It didn’t take long for “TrustinJC” to respond… and I’m kinda glad that he did because it helps to nail the point home. Here is his first response and my reply to it:
His first response
Seriously, I am a little taken aback at this accusation – what the hell have I done to justify his accusation that I have been trolling? I ask him this. So far, no answer has been forthcoming.
Hedonistic Beliefs and Lifestyle, WTF?
Here he goes again with the whole accusation of a hedonistic lifestyle. Where does he get that? Who knows! After all, consider the typical things that are associated with hedonism. Wikipedia defines hedonism as:
“a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain).”
I am not a hedonist under this definition. I believe that pain has the power to transform us and that, in doing so, it is useful and good. After all, exercise would be anathema to me if I were a hedonist. Also, there is the popular definition of hedonism, which is conflated with unconstrained sex, drugs, drinking and food. I don’t exceed in any of these means because I see them as a road to ruin to what I truly want in life (see Will vs. Whim in my previous post). I’m not having sex because I want to improve myself so I can start dating again. I don’t do drugs because I want to be as alert and conscious as possible. I don’t drink because my Christian parents drank, I don’t want to be like them and my family seems to have a genetic disposition to addiction.
Unlike him, however, I do not denounce these things because I don’t see these things as bad. True, they are bad for what I want to achieve but if you want to enjoy responsibly, all the more power to you! Hell, I sure as hell intend to indulge once I am at that point in my life – but responsibly, which – again – is not hedonism.
“TrustinJC” Failed the Reading Comprehension Test
The fact that he claims that my previous post confirms his weird and inaccurate accusations just goes to show how he didn’t actually read what I wrote in my previous post. How unfortunate. Hopefully, he will read this one.
His Second Response
Just Your Standard Christian Transphobia
First of all, I left Christianity before I transitioned – when I went to Bible College and figured out that it was all untrue and a collection of middle eastern fairy tales that make no sense when amalgamated together into the Christian Bible.
But it is an interesting position he takes, because this is something that I commonly talk about – why is it that if I am a woman but I was born with male genitalia, why – if there was a god – did he fuck up? Isn’t the god of the bible supposed to be infallible? Isn’t he supposed to be omnipotent, not impotent? Why would he create a person who was a girl in a body that made it impossible for her to socialize as a girl?
Okay, maybe he might just write off transsexuality as a mental illness (protip: It isn’t) so let’s use another example. Children born with cleft palates. Why were these children born with these deformities? Why would the god of the bible hate these children so much that he would deform them when he was “forming them in the womb” (a passage anti-choicers love to use)? Why is the god of the bible that much of a bastard? How about children born with down’s syndrome?
I’m Not Angry at Your Imaginary Friend
Now, let me be clear, if I for a moment believed that there was a god, I would be angry with him considering how evil the god of the bible is. However, since I do not believe there is a god and I believe that pretty much every god under the sun (including the sun god himself) is a construct of mankind to understand a world which they could not understand yet, this accusation is pretty ridiculous. Especially since he should know this. I did make it clear that I am an atheistic Thelemite in previous comments, but considering how he believes that my previous blog post proves his libelous ad hom attacks to be correct, his reading comprehension skills leave much to be desired.
My “Lifestyle” is Legitimate, Thank You Very Much.
Here’s another comment from him on this point:
Here is the weirdest thing, he presumes that my claim that the Christian religion is evil is an attempt to “legitimize” my “lifestyle”. Now, while my lifestyle consists of things such as hot yoga, being a college student and living in beautiful Boulder, Colorado – I think he probably means my being lesbian and transsexual. So, I’ll respond to that.
Frankly, my “lifestyle” is legitimate. I am a lesbian woman and a transsexual woman and there is nothing wrong with that. I am not dating right now because I am trying to improve myself and I want to be the best me I can be when I am dating again and I don’t think I will be dating until I move to Canada again. I am working to lose weight, graduate from college, get a nice job at a web design firm and live the life I want to be living. Once I do those things, I will start looking for a partner again and hopefully, I’ll find the right woman for me. As for the transsexual thing, I don’t see how my “lifestyle” is illegitimate. I had my name changed, I got the gender marker on my ID changed, I live full-time as a woman and everyone in my community knows that I am a woman… how’s that illegitimate?
I’m also a full-time college student. I don’t get much sex, I am not wealthy (especially considering that I am a student at the Art Institute of Colorado) and I am on public assistance. Not too hedonistic, I must say. I work hard at my courses, I scour the community for good internships so I can get a good job as a web designer once I graduate and I am studying all the time for my Zend Certification so my CV will have that extra oomph once I graduate. Hedonistic my ass, but I’ve already gone into that. But it is legitimate.
The Pot Calling the Kettle Black
He claims that I am unteachable and uninterested in the truth. Which is interesting, considering that he is the one refusing to engage in an honest discussion.
Let me ask you, dear reader, if I am the one who is unteachable and uninterested in the truth, then why am I bringing up the issues and why is he bringing up ad hominem attacks and refuses to talk about the issues?
The third, and final, response from TrustinJC (so far)
On Therapy for Christians
Now, do I believe that all Christians need medication? No. I’m not a doctor and I cannot diagnose psychosis and some of these people have just been brainwashed. What I think most Christians need are effective “exit counseling“, much like every member of most cults need upon exiting. I know this because the exit process was hard on me as well. It was a hard six or seven months after exiting Bible College and I was in constant fear of hell fire… but I could not go back to believing, I knew too much.
So, it was a hard process for me but it was important because I am no longer a gullible fool who believes what she is told just because of some bullshit reason (like that the person selling the lie is a “person of god”). It was worth it, I am happier with my life now and it is a legitimate happiness because I am free from the lies that I was indoctrinated into from the cradle. Most people never do that, they grow up clinging to the lies, even if these lies cause them great pain and suffering, to the grave.
So yes, I do believe there needs to be some sort of “exit counseling” for people who are brainwashed into the lie of Christianity.
Bringing This Conversation In Context
I want to remind you that all of this conversation happened in the comments section of a video where the guy in the comments is trying to tell people that Young Earth Creationism is the reason why young people are leaving the church. It is not the fact that Christianity is evil and is hurting their gay and lesbian friends, thereby stirring their sense of empathy and causing them to see their religion they grew up with accurately. It is the fact that atheists are starting to speak out and people are listening to the other side of the argument. They are no longer listening to only one side of the argument and I believe this is a good thing, because Christianity will start to wither and die.
- “TrustinJC” does not concern himself with the unethical nature of Christianity, nor the epistemophobia which is apparent in Christianity. This is why he doesn’t talk about it in his video.
- “TrustinJC” does not concern himself with the disgusting homophobia that runs rampant in Christianity, which is why he will not understand why young people are fleeing like rats off the Titanic.
- “TrustinJC” does not concern himself with the disgusting misogyny that runs rampant in Christianity and manifests itself in the ugliest ways such as Quiverfull, Complementarianism and the anti-choice movement.
And it is this lack of understanding and unwillingness to adapt and learn that will result in the world leaving “TrustinJC” and Christianity behind. As the world’s morality evolves, we will eventually realize how idiotic it is to hold on to a bronze-age belief system that systematically hurts everyone. That, my friend, is good news as Christianity has been a plague upon this world for centuries – it’s about damn time it died!
Recently, I watched (and commented on) a video from a Christian making the point that it was Ken Ham’s Young Earth Creationism that was driving people away from Christianity, not the fact that it is a toxic, xenophobic belief system that has contributed to the declining culture of this country. Nothing to do with that at all! So it didn’t surprise me too much when I got up this morning and saw this response waiting for me. This is a response to a comment I made on his video:
Dude, you don’t get it. You haven’t been listening at all. The reason why I detest Christianity in a way that I do not detest Judaism, Buddhism or Zoroastrianism is because (1) it tries to inject it’s noxious views into society at all levels and (2) it hurts everyone I care about. It has nothing to do with the way I live my life… okay, I do take that back, it does have to do with the way I live my life…
I’m a compassionate human being.
You see, I cannot in good conscience support something that hurts so many people. Christianity is actively hurting so many people across the globe. It is working on passing anti-gay bills in backwards countries that don’t know any better and cannot see the humanity in their fellow citizens. They are trying to roll back women’s rights and the free exercise of those rights, which explains the war against contraception and abortion. They are trying to make our world a worse place to live as a result of their bullshit dogma. And everything they are doing demonstrably makes our world a less kind, compassionate and loving place to be.
Love is what matters. Not faith. Love for your fellow human beings. Not faith in some phony baloney god that some cave-dweller centuries ago made up.
It’s not about hedonism, as you so put it. It’s about caring about the world in which we live. If we believe that this is the only life we have to live, then we are more likely to make every moment meaningful. Even if it were a demonstrable concept, the idea of eternal life would be abhorrent to me, because it would make the time we have now meaningless and worthless. The fact that we will all die at some point brings meaning to life and value to every second of it. If this is the time I have now, I had better make the most of it and use it as wisely as humanly possible.
Will vs. Whim.
Now, onto the oft misinterpreted precept of Thelema. When the Book of the Law says “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”, obviously that is not license to do whatever the hell you want. Liberty, not license. Your Will, not your whim. For example, it is my will to live the best life possible. To do that, I will go to college, work hard and move to Canada. Hopefully, sometime in there, I will meet another woman who I will fall in love with and get married to and that will make me happy. That is my Will. Now, if I were to act on my whim, certain aspects of my Will will be harder to achieve and thus, I am not doing what I wilt.
I don’t believe in fate but I do believe in auspicious coincidences.
The fact that this guy is brushing my objections off just because I am a Thelemite shows the lack of intellectual honesty this guy has. Would he act the same way if I were a Buddhist? How about if I were a Taoist or a practitioner of Shinto? What if I ascribed to the Juche Idea? The thing is, if anyone sees his comments and his responses, they would be have his number. They would know that this guy doesn’t care about what is true and he’ll look for any way out of a debate. He’ll look for any way to try to discredit his opponents without even touching their positions.
So, what’s this guy’s excuse?
As for the fact that the Christian Bible is evil, well – there are many sources that have verified that and documented all the reasons why and I don’t think I need to go into all of them, now do I? It wouldn’t be such a big problem to believe something untrue, if it weren’t for the fact that Christianity weren’t so damned evil. True, it would still suck not having a world view that aligns with reality but there’s no real reason why someone should believe Christianity considering how toxic it is to our world.
There is a reason why people like me who were raised with these beliefs cannot hold them when we get into adulthood… they are absolutely evil to their core. That’s why so many young people are fleeing Christianity like rats off the Titanic. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe Christianity will die in my lifetime, but if it did, that would be nice. After all, there are always gullible people who will believe anything that some shyster or another will tell them so there is a place for Christianity. Much like there is a place for Scientology and Amway.
Oh, one last thing: The author of the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible is finally publishing a print version. Pre-orders should arrive and be mailed out next week. Woot.
Juliewashere88′s note: This is a guest post by the wonderful and talented Rayne, writer of the blog Insufferable Intolerance, published here and here with permission from the original author.
For further reading on this topic, see JWH88′s post, Childfree = Selfish?
Childfree maybe selfish but at least we aren’t insecure
(Note: I’m Australian and write in British Standard English – there are less typo’s than you think).
I had a troll come onto my blog recently and post this gem:
“Don’t pretend you’re childfree for any other reason than selfishness. You want time for yourself. You want money for yourself. It’s all about you. I don’t care that you are childfree. It’s your choice. Just don’t pretend that it’s not about self-absorption. Also acting like your pets are the greatest is just as annoying as bragging parents.”
The age-old “Childfree people are selfish” line, the bane of the childfree individuals existence.
Over the years I’ve asked numerous parents exactly how are childfree people selfish? And to no-one’s surprise, they haven’t been able to give me an answer. So unfortunately I don’t have any insights into what the statement means to a parent when they throw it at us but I can give you an insight into what it means to a childfree person.
When a parent says “Childfree people are selfish” all I hear is “Parenthood made me selfless and self-sacrificing! I’m such a great person. That must mean childfree people are selfish because they don’t want to give up anything for anyone”.
I will concede and agreed, yes I am selfish – I don’t want to give up my lifestyle. My partner doesn’t want to give up her lifestyle for a half-formed dependent human being. Our purpose in life is to be happy with each other and to live our lives according to how we want. We don’t want to live according to the life script that others think that we should. Our happiness to us means saving money by not having to spend money on children, we can spend money on Playstation games, books, restaurants, books, holidays, clothing and books. We are able to sleep at night and go wherever, whenever we want. As a consequence of our rebellion against the life-script; we get individuals constantly attempting to police our lives.
So yes I am incredibly selfish but why parents attempt to use that as a weapon against the childfree is beyond me. Those same weapon wielding parents forget that being a parent is a choice; you chose to be a parent and live with the consequences of that – you don’t get to play the selfless martyr card. Remember you chose to A) not have an abortion and B) not to give the child away. You chose to put yourself in the position of sleepless nights, limited travel and debt.
Parenthood is as much of a choice as being childfree is. We’ve elected to not raise children meaning we’ve rejected the massive responsibility that comes with raising a completely dependent human to ensure its survival. While I concede and admit my decision has degree of selfishness (and disinterest in children), it also has a large degree of maturity attached to it. I don’t want the responsibility of a child so I’ve elected not to do something that would make me miserable and ultimately make the child miserable because I am miserable. Childfree take precautions not to get pregnant or get someone pregnant, we use birth control (or in my case lesbianism) and get vasectomies. We’ve thought a lot about our decisions and came to a conclusion. Yes we are selfish but it comes from a place of maturity, honesty and courage – honesty with ourselves and society at large and the courage to rebel against the imposed life-script and do what we want with our lives rather than living in the safety of a nuclear family where we will never be questioned. I would also argue that bringing a child into the world but not looking after it or using the child as a weapon in a custody battle or using it as a way to get things – is quite selfish on the part of the parent.
Thinking about it over the years, the best I can come up with is that the line “Childfree are selfish” is yet another vain attempt for parents to convince themselves that their decision was a good decision and that despite all the difficulties that childrearing brings – it’s still the greatest thing they’ve ever done. It’s nothing more than a validation tactic. Let me just say that if you need to justify your decisions that badly to reassure yourself that what you are doing is right – you probably didn’t make a good choice.
Numerous parents over the years have attempted to validate their life choices via the steaming pile of emotional blackmail that is the “Childfree are selfish, you don’t want to be selfish do you?” line and the fun breeder bingos we’ve all grown to loathe and despise. In my experience there are two types of parents – those who bingo and those who don’t when presented with your childfree status.
Those who bingo you (and bingo they will) seem to be quite insecure about their status as a parent. If they weren’t insecure about their choices – why would they need validation via bingoing and attempting to convince the world around them to make the choices they made? These types of parents don’t care whether being a parent would make you happy as long as you make the same choice they did. My favourite childfree anecdote is when I was attending university; I had this conversation with a pregnant friend of a sibling:
Them: So when are you going to have kids?
Me: I’m not.
Them: Why not? Don’t you like them?
Me: I don’t want them because I’m not interested in raising children.
Them: It’s all worth it in the end! It’ll be different once you have your own.
Me: That implies that either I need to get pregnant which I don’t plan on doing since I’m gay or fork out money to foster or adopt which I don’t want to do. Even if I did want them which I don’t, I’m a poor university student with no money and I’m not in a position to raise a child.
Them: You can just drop out of university and get government money
You heard it first here readers “You can just drop out of university and get government money” I can just drop my career plans in order to appease a random woman and validate her decision to keep an unplanned child. There’s nothing more that annoys me than someone attempting to police my life according to their thoughts as to what I should do with it. Whose life is it again?
On a side note: I really do hate when parents go “It’ll be different when you have your own”, this implies I need to acquire a child, which first implies I need to make the decision to acquire a child. The best I can come up for as an explanation to the above statement is that those who say this believe you’ll be acquiring a child without thinking about it or that a child will just suddenly appear in your life one day much like herpes (both never ever leave). This statement should be amended to “It’ll be different when you have your own when you have an unplanned pregnancy”, even then this statement is pointless because it implies that everyone who has an unplanned pregnancy needs or should keep the child.
Have these people never heard of adoption or abortion? I highly doubt it. The above statement implies that adoption or abortion as a valid choice never entered their minds because those types of people are so wrapped up in the life-script that they can’t see any other way.
And that is why child-freedom freaks them out.
About the authour: Rayne is a constantly hungry, bruise-prone atheist goth bibliophile living with a black cat with a fetish for eating iPhone cords if she’s left alone for too long. Rayne blogs on a variety of issues including atheism, religion, being childfree, gay & lesbian issues, feminism and general queerness while drinking peppermint tea and listening to metal. Rayne is Australian who writes in British Standard English who gets confused for an American who makes a lot more typo’s than she actually does.
Rayne currently has a few projects going on at her blog Insufferable Intolerance:
The Self Harm Experiences Project: Insufferable Intolerance is a looking for submissions from individuals who have had experiences relating to self-harm/self-injury/eating disorders/depression/anxiety/mental health issues.
The Atheist Coming Out Project: is looking for submissions from individuals who have come out or need help in coming out or coming to terms with losing faith, questioning their faith or having de-converted to atheism.
The Childfree Experiences Project: is looking for submissions from childfree by choice individuals about their experiences coming out childfree.
The Abortion Stories Collection: has been created to help combat stigma and decrease the taboo of a women’s right to choose to have an abortion.
The Queer Outreach Project: is looking for submissions from queer individuals whether they be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, pansexual, asexual, genderqueer to submit coming out stories.
The purposes of the projects (posted under pseudo-names if requested) is to create a network of stories and individuals for those who need to know that they aren’t alone and may be need some support in a safe environment.
Feel free to send you submissions to the following email address: email@example.com