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Month: August 2009

Doing what I can

As anyone who has seen my tweets or Facebook page yesterday knows, I have added a new role to my personal resume. Yesterday, I got up at 6am and went down to the local abortion clinic and volunteered as a clinic escort. I didn’t even know this opportunity existed until last Tuesday, when a lady at my Atheists and Freethinkers meetup spoke up about the situation at the clinic in Louisville. I sought her out after the meetup and talked about what was going on. I found out that every morning that the clinic is open, there are protesters standing outside the door harassing women who need the services provided within. And that there are a handful of people who regularly volunteer as escorts to help these women get though the gantlet and exercise their autonomy. So, I decided to get up early on Saturday and see for myself what was going on. The lady I meet at the meetup keeps a blog about the goings-on at the clinic, so if you want a good general idea of what I saw yesterday morning  Every Saturday Morning is a good place to start. It was not until May 31 this year that I really got galvanized on the abortion rights issue. That was the day that Dr. Tiller, at the time one of only three doctors who perform late-term abortions...

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Where does joy come from?

Once when I was in Sunday School the teacher told us that the difference between happiness and joy was that happiness depends on your circumstances but joy comes from God. I was not the only one in the class to question that analysis. It looked to me as just an example of a word game, namely changing the definition of a word to fit one’s own preconceptions. This also was right about that time that I decided that going to Sunday School was a total waste of my time. But that does leave the question, what is joy, and where does it come from? Here is what that Sunday School teacher would call the “worldly” definition: joy |joi|nouna feeling of great pleasure and happiness : tears of joy | the joy of being alive.• a thing that causes joy : the joys of Manhattan.(from the Dictionary app on my MacBook) Of course, knowing a dictionary definition does not tell you what it’s like to experience joy. Here are the times and places where I experience joy: When perfectly balanced and poised in Utthita Trikonasana (or a number of other yoga poses.) Yesterday when I was doing underwater back-flips in the pool with Taylor. When playfully chasing my puppy around the house. When reading or studying and finding out a new and fascinating fact or perspective I never knew before. When gazing at a wildflower...

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Long awaited update…

Haven’t been writing much lately–haven’t had a lot of inspiration or time to write. I have been working on developing a daily practice. I get up at about 6:40, and go in the spare bedroom and do a couple of sun salutations and a few other poses depending on how I feel. I’ve done that every day since last Sunday. Let’s see if I have the discipline to keep this...

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My New Darwin Fish

I’m a sucker for car decorations. I used to have a science fish, and sushi fish, and a bumper sticker that says “It’s ok to NOT believe.” Lately the science fish was looking worn and broken (due to an accident, not vandalism), and I was just tired of the sushi fish. So I took them off. For a few days I enjoyed the look of an emblem free car (besides my CFI and Darwin fish window stickers which are barely visible), but I can’t seem to resist putting something there. I thought a while about it–after all my previous emblems did make me think twice before driving co-workers out to lunch or something of that sort. It’s not the sort of thing I normally bring up at work. I’m still a bit shy about proclaiming my atheism out in public around people I don’t know. I mean, the day of the Churchless Picnic with my Atheist Meetup I stopped by the store to pick up a few things for the picnic. My gregarious cashier asked about the picnic and how it must be a big one and who was it with and I mentioned something about it being with a “social group.” I mean, you just never know how the average-person-on-the-street is going to react if you tell them you’re an atheist or going to an atheist picnic. I...

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