Poisoned Pueblo

“No!  Help!  Help me!” I cried out, loudly, to all the people in the McDonald’s.

“Shut the hell up!” Tiana started dragging me toward the doors.

“Help!” I screamed, looking around at all the moms and their kids bustling to the play area and bending over their Happy Meals. “Help me!  Don’t let her take me!  Please!”

No one even looked at me.

 

The above is a passage from Saving Alex a memoir from Alex Cooper, which I am currently reading.  The biography describes Ms. Cooper’s 2010 ordeal with Southern Utah “conversion therapy” after she came out to her parents as gay.

My favorite novel of all time is It by Stephen King.  That story features the town of Derry, built around, haunted, and possessed by an ancient soul-devouring monster.  When I read the passage above, I thought of this passage from It, in which one of the characters is running from the monster who has possessed her father:

If he caught her he would choke her, or beat her, or kick her. And when it was over, someone would come and collect him and he would sit in a cell the way Eddie Cochran’s stepfather was sitting in a cell, dazed and uncomprehending.
She ran toward downtown, passing more and more people as she went. They stared – first at her, then at her pursuing father – and they looked surprised, some of them even amazed. But what was on their faces went no further. They looked and then they went on toward wherever they had been going.

I believe that few individuals are true monsters.  They are rarely as racist as David Duke, or as bigoted as Gayle Ruzicka, or as misogynistic as Donald Drumpf.  I think our society, however,  exposed to the constant diseased energy of these individually demons can amplify that hate, ignorance, and bigotry; can cause good people to do bad things, or, sometimes worse, nothing at all.

We’ve all heard of mob mentality; when a group of people start acting viciously, and that emotion permeates the mob, and keeps building, and building, and building on itself until it reaches a frenzy level?  It seems as if this soft racism, this soft bigotry, this soft acceptance of misinformation and willful ignorance is somehow more insidious and more pervasive, infecting even the most good hearted of people with the willingness to condemn, judge, and cast aside people they don’t even know, for the most inexcusable of reasons.  It quietly encourages the populace to vote for politicians who promise to hurt the minorities among us – even should they not tacitly agree.  To support or simply ignore the passing laws that only serve to further wound the vulnerable.  To become defacto lesser demons of the true monsters.

I can only hope that, like the Stephen King novel, empathy, love, and unconditional friendship can defeat the monstrous.

A Wave of Truth

“You can leave The Church, but you can’t leave it alone.”

The quote above is a common phrase wielded at former members, like myself, who continue to expend time and energy to talk, write, and discuss various Mormon topics.

Members seem to wonder why those of us who don’t believe still care what anyone else believes?  This is not limited to Mormons; atheists are often asked the same question by believers of all faiths.

If anyone should understand the impetus to share new knowledge gained by hard work and research, however, it should be The Mormons.

The LDS Church sends out tens of thousands of missionaries each year.  Most of those young men and women leave home with the assurance they possess a knowledge that needs to be shared.  They know something that much of the world does not and are desperate to hear.

Those of us who have researched unofficial LDS History,  other faiths, religions, and philosophies also feel that we have discovered something that many around us have not.  We have new knowledge!  New information!  Many of us grew up in homes where knowing Church History was considered a duty and a virtue. When we encounter facts and writings and events that were heretofore unknown to us, our inclination and desire is to share it – especially with our loved ones – even if that knowledge contradicts and calls into question the claims of that same Church.

I left The LDS Church when young and angry and rebellious.  I tried once or twice to discuss my then less-than-scholarly objections with family members, only to feel unheard.  I think it discouraged me from being more frank and honest for years.  As I continue to read more and more, and learn more and more — and there is ALWAYS something more — I want to share my message.  I want to share what I believe to be the truth, as I have it.  I want those I love most to know what I know, because, ultimately it has made me happier and more fulfilled knowing that nothing needs be unquestioned.  Nothing needs be unresearched.  I can try (and fail) to understand EVERYTHING.  Just as LDS missionaries believe their message to be, I believe my message is one of joy and fulfillment!

A former ward-member once chastised me outside of the SLC Temple at a sibling’s wedding.  I penned an unsent letter in which I wrote:

I am not sorry for questioning my beliefs, past or current, even if it seems unpleasant to do so at the time.  I still remember the story of a 14-year-old boy questioning the teachings of those closest to him.

I often ponder Mormons’ seeming distaste for questioning the status quo of their faith whilst simultaneously holding Joseph Smith’s prayer in The Grove in such high esteem.  What if Joseph had been too afraid to walk into that grove?  Too afraid of destroying what he already knew with what he might learn?

Either knowing Church history is a virtue or a vice.  Either questioning is a virtue or a vice.  It can’t be both.

In that same letter, I also wrote:

I will grant that, however unlikely, it is possible that someday, due to continued searching and questioning, I may find that the initial teachings of my life were always correct.  If so, I will humbly admit my mistakes and return.  Having said that, if such a thing does occur, it will not because someone tells me that my father always wanted me to view the Temple, or because I want to see my sister’s wedding.  It will be because I have spent hours, years,  and perhaps decades in careful reflection of those beliefs.  There is no end on the journey for knowledge and understanding; only rest areas.

But you can’t find new knowledge by refusing to look for it.

http://www.cesletter.com

http://en.fairmormon.org/Criticism_of_Mormonism/Online_documents/Letter_to_a_CES_Director

http://cesletter.com/debunking-fairmormon/

Sinews of The Soul

This is my much-less polite and anger filled resignation letter, as opposed to the message I sent to my immediate family.  This was originally posted at The Friendly Atheist.

—-

Dear LDS Church,

It is amazing how much The Church has changed since my early Mormon upbringing. So many of the messages and teachings have changed and evolved over time. For example, when attending church:

Yes. This last revelation was the straw that finally prompted this long overdue letter.

Although I have found other policies of The LDS Church hurtful, ignorant, and bigoted, this last policy change seems so malicious. So full of hatred. And I won’t be a member of a hate group, even in name only.

I received many odd and certainly unique lessons on sexual morality, and was frequently told in oblique ways that homosexuality was a sin, I was never taught that this kind of sexual immorality would damn the salvation of my children.

The LDS Church claims to be a loving, knowledgeable, and charitable representative of a just and loving god, but their actions speak louder than their empty words.

Potential converts to The LDS Church are asked to commit to baptism in the first discussion, then rapidly pushed through a shallow and superficial version of The Church’s doctrine and history in a mad dash to get them under the water and on the membership roles.

Eight-year-old children are encouraged, expected, and demanded to make lifetime commitments they cannot possibly understand, to a church which continues to hide, obscure, and deny it’s history and doctrines.  Heavenly Fathers wants everyone, and quickly, before they start looking too deeply into the closet.

Except in this one special case; a child raised by same-sex parents.

Even if that child is raised in this fraud of a church by those loving, caring parents. Even if that child believes with all his/her tiny, pure heart that there is a Heavenly Father, and that Jesus knows and loves each of his beloved and innocent children. Even if all that child wants for their eighth birthday is to be washed clean of their supposed “sins.”

The LDS Church will tell them, “No. You are lesser in the eyes of Jesus and Heavenly Father.”

“Though you have done nothing wrong, your parents are the worst kind of sinners.  Jesus does not want you as a member of His church, nor will He take you until you are old enough to curse the names of those who loved and raised you, and shake the dust off your feet at their doorstep.”

As of the writing of this letter, I am an atheist and an ex-Mormon.  Should a Mormon member take my young child to be blessed into your twisted organization, however, my child would be accepted and blessed without pause or question because I am married to a member of the opposite sex.

This hate-filled policy is designed only to cause injury to an already injured population; the same-sex attracted people who The Church considers to be the loved children of Heavenly Father, who are doing their best to make it through this life whilst still maintaining some measure of belief in the deceitful message of eternity and love that you spout between vicious jabs at these wounded souls. It cannot and does not serve any other purpose.

This manipulative “guilt by association” is revolting behavior from anyone, let alone an organization which spends so much time talking out the side of its mouth about the importance and necessity of love, acceptance, and eternal families.

I have not claimed membership in this deception for years, but have never felt it useful or necessary to make it official. I do now. I cannot and will not allow you to continue to count me amongst your hateful, heinous, hurtful, and peculiar number any longer.

I hereby resign my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

A Next Step

Dear friends and family,

I want to let you know that I am resigning my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Though likely unwelcome news to many, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise as I have not regularly attended church service in nearly 20 years, and no longer believe in a god.  Why do I feel it necessary now? To officially cancel my ties with The Church? As has probably been guessed, the new anti-LGBT policies of The Church are the last straw for me.

I hurt so much for those true believing children who were just told by the trusted and beloved representatives of their loving Heavenly Father and Savior that they were lesser and unworthy.

I clearly remember my own child-like and singular love and trust in Jesus — so pure and innocent and all-consuming. Jesus, who gave only love and comfort and acceptance; never a rebuke, even in the face of sin.

Because I remember that so clearly, an image comes to me of having that very love and trust bludgeoned by a visit from President Benson, on the day of my Baptism, suddenly breaking the news to me that Jesus won’t have me as a member of His church today.

I can imagine my heart breaking in my chest as President Hinckley shows up at our ward house, and stops my father’s hands, only to tell me that Heavenly Father will not have me as a member of His Priesthood today.

I imagine being filled with such abject misery and hopelessness when my Primary teacher tells our class that “Heavenly Father needs and wants all of your chosen generation, but not you.  Not you.”

Though I no longer believe in the importance of these events, the thought of the children going through less dramatic but nonetheless real versions of those scenarios right now fills me with heartache. That’s why I’m angry for them. That’s why I hurt for them. That’s why I feel it necessary to take this action.

I’ve considered this final step over the years, but this is the reason I’ve finally decided it’s necessary; to protest a church claiming to speak for a God of love and acceptance, which instead seemingly teaches children hate, exclusion, and shame. Teaching them that they will not only be punished for their own sins, but also for their parents’ love.

I understand that we may have different understandings and interpretations of this policy. I have read several different official, semi-official, and unofficial attempts to explain how this new policy is not vicious nor malicious. I’ve watched D. Todd Christofferson’s reaction video. I’ve read the letter from The First Presidency. I’ve read the press-release from Michael Otterson. I sincerely disagree with all of these rationalizations and explanations.

I don’t mean to preach in this letter, but I felt I owed at least a brief explanation before I join the other compassionate and empathetic believers and non-believers in requesting that we no longer to be counted among the membership of this church.

If this hurts you personally, I am truly sorry. It is not my intent, though that may be cold comfort.

Any and all of you are more than welcome to tell me or ask me anything you like, so long as we can remain a loving family in doing so. I love and value and respect each of you and know that each of us is walking our own path as best we know how.

Straight and Delightsome

In the last week there have been 2 significant changes to the LDS “Handbook 1” (which goes to the stake and bishop leadership levels), both relating to homosexuals. Changes listed here.

The first is that homosexuals that are in a same-sex marriage are now considered apostates by the church.

For those that don’t know, in particular, that means that they have actively and willfully turned their back on God.  One does not become an apostate by simply not going to church.

This is viewed as one of the worst things that a person can do in the LDS church.  Even murderers, child molesters, and rapists are not considered apostates.

As though that weren’t heinous enough, the second change takes that level of mistreatment of humanity to a new level.

Children of same-sex couples now cannot be baptized and become members of the church, until such time as they are 18 years old, and disavow their parents’ marriage. Let me repeat that… DISAVOW their parents’ marriage.

This originally was thought to be disavowing their parents, but it is mentioned specifically disavowing same-sex marriage or cohabitation.  One church leader made this clarification, as though it was better than disavowing one’s parents.  “Hey moms… I love you, but you’re apostates and I can’t support your relationship together.”  This is more of the “love the sinner, hate the sin” filth that we’ve seen before.

The idea that one can love the sinner, yet hate the sin, especially in this case, is preposterous on its face.  It provides a false sense of not being hurtful to others for what you believe.

It has also been “clarified” by LDS church leadership that it is to protect the children of persons who are in same-sex relationships.  That the child would become confused because of a difference of church and family teachings.

In the LDS church, most are baptized at the age of 8, and upon confirmation, it is thought that you then are directed by the “Holy Ghost” to know the difference between right and wrong.  It is thought that after baptism, you need repent if you do ‘wrong’ because you have the Holy Ghost and faculties to KNOW those differences.  The question this brings up, in the case that a same-sex couple give a child permission to become baptized at the age of 8, would the Holy Ghost not be able to provide those answers?  Is the Holy Ghost that impotent?

As has been blatantly apparent, I’m not a fan of organized religion, but this takes it to a new level. I now consider the LDS church to be hate group.

I’ll expand, in case you think I’m being unfair.

Children of other types of individuals can be baptized (with parental permission) at the age of 8, including, but not limited to, children of murderers, rapists, child molesters, terrorists, and drug dealers. Yet, children of persons that are in a same-sex relationship apparently are special, and not in a good way.

As a friend posited to me shortly after this information was available, it seems that now that the control the LDS church tried to exert previously on same-sex marriage has been lost nationwide, and it’s turning on its own membership.

This does not punish same-sex couples. It punishes children. A child that is actively going to church will now be ridiculed by his or her peers because they are not getting baptized.  Being a Utahn, I was ridiculed at 8 because I wasn’t getting baptized, and I wasn’t LDS.

These rules cannot come from anywhere but hate for homosexuality and an inability to affect public change. Hence, hate group.

I’m sure we’ll see plenty of apologists attempt to provide reasons for why this is a necessity, and is part of a loving God, but it’ll take a lot of convincing for me to see why this is anything but human hatred coming from a place of power.

Father of the Eon

“To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase ‘terrible beauty.’ Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it’s a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else’s body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.”  — Christopher Hitchens

Religious people, especially Mormons, often talk about how God as if he is like our father. Our “spiritual” father.  He loves each and every one of us. He cares for us, watches our progress, and is either proud or disappointed in us and our choices. That does sound fatherly, doesn’t it?

Except, is it fatherly that He never tells us what He wants? Rather, God told people He knew before we were born to write down what He wants in a language we don’t speak?

Is it fatherly that He doesn’t give us those writings? Rather, we, His children, are supposed to stumble upon those writings, or be told about those writings, and buy those writings, and somehow know that they came from Him?

Is it fatherly that Our Father punishes or rewards us, in this life or the next, on whether we found those writings, then somehow knew that they were His inspired transcriptions, and were somehow able to live up to His demanding expectations?

Is it fatherly of God to utterly ignore us when we ask hard complicated questions?  Is it fatherly to answer, “It’s complicated and mysterious” rather than “Jerry lied on his resume. That’s wrong, so to teach him a lesson I gave him cancer” or “Elaine got HIV by accident. She’s largely a good person.”

Was it fatherly of Our Father to violently drown thousands/millions of our brothers and sisters, even the children and infants and pregnant women, because He was mad with most of the adults?

Is it fatherly to allow thousands of our brothers and sisters die horrifically in a natural catastrophe like an Earthquake when God has the power to prevent it?  Or miraculously save them?  Or even create a planet without tectonic plates in the first place?

If that is what it means to be fatherly, then I am a more terrible father than I first imagined.

Because, when my daughter asks me a question, I answer it as best I can, even if it’s over her head. I don’t ignore her entirely, say nothing, and let a friend who believes he knows what I want her to know tell her that the answer is a book written cryptically in Klingon.

When I want her to clean up her toys, I instruct her, “Clean up your toys, please.” I don’t write my instructions on a Post-It and hide it amongst a pile of other possibly related, but mostly unrelated and historically insignificant Post-Its and expect her to find it, and, if she doesn’t, severely punish her in an obscure way at some point far in the future.

I would never move her into a poorly constructed house prone to causing death and dismemberment and, when the inevitable accident occurred, write on a Post-It, “It’s just a test of your character. I think you’ll do fine with one arm. You can thank me and love me, but blame me or question my motives for this latest hardship and I’ll punish you more.”

God doesn’t act fatherly. He acts exactly as if He didn’t exist.

Intrinsically Impossible Power

In my quest for understanding and empathy, I frequently find myself having imaginary debates with imaginary religious people. Regardless of the subject of the debate, a question I repeatedly ask is, “Why do the religious believe that God is so impotent and powerless?”

That may seem an odd question, assuming that most religious people consider God to be the omnipotent creator of all things – and often the cause of massive, inexplicable miracles. To me however, from the outside perspective, it seems that most religious people have no faith whatsoever in God’s power.

For example, the Christian citizens upset about same-sex marriage. They insist that such a thing would anger and upset God. Yet, same-sex marriage is now common place. God, though ostensibly angered by this, did nothing and has done nothing. Why not? At the very least, He only had to convince only one more Supreme Court justice. Being all powerful, God could have forcibly changed the judge’s mind, or, respecting free-will, could have inspired the anti-marriage lawyers to say just the right thing to change that judge’s mind, or, more theatrically, He could have appeared in the clouds over The Supreme Court saying, “I am Yahweh of The Bible. Hear my words! Read Deuteronomy again! Did I stutter? No legalized marital buggery!”

But He didn’t. If He does exist, and if He does hate same-sex relations, He stood idly by and let a few believers wave signs and holler what they believe to be His wishes.

There are more personal examples; my daughter and I. My wife and I have chosen to raise her in a secular home. As one of God’s beloved children, this must be very troubling to Him. Why would He allow me to teach her about The Big Bang and Evolution? Why wouldn’t He lead me to a convincing apologetic book? Or inspire me to think of something that would lead me back to whatever the right path is? If not for my sake, then for my daughter’s? Instead, He, apparently, leads me to things like http://www.fairmormon.org or http://www.discovery.org/ – ludicrous, flimsy, implausible and dubious explanations of life’s more difficult questions.

I guess I have to assume that, since God has a plan and hasn’t punished me with boils, or whale consumption, or temporary blindness, or a sodium-chloride spouse, my apostasy and blasphemy is all part of that Divine Plan. As is me writing this, you reading it, you considering it, and, possibly, you refuting it in a way that will finally convince me that He’s certainly there and that science and evidence and rational critical thinking are all pointless in the face of pure faith.

As George Carlin so brilliantly put it (cleaned up to avoid over offending):

I’ve often thought people treat God rather rudely, don’t you? Asking trillions and trillions of prayers every day. Asking and pleading and begging for favors. “Do this”, “gimme that”, “I need a new car”, “I want a better job.”

And I say, fine. Pray for anything you want. Pray for anything, but what about The Divine Plan? Remember that? The Divine Plan? Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought. Decided it was a good plan. Put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, The Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn’t in God’s Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn’t it seem a little arrogant? It’s a Divine Plan. What’s the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and mess up Your Plan?

And here’s something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren’t answered. What do you say? “Well, it’s God’s will.” “Thy Will Be Done.” Fine, but if it’s God’s will, and He’s going to do what He wants to anyway, why bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn’t you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It’s all very confusing.

A Place For Your Stuff

I have been gone from The Haversham Church for a long time now, but I am sure there are some people – my family, friends of my family, old Friday School teachers and leaders – who harbor some hope that I will some day choose to return to the flock. That may happen. I can’t rule it out, but if I were to come back, with all of the knowledge I have gained through my years in the godless wilderness, my personal gospel testimony would probably sound a little different than it did when I was 14.

*Note: Every single link in the following is to an Haversham Church-friendly website.

“I want to bear my testimony that I know The Church is true. I know that The Book of Haversham is the word of God as restored by Hank Smythe. I know that Hank Smythe was a prophet of God, and that, when he was 16 or 14, years-old he was visited by God, and/or an angel, and/or The Savior, Jessub Chambs. I know The Holy Spirit led Hank Smythe to a deep well where a sacred branch was hidden, which Hank was able to use for water dowsing and translation. And that several years later The Prophet Hank Smythe was visited by The Angel George, who showed Hank the location of The Diamond Plates, which were miraculously buried and undisturbed in a nearby hill.

I have prayed and studied and felt the presence of The Holy Spirit when reading how Hank Smythe didn’t even need or use The Diamond Plates in order to read the translated sacred words written in spiritual light on the sacred branch placed into his pillowcase. And though there is virtually no archaeological, genetic, or scientific evidence that it is a historical document, and even though it has been changed by The Acolytes many times, I testify to you, my brothers and sisters, that The Book of Haversham is the most perfect book on Earth.

I have a testimony that Hank Smythe similarly inspired by the seemingly common Summerian birthing text to receive and translate the gospel written in The Book of Moses, and that by following the words within its pages, we can all, some day, hie to Seti Alpha VI and meet with God.

I know that polyfidelity, as revealed and practiced by Hank Smythe, was a righteous principle, anointed by Our God. And though, for secular reasons, the mortal practice was deemed unsanitary and illegal, I know that spiritual polyfidelity is still the law in The Kingdom of Opulence. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Hank Smythe was commanded by The Holy Spirit to marry Sibling Victor Baer, his wife, Sibling Rebecca Bast, their neighbor Sibling Hilton Alsop, and his second-cousin, Sibling Edward Birimsa, and his wife, Sibling Sasha Akers. And though Acolyte Smythe was commanded by The Angel George to keep this a secret from his legal wife, Sibling Anna Hayle, it is a righteous principle, and will one day be restored.

I have faith that all of The Acolytes from Hank Smythe to Jacob W. Araki, are God’s representatives here on the Earth, and that they speak to and for Our God and Savior, and reveal the truths of the restored Haversham Gospel.

And though Kenneth Applebaum, Hank Smythe III, Linas J. Bodkin, Perry R. Buell, Witter P. Judith, Clegg W. Conrad, Kittredge T. Campion, and countless other Acolytes are imperfect men, who occasionally lead The Haversham Church astray by exhibiting the anti-Irish mistakes of their times, and make other mistaken revealed predictions, there is no doubt in my mind that Jacob W. Araki and his Thurifers clearly speak for God when they tell us that marriage is between a single man and single woman, and his many concubines, and it will always be that way.

And, finally, the latest words from Our Great Acolyte:

Silent Subjugation

I’m a fat, white, American, male.

I’m white…which, thank God for that shit, boy. That is a huge leg up. Are you kidding me? Oh, God, I love being white. I really do. Seriously, if you’re not white, you’re missing out. Because this shit is thoroughly good. Let me be clear, by the way. I’m not saying that white people are better. I’m saying that being white is clearly better.” … “Now, if you’re white and you don’t admit that it’s great, you’re an asshole. – Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. is right. I wish he isn’t. Skin color is for another day though. For this I’m going to give my own quote and say “I’m male…which, thank God for that shit, boy.”  If I didn’t admit that being male was great, I’d be an asshole.

If we just simply look at gender (just male and female, not variations or identity), being born male is a ‘huge leg up.’

I’m not saying this because I believe there is really any reason for this to be the case, I’m saying this because of society’s and, arguably more-so, religion’s treatment of women.

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. – 1 Timothy 2:11-12

In fact, I suggest reading all of 1 Corinthians 11, it’s horrible. Stuff about women being created for man, women being “of the man”, etc.

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. – Ephesians 5:23-24

Talk about a power trip.

Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. – Judges 19:24

How the Bible is any basis for morality is beyond me.   As the late Christopher Hitchens said, “religion poisons everything.”

These (and the many other) teachings don’t lead to morality, they lead to Donald Trump saying of Megyn Kelly “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

They lead to college males saying “No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal!” and “My name is Jack, I’m a necrophiliac, I fuck dead women and fill them with my semen.”

If you don’t find those absolutely reprehensible, YOU are part of the problem. And, if you’ve ever said those, or similar phrases, with anything other than revulsion, then I suggest you get help. Maybe we should have women walking around with strap-ons saying “No Means Yes, Yes Means Pegging!” It’s only fair.

If you’re posting things on the Internet suggesting horrible things happen to women for some reason or another… you’re a terrible human being. You should know better, and I bet you do. Your anonymity gives you cover to be a male asshole. You know why you feel powerful?  You’re male.  You have no concept. You don’t have to suffer assholes like yourselves. You have no understanding of the fear that women feel because of male assholes.

They lead to attorney Keith Sullivan saying “Look, many women have what’s known as ‘regret sex,’” as a dismissal of rape.  He’s part of the problem. If you are of a same mind, you’re part of the problem. “Due to varying definitions of a “False Accusation”, the true percentage of false accusations remains unknown, but is assumed to be a very small minority of reports of sexual assault”  If you believe false accusation is a platform, you’re part of the problem.

They lead to Anna Duggar blaming herself for Josh’s cheating.  Want to know Josh’s mother’s top marriage tip for Anna? Saying yes whenever Josh wants sex. If you also think this is a good marriage tip, you’re part of the problem.

They lead to assholes putting women’s home addresses on the internet to cause fear and silence.  If you don’t think this is wrong, or worse, you think this is funny or justified, you’re part of the problem.

They lead to women atheists being told they deserve to be raped.  If you’ve ever thought that rape was justified, you’re part of the problem.

What a price for not having a Y chromosome.

So, I’m a fat, white, American, male. I don’t get my morals from religion. I don’t think my wife should put out anytime I want sex. I don’t say horrible things to women, online or offline.  I don’t wish rape on women.  I don’t post home addresses to shut up people that I disagree with.

If you’re part of the problem, perhaps its time to re-evaluate yourself. Follow the words of Wil Wheaton, “Don’t be a dick.” Male, or otherwise.

Swimming Without Cork

Greetings!

My name is Brian Belliford. I am an emissary from your long-lost, and singularly wealthy uncle, who would like to remain largely anonymous. You can call him Hank.

I have a message for you from Hank. He has been keenly watching your life and career and thinks that you seem a bit lost and confused. Hank would like to help you straighten things out, but only if you are willing to help yourself.

I know you are probably feeling a little skeptical, since you may not have heard of Hank before, or maybe you have been wrongly told that there is a different uncle who wants to help you, but please, trust me; if you follow the simple and reasonable instructions within this letter, I assure you,  you will quickly see and feel Hank’s generous guidance and assistance.

First, you need to send daily requests to your uncle. Not directly, but send them to me and I will pass them along. If you do not feel it appropriate to send them to me, write them on a piece of paper and put them in your dresser drawer. Hank is connected and he will be able to find them. Write down how you think you will best be helped by Hank. Hank may or may not grant your requests, depending on whether those requests are compatible with Hank’s Grand Business Plan (GBP).

Second, Hank demands manners. You need to send daily thank-you notes for Hank’s assistance, even if you believe Hank did not grant the requests from yesterday. Remember, Hank has a proven and reliable GBP, and what you think is best may not have fit into that plan.

Third, you also need to send thank-you notes to Hank when things seemingly go wrong. Hank is exceptionally intelligent, and knows many things you cannot possibly know, so something “wrong” might lead to something beneficial in the big picture. It is also possible that Hank feels you need adversity from time-to-time, in order that you truly appreciate his help and his GBP.  So, should you be fired, or lose money, or turn up with ill-health, thank Hank and remember it is all according to and working for the GBP.  Give Hank a ‘thanks’ for all his well-advised help; good and bad.

Fourth, make sure to send generous thanks to Hank when anything good happens. Even the small things. Even if you did not ask Hank for that good thing. In fact, especially when you did not ask for it. Hank is always watching and monitoring and always knows what you need before you ask for it (which does not excuse you from sending help-requests). When you get a windfall from an investment, or land a new job that you did not expect, know that Hank was monitoring, and his GBP had put this set of events into motion. Is that not worth a quick thank-you note, and maybe some flowers?

Fifth, you need to send Hank money. Not directly, but send it to me and I will use it under direction from Hank to help you. The more money you send, the more Hank will be able to help you. Ten percent is a good rule of thumb (from the gross, not the net).  Should there be any question as to how you spend your limited resources, always ensure to send Hank his share first. If you think you really need the money, Hanks will make sure you get it back, if, of course,  he thinks you actually need it, and if you have been sending your thank-you notes.

Uncle Hank loves you and wants to have a deeply personal relationship with you, but needs to ensure that you really trust him before he visits with you. Hank will do amazing things for you, but he needs you to do your part.

This letter is just a rough guideline of how Hank can help you. If you have questions or need more information, feel free to ask me, and I will pass along Hank’s guidance. In fact, shall we set up a weekly meeting?  I am free every Sunday at 11:00am.  At the meeting, I can pass along any new information from Hank and,  if there is no new information, we can go over old information in order to ensure that we have not missed anything which might explain why the GBP is or isn’t working for you.

I look forward to working with you, and send you all Hank’s love and affection.

Sincerely,
Brian Belliford
Emissary of Hank