A little randomness does the mind good…

I’m reading Michael Shermer’s Skeptic. I love this book. Chapter by chapter, it is both confirming and cleansing. I have a secret Instagram account where a photo of me reading this book has been posted, but I dare not post it to Facebook. Too many friends from the church, too many family, too many connections to the uber religious college I attended.

Speaking of friends from college, I stumbled across the profile of an old college friend who had unfriended me long ago. I don’t really know why. I sent him a friend request, and he surprisingly accepted. From his posts, I can tell that his journey has been similar to mine… by that I mean that he has moved from conservative to liberal…. from religious to secular. I admire his courage. The best I can muster right now is simply to not post anything religious or conservative in nature. Instead, I sometimes share subtle liberal jabs at the conservatives. That’s about it.

Did I mention that I went to school with Sarah Huckabee-Sanders? Boy, his she’s changed!

Anyway.

I apologize if my thoughts are jumbled. I’m actually sitting here right now trying to decide if I’m an atheist or not. I think I am. That adds a whole new wing to my liberal closet that I have to deal with, but now that I’m solidly in my mid-30s, I want to be honest with myself.

Your encouragement and support is appreciated.

Yep. Exceptionally good at vanishing….

Sorry about that. Where was I?

Oh yes. My kick ass summer. It was AMAZING. I did no work. None. Zip. Zero. Nil. I baked my body in the sun. I drank too much. I traveled – The Caribbean, Alaska, New Mexico, California, Salt Lake City, etc…. I lost myself and found myself again. The only word to describe it is EPIC.

And then August came. Actually, the end of July as my new job paid me to start a week early because they were behind. This is a completely new branch of an established organization, and when you are creating new things, it’s a bit chaotic. I literally worked 15-20 hours a day through to September when things started to slow down a little. Really though, it has not stopped. I’ve moved offices three times as my job title has changed three times… in five months. All good changes, mind you, but it does make it impossible to stay ahead of the game. You are always playing catch up.

But I am very happy.

Despite the stress, here’s what I don’t have to worry about: Listening to constant pro-Trump talk, having to stomach the pro-conservative positions of literally everyone I work with, and being forced to nod and smile when my colleagues and superiors discuss any kind of issue concerning the greater world. Money. I haven’t had to worry about that since my paycheck almost doubled. Also, I haven’t been had to worry over my very liberal, arguably non-religious leanings.

Speaking of religion…. I haven’t been to church since early summer. I’m not likely to go back. More on that later.

In other good news, while my books are officially out-of-print, I’ve had four other larger items published in the last five months, and I’m on target for one a month through June.

In short: The risk to quit my job, abandon my former career in the church, and look for something that was relating to what I actually believe has been, hands down, THE BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE. Take that, self-doubt.

That’s it for now. I know it’s Sunday, but I’m sitting in my office right now, and I’ve got some glorious, fulfilling work to do. See you later!

 

I’ve discovered how good I am at vanishing….

Which would be great in cases of, say, the apocalypse… but in every other case it either makes people angry or worried. 

Sorry for my lack of communication especially during this transition time. I have no excuse except to say that I’m a lazy bum. 

Anyway. 

My last day was May 26th. It’s over. I no longer work for the church. Those last few weeks had gotten really, really bad. I spent a lot of time hiding in my office. But it’s over now, so YAY!!! My new gig starts officially in August so I’ve been spending a lot of time…. sitting on the back porch with a cocktail reading and getting a sun tan. Remember what I said about the bum part? I wasn’t kidding. In more good news, the new job has agreed to pay me for any time I’m needed in June or July. I’ve logged a few hours, but thats expected to pick up next month. I may be a bum, but I won’t be a penniless one. 

There’s been some bad stuff, too – life isn’t all roses and sunshine. I am… or was… a published author. My christian book contract has now been cancelled and my books are technically out of print. Honestly, though, it’s probably for the best. I do still have another work published by another company…. but a part of me feels like I’m starting over. Still, perhaps a fresh start is what I need. 

Now, this lazy bum is going on vacation. HA! I’m dropping off the face of the earth for at least the next 10 days. Sorry, friends. I just don’t need to be responsible to anyone during this recovery. That includes my blog. 

Peace out! I’ll be back on the blog and answering emails when I return to reality sometime in July. Please have a nice drink in some sunshine and think of me. 😘🏝🍷

Thinking Aloud

I was interviewed for a podcast recently. You can find it here: http://byrontosaurus.com/podcast-ep-01-becoming-liberal/

I found Byron really easy to talk to, and at some point, I forgot the conversation was being recorded. That always makes for the best podcast material, right? Of course, like most artistic people, I am also hyper critical of myself. I was afraid I might come across as loony, but having listened to the podcast, it appears that I might actually be a sensible person. 😛

One thing I would like to expand upon – I am an advocate for freedom of religion, and I certainly believe that religious organizations have the right to hire people that conform to their beliefs and can certainly chose who they will serve within their community. That being said, religious organizations that choose this form of discrimination should NOT receive funding from the state or federal government. Period. Right now, my organization which is religious in nature receives some government funding. Not a lot, mind you. But it shouldn’t be any at all.

Hell in a Handbasket

Image result for handbasket hell

Thanks to Byron for this post idea! Look for his first podcast, too, when it comes out. 🙂

Question: What would you say to someone who told you that you were destined for hell? 

I’ve been on both side of this now, so I can predict how this conversation would go. Here’s the dialogue of me talking to myself (I’m fine; I promise.) ten years ago…

Old me: You’re going to hell.

New me: *After pausing for laughter* Really? Why do you believe that?

Old me: Because the Bible says that anyone who does not accept Jesus as their savior is going to spend all eternity in hell.

New me: So you believe everything the bible says?

Old me: Yes. The bible is the truth of God on earth.

New me: According to the bible, we are the children of god and he loves us, right? Because he created us?

Old me: Yes. He created us and we must follow his word like sheep, like little children.

New me: Would you send your child to hell?

Old me: Excuse me?

New me: If your child was disobedient, didn’t listen to you, and wanted to follow their own path, would you send them to hell for all eternity?

Old me: Well, if a person doesn’t follow God, then…

New me: Not what I asked you. Would YOU send your child to hell for not listening to you? You created them. Shouldn’t your children do everything you ask them to do?

Old me: Well, no…

New me: Would you send nice, moral people who lead wonderful, fruitful lives to hell simply because they have no religion or were raised with a different one?

Old me: ….

New me: Would YOU send me to hell? I’m not concerned about god right now. Would you do it?

Old me: No, but it’s not my…

New me: Then you have a higher concept of morality than the god you worship.

THE END. That’s what I would say.

Geez. I really don’t like old me very much. 😛

The Health Care Question

Is it really a question? I mean, seriously, there is only one answer if you are a human being with morals and a heart. Does everyone deserve quality, affordable (or even better … FREE) healthcare regardless of their state of employment or financial status.

ummm…. YES.

Wikipedia has a list of countries with some kind of universal healthcare and guess what? The US is still not on it. I’m lucky. I have insurance through my husband’s work since my old job did not provide it. With the job change, I’ll likely switch over to insurance under my new organization so they will have to cover me. If I had to go get it on my own? Well, under Trumps plan I have three preexisting conditions so who knows how that would work out.

I’ll spare you the gory details but due to one of these conditions I had to have a medical procedure earlier this year (not a super dangerous or terribly scary one, mind you), and I had to spend five hours in the hospital and undergo anesthesia. Keep in mind that I have a great health insurance plan. Cost out of pocket? About $600 up-front before they would even take me back to have the procedure done. I had to get my credit card out twice while I was in a hospital gown. After the procedure? A bill for about $300 arrived that insurance would not cover. No one at the hospital prepared me for these costs. The procedure was simply recommended due to my condition and it was assumed that I would follow through. The only financial counseling given to me was a phone call the day before I went in where a receptionist told me the cost I’d have to pay when I got there. Mind you, the procedure was already scheduled and I’d already done half the prep for it at home the day before. Yeah. None of this was a pleasant experience.

Let me compare that to a friend, a US citizen, who had an accident in Denmark that required a visit to the hospital, a CT scan, and stitches. She was there for three hours, they took all of her information, copied her passport, did all of these procedures, gave her pain meds, and when they discharged her, did not charge her one single dime. Nor did she receive a bill later. They were actually confused when she asked whether she needed to pay anything!

Now, I know the counter argument. It costs too much. Countries with free healthcare have ridiculous taxes, and I won’t deny that. But NOT having free healthcare? People die because they can’t pay for the drugs and treatment they need. It’s usually not the very poor who suffer, either. It’s the folks just above the poverty line or just below the middle class mark who make too much to qualify for help and too little to pay for what’s needed. It’s the blue collar workers. It’s the Trump voters.

By continuing to not fund healthcare, we are making the rich richer and the sick sicker. That’s all there is to it.

I HAVE A JOB!

Well, technically, I am still in my old job. But I accepted a position with a new organization. I start August 1st, so I am going to have to go through two solid months without a paycheck but it’s completely worth it. Savings will get me through.

A Brief Description: Public organization and non-religious. I’ll be doing exactly what I have been trained to do. I’ll be making $20,000 more than I am making now.

No, I am not kidding about that last part. How many years have I been selling myself short under the guise of “working in the ministry”???!!! Too long. WAY TOO LONG.

Oh and the meeting during which I accepted the position? A Jew, Baptist, Episcopalian, and an Atheist – two men and two women – sat down for a chat over coffee. They laughed, talked, and were ridiculously excited about the future of their organization. And no one talked about religion, no one argued about god, no one felt the need to pray. The end.

True story.

26 days to FREEDOM!!! 3 months to the job I know I’m going to LOVE!!!

Is Poverty a Symptom of Atheism?

THIS. Stop what you’re doing and read it. Please be as shocked as I am.

It’s an especially odd statement considering those living below the poverty line are statistically MORE religious than those more well-off.

The real culprit behind generational poverty? Lack of opportunity. Lack of equality. Until we acknowledge this, the cycle will only continue.

 

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