Sunday, August 26, 2007


1. Jack and I are going to do the podcast Tuesday night. I can't wait to dish on the Duggar Family/Quiverfull movement. If you've got any thoughts of your own that you'd like to have read on the podcast, leave it here or e-mail it to the show:
2. Pictures. Like em' or hate em'? I bought a new digital camera in July. I saved up for three years to buy it and, thus, you're seeing the results. Since this is supposed to be, predominantly, an atheist you mind the pics?
3. Observations from the last week or so:
* When I was in the hospital, I watched this huge family gather in the hall. They were waiting for news on a relative who'd been injured in a car accident. They got into a prayer circle and I over-heard the prayers. It was heartbreaking. These people were begging God to spare the life of their loved one. Interestingly, at this point, no one was saying "thy will be done". Shortly thereafter, the person died in surgery and the family was, quite understandably, crushed. Only then, after they'd already heard the news, did they try to say that they had to accept the death as God's will. I'm not a heartless bitch, so I can understand why this may bring comfort--- to believe that the loved one died because God "needed them". But,... as I've asked before, what solace does that bring to the child who, just minutes prior, was told that "if you pray hard enough, God will listen."? It's emotional sabotage to let the grieving family member believe that they have any power to influence the outcome with prayer in the first place, is it not? Because, the logical conclusion, for the child, is "I didn't pray hard enough and now they're dead." :(
* My kids went back to school and P#3 started Kinder. She was very excited about learning the Pledge of Allegiance. Of course, the words "under God" were part of the instruction. *rolls eyes* I'm not going to make a big deal about it... but, I can't say it didn't sting a bit. Without my consent, the school curriculum immediately (within the first week) attempted to establish a particular belief system within a public institution. One week. THIS is exactly why the words "under God" needed to be removed from the pledge. Get it back to the way it was pre-1954 or leave it out entirely. Sure, it's patriotic, but... using the words "under God" undermines the point of pledging an allegiance to a free country.


Mattias said...

You've let the devil out today (kidding). Camera make and model please? :)

Thanks in foreway, and try to schedule some healing before the next podcast.

Anonymous said...

Camera make and model please? :)

Nikon SLR D-40SX.
I opted to pay the extra $200 for the 55-200mm zoom lens with shade cap. All told, I think it was around $700. BUT, watch Best Buy for sales. The week after I bought mine, they had them for $450 (minus the zoom lens).

I wouldn't recommend it to someone who's used to point and shoot cams. Like, I wouldn't go from a camera where you've never had to manually focus and gauge the light...but, it's not too complex. I'm loving it.

kay.eee.cee said...

Don't mind the pictures at all. I came for the atheist topics, but I stay because this is always the atheist blog I save to read last--its just the best. Your voice and your perspective is unique and friendly and refreshing... so if you enjoy the pictures, keep them coming.

Psychodiva said...

Looking forward to the pictures!

I still use my 'old fashioned' Minolta as I take better pictures with it than I do with my digital- I do want a new digital tho lol but I prefer the old Minolta cos it makes me feel like I am 'really' taking photos and involved with the creative process of it

Looking forward also to hearing about the Duggars - I went to look at their website last time you mentioned them and then there was a programme on TV over here about them- weird bunch - I'd like to know how they can afford al those kids- why the girls wear long skirts - are the girls treated as second class? I suspect that in families of that type the girls are just brought up to be breeding machines subservient to the males

I'm glad you are feeling better :)

Poodles Rule said...

I love the pictures, please publish more. I think it is great to see into the world of people we have come to know online.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

I like the pictures, too, and I am looking forward to the podcast. No real questions. Just keep getting better, Pmomma.

As for kids and school...My mom has always had a hard time with the Pledge, since she learned it during WWII without the "Under God" words and since it's one of those things you say without thinking once you've learned it, she never says them. I have started consciously dropping them; maybe one day it will be ingrained.

Nicholas said...

All pictures will be most welcome!

Making children of kindergarten age recite pledges,with or without god in them, is just wromg.

AlisonM said...

PM, this blog is made better by the personal touches. Besides, it's YOUR blog. If you want to talk about something else that isn't necessarily related to atheism, that's your prerogative.

BTW, you don't have to quote it or even read it, but you inspired me to write my own post about the Duggars:

Betsy said...

I love the pictures. Your kids are so cute and it makes it more personal. I love all of your topics.

Regarding the pledge, my oldest son started kindergarten as well. He came home last Friday and told me "We have to look at the flag and put our hands on our heart and say something." It hadn't occurred to me before (other than the under god bit, which is another issue and I was just going to ignore) but it struck me as so wrong. He's five. It's a pledge, defined by the school as a binding contract. I wouldn't let him get married, buy a house or get a credit card at age 5. Why must he make a pledge he doesn't understand to a country he (as yet) knows nothing about? If he's 10 or 12 and knows some U.S. history and means the words, fine, say it.

I suppose I see it as another form of indoctrination, forced patriotism, etc... but I also want him to learn to only say what he means. His promises and "pledges" should matter, not be a few words he rambles off b/c the law says it has to be recited in the schools.

I'd love to hear anyone else's thoughts on this. We're trying to decide if it's a big enough deal to file a conscientious objector form with the school and make him sit out - which of course may alientate him from the other kids and I don't want that. I go back and forth on it.

Anonymous said...

1) Are you trying to torture those of us with dial-up who get, on a really good day, 26Kbps?? There's no way in a cracked spaghetti bowl that I can hear it at home. I listened to part of the first podcast when I snuck into dh's office (with ethernet...drool) one day, and enjoyed it.
2) Love the pics! Keep 'em coming. What, atheists aren't supposed to take photos??
3) "Crutch of the weak", I just have to keep reminding myself of that.
* There was a good article in Smithsonian a while back about the Pledge - even though a preacher/minister wrote it, he didn't include "under god"...besides annoying us atheists, the cadence is all wrong with the added words.

Chris said...


I get the feeling I'm not alone in this, but I do like the photos, as well as all the other personal touches that don't necessarily have a lot to do with atheism. I check a number of atheist blogs a day after work, but they're all just news and updates on various subjects. It's good to keep up with those, but while they all usually have a touch of personal opinion from the author, they're mainly focused on the news aspect of it. Your blog, though, is my favorite because it's not that. I view it more as a "This is the blog of an actual person...who just happens to be an atheist", rather than "this is an atheist blog", and I like it much more for that personal touch.

So keep up with the photos, or the family news, or whatever. It's what makes this blog so great :)

Saurian200 said...


Since this is supposed to be, predominantly, an atheist you mind the pics?

It's your blog. Put whatever you want on it. Write about whatever you want. You don't need to confine it to just atheist topics.

Personally, I like the pics and look forward to seeing more.

Calladus said...

I like the pics. It gives it a human touch.

P.momma - maybe you would be interested in teaching your kids what the pledge could be. For example:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty, equality and justice for all.

Oh, and maybe you've read this before, but the atheist ethicist blog had a good example of why the pledge shouldn't stand, as is.

Cayora said...

I love your blog, it's always good reading and I'm looking forward to the podcast. However, I thought it interesting that your blog is the fourth thing that comes up if I search for "quiverfuller" on Google. That's probably a good thing, for my own sanity, among other reasons.

Erp said...

In regards to the pledge, I think the US is the only current western country that has it (other countries have oaths such as when gaining citizenship but those are usually only taken once).

The Jehovah's Witnesses fought for the right not to say the pledge and initially lost at the Supreme Court. They won three years later when the Court saw the result. (It was also a bit embarrassing that the US was persecuting JWs for not saying the pledge at the same time Nazi Germany was doing the same).

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion."

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Australia's Citizenship Pledge gives you the option with or without god.

Maybe the little possum could do a project on how some other countries are more inclusive/enlightened in that respect ;)

Eagerly awaiting the Podcast

Gramomster said...

Ah, the pledge... when my kids were in about 4th and 6th grades, they told me they had started saying the pledge the way their aunt does (she's just a few years older, and pretty much worshipped)...
No mention of god, and ended with...

... and liberty and justice, for those who can afford it.

Very glad you are healing! Bring on the pics, lady!

Autonomous said...

I like to replace "under god" with "without frogs." Not that I have anything against frogs, but it seems to roll off the tongue.

Joe said...

Being an Atheist is not all we are. I blog about more than athiesm so I think you should go ahead and blog about whatever the hell you want, pics included.

Sue Doe said...

I just intercepted an email that Mrs. Duggar sent her uterus.

Apparently they're now in different time zones.

Glad you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

The photos were great! With a 3 month old baby you can imagine I was up at 3am to see it myself.

As for the photos on an atheist blog, I think it's very important to teach my kids that there is this big universe we live it and natural laws that run it. It doesn't give a damn about us but is still beautiful. I didn't want my kids to have a vacuum as far as where did we come from and what is this world about and what does life mean. I use nature and natural laws to help them get a sense of their place in the universe.

As for the pledge I explained that under God was added for bad reasons and it's stupid. (Is the whole pledge stupid? Yes, but I only feel strongly about the post-McCarthy under God bit...) I do not want my kids to say that part of the pledge so we practiced the summer before Kindergarten started and I have spoken to his teachers each year, with support each time. Well, last year the teacher was a lump of a teacher who led the students in 'God Bless America' (that was an awkward conversation with her the next day, but she didn't pull it again).

Sorry this is so long!