Saturday, August 10, 2013

Atheists as Angels and Disappearing Priests

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invite to a private Facebook group.  A friend sent the invite, she and her husband (also my friend) invited my husband and me, though the group was set up by another friend of theirs, someone I only knew by name.  The point of the group?

We're discussing atheism, mostly.

"If you're atheist, why do you NEED a group?"

Why yes, that's exactly the sort of thing we're discussing.  That, and family members threatening to stealth-baptize our children, non-atheists trying to build artificial categories to describe "types" of atheists, parents who impose religion on the bodies of their unconsenting children (faith healers and circumcision leap to mind), and, of course, seeking out a suitable image for our group's cover photo.  I'm kinda partial to this one:

But I understand that may  not be the tone we're looking to strike.  But it pleases the daylights out of me.

Speaking of atheism and deep discussions, have you heard the one about the "angel priest" who "saved" the car crash victim and the miracle of new rescue equipment (which had already been ordered up by humans) showing up . . . as expected?

Oh, spare me!  

To quote myself:

I've BEEN that "angel." I have, quite literally, been called "a gift from god" and a "guardian angel" by grateful folks who can't seem to fathom that PEOPLE are capable of goodness, of kindness, of intervening without some super-hero ghostie in the sky. I stop at accidents--I've stopped at more than I can count; I have some medical training, it's only right that I stop to render aid. I don't give my name unless asked, and I POOF when my usefulness has passed. I have held the hands of frightened, badly injured people, I have nodded and smiled while they prayed and begged whatever deity for intervention. I have absolutely saved lives.  But when that girl stepped into traffic and was thrown 20 feet by the pick-up truck that smacked her? "God" didn't intervene.

I did. Paramedics did. Police officers did. Emergency room physicians, surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists did.

I wonder--of the "80 pictures taken," were any of them OF THE GIRL AND THE PRIEST PRAYING TOGETHER?  And if so, do any of those pictures show THE GIRL PRAYING ALONE AND A BIG EMPTY SPOT WHERE THE "ANGEL" PRIEST ALLEGEDLY WAS?  My money's on NOT--at least not without a little help from Photoshop.

Angel my backside. Goodness, the silliness never stops.

And you know what?  The silliness really does NEVER end.  Even though atheism is slowly gaining ground, even though religions are losing members, they make up for it with increased fervor, louder shouting, more egregious violations of basic human rights.  They see the ground being lost and seek to stem the flow by passing laws legislating their faith and punishing those who don't share it.

Oh, and in England, a wildly atheistic country, they hand control of thousands of secular public schools over to the church.  Here's another, in case that one wasn't agonizing enough.



Photos rolling in from the class reunion I helped set up but didn't attend.  Nice to see that Wendy was there--I have some very hard feelings there, yet I made sure to get her address down right and get that invite to her.

I hope someone let her know that was me.  That I went out of my way to make sure she and the silicone-chested, duck-lipped ex-drill team member with the stiffy against Hispanics and Black Presidents got their invitations.

Yes, I sound bitter.  No, it's not a leftover grudge from high school.  Instead, it's a recent blow up on Facebook, where Wendy treated me very poorly, dressing it up in "concern."  We managed to limp past that without too much blood, but then she posted something stupid and, I would have thought, beneath her.  Just some bit of misinformation that, even now, I find hard to believe she would have fallen for.  I gave her more credit on the intellect front than she deserved, apparently.  I corrected her in a very friendly, easy tone behind the scenes after doing the research and making sure of the facts.  She sent a snarky response, then posted to her wall that, after SHE had done exhaustive research, SHE had discovered that her earlier post had been wrong.

I don't require public acknowledgement.  I don't.  Had she offered up an oblique, "hey, it's come to my attention that . . ." that would have been plenty.  No mention of my name necessary.  It's when self-aggrandizing creatures take credit for my work that I get upset.

I should have let her smallness pass, I know.  And I admit, there was a hint of hurt when I posted, "You're welcome" with a smiley face.  But the bile-soaked garbage she threw back at me via private message?  Was astounding.  She accused me of being attention-seeking, credit-sucking, ego-driven, and even psychologically unwell --- she accused me of being her, in a nutshell. And then, true to cowardly troll form, she blocked me so I couldn't respond.

I should have seen it coming.  This is a woman whose entire life has been consumed by her quest to be the center of attention.  I still remember her high school brags that she had been cast as Fran in Stephen King's "The Stand."  That pursed-lipped, sneering, eye-rolling, hanging-with-all-the-right-people caricature she created in high school held tight. She's spent years hacking away at an acting career, and never has managed to rise above mediocre (and that's charitable) shorts and minor stage work.  And that last?

Isn't an insult or a slight, because she has TRIED, and I will never down her for that.  She even moved to LA and did her damnedest.  She worked HARD, and for that?  Kudos, and I mean that.

Too bad about the sick drive to be the star of every situation, though.  Too bad about the inability to give others credit when due, and the failure to empathise even a little with those around her in any sincere, meaningful way.

It really is all "the Wendy Show."

And I guess, when you can't be a star of the silver screen, being the star of your own small production is what there is.  I hope she was kinder to the folks at the reunion than she was to me. Because if she wasn't, that's on me, isn't it?  I'm the dullwit who made sure she got an invitation.


Speaking of high school, I've been working hard on gathering obits and memorials for old students from my alma mater.  I don't know how many I have so far, but it comes out to over 900 pages worth of Word document and counting.  They're not easy to find, and I'll never find all of them, I know.  Some groups are very nasty about sharing, like somehow their alumni group is more entitled to information about passed classmates than ours.  But I keep hacking away at it, because . . .

Because dead sucks, and dead and forgotten sucks even more.  And for the folks who come by?  I hope there's some comfort and warmth arising from seeing their loved ones remembered.  


One last thing--Epinions paid out early, and actually paid out a fair bit more than usual.  Not huge bucks, but it'll be nice to have that extra for groceries.  Thanks, Epinions!  

Epinions pays me based upon how many folks actually read my reviews, so if you're in the market for anything from a hand mixer to a juicer, some organic shampoo to effective tick repellant, give me a read!


And that's all, except for this--something really ugly:

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