Wednesday, 27 April 2011
John Corvino's most recent article focuses on how all Christians read into the bible things that aren't there, utilizing the unspoken to confirm their own opinions. It is a spectacular piece.
I don’t like picking on my allies. I’m sure some readers will think, “If such beliefs make liberal Christians feel better, why not let them slide?”
Because the gay-rights battle isn’t freestanding, that’s why. It’s tied into other debates about freedom, religion, rationality, the role of government, the justification of moral norms, and so on. It’s not only our conclusions that matter, but also how we arrive at them.
I'm well enough that I Monday I'm going to start writing about religion and politics again, including daily work at Atheism Resource. I am sorry for the time I've spent away, but it was necessary and good for me.
I will write one post per day for starters on those subjects. Hold me to it.
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
This was my plenary talk from the American Humanists Association's National Conference. On first glance it may seem as though I'm puddling up at the end or that I'm a fairly nice guy. Fuck you if you have that opinion. My full recap of the conference can be read here.
And here's some more pictures from the conference.
Tomorrow I intend to write a full blog about the Des Moines trip. There's a lot to talk about. I gave a good talk that resulted in a standing ovation that lasted over a minute. It went on for so long that eventually I took out my phone and took this shot from the stage:
The Secular Student Alliance also cleaned house. I do want to take a brief moment to talk about the three things I was most proud about at the conference.
This picture was uploaded to facebook with the following text:
JT Eberhard is an amazing speaker and also one of the nicest guys at the convention.
As a speaker, I always wish to feel humbled by the audience. Personally, I want to feel like an audience member out of place when I speak - like an approachable guy with a microphone, no better or worse than anybody else in the room. When people say stuff like this is makes me feel like I'm doing right by myself as a person.
I met 'K' late on Sunday. After my talk she visited my blog and read about my struggles with anorexia/dysmorphia. When we met, she told me about her own struggles with mental illness and how it had meant something to her that I had written about it. I would be lying if I said that writing about such a personal issue has not been very difficult, but interactions like these (and the host of grateful emails I have received) have removed any question from my mind that it has been worthwhile. It was honestly all I could do not to cry when we spoke.
And speaking of which, the third thing I was most proud of was that I delivered a solid talk while on my meds. I had to work and prepare harder, but I landed it. During the Q&A, I was not as fast on my feet as usual, but I realized something: I have other qualities that make up for it. When I'm off my meds, I lack my usual exuberance and tendency to smile about everything. Those qualities are just as useful a part of me as my mind, and I shouldn't neglect their importance.
It's not about being cured, it's about managing it and succeeding at your endeavors despite the condition. Every day, thanks to science, I'm realizing more and more that I can manage the disease enough to live a normal life. After all, what is normality other than managed insanity anyway?
These three things, in my mind, are worth more than all the other adventures and praise from the weekend. All the same, tomorrow I'll blog all about it.