Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shameless Popery vs. The Oatmeal

Let me start this post by stating that I am not anti religion; I am anti organized religion. I also believe in allowing everyone their beliefs, which is why I attend church every Sunday with my daughter (youngest of 3). She has been baptized (by her choice) and serves as a torch bearer (also her choice) during services.

To start, The Oatmeal is a webcomic, it is satirical in nature. As any comedian, they get their humor from life and exaggerate it to make their joke. The humor is in the mixed reality with the absurd. All comedy is like this.

Now back to my point, from the points listed at Shameless Popery:

I did not see The Oatmeal comic as specifically targeting Catholics. In fact, I saw Mormon, Jewish and Scientology specifically named. Although Catholic was implied in # 2, everything else was implied as Christianity as a whole.

1.) I have had some Catholic parishioners actually tell my eldest child that, "the devil is going to open the earth and snatch your mother to hell for not taking you to church." And yes, actually in those words. My son is now 18 and still, to this day, REFUSES to step foot on church grounds because now he believes church is all about threatening small children.

2.) The point the Oatmeal was making is that in many generations, what the church (yes I know, this looks like the Pope in this particular drawing, still think he wasn't TARGETING Catholicism) didn't understand about science tends to be deemed sacrilegious and shunned. Continued in point 3.

3.) I am not pro-life or anti-abortion, but I have CHOSEN to never have one myself. I am pro-choice. Stem cell research can save millions of lives. Although, the best stem cells come from embryos, stem cells can be harvested without killing embryos. I have seen stem cell studies that came from not only aborted fetuses/embryos, but also from amniotic fluids and placentas.  But again, sacrilegious and shunned due to what? The potential for encouraging abortions or test tube biological material?

4.) At Shameless Popery, this one seems to address The Oatmeal's final thought rather than the fourth panel in the webcomic.

5.) (panels 4-8? on The Oatmeal) I loved the color comparison to shoving religion down a child's throat vs. the explanation that no one really knows as a good way to open a dialog with a child. That's all this was, a place to start. Asking a child what they believe is a lovely idea. When I was a child, we did not go to church. My parents did occasionally send me to church though. The first time I brought home books from the public library on mythology and witchcraft, my dad went ballistic. Suddenly I was turning my back on God. Shoving your beliefs down a child's throat by being ridiculous instead of having an open conversation about religion, I'm sure, has a lot to do with why I oppose the organization of religion as a whole.

6.) I felt the point from The Oatmeal here is that religion and our sexuality should not be one in the same. Telling you that sex is bad and only for procreation as a doctorate, seems unfair. Why would it be enjoyable if it was solely for the one purpose. Yes, as Shameless Popery pointed out, there are responsibilities to our sexual actions, but I don't think religious sanctions are quite the answer.

7.) I believe it is okay to share your beliefs in the proper venue. Going door to door and chasing people down to "spread the word" in any religion doesn't feel right, like a violation of personal space. Sure, some people stand and listen, a few maybe go try out your church and maybe agree with you. Here's what I do: In the past, I would stand there (not wanting to interrupt), smile, nod and say whatever I thought would make them go away without hating me (this makes them want to come back). In the not so far past, I would either hide and hope they went away or  tell them I believed in the devil and slam the door (I didn't, but they went away anyway and rarely came back). Now, I open the door, and very politely interrupt them and say, "No thank you, I'm not interested." (They do sometimes still come back, but rarely and I feel better about myself.) I actually have anxiety attacks when dealing with unsolicited door knockers.

8.) I sort of agree here with both sides. Mockery of any religion by another is not done as a whole. However, I have heard, and even occasionally been part of, discussing what comes across as silly or weird to me  This is where a majority of humanity falls short and The Oatmeal actually gave a decent enactment of conversations I have actually heard.

9.) Sadly, I really do believe people vote based on religion. Religion and politics shouldn't be combined (separation of church and state is in the Constitution), but boy do people love to do it anyway.

10.) Every religion has extremists, and honestly it is a sad place in the world where we can't draw an iconic figure in a humorous way without being a target for murder and mayhem. 

11.) If you would kill for your religion, you are probably violating your religion.

12.) I don't see how allowing others to believe what they choose and you believing what you choose and keeping it to yourself when unsolicited is equal to "placebo" which means "fake." Be honest Shameless Popery, If I came to you, door to door or in public, and told you why I don't agree with organized religion, or if I went door to door explaining Ancient Astronaut Theory you would be annoyed with me. Maybe we could march to the White House and insist that creating hybrid clones of human headed horses is our religious right. I completely understand The Oatmeal telling you to keep it to yourself!
I have always believed in the "Live and let live" philosophy. If I am wrong, I will suffer for it in the end, but that is my choice. As if you are right, you will be rewarded IF you follow what you believe. HOWEVER, one of the core beliefs that MANY Christians violate is, "Thou shalt not judge, lest ye be judged." For that matter civilization breaks that rule in general. You can not say he is a bad person for making his webcomic, because you are judging his opinions. He is judging yours. I am judging yours. We are all going to rot in hell based on this one quote from the bible. So who goes to heaven and ascends? Most likely children and the mentally ill. Because they are the truly pure souls who are have yet to be tainted by real life. Oh, but I can ask forgiveness before I die and go to heaven, right? So I mass murder 1,000 people, and right before the police open fire, I beg God forgiveness and repent. Now I go to heaven, right? Seriously? Now lets move on to marriage equality... So, since the bible, in the old testament says marriage is between a man and a woman, our government should not allow gays to marry. Well the bible also allows us to own slaves in the old testament, shuns women on their monthly "unclean period", and allows you to stone "to the death" people who disobey the bible.
So does it matter if you agree or disagree with me? Not at all. I am educated and honest. I am a good person. Not because I go to church or believe in a deity, but because I am polite. I did not call either argument stupid or insult either party in any way (I hope). However I did notice that in Shameless Popery's rebuttle, the author referred to The Oatmeal's points as "stupid." I find this kind of debating technique offensive.
If you got this far, thank you for reading.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

OMG Wal-Mart!!!

So I'm leaving Wal-Mart and I hear this lady screaming at her kids, "Come on! I don't know why the f*** you have to make such a f***ing big deal about it right in the store!" All I could think was, "Probably because of the big deal you're making about it outside the store right now." (I'm not saying I'm a perfect mom, but I felt embarrassed for her and her children.)

Sorry this is short, I just wanted to get this off my chest...thx   ;-)~

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Asperger Syndrome

This post is dedicated to my son. I love him very much and people need to be educated on this disorder, so that it may be taken more seriously.

The following post in it's entirety is from the page: 

What is Asperger Syndrome?
Asperger Syndrome is a form of Autism; it is a life-long brain disorder that is normally diagnosed in early childhood. The disorder effects how a person makes sense of the world. Autism is often described as a ‘spectrum Disorder’ because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees. 

Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome are considered to have a higher intellectual capacity while suffering from a lower social capacity.

Asperger Syndrome is mostly a ‘hidden disability’ this is because you can’t tell that someone has the condition from there outward appearance.

Aspergers can have both positive and negative effects on a person’s life, like many Autistic Spectrum Disorders Asperger’s includes repetitive behaviour patterns and impairment in social interaction and social imagination.

While there are similarities with Autism, people with Asperger Syndrome have fewer problems with speaking and are often of average or above average intelligence. They do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with autism, but they may have specific learning difficulties. These may include dyslexia and dyspraxia or other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy.

What are the characteristics
of Asperger Syndrome?

Difficulty with communications
People with Asperger Syndrome may sometimes speak very fluently but they may not take much notice of the reaction of people listening to them. They may talk on and on regardless if the person there talking to is not interested. Despite having good language skills, people with Asperger Syndrome may sometimes sound over-precise or over-literal . Jokes can sometimes cause problems as can exaggerate language and metaphors. An example of this could be a simple statement like "she bit my head off" this statement may confuse or frightened the person with Asperger's.

In order to help a person with Asperger syndrome understand you, keep your sentences short - be clear and concise.

Difficulty with social interaction
Many people with Asperger syndrome want to be sociable but have difficulty with initiating and sustaining social relationships, which can make them very anxious. Eye contact can be very hard for people with Aspergers Syndrome to keep. This intense eye contact can make them feel very uneasy.

Unlike those with autism, people with AS are not usually withdrawn around others; they approach others, even if awkwardly. For example a person with AS may engage in a one-sided, long-winded speech about a favorite topic, while misunderstanding or not recognizing the listener's feelings or reactions, such as a need for privacy or haste to leave. This social awkwardness has been called "active but odd". This failure to react appropriately to social interaction may appear as disregard for other people's feelings, and may come across as insensitive.

Difficulty with social imagination
Many people with Asperger Syndrome lack imagination. This means they may find it hard to play pretend games in such as role play. They may find it difficult to imagine alternative outcomes to situation or to predict what will happen next. It can be difficult for them to interpret other peoples thoughts and feelings, subtle messages given through facial expression or body langue may be missed.
Special interests
Special Interests People with Asperger's often develop an almost obsessive interest in a hobby or collection. Usually their interest involves arranging or memorizing facts about certain subjects. Some children with Asperger's may also be very precise while playing with tops and find it hard when other children try to join in and move objects from a certain place. However with encouragement, interests can be developed so that some people with Asperger's can go on to study or work in their favourite subjects.
Love of routines
For many people with Asperger Syndrome, any small change in their routine can be very upsetting and causes anxaiety. To try and make the world less confusing, people with Asperger syndrome may have rules and rituals (ways of doing things) which they insist upon. Young Children may impose their new routine, such as insisting on always going the same way to school. At home or school they may get upset by sudden changes, such as changes to class activities. People with Asperger's often prefer to order their day according to a set pattern.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So we took a road trip...

So last Friday, my friend Laura and I took our girls on a road trip to Payson, AZ. It is about 85 miles on Hwy AZ-87 North from my hometown in the valley, Chandler, AZ. The only turns are as the highway bends and turns it's way around the the mountains; chewing gum is a must for decompression of popping ears. So we are a good 75 miles in and suddenly we hear this loud rumbling sound and of course, my friend Laura says, "what's that noise?" I assume it's the motorcycle that has just come up behind us and passed us, but apparently I was wrong. We had a flat. Not just a simple flat either, an all out "looks like we had been driving on it for hours," flat.

So now we have 5 young ladies on the narrow shoulder of a main highway, at least 10 miles from the nearest town. Chivalry is obviously dead because no one stops. So after some minutes of digging through the trunk for a donut tire, a jack and a tire iron we get to the task of changing the tire. Now this is not my first tire change, but for some reason, I always jack up the car first, then realize I should have loosened the lug nuts BEFORE jacking up the car...oops. So after, lowering the car, scissor jacks suck, loosening the lugs, jacking up the car and completing the whole tire changing process, we load up and get back in the car.

On the road again...
We head into the small town of Payson. Knowing that we can't drive home (85 miles down the mountain) on a donut tire, we look for some tire shops. We find a listing on our GPS for Ed's Tire Shop and head over there, but it's not Ed's anymore, it's Kyle's. Oh how, young and dreamy Kyle was. With his sweet country boy mannerisms and accent, I just wanted to snatch him up and kiss him. Sadly, he didn't have the tire size we needed. We decided to hold off on the tires for a little while so that we can enjoy a bit of the sweet mountain town. First, we went over and picked up lunch and headed down Main Street to the park. We had a lovely picnic in the grass and watched this cute little squirrel dig a hole and leave behind an unburied seed.

After the picnic, we took a stroll around the lake where we saw ducks and dragonflies. Then we walked around outside of the museum.

On the way back to the car we saw another squirrel and a hawk. This one seemed to be posing for my camera, seeing as how he stayed in the same position until I completed my series of shots and didn't move until I put the camera down. The hawk seemed to be circling us, but as my aunt pointed out later, we did seem to be surrounded by squirrels.

Natural beauty in everything, everywhere...

Next stop, the cemetery...

In town...

After this we finally went to Big O and got tires before we decided to head home.
On the trip home, we took a side trip through Strawberry, AZ
This is it, Strawberry, AZleaving Strawberry, AZ
a storm front heading our way