jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Please pray to whatever you worship, that justice will be done. For all of the gender, sexual, religious, and ethnic minorities whose lives are policed by the majority's cruelty, and ended through violence, deprivation, and despair.

After you are finished praying, please find those who are endangered and hurting, and help them. Not by erasing what makes them endangered, but by making it safe for them to be themselves.

My going on living, today, is a political act. Just like it has been every day, for the past few years. I shouldn't have to face the opposition that makes it political. I should just be able to take it for granted.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Content note: Discusses religion and religious intolerance.

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Where by "we" I meant the people on the exmormon Reddit, who are largely atheists of the anti-theist variety.

Content note for strong language, and talking about theophobia.

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Via the Geek Feminism blog, git has a serious bug.

For those reading this who aren't technically-inclined, git (named after Linus Torvalds) is like an ongoing archive of savegames for your programming, except that it also has features that let multiple people work on it at once. It's fiendishly hard to use and easy to break, and those qualities by themselves help to create a culture of complacent experts and frustrated novices. I personally feel that the time savings at the top are erased by the loss of contributions from people who are discouraged from ever learning it.

But besides that, everything you write in git is tied to your name. And it won't let you change it retroactively:
If you change the author, it’s treated as an entirely new commit. Anyone who has grabbed a copy of your original commit and made subsequent changes on top of it finds themselves orphaned from the history of the project. To use a crude analogy, it’s like you rip the trunk of a tree out, while the branches are magically left hanging in the air, connected to nothing and isolated.
This is an example of cismale privilege at work, where by "privilege" I mean "you guys don't have to worry about this." Most guys don't change their names when they get married, and most cisgender people don't think about changing their names, or what it'd be like to need to for safety- or identity-related reasons. Cisguys comprise most of the experts who wrote git and who use it on a day-to-day basis, so this apparently never came up.

The result: People are excluded from Free Software projects without anyone making a conscious decision to exclude them.

That point is extremely important to keep in mind. My intent doesn't matter when it comes to behaviours that exclude other people, any more than it matters when it comes to writing executable code. Blaming the people my actions exclude, or who point out that my actions exclude someone else, is no more productive than blaming the compiler. Instead, I need to educate myself by listening to marginalized others, and by going out of my way to include them. It's only fair, since they didn't choose to be marginalized. It's also the only way I'll know what I and my projects are missing.

(As on the Geek Feminism blog, comments will be moderated for 'splaining or other forms of derailing.)

Also, about Identi.ca

I appear to have been blocked from posting notices to Identi.ca. If I had to guess, I would say it was because of the most recent notices I posted (which contain some strong language).

The Terms of Service don't contain any rules against swearing, or even cursing at Identi.ca itself, which I did after becoming frustrated with my inability to block trolls on it. I wasn't warned or given notice, and an email I sent to admin@status.net received no response, so I don't know exactly what kind of speech the site admins will ban people for. But while I don't have the spoons to check on it myself, I'm pretty sure that the trolls who believe that I don't have a right to my identity or spirituality (one of whom also swore at me) weren't banned and never will be.

I've looked into Google+ as an alternative, but found its restrictions on pseudonyms and identities problematic. I am currently considering setting up a personal site as a Tumblr style linkblog. If I do, I will probably syndicate its content on Twitter and Google+, and here on Dreamwidth and Planet GNOME as applicable.
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
It's because many atheists seem to hold the belief that if a god actually existed, they'd worship him. And I say "him" because they tend to mean the Abrahamic god by that, and he's popularly considered male by people who subscribe to this kind of fundamentalist thinking.

I don't know how many believe this way or to what extent it goes, and I know there are many atheists who get that (for instance) the Old Testament god is a jerk. But it seems to be an unspoken assumption for some that "If God, then obey;" that the question of whether or not the Abrahamic god exists would somehow change the moral dimension of whether or not his teachings should be followed.

I don't feel that this is a justifiable position to take. I feel that the people who hold it do so because it's the position taken by many fundamentalist believers in Abrahamic religions, and because they either assume those positions are held by all theists or they haven't examined their own leftover beliefs from before their conversion to atheism.

I feel that the latter (having leftover beliefs) happens very often, and is the underlying reason why lifestyle atheism is fundie religion 2.0. Because they're so similar to fundamentalist religionists, in so many ways. They're obsessed with what's "right" as opposed to what's healthy or humane, they teach very specific beliefs about god and the afterlife, and they insist that anyone who disagrees is morally suspect or dangerous. They also tend to be really misogynist. Not all of them do the above, but the ones who do aren't marginalized or excluded from the community for so doing, and in fact anyone who speaks up for tolerance tends to be seen as not a real atheist.

I don't think there's a word right now, for a person who accepts the existence of deities but chooses not to worship them for whatever reason. I personally feel that "atheist" is the best word for this, and that "theophobe" and "anti-theist" are the best words to use to describe today's lifestyle atheists. Because their actions suggest a visceral fear of and hatred for people who have religious belief and/or spiritual practices, and a desire for us to cease to exist around them.

Sorry for repeating myself.
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
That's the subject of an essay published by the church that I used to belong to. It draws a distinction between between hostile "questioning" and respectful "asking questions." The former is done when the jury is out, so to speak, on whether or not someone else has the right to say something, while the latter assumes good faith on their part and avoids making assumptions.

On the face of it, this seems like a surprisingly progressive topic for them to tackle, if you know anything about this church. Then you read the essay, as well as some other stuff that they publish, and two things become clear.

Trigger warning for theophobia, religious supremacism, sexual predation, and my personally venting frustration at wilfully obtuse and hostile people who want me to cease to exist.

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jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
Trigger warning: Theophobia and religious supremism.

There's a train of thought that goes something like this:

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Ana Mardoll wrote a great piece on this. She discusses it both firsthand, as a Wiccan, and as someone who's seen the Quileute tribe exploited in the Twilight franchise and thought this was Not Okay. And she uses some very good stories and examples, both to point out what is Not Okay and to raise questions about what, exactly, is Not Okay about "cultural appropriation."

I think those questions need to be asked. What's bad about cultural appropriation, after all? Is it that one person is being silenced, or is it that another person is finding their voice and is saying things they aren't allowed to?

Trigger warning for discussion of privilege, oppression, racism, transphobia, religious supremism, and genocide.

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I wanted to write something about them, after reading something that someone else wrote. I wanted to make it snarky and a bit light-hearted. But I couldn't. It was too painful to write about.

I just want to say that I'm not sure it's ever appropriate to respond to someone telling you about how much pain they're in with "You think you've got it bad? Shut up and listen to me."

Here's why.

(Trigger warning for abuse and negation.)

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jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
Because I keep running into people I want to tell this to.
Every day that I read religious blogs, I see comments and posts by atheists that I think they would find offensive if they were aimed at them by religious conservatives.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying you don't have the right to be upset about how you've been treated. I've blasphemed my parents' religion all over the place, in profound and insightful ways and in more juvenile ones as well. I think the world needs more blasphemy. There are a lot of awful and inhumane teachings, that are ruining real people's lives and that not nearly enough people are challenging.

The thing is, atheists aren't in this alone. It's not a battle of "freethinkers versus religion." It's a battle of "oppressive conservative religion versus minority belief systems." Most atheists, Buddhists, druids, Wiccans, or neopagans wouldn't outlaw competing belief systems if they somehow got to be in charge. The petty tyrants who run conservative Christianity and Islam would.

So I realize it seems ironic to say this to atheists, but this is bigger than who's right about unprovable metaphysical stuff. Quakers, Unitarians, UCCers, people in the belief systems I just mentioned; few of them are your enemies, and all of them can be your allies.

You're not the only ones who are being oppressed, or who've had to face angry parents and family members who think you've been led astray by the devil. You're not the only ones who've read lists of logical fallacies, and applied them to the church you grew up in. And the fact that you feel you came to the "right" conclusions regarding God and the afterlife doesn't make you better than liberal believers. It just makes you a religious supremacist, the same as your conservative enemies.

If you don't like that idea, then here's some advice for you.

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~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

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