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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Citizenship, Porn, and Talk of God


As of two days ago, I am officially an American citizen! I was so proud I teared up and cried a little. My parents in-law, husband, and daughter were in the back and while I was getting all emotional over the army reserve guys bringing out the colors, my daughter yelled from her seat that I was, in fact, because the curtain beyond the presiding judge and was going to come out and do a dance. That amused the people within earshot.

I was surprised by how many times the mention of God came up. I came to the States honestly expecting a separation of church and state, but not really seeing much of that. I am totally fine with everyone practicing any religion they so choose, but I do a get a little miffed when I'm expected to follow in their footsteps.

That troubled me when I was trying to buy a bottle of wine early on a Sunday for a party I was going to later that day. I wasn't allowed because someone else's religion says I couldn't! How bizarre is that?!!

Same goes for porn. I can't get the porn channels on my satellite here because some religious dude is offended by it. I'm not! He can have the choice to not have Big Bouncing Bottoms part XVI, but maybe I WANT to have Big Bouncing Bottoms part XVI on my DVR. Heck, I may want to see all preceding parts to make sure I'm caught up on the whole story arc.

I say give me the liberty to enjoy my vices, or give me a better reason than someone else's religion saying it's not right.

Now that I've painted myself to be an alcoholic pervert, aren't you glad I'm a US citizen? I'm really not. I'm a very well behaved individual. I just believe in a little more liberty than others, perhaps.

21 comments:

programmer craig said...

Gratz on the citizenship :)

We do have separation of Church and State, but only to a certain extent. The concept is to protect people from religious persecution, not to protect people from being exposed to the religious practices of the majority. As US culture changes more and more, I'm sure that the religious overtones in our culture will change as well. They already have, during my lifetime. The US is a lot more "Christian" than it was when I was a kid in the 1970s. But on the other hand, blue laws (which is what you are talking about in your examples) used to be quite common back then. We have no such laws now, at least here in Los Angeles where I live!

Chris said...

The US was founded as a secular nation but little by little the christians have been pushing their agenda. That's why you have "under god" in the pledge of allegiance (put in there in the 1950s by Eisenhower) or In God We Trust on the coins (put there after the Civil War).

BTW, love your blog. I've been lurking for a bit now.

Chris said...

Oh, and welcome to the club :)

programmer craig said...

Chris,

The US was founded as a secular nation but little by little the christians have been pushing their agenda.

The US was founded by Christians, who believed in secular democracy. About 90% of Americans self-identify as Christians, as of right now. Wouldn't you expect the American culture to conform with what 90% of it's citizens believe in? Why do you call that an "agenda"? lol.

Don't wanna get in an argument with you, but the agenda that's being shoved down the throat of the majority by the vocal minority is that of atheists. How many Christian holidays (like Christmas!?) have to be shat on before atheists will be satisfied? Live and let live, man. Live and let live.

programmer craig said...

PS Chris:

That's why you have "under god" in the pledge of allegiance (put in there in the 1950s by Eisenhower)

Ties in with the "under God" thing:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Put there by Thomas Jefferson in 1776.

Maybe he was talking about his mom and dad, though, eh? :P

TeacherLady said...

Craig, let it be known, despite my being an Atheist, I don't approve of people being scared to say "Merry Christmas" or the way Christians are made to feel ashamed of practicing their beliefs and holidays in public. I make a point of saying Merry Christmas to those I know to be Christian because I wish to respect their religion. I also make a point of saying "Christmas break" at school instead of "Winter holiday". We all know damn well why we get that specific period of time off, and there's no shame in admitting it. I guess that makes me a hypocrite for being willing to enjoy the benefits of someone else's religion and not the limitations! :)

I just feel odd having to make oaths to a deity I don't believe in. It makes me feel like a liar, or something... So I just focused my thoughts on America and my fidelity to 'her' instead.

I fully support your right to practice your religion, it's part of what makes America great... That you can do that, theoretically, without fear of reprisal is a wonderful thing.

Thanks for the congrats, gents, I am delighted to be part of this most presitious club for which some people are willing to risk their lives to join! But then again, as the great philosopher Marx once said: "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." ;)
On the contrary, SOME place had to embrace me despite my faults!

Chris, you flatter me... Stop it, really... You're making me blush...

I will most certainly add your blog to my list of places to check up frequently.

TeacherLady said...

PS: Craig, if only the Libertarian party showed a little more promise... I share some of their domestic philosophies... And I can freaking vote now! How cool is that?!!! Oh the 4th of July is going to make me cry even more than usual this year...

Chris said...

@Programmer Craig

"If God is allowed in the Constitution, man must abdicate. There is no room for both. If the people of the great Republic become superstitious enough and ignorant enough to put God in the Constitution of the United States, the experiment of self-government will have failed, and the great and splendid declaration that “all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” will have been denied, and in its place will be found this: All power comes from God; priests are his agents, the people are their slaves."

Robert Green Ingersoll - “God in the Constitution”

Chris said...

Some further reading for programmer Craig:

The US Constitution (The Declaration of Independence is nice and all but The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are a bit more important and neither mention God)

The US Treaty with Tripoli in 1796:
Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen;

And for the heck of it, The Jefferson Bible, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible where Tommy (we're close) takes the bible and edits it to remove any supernatural occurences. (He was a Deist, not a Christian)

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Congrats! Note to self: buy booze Saturday night.

Chris said...

You're welcome TeacherLady.

I didn't get a say in choosing this country since it just happened to be where my parents had me (and where their parents had them, etc, etc) So I'm the result of many generations of people who either loved this country or were just too damn lazy to move. And knowing my family, it's probably the latter :)

programmer craig said...

Chris, you aren't telling me anything I don't already know. Why do you expect me to go along with your beliefs, when you are completely intolerant of mine? lol.

(He was a Deist, not a Christian)

False statement. That seems to have become a particularly popular lie to tell in the last 10 or 15 years. He was a practicing Christian. He read from the King James Bible. He attended protestant services. He had some problems with some christian doctrines, such as the trinity. I do, too. So what? Am I a "deist' now? lol.

See, you atheist even have to assassinate the character of one of America's Founding fathers in order to make yourselves happy, right? Speak for yourself, nobody is interested in hearing opinions of the religious beliefs or lack thereof of a man who died 200 years ago. He identified himself as a Christian, so who the hell are you to say he wasn't? And if he didn't believe in the "super-natural" then why in the hell is all that language about God doing in the Declaration of Independence?

Come to think of it, humanist philosophy itself is predicated on the existence of God. That's where the whole idea of "human rights" comes from - the innate rights that people have by virtue of being human beings, come from God - hence man has no right to take them away. If human rights were granted by man, they could just as easily be taken away by man, could they not? Which is exactly what atheistic despots like Hitler and Stalin have a long history of doing.

I suppose that means as an atheist, you don't believe in human rights anyway, right Chris? Well, freedom of religion is a human right, and since you don't believe in human rights you got no business complaining if somebody else shoves their beliefs down your throat, do you? Deal with it :P

PS- I said i didn't wanna argue religion with you.

programmer craig said...

Teacherlady,

I just feel odd having to make oaths to a deity I don't believe in. It makes me feel like a liar, or something...

I know exactly what you mean. I was raised Christian but was actually agnostic until I was an adult. I saw way too much hypocrisy in Christians, even as a child, I just knew there had to be a load of horsecrap in there someplace. It wasn't until I was having a hard time of it later in life and started reading the Bible on my own without having it interpreted for me that I finally "got it", and I still don't attend church regularly :)

PS: Craig, if only the Libertarian party showed a little more promise...

Yeah, Libertarian party sucks :(

About a third of Republicans and some smaller percentage of democrats are actually Libertarians, though. Someday, there might be a viable Libertarian party. Problem with Libertarians is they are too close to anarchist philosophy and don't really like politics very much.

programmer craig said...

PPS to Chris:

where Tommy (we're close) takes the bible and edits it to remove any supernatural occurences. (He was a Deist, not a Christian)

Have you ever looked up the word "Deist"? If you had, you'd know that a Deist believes in God, but doesn't subscribe to a particular religion. So, even if you COULD prove Jefferson was a Deist, I fail to see how you and "Tommy" could ever be described as "close" in your beliefs. Is belief in God "close" to being completely convinced that there is no God? lol

I'll sign off by suggesting you improve your atheistic spiel. I've argued with a few over the years and you have a long way to go, mang.

PHSChemGuy said...

Two things...

One, I am thrilled that you are a citizen.

And two, you really should give up on the Big Bouncing Bottoms series. Things went downhill after Big Bouncing Bottoms III: Assmasters and by Big Bouncing Bottoms XIV: We're Just Going Through the Motions, but What Motions They Are!, they were pretty much just going through the motions.

The acting was wooden, the plots had devloved into just cheap excuses for sex, production values had slipped, and things just weren't the same.

Might I recommend Logjammin', instead?

Seth said...

Hooray! Congratulations on becoming a citizen! Now you can vote and bitch about the US' problems openly, and as a teacher you have a front row seat to a significant portion of them.

I followed Cynical Chris' advice to stop by and I'm hooked.

I would also recommend Karl Hungus' masterful performance in Logjammin'.

TeacherLady said...

phschemguy, "the acting was wooden"? Who would have thought there'd be wood in a porno *childish snickering*
I laughed at your response... And that was at 7am when laughing is usually the last thing I want to do.
Seth, you're making me big headed too... Thanks for becoming a new regular! I hope I don't disappoint.

PS: I'm ashamed to say I have yet to see the Big Lebowski... It's on my list, really! Along with... The Godfather... Don't make fun of me, okay? Dammit. I know, I know..

Chris said...

Seth wrote
I would also recommend Karl Hungus' masterful performance in Logjammin'.

Little known fact about Karl Hungus... the man is a nihilist.

*aside to Teacher Lady* No Lebowski? No Godfather? And to think I put you on my blogroll..... for shame.

TeacherLady said...

Forgive me, Chris, for I have sinned... I am doing all I can to mend my evil ways... But the list of TV shows I'm trying to keep up with is just silly.

Gila said...

Mazal Tov!!!!!

Pray to the Lord of the Big Bouncing Asses, for all I care. The US is lucky to have you!

TeacherLady said...

Aw, thanks Gila. You're very sweet!