Wednesday, September 5, 2012

To My Fellow Atheist

Here is what I see in the atheist "community" of which I do NOT count myself as being a part of any longer (haven't for a long time now):

1) there is NO community. it is like watching a small group of people at the top stepping on and walking over each other to see what more they can do to "out atheist" the others within.

2) They majority are out for REAL change. They want to make a difference, they DO make a difference, and good on them. They do not seek out the attention, they just see what needs to be done and they do it!

3) A few (I can count on both hands) are in the "SEE ME" category! "See me?! Look what I can do!" EVERY THING points back to "SEE ME AND WHAT I DID?!" I roll my eyes every time I see their post. 

4) We have a lot of whiners. Either change it, or shut up.

5) Jumping on the bandwagon. "Oh look, that person is getting some attention, I think I will jump on their bandwagon and steal a little thunder." Even if it is not anything with which I agree, approve, or am really that passionate about, I just want the attention you are getting, so let me jump on your bandwagon!"

Then you have the rest who just sit back and watch and wonder if it's even worth it? I saw all of this within the churches as I was growing up. Power hungry people going at it until they reach the top only to tumble down quickly. Is it worth it? Ripping people within the community up left and right because they do not agree with your brand of thinking? HEY! Just like church! It all is and has been looking dubious to me for a while now. I have always been atheist (even when young and living in a preacher's home I was an atheist, just did not know what it was called!) I will always be atheist. I have many ups and downs in my life and dealt with them well without a god. In fact, I dealt with them better. However, I do like to surround myself with strong, caring, giving, loving people who are not always attention seeking or angry. It ills me and stresses me to see what was once a group of folks making change for the better (in my opinion) start becoming attention seeking power hungry people.  Is it weird I feel this way? Am I the only one?

Those who are making real change, I do not want them to fail, you are doing such a wonderful job. Those who just want to be seen and admired, shame on you. You do nothing for the cause.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thank You for Coming Out!

I have people at work and other places who are completely shocked to find out I am an atheist. they invite me to religious things and I reply rather nicely "I appreciate the invite, but I am an atheist and really do not go to those things, but thanks for thinking of me." I leave them standing there with their chin on the ground. I hear things like "but you have a family/kids!" or "but you seem so normal" yes, I am thank you very much! LOL!! We are all normal everyday people who happen to live without a god/gods. What are we suppose to be like? are we suppose to have talons, horns? are we suppose to be reading "how to cook a baby for dinner in 5 easy steps"? the misconceptions about atheist abound! Then I hear "I have never known an atheist before!" Uhm, yes you have, you may not know it, but you have/do! many of us have stayed hidden for many years for fear of loss, but we have always been there just waiting for a good time to come out.

It seems to be a good time to come out, I am actually surprised to know there are more like me, I find comfort in the fact that I am not alone, I have surrounded myself with others who think along the same lines as I do, and I must say it is nice to converse with folks who know that just because I am an atheist, does not mean I am a satan worshiping, baby eating, chanting in the nude heathen! Although, I must say the "chanting in the nude" thing sounds rather fun, I have never done it. I do sing naked in the shower, does that count?!

The first time I was ever aware of atheist, I was in my early 20's, I met him in a book store and was terrified of him. I was told people like that were hell bound. I was not terrified because of that though, I was terrified because he was me! He thought the same things I had all of my life, but he was brave enough to say them aloud, at that point in my life I was really trying to believe so that I would not go to hell. I could not believe no matter what I did. I could go to church, but I never felt "moved" I never felt the holy spirit, I never heard god talking to me, I never felt emotional about any of it. I tried, but could not. I always thought something was wrong with me, now I have figured out that I was probably the only sane one in the bunch! It did not work, because just like a hypnotist has to have a participant who is willing to be hypnotized, religion has to have people who are willing to follow blindly. I have never been that kind of person.

I am grateful to those who have come out, I am thrilled to know I am OK mentally. I am very appreciative to those who took those steps so that I might not feel alone in my atheism. I am glad others stepped forward so that I might summon up the courage to do so as well. Thank you!

I came out at the age of 34. I had always been an atheist, but that year my daughter was put into hospice. I was sick of hearing that god had a reason. I was sick of seeing these people walk the halls of the Children's hospital just to come into my room and tell me that we would know why in god's time and they were praying for me. Only 2 people ever brought me food, none offered to sit with me, none wanted to acknowledge the many children in that hospital as they walked the halls to get to our room. I was disgusted with trying to be a christian when I knew it was all a load of shit anyways. I came out at that point. Some believe it was because of my daughter's illness, it was not. I can remember at the age of 5 telling my Sunday School teacher that it was a silly fairy tale. I can remember making up prayer request in Sunday school because I thought it was stupid, and I wanted to have a little fun. Told the whole class once that my grandparents were eaten by an allegator at the local zoo while visiting the previous day, but god answered our prayer for their safe return by puking them back up. Teacher did not think it was amusing, I explained that if a "big fish" could puke up Jonah unharmed with god's help after 3 whole days, the alligator should be able too as well, right? I was not allowed back in her class, seems she had a difficult time explaining why one scenario would work, while the other would not. My work there was done and I have been like that every since, asking questions, wanting answers.

I think about that atheist young man I met years ago in the book store, I wonder how he is doing today? It was a great sacrifice to come out back then, more so than it is now. Seems we are growing in numbers these days, that's a good thing. I am grateful to those who have given me courage to come out, and am grateful to those who continue to be firm and outspoken and continue to give me courage to stand my ground. I would never go back to the chains that bound, I would never be a slave to religion again, I am at last free! However, it is because of you people that I no longer hide in the shadows. Thank you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Through Her Mother's Eyes

When my daughter was dying in hospice, I knew we had such little time. I also knew that I could not take her to all the places to see all the things I, Luis and my other children had seen, so I went and bought huge sheets of canvas, taped them around her room and started painting scenes of things we had seen. We played noises of the Serengeti as we painted and talked about the lions, we talked of swimming in the Mediterranean as we painted the sea, so many things we painted all over the room. we read a lot of stories of the places depicted in the pictures. The nurse came in every week, she watched as we did all of this, she encouraged it, she said she was an outsider looking in as our family journeyed from one place to another in that bedroom.

Then Elly died. September 11, 2003 she died in mine and Luis arms. I left the paintings up in her room as the equipment company came and picked up small pieces of Elly's life here and there. I left everything in place as the nurse came to go through and pick up the things that could be donated to someone else. She then told me that there was a silent auction going on to benefit children in hospice. She thought it was too soon to approach me, but if I wish to donate one of Elly's paintings in her memory, it was two weeks away. I told her I would think about it. I never thought they were good enough. I had always painted for pleasure only, the fact that others would see my work was very scary for me.

Three days before the auction, I called. I asked if it was too late, and it wasn't I was told. I took a paintbrush that afternoon and painted Elly's name in every one of the paintings. She inspired my work, she should be a part of it. I gave one of my paintings the next day, still a little wet and told them Elly's name was buried somewhere within. I would reveal where it was the night of the auction. I really did not expect it to bring in much, but it was a tribute for my daughter.

The night of the auction came, and as I walked into the room I felt uncomfortable. My daughter had been dead all of two weeks and I was somewhat emotional but held it together. I walked around looking at all of the things that were in the auction and even bid on a few. Then I stopped to look at my painting, a small picture of Elly stuck in the corner. It would be gone in a few hours, forever lost. As I stood there some women came by and I listened as they told my story to one of the other ladies there. They told her how a mother took her dying daughter around the world with her paintings. They told her of Elly's name being in the painting. They looked for it. No one found it. Then one of them proceeded to tell me the story. No one knew I was the mother of whom they were speaking. This happened many times through the evening and I was thrilled that Elly's story had been told over and over. Everyone knew Elly though they had never met her.

Time came for bidding to end. I had not really paid attention through the evening at how much the painting was going for. They started naming off winners and much to my surprise my painting was the most coveted thing in that room! That painting went for 2,400.00! Then they revealed the painter, me. The room fell silent, no one knew the painter had been there all along. They asked me to come forward and tell my story of Elly. As I walked to the podium, I heard thunderous applause. As I turned to face my audience I saw that I had my first standing ovation! It was invigorating! I gave a very short speech and left the stage. I donate a painting every year now, whether I am there or not. I have been their guest speaker a total of 6 times over the past 9 years. Word of Elly spread all over the state in which we lived. people would actually seek out my paintings. I had a few gallery shows in Little Rock. I never went any further than that. I have sold a few over the years, but nothing has ever felt as good as donating them to causes I find worthy. All I ask is that they tell my Elly's story. I am still amazed at how many lives have been touched by a little girl who saw the world from her bedroom. The inspiration of a little girl who taught us the true meaning and feeling of LOVE! If you click on the picture, it will enlarge, look close below the back leg of the female lion and you can see Elly's name. There are other paintings, I took my little girl every where I could in that bedroom. She saw the world through her mother's eyes!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fuck U.S. Customs and Border Patrol!

Fuck them all! What, do they take a class called "Being an ass to all American citizens 101"? I think they not only take it as a class, I think it is a year long course and they award prizes to those who come up with the nastiest, most sadistic ways to harass and terrorized U.S. citizens and anyone else they can get their hands on at the border. I think they specialize it it!

Let us not forget, it is our tax dollars that pay their salary. Let us not forget that I have tried like hell to be nice to them, I am finished being nice. "I am not required to be nice to you lady." he says, well heads up there fuckhead, I am not required to be nice to your either! Put a cork in it and do your search and send me on my way without the nasty remarks about who I am married to and what a loser he must be, he is more of a man than you will ever be pencil dick!

I understand them stopping and asking required questions as I cross into the U.S. but when I am crossing back into Mexico, I will leave that up to Mexican Customs to do their job, trust me, these guys do not need your help you self righteous bastards!

EVERY TIME I cross over approx. 8 of these wannabes surround my truck as if I am some drug lord. Never mind they saw me cross yesterday, and the day before yesterday, and everyday since then. They ask, "Do you have more than $10,000. on you right now?" Now I ask, if I had that kind of money, would I be living in this cesspool we call Nuevo Laredo? REALLY? Use some common sense! "Why do you live there?" Because my husband lives there. "why does he live there?" because he is a MX citizen. "Why are you married to him?" Here is where it becomes weird for me. I so want to answer "Because he has a huge dick!" but I don't. I really do not know how to answer that one. Why am I married to him? Because I love him. So their next question, I shit you not, is "Why him?" I answer, "because he is better than you! Are we finished yet?" Now I am told that I am being rude. One man leans into the window into my face and ask, "Are you getting mad?" Mad?! You mother fucker, you have not seen mad!!!! I take names, oh yes, their names are on their badges and if they are not, I ask. I report every one of them. If they can not remember me driving over that fucking border everyday, then they will remember me as "That bitch that reports every move we make" and you can bet I will! You will be sick of me, hate me by the time I am finished. You will be glad to give my husband his green card just to get my ass out of Nuevo Laredo and away from you.

Why do I live there? well pencil dick, let me tell you, if you silly shit would not keep deporting, or making laws impossible for our spouses to live with, we wouldn't fucking HAVE to live there! Maybe I want to live there, ever think about that?! I think next time I will take the 'Leo approach' and start asking them questions.
"why are you going to Mexico?"
"Why are YOU going to Mexico?"
"Have you got over 10,000USD?"
"Have YOU got over 10,000USD?"
"Where do you live?"
:Where do YOU live?"

Let's see how they feel being asked the same questions over and over again. I mean, they have heard my answers 100 times over! Looks like they would know me by now. must be fun to harass the white, handicapped, woman. Yes, they actually told me they pulled me over every time because I am white. They find it odd that a white woman would choose to live in MX. "That's OK, I find it odd that a Mexican would choose to betray his own people for a country that will never appreciate him, so I guess we're even." For that my husband also says "FUCK YOU!"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Young Man's Voice!

I wonder if politicians think about the fact that OUR children will be voting in a few years? Wonder if they realize HOW our children will be voting after being put through the immigration crap they have been through concerning their parents? Maybe they need to start thinking ahead! I ask this because my 17 year old son wrote an amazing letter to ALL politicians:

"We come in numbers to the polls, children of those you threw out. We come in numbers to say 'NO MORE'. No more will you rip our families apart. Now it is OUR turn, and we will rip you apart at the polls, every election, every time. We will be heard!"

I give you this part of the letter because it is my favorite. He writes with conviction, love, desire....

I implore politicians to listen up, for the voters of tomorrow are quickly growing up, they are pissed and ready for you! They are not the type to lay down and just 'take it like a man' or 'be a good little lady!' they are ready to whip your ass! I see it every day, the protest, the marches, the post..etc..I can feel that something big is going to happen in my son's lifetime, I believe they will be the change. I think when they are ready, politicians who are weak, and ignorant and greedy should tuck their tails and run for the hills! This is not your mother's generation, this is generation "CAN DO" and I really think they can and they will. Be careful, our children are coming of age, they know who the bad guys are, and are prepared to fight you at the polls. They will be the next in line for that spot in law school, they will challenge you, they will win because they do not have greed in their hearts, they have desire and passion! They have the desire to go home with ALL of their family members, they have passion to make things right for their families and desire and passion wins over greed every time. Be careful, you just may be the next King Louis and Marie Antoinette and come next election, you may find your proverbial head on the chopping block. Scared yet? You damn well should be!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So many tears...

I do not know what to say. I am scared, hurt and dumbfounded. We lost our sponsor who was going to help Luis come home. Our way out of Mexico, my way back to medical help. I am scared. I wonder what kind of future my children have, I wonder what my future will be? With no education my children, who mean everything to me, will be doomed to live a life of poverty. We have mulled over every option. If we divorce, I lose the love of my life and still can not go home. I have no money and no help with the children. If I stay here with the kids, my children receive no education and live in a dangerous place, and I have no medical care for the ongoing issues for which I am dealing. If we put our children up for adoption in the U.S. and go our separate ways we have done exactly what we were trying to avoid, ripping our family apart. So I set up in the dead of night and mull this over. I hold my girls a little closer these days. I really do not know what our future holds, whether our family will stay together or if we go our separate ways. If I were in better health, I could at least move my family to a border town and work in the U.S. to make sure my family makes a decent living, if only I were healthy. My mother would be so heartbroken. I am so heartbroken. I type through tears that seem endless. It is so hard to imagine that just two years ago we were and average middle to upper class family living in a nice home and we were happy and healthy. I was happy, Luis was happy, our children were happy. I loved life. If it were not for the fact that I would be leaving the very people I love so deeply and leaving him, who I love and would never just leave hanging, I would just curl up and wish to just fade away.

As it stands I will go lay in my bed and get whatever sleep I can, it escapes me most days now with all the worry, and I will hold my girls a little closer tonight, I will say "I Love You" to Luis and I will hope that something, somewhere will work out for us so we can remain a family. Thank you U.S Immigration who "strives to keep families together". Thank you for ripping mine apart at the seams.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why Do We Home School?

I have been asked for years why we home school our children. We are a secular family and most home school families are Christian. I am happy to see the secular home school groups sprouting up all over the United States recently. Have you seen the state our public school system is currently in? Our math and science is sorely lacking, as is our grammar! Very few students can remember what they are taught from week to week, once they pass that test, the slate is wiped clean. I am a product of public schools and I think it is safe to say I had four very good teachers who inspired me and pushed me to do my best in my twelve years of school. I never really learned anything in school during those years, most of my learning came after school when my father and mother would take time through out the evening to talk to me, read to me, tell me about history, show me how math is used in the real world. I wish home school had been legal back when I was young. My years spent in school was spent in complete agony. I was constantly in the bathroom hiding out from emotional bullies, more days then not I could be found somewhere crying. I hated school, and worse, it hated me. It wasn't enough I got it from a lot of the students, but some of the teachers were emotionally abusive as well. I decided I would not put my kids through that. Twice my son was enrolled in public school, both times it was a nightmare, for him and us. The first time the teacher refused to let my son go to the bathroom and he came home daily with urine stained underwear. Then something major happened, he started defecating in his pants. Seems the teacher had made it a point not to let him go, and he held it day in and day out that he became impacted! He was referred to a gastroenterologist who told me it was a common thing among teachers and it made her angry to no end. He was on medication for a year before it was straightened out, and still suffers ill effects of that first 6 months in 1st grade many years ago. We filed a lawsuit against the school district and the teacher. They settled out of court, paying all of his medical bills and medications as well as monetary damages. The teacher told me what a huge mistake I was making when I pulled him, I would never be able to home school. How wrong she was! I had as much, actually more education than she did, I had his best interest at heart, I could not possibly do any worse than the public school did with him. We tried again in high school only to watch him fall further behind, or repeat what he had already accomplished.

I bought secular curriculum, same as you find in the public schools, and got busy. We found home school social groups, co-ops, and nearby universities who offered extras such as science lab, classes in robotics, speech and drama, and world history. We had him in Earth Scouts, drama classes and art classes at the local Art museum, and 4H and Irish dance. He took years of Taek won do. We taught him music and let him play in sessions locally so he could learn about his favorite music. We went on field trips both as a family and part of our home school group. We contacted universities and asked for dvd's of professors who gave lectures on subjects on which we were covering. we traded "tutor time" with other parents who had expertise and degrees in areas that we did not. I would teach their children Languages and world history, they would teach mine Algebra. It was a well rounded education. If he was interested in a subject, we could let him run with it, spending more time on it and then we would move on.

Socialization was an issue until we realized or children's social skills far outweighed their public school peers. They could socialize with people of all ages, carrying on an intelligent conversation with a 40 year old, or a 10 year old. We had more socialization than public school kids, because we had more time! when you home school, you find that you do not need 8 hours a day to teach all subjects, and that learning is an ongoing process and goes on long after the books and workbooks are put away.

My kids are read to on a regular basis. they are encouraged to help build things with their father, using that opportunity to give math drills, to cook in the kitchen with me or dad again, using math skills. They learned to balance a checkbook, and do their taxes before the age of 10. They love to read and our little ones are just as likely to read you a story as they are to ask for a story. Our older son is involved in reading classics right now, and is animated as he describes what he thinks the writer was trying to say. He is very aware of the political goings on in the US and around the world and is free to form his own opinions. I like the way this is going, I am glad we decided to go the route of home schooling. Now when people ask why we home school, I can sum it up in just a few sentences:

We home School because public education, as currently implemented, is designed to systematically drive the joy of learning out of children as early as possible: tedious homework; fixed class periods that are rarely just the right length for learning the material; disjoint subjects that obfuscate the relationship between information and useful real-world applications; stressful tests and quizzes; segregation by age and ability; severely limited selection of potential friends, typically 12 years of the same group of 30 kids; limited control over such basic functions as when to awaken, eat or urinate; KIDS SITTING, for HOURS. It's amazing anyone learns anything at all, despite this contrived, convoluted, Byzantine environment. I admire teachers, but they are just as limited and victimized by the strictures of the system as students. The only moderately legitimate purpose school appears to serve is to warehouse children during the day, so parents can work more hours, thereby facilitating payment of school taxes and summer camp bills.