Monday, October 19, 2009
I heard that Paranomal Activity sucks...
I had a pretty great weekend. Leah had weddings Friday and Saturday, which sucked, but the weather was perfect and Harper and I went for a lot of walks, which was lovely. On Saturday, Jeff and Angela came over and we grilled some chicken, squash, and sausages and watched Serenity. I love Serenity/Firefly. So fun, so underrated.
Sunday afternoon, Quiet Company played at the Austin AIDS Walk. It was really fun, and we were really thankful to have been asked to be a part of it. Between songs, a couple of people who were handing out condoms asked me if I wanted one, and, at the AIDS Walk, I said "No, I don't use condoms." I then proceeded to explain that I was married and that my wife is on birth control so I have no need of condoms, but everyone who's not in a committed, monogamous relationship should use them. I thought it was pretty funny in that way that awkwardness is always funny. It was Harper's first Quiet Company show, outside of her mother's belly. I think she enjoyed it.
Last night, we had a rehearsal with our auxiliary musicians and I must confess, it went a hell of a lot better than I thought it might. Really well, actually. There is a big difference between fake sampled horns and real horns, I can assure you of that. I'm pretty pumped to play with this lineup this Friday. Its starting to look like we may pull off a bit of a rock spectacle after all.
I'm a little disappointed in NPR for this story. Apart from the facts they got wrong about PZ Myer's "Crackergate" incident, they painted the Atheist movement in a wholly negative tone. At least that's how it read to me. I've read a few of the "New Atheist" books and I frequent Pharyngula so I think I'm pretty well versed in the message they're spreading, and I can totally understand why theists think they are awful, mean spirited, assholes. I really do. I'm still not really sure where I stand as far as whether or not I think this is a good approach. I think its easy to see that it is an effective approach though, and I'm inclined to say "it takes all kinds." I don't think I want to be a "New Atheist" (largely because I'm a Deistic Humanist) but its not because I think they're mean. Their message is "religion doesn't deserve our respect" and that is commonly misconstrued as "religious people don't deserve our respect." Its a fine line, and I'm at a loss as to how to embrace one and not the other. I do think that our culture has developed this weird relationship with religion that demands that "kid gloves" be used when critiquing and attacking it. Politics, economics, philosophy, etc, none of these have such a stipulation, but if someone says "Well, that's what my faith teaches. I just believe it." it signifies that any further criticism is unwelcome, and more unfortunately, likely to be ignored. The "New Atheists" say that non believers should be bold and honest, and I would agree (I think its good advise for people of all beliefs, actually) but I don't know if its possible to convince people that just because we don't respect your beliefs because we don't think they were arrived at rationally, it doesn't mean that we don't respect you as people. When people make those beliefs such a part of their identity they don't see the difference, and maybe the "New Atheists" need to realize that if they want to make an even bigger difference. Or not, what do I know?