel.” It’s a lovely piece, a standard for any serious choral member, but let’s face it: god is a crappy writer.

He watching over Israel
Slumbers not, nor sleeps.

Excuse me, but isn’t “sleeping” very nearly the same thing as “slumbering”?

“No!” exclaims the fundy. “The two words are very different in Hebrew.”

I suspect the fundy knows about as much as I do about the original Hebrew, but I grant him his point. “OK. Even if the Hebrew version is well-written, why is the English version crap? Wouldn’t an all-powerful god want his book to be perfectly understood in all languages? Here, let me write some lyrics for Chorus 29. They’re nearly as sensible as the real lyrics:”

He watching over Israel
Moves rhythmically not, nor dances


He watching over Israel
Masticates not, nor chews


He watching over Israel
makes sense not, nor coheres

I’m as good a lyricist as god! Someone make me a job offer! I’m broke and stuck in FundyLand™!

Last week we were supposed to learn Chorus 9:

Blessed are all they who fear him.
They ever walk in the ways of peace.
Through darkness riseth light to the upright.
He is gracious, compassionate, righteous.

This week we are learning Chorus 16:

Take all the prophets of Baal
And let not one of them escape you.
Bring them down to Kishon’s brook;
And there let them be slain.

In my mind, I daydream of standing up in the middle of rehearsal: “Gee, killing all the prophets of Baal sounds really peaceful and compassionate. Oh wait a minute. I forgot the bible is a just a myth written by bronze-age goat herders living in caves. My bad. We can go on singing about slaughtering people now.”

Every face is turned toward me. Though all the doors are closed, I hear crickets chirping: the accompaniment to all the fundies turning their backs on me. The fundies know the music and the words. Not a Christian? Go to hell…both here and in the next life.