Franklin Graham Fixes Bosnian Children with Shoe Boxes

Franklin Graham, dilute progeny of Billy Graham and head dude of Samaritan’s Purse fixes Bosnian Children with shoe boxes full of miracles. My kindergartner got this religious book in public school library.

Deep breaths, censorship is bad, no wonder he was in such a foul mood yesterday, mumbling about being depressed and stuff.

Then I read it.

Franklin Graham

A mother lives with her two kids, 9 and 3 in the cellar of a bombed out building. The 9 year old forages for food in the streets at night, while dodging machine gun fire. He sleeps on a chair. His 3 year old sister used to have a doll, but she lost it in the street, running from sniper fire.

Above text? NOT EXAGGERATED; that’s what it says.

Where’s Dad? you ask.

That’s a great question, I’m glad you mentioned it. The family assumes Dad is still alive, but since he’s in jail they just aren’t sure. No worries though– part of the miracle includes busloads prisoners being delivered back home just in time to receive their shoe box.

In the meantime, poor mom is certainly whoring herself, but Graham leaves those details out; the only real miracle in this shoe box of disaster.

Thanks to this stupid book, I spent an hour of my evening trying to explain my distaste for Franklin Graham. Without cursing and keeping a complicated bit of truth understandable to a 6 year old. Go(?) me.

It’s not like FG’s raking in the big bucks being CEO or anything.

Will I always knee jerk about the religious stuff available in public, government-supported schools?

Duh.

Hey, at least my state doesn’t sneak religion (Christianity only, please) into schools through sponsored legislation.

Aw, dammit; never-mind.

The Bosnian sniper fire book did provide a brilliant segue into Zach’s next question about black history month and “how exactly were they able to purchase, um, people? And why only the brown-skinned people? And, while we’re at it, why didn’t they pay them for doing the work?”

Well see, because the bible told ‘em so, that’s why.

Playground Theology

Did you know that kids discuss religion at the playground? I had heard this before from another like-minded mom, yet it still caught me off-guard.

We had an early release day last Friday, so we met friends at the park. I chatted with my friend, while half-watching my kids play with other park-dwelling children, impressed with the affable interactions.

Until I overheard a conversation between Zach and an unknown child– we’ll call him Sunglasses.

About 10 minutes later, Sunglasses gathers his people, never once noticing two adults sitting 5 feet from his grouping.

Let’s get ‘em!

I intervened with the mom-stink-eye before the angry mob could take their playground torches after my unsuspecting heathenlets.

“I find playground discussions of religion and politics rude. And none of you needs to go after my children. In America we get to make our own choices about whether we do, or do not, believe.”

Disgruntled, the mob slunk off to another part of the playground, though never out of my complete line of sight. Sunglasses, having elected himself town crier, continued to inform other playground attendees of our non-theism; I assume to protect the unsuspecting from the atheist cooties.

Okay, that’s probably unfair. In all honesty, the horror that continually crept into Sunglasses’ tone and expression seemed to result more from astonishment than disgust.

As if the child had never before met an atheist, let alone an atheist child.

Because I was curious (and worried) the car ride home was a question/answer period between Zach and I:

How did y’all end up talking about religion? He asked me where we went to church and I said we don’t go to church.

Um, do you actually pray to Santa? [Rolling his eyes] No.

And finally:

Do you have questions or concerns about what happened today. Well, yeah. The kid (Sunglasses) asked why we don’t believe in god. I just told him that we believe in polar bears because we can see them, and they are the only real things living in the north pole, but if the ice melts they won’t be able to live there anymore.

I stop listening for a minute while I consider how his rejection of the santa myth has gotten mixed up with global warming.

But mom? Why don’t we believe god is real?

Exactly the sort of off-the-cuff question I want to answer while trapped in a car with a 5 and 3 year old on a late Friday afternoon.

Now, since I’m totally proud of all the things I didn’t say:

  • Um, because I don’t believe in Zeus?
  • Every major religion has some sort of creation story. If you line all the religious text in a row by date, you can literally see the overlap.
  • Because if Adam and Eve beget all of earth’s population as the bible said, it means lots of incest, and that makes me feel icky.
  • Of course, anthropologists have found human remains in multiple places, and the whole no-plane/car thing made travel pretty tricky. Thus it’s logical that Adam and Eve didn’t parent everyone.
  • Also, paleontologists find and catalog fossils, but in no religious text does can one find mention of really massive lizard-type animals with big teeth and small arms. You know– dinosaurs. And– NO– dinosaurs and people weren’t hanging out together; the Ook and Gluk book is fiction.

Instead, I answered, “Well, did you ask sunglasses boy why he DID believe in god?” Well, no. I’ll do that next time.

I mean really, at 5 isn’t the honest answer always going to be something like because my parents told me so.

Vote AGAINST the Marriage Amendment and Legislation in Violation of the Separation of Church and State

May 8th– tomorrow, the big voting day. The final chance for my fellow North Carolinians to power their way through the screaming “you’re going to hell” protesters, into that voting booth and say–with an emphatic NO– we will not support Paul Stam’s bigoted hate legislation.

Oh wait. You support* the amendment, but dislike being called a bigot? You feel that description somehow unfair? You assumed the responsibility for defining what god meant– and denying what Jesus preached– only to get antsy when others disagree with your interpretation?

Not only do I disagree with the hate-interpretation, I think your Jesus would, too. After all, he did say love thy neighbor, not loathe thy neighbor’s lifestyle.

*Many of the faithful do not support the amendment– I’m not speaking to them. It’s not religion I blame, but those that use religion as an excuse for their hate.

I was shocked and disgusted to hear the painful rhetoric from Sean Harris.

What I feel after hearing Paul Stam’s admittance to being influenced by the Alliance Defense Fund resembles a really unfortunate case of food poisoning. You really think this sort of lawmaking is appropriate? That the time and money spent by legislators on morality legislation somehow justifies those same resources being denied for things like jobs, education, and health?

You’ve been convinced that your neighbor’s homosexual marriage will somehow result in the sexual abuse of your dog?

Are you stupid? And I apologize–sort of–because I know that calling y’all stupid doesn’t make you amenable to listening to my reasoning.

But, for serious, can you explain the logical progression from equal rights for consenting adults to bestiality? Or child marriage– which, seems to exist almost exclusively with ding-ding extremist religions.

I’m just so… fucking angry. I try, so very hard, to be a tolerant atheist. I don’t lump all of those of faith into one bigoted bucket of bullshit. Really, I don’t. I’m the happy atheist, spending a lot of time trying to explain to my atheist brethren that to scream “ignorant idiot” at all of those with faith makes us no better than those screaming “heathen baby-eater” at us.

But it’s getting hard for me to maintain my secular humanist version of Kumbaya in the face of the religious right’s fungus-like infiltration of my democratic system. Take it from an objective bystander- your Jesus will not reward you for this hatred. None of these actions have anything to do with the words attributed to him.

Ladies and Gentlemen of North Carolina– those of you that seek to defend the Constitution. How can you wave the constitution in my face? And if you do, can you explain why it’s appropriate for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group to write NC legislation.

Where is my separation of church and state?

Y’all know– that little constitutional thing that churches parade out as a reason for not paying property taxes, or providing health insurance with a birth control clause?

You (religious corporations) do not get to participate in writing legislation without participating in paying for government.

So, seriously– where are my protections guaranteed to me with the separation of church and state? Or do I need to approach this separation from my 3 year old’s perspective on toy sharing: an absolute, but single-direction, right?

While we’re at it– can someone help me with an age-appropriate (for a 5 year old) explanation, should this pass? Because though I nailed it when explaining why we vote against the amendment, I’m fighting the need to yell, “because they are stupid-heads” when explaining why anyone would vote for it.

I could just tell him that “the religious right has purchased the lawmakers in our state and have proceeded to write legislation out of fear and deep hatred” but I think it’ll confuse him.

After all, it confuses me, too.