Taking Aim…Again

I find that lately I’ve been thinking a lot about religion and politics and how they affect our social contract with those around us. I’m especially bothered by the control that the religious right seems to have on our government and how that leads us toward the state of religious persecution that our forefathers attempted to escape over 200 years ago.

Although I was raised as a protestant, I have been an atheist since my teenage years. However, since my family was Christian and still attended church, I learned to keep my opinions to myself in order to not offend anyone. Something I’m sure a lot of atheists out there will understand. Being part of the minority, allows me to understand the intentions of our Founding Fathers and what they were trying to accomplish with the first amendment.

Conservative Christians mistakenly believe that our ancestors came to America to avoid being persecuted because they were Christian. This is not the case. They were persecuted because they were not the “right kind” of Christians. Throughout Europe in the 17th Century Catholics persecuted Protestants, Protestants persecuted Catholics and pretty much any religion could claim to be victims of persecution somewhere in Europe.

The reason for this was the conviction that for the good of society, everyone must follow the same religion and it was up to the government to impose that religion on the people. This is why our founding fathers wanted our government to have NOTHING to do with religion. They recognized the dangers of government becoming involved in the spiritual lives of its citizenry.

Today we are seeing religious persecution of non-Christians. It is not the disembowling or executions that Jesuits or Mennonites suffered at the hands of the Scottish or the Dutch leaders of the 17th Century. And I won’t diminish the horror of the Holocaust or other genocidal events of history by claiming that it is just as bad. But every act of terror, every genocidal movement, every subjugation of a minority population begins with people turning their backs on the rights of their fellow man to have, to hold and to practice his own beliefs.

When our government starts to support any belief system by making laws based on “biblical morality,” such as laws banning gay marriage, they start down that same road that our forefathers fled over 200 years ago. These laws are no different than the miscegenation laws that prevailed up until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.

People have the mistaken belief that because the majority agrees then it should be law. In the 1950’s the majority agreed that Blacks should not be allowed to even eat in the same restaurants as Whites. Let alone go to the same schools or marry them. History has proven repeatedly that the majority are often idiots. Ever heard of “mob rule?”

There is one rule that most religions got right. Christianity calls it the “Golden Rule” and ironically it was the one law that Jesus supposedly put above all other commandments. Ironic because it is the one law that the Conservative Christians break with impunity. Matthew 7:12, the summation of Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

It is a simple rule that all societies recognize, regardless of their belief in a god. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Put yourself in the other guy’s place. Walk a mile in my shoes. Don’t be a selfish jerk. Funny, how something we learned as children, whether in Sunday School or Kindergarten, is considered Liberalism or even Marxism when we put it into practice.

Conservative Christians claim to follow Christ and his teachings, but when it comes to what their own religion claims is his most important law, they refuse to practice what they preach. This is why I believe the majority of people in the world are stupid.

UPDATE for FTC Compliance:
In return for this post, God has promised me that he will not reveal himself as really being a computer nerd in Poughkeepsie, thus keeping the mystery of his true nature a secret and my blog posts relevant. I also slept with him. He demanded that when I climaxed I didn’t yell his name, but instead screamed OH DARWIN!

Writing & Writers Groups

killaSo I’ve now joined a couple of writers’ groups that I’ve found on meetup.com. The first one meets next Tuesday and the other meets a couple of weeks after that. Why two groups? Well, for a couple of reasons.
The first is I need to make some friends that live in the same county and have some of the same interests as I do. I moved to St. Petersburg, FL about 5 years ago and with a young daughter, I didn’t have the time to go out and make friends outside of work and family. I hope to connect with at least a couple of people I meet.
I also hope that more than one group will give me a larger variety of readers to give me feedback on my novel. The first group I joined are romance writers. They are a new group and this will be the first meeting. The benefit of a new group is they have lots of energy and excitement. If we develop good habits early, we can form a good resource for our writing.
The second group I’ve joined is a large group with many experienced authors, editors and writers. They are large enough now that new members must submit a sample of writing and be approved. I expect this group to be brutally honest with their critiques. I also expect to find more aid with queries, synopsis, agent searches and publishing from the more experienced group.
I do not write only for my own pleasure. The ultimate goal of writing a novel is for it to be read by others. So it would be foolish to write in a vacuum, with no other input, praise or criticism to help me find my voice. Without readers, I’m just whispering my story, alone in the dark. (They call that crazy).

Gotta Stop Killin…Time

killaFor a while I was starting to wonder if Twitter was becoming an obsession that was keeping me from doing more constructive things with my time. But I’ve realized that I’ve actually gotten more work done on my WIP in the couple of months since I joined Twitter than I have in several months preceding.  I’ve been trying to figure out why, and I think I’ve decided on several reasons.

1. The people I follow on Twitter foster creativity. Most are writers working on their own novels, blogs, short fiction, poetry, etc. and they talk about their work and what inspires them.

2. These same users also push me to work by posting their own successes and struggles. When I see my Tweeps posting that they’ve reached a certain goal, I’m motivated to go and work on my own novel.

3. Twitter groups like #writechat, #pubtip and #writegoal provide a great forum to connect with experts from published authors to agents and publishers. All of whom are willing to share their knowledge and encourage us to persevere.

4. Writing can be a lonely activity. We spend long hours locked away with just our computer screens. Twitter provides us with connections that we might not otherwise develop.

Yeah, it can sometimes be a time suck – and I probably spend way more time in Twitterville than is good for the cleanliness of my house and the height of my lawn’s grass – but the people I have encountered in this virtual wild west have recharged me and inspired me to keep writing. So I think I’ll stick around for a while.

Sweet Tweets

Thank you InkyElbows for the Golden Marmot Award. I shall treasure it like Kathy Griffin and her Emmys.

Sunday I joined in #writechat on Twitter for the first time.  It was crazy fun.  I know we were supposed to be following a topic, but some of the best discussions I had were off topic with some wonderful authors/writers.  (As what we feel comfortable calling ourselves was the main topic of the chat, I’ll let you choose which you are.) Everyone, published and/or perservering, was incredibly helpful and supportive.

I’m new to WordPress, so be patient with me as I try to figure out how this program works. I’d like to add a twitter feed when I figure out what I’m doing.

As as special Tweet Treat, I am going to use this blog to out my secret identity. If I ever finish my book and publish it, I will probably use the name Elice Farlin. This is important for you all to remember, since you will need to know it in the future when you are at the bookstore or on Amazon, looking for my work. … Whoa, get back here. It’s not out there, yet. I’m one of those that is still perservering.

Inky Elbows has suggested I start my own Twitter Awards: The Rusty Beavers. So, if I find enough posts that I feel qualify, I will post them here.

Rusty Beaver Award qualifications: Posts must be snarky, funny, a little racy. Double Entendres get extra points!

Tweet Ya Later!