15 Day Atheist Challenge

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Warning: I know I'm an idiot sometimes. I'm sure I'll sound like one a few times in this post. Don't like, don't read?

1. At what point did you know you were an atheist? Why did you become one, what were the factors leading up to the decision, if you weren’t always one?
I'm not sure I ever believed in God. At least, not seriously. I don't remember much of Hebrew school, as I was very young, but half our day was taught in Hebrew and there was mandatory temple every morning for an hour at least. I remember enjoying singing in the choir and thinking the Torah was pretty, but I was never into the actual religious aspects.

I've been an outspoken atheist for as long as I remember, I guess.

2. What religion did you grow up with? Did you have positive or negative experiences with religion?
My mom is Jewish, and my dad is... everything (loves Buddhism, has a yin-yang tattoo, semi-converted to Judaism when he married my mom), so I grew up Jewish. My dad's family, who I don't see often, is Christian, and my mother's family are all practicing Jews.

I went to a private Hebrew school from pre-school to 2nd grade, attended Sunday school until 4th grade, and went to a Jewish summer camp (Camp Ruach!) until 7th grade I think. I grew up at the Jewish Community Center- school, temple, swimming, camp, play. It was my second home. Absolutely no qualms about spending so much of my life there. I honestly don't remember much of the religious aspects of the JCC.

I like to say 'I'm Jewish for holidays." I love Jewish food, and I love being with my family, reading the prayers in Hebrew, singing the songs. I like the atmosphere. I leave out the cup for Elijah.. I don't actually expect him to come, I don't pray, etc.

3. Are you a more outspoken or more apathetic atheist? Why?
Absolutely outspoken. When people are ridiculous or I hear very conservative Christian radio, for example, I laugh, roll my eyes. There are some people I want to say stop praying and actually get off your ass and do something to change your situation! I love talking about God, and I actually can be very patient. I WANT to understand where people who believe in God are coming from. Last year, I had three friend talk to be about how they came to their beliefs for 2 hours. We had a very healthy debate about God. In the end, they all said I just haven't had my personal religious experience yet, so I wouldn't understand. That's cool.

4. Do you think religion is obsolete and should be wiped completely off the face of the Earth, or does some good come out of it?
Religion does more harm, it's more trouble than it's worth. I don't think religion should exist. We'd be better without it. Yes, for some people, religion provides them the strength they need to get through difficult emotional times, but I think it's more of the sense of community. It's a shame we need to rely on God sometimes to give to charity or do good things. We don't NEED religion. Just, do right. Be good. You don't need to rely on a story. (again, this is purely, purely my opinions)

5. Did you lose any friends because you decided to be an atheist? Did your family flip out?
My family did not flip out at all, no. My mom still believes in God I guess, but it's not really too big a deal. I just recently talked to my dad about this all, actually. He's a scientist, but I think he's an agnostic. I haven't lost friends, but I'm sure I've temporarily distanced myself from certain people because of my atheism. I know my opinion of a person definitely changes if I find out they believe in The Rapture or whatever the latest religious bs is.

6. How do you feel about so-called “militant atheists” such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris? More power to them. Spread the word. Freedom FROM religion. I love talking atheism. This isn't a non-issue. The religious people in power can infringe on peoples' rights, and I hate it.

7. Except for God, do you believe in anything supernatural or pseudoscientific? (Ghosts, alien abductions, spirits, souls, demons, psychics, magic, Harry Potter, etc.)
No. I used to believe in ghosts (I still can't quite explain a disappearing person incident from when I was 8..) and I love magic, but I know it's not real. Two years of JCC magic camp'll do that. ;]

8. What’s your political alignment? Does your atheism influence how you vote and how you feel on issues?
I am a liberal democrat. I would not to never vote for very 'God-y' people, but in modern America, that's nearly impossible. Every political figure 'Blesses America' or 'Thanks God,' yadda yadda yadda. We are not one country under God. This is ridiculous to me. We are one country, under the ozone layer.

I am very very pro-gay rights, equal marriage laws, etc. It makes me so, so sad when the LGBTQ community is attacked because of so-called religious values. I am also adamantly for a woman's right to choose. God doesn't influence my political beliefs.

9. Even though you’re an atheist, have you ever experienced a moment that could be called “religious?” Like an epiphany about the world or complete peace?
Hmm, I'm sure I've had many karma moments, or coincidences that may seem like fate. But I take them at face value.

10. Are you spiritual, or are your feet always on the ground?
I am not spiritual at all. I feel no need. I think that most of religion is fabricated. Yes, there are some essential morals everyone should learn, but no, praying doesn't do anything.

11. Do you have/plan on having a career in the sciences? Alternatively: which branch of science intrigues you most?
I love chemistry and physics. I like combines chemicals in beakers and creating.. different colors chemicals and smoke billowing out, that kind of stuff. But no, I want to be a German high school teacher :]

12. What happens when we die? Do you fear death?
When we die, our heart stops beating, our brain gets deprived of oxygen, our cells die, our body dies. We get buried in the ground in a coffin, and decompose. No awareness, no soul. That's it.

I don't fear not getting into heaven or hell, if that's what the question means, because I don't they exist. It's a load of malarkey. I fear pain though, so I guess I fear a painful death.

13. Would you ever date/marry somebody who follows a religion? Be honest.
I cannot marry someone who believes in God. It's too much of a fundamental difference between us. But if you let me be shallow for a second, I'd love to marry a Jewish boy, because I think Jewish men are very, very attractive. Case in point:

14. On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you with life at this moment, and why?
8. It's summer, I've got two jobs, so I'm making money. The bad people are getting out of my life, the great people are coming back in, life should be fun. I am working two jobs though, so that's a fair bit of stress (okay, a lot sometimes), and I'd love to lose some weight. But that's a goal then. Also, I hate hot weather, so that stinks a bit.

15. Recommend a book. :) (Doesn’t have to be relevant to atheism, just any good book.) I'm recommending a magazine. Read The Week. It's bite sized everything you need to know about everything. It's easy to read, weekly magazine, has every section: politics, national, global, news stories, best articles from the country and around the world, technology, business, art reviews, celebrity gossip, charity info, housing, and a sudoku. It cannot be beat. I, my family, and grandpa all subscribe. :]

Aug. 6th, 2010

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Aug. 5th, 2010

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Guys, I feel like a legit grown-up adult right now. I set up my unit's account with Madison Gas & Electric in my name, called them and everything. I'm payin' bills! Ahhh!
But by the end of today, we (at least the girls' floor) should have water, gas, electric, cable, and internet ready for when we move in.

IN 9 DAYS. O________0

I'm so so so so so so exciting. I miss people way too much. But free time is prolly going to end soon, because being back in Madison means starting classes in another couple of weeks. But I'm really looking forward to that too! :] This is going to be a good year. I'm debating whether I should by some books on Amazon. I found my 3 German books, and they're fairly cheap, but I'm always worried that I won't need them, or they give us copies in class. grrp. But other than that, the only biggie stress right now is how the 4th girl living with us told us, what, 3 days ago that she's transferring schools and is not staying in Madison this year. YEAH. sooo, we're trying to figure out who that last person'll be ASAP.

Aug. 4th, 2010

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Kiley and I dyed my hair today! Bought some box Feria Very rich auburn (whatever color that's supposed to mean XD) and it came out......

It's so.. purple! Very Germany box dye purple, for sure. Not the usually bright red I prefer, see:

but I'm cool with it. My mom's glad the white/yellow blonde's out haha. Don't worry, I bought bleach and have leftover purple, so I'll bleach out that chunk by my right ear and beneath my bangs and underside of my hair in due time. But this is the first time my hair's been all one color in years! Cray crayyy

Aug. 2nd, 2010

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I downloaded Serenity from podsicle last night so I'll prolly watch that for the first time tonight :] But first, NEW EPISODE OF THE GOOD GUYS! ON FOX! 9 PM! Support my writer/co-executive producer cousin Ben! Plus, hellooooo, Colin Hanks is dreamy.

This and the solo Jack Baily/Colin Hanks are cycling as my background right now <3

I've been working on finishing learning Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. So god dayum epic!! Those chords! *swoon* I wish I could record myself playing piano, however crappily, but the camera can never handle the sound. It buzzes :/ Boo.

Buuuuut, my photographer grandfather who owns literally >9000 cameras randomly sent us another digital camera in the mail today! ChristmasHANUKAH IN JULYAugust! :D I'm figuring out all the buttons now, see if it's better than the one he sent me a few years ago that doesn't have the best focus or anything.


Aug. 1st, 2010

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A guy I'm living with is bringing a record player and Jonah has one as well so yesterday Ding and I went through my parents' 1000+ vinyl collection so I could pick out my favorites to bring with. Here's my stack:

From B-52's to Talking Heads. Includes lots of Beatles, Peter Gabriel, The Clash, Psychedelic Furs, Firesign Theatre, Pink Floyd, Jesus Christ Superstar (with autograph from OG Jesus Ted Neeley!!), a shit ton of Residents <3, Robyn Hitchcock, Steve Reich, The Bobs, and Superstars of the 70's 4 album set. haha. My ears will be so happy! I just hope Nick doesn't like, hoard the record player in his room so it's awkward for me to want to listen to it! :/

Also, I'm definitely applying to co-hosting an electronica radio show with Alec this semester. yea yea

Aug. 1st, 2010

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I'm reading Rolling Stone's cover article about Leo DiCaprio and it's really quite interesting (his dad was friends with Charles Bukowski!) but this made me roll my eyes:

"[Leo] did read plenty of Marvel Comics- for a guy who avoids superhero movies, he knows an aweful lot about the characters:Playing backgammon one evening, he says "Bamf" each time he moves a piece - an obscure, and extremely dorky, reference to an X-Men</> sound effect."

Derrrrrrp. I don't know, maybe it's because I've grown up with X-Men my whole life and have forced many of my friends to become pretty familiar with the fandom and we would seriously go around during JCC theatre camp in 4th grade yelling BAMF! and then shutting our eyes and going to another part of the room pretending we were Nightcrawler and could teleport. Even today, a lot of my friends are just as, if now more, geeky than myself, so they'd all know what that sound effect was. But I read that and was like "obscure? extremely geeky? Come oooooooon!" But then I told my mom and she didn't know what it was, so haha. Whatever.

I'll just stick to being very happy that Leo loves X-Men and Rolling Stone wrote about it. Yeah. :D

Jul. 31st, 2010

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To make up for my last image not working, here:

:D :D :D :D i can stare at it FOREVERRRRRRRRRR

Jul. 30th, 2010

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(and no, i'm not blacking out names because that takes too long and what are you going to do, add me and my random friend on fb? idk. do it. i dare you. jk.)


AHHHHHH HAHAHAHA oh gosh. this was perfect. made my life. i love my friends.

Jul. 28th, 2010

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I got a haircut a couple of days ago, but I never got around to taking a pic!
It's super thinned out, layered, and I got bangs. No idea what color I should dye it though, but I want to do it before I go back to school. I've got purple left over, but I'll have to bleach for that (which I'm fine with, but I'll have to buy the bleach, so I'll want to use it for more than just a little section).
Suggestions? Red? Light brown? Dark brown? idek!


x-men power pose
Raina Bess Christman

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