Sowing Hatred

As the New York Times has reported, it appears that Anders Breivik, the man who carried out the bloody killings in Norway last Friday, was influenced by American anti-Islamic bloggers. The man accused of the killing spree in Norway was deeply influenced by a small group of American bloggers and writers who have warned for years about the threat from Islam, lacing his 1,500-page manifesto with quotations from them, as well as copying multiple passages from the tract of the … [Read more...]

Like a Little Child

My little girl says “hi” to everyone we pass on the street. And it’s not just a motion, either. She turns, smiles, waves her hand, and practically shouts “hi,” with happiness in her voice. She’s happy to see new people, happy to make new friends, happy to be alive. And what’s more, she doesn’t judge. She says “hi” to the homeless man with the same enthusiasm she exudes when she says “hi” to the man in the business suit. Fat, thin, black, white, Hispanic, beautiful, homely, Christian, Musl … [Read more...]

Thoughts from Norway

On Friday, over ninety people died, victims of terrorist attacks. Eighty-five of these victims were teenagers who had gathered for a youth camp on a scenic island. To some extent, such happenings have become commonplace. Buses bombed in Spain, subways in England, hotels in India. Except in this case, the perpetrator was not a Muslim, but a Christian.Immediately after the attacks occurred, the media was quick to point a finger at Islam. When the news came out that the perpetrator was … [Read more...]

A Life Remake

Note: I did not think to take pictures while in this process, because I did not realize at the time that this was going to turn into a post, so the images below are comparative ones I found online. Yesterday I did something that I feel like is a sort of metaphor for my life. You see, I was cleaning out my closet and found a dress I haven’t worn in years. Not since I left, actually. And looking at it, I knew there was no way I’d ever wear it again. It was a frumpy 1980s floral thrift … [Read more...]

Boys and Girls

I had been planning to write a post about the way gender stereotypes are imposed on children. See, I would argue that most (or even all) of the differences between the genders are simply the result of social conditioning. Girls are taught to be nurturing and cooperative, boys are taught to be assertive and independent. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.Until recently, boys played with erector sets and chemistry sets while girls played with baby dolls and play kitchens. The idea was to … [Read more...]

Myths About Atheism

I grew up being told some absolute lies about atheists. Now I am one. So I’m going to take a moment here to discuss some myths about atheism:1. Atheists are just mad at God.Um, no, I’m an atheist because I literally don’t think that there is a God. How could I be mad at something I don’t think exists?Similarly, I have been told that I am an atheist because I am bitter at my parents and because I think their legalistic version of religion is all there is, and have never experie … [Read more...]

Whose Choice?

When I was in high school, my father told me he wouldn’t be in the business of finding a husband for me. He knew other men did it, he told me, but he wouldn’t. Why? For two reasons: First, because I, not he, was the one who would have to live with the guy, and second, because if things turned out badly he didn’t want to have to live with the guilt of having chosen wrongly for me. He told me that I would need to find a husband myself.That said, my father also gave me a list of requirements and … [Read more...]