Kent, a friend of mine and fellow blogger, emailed me the other day to ask how I’ve been. We hadn’t talked in a while, and you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while either. It was nice catching up, and his email also pushed me to write something here tonight.
First of all, I’m fine — nothing’s wrong. How are all of you? 🙂 In fact, things have actually been going pretty well, especially with my job. I’m a freelance web developer, and this year has been quite good for me so far. Lots of good work, but not so much that it’s drowning me. Just the perfect balance, really.
But I do have to admit that I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, especially when it comes to writing. Since the election, I’ve been pretty numb. Well, initially I was horrified and depressed. I felt physically sick on election night. And even now, I find myself wondering almost daily how we wound up here. That’s not an exaggeration: while driving down the road, or looking in the mirror, or taking out the trash, I’ll suddenly say “How did he become President?”
It’s been hard to know what to write about it. I think what troubles me most is this tenuous grasp we seem to have on what’s true these days. Look, it’s to be expected that people will disagree on matters of opinion, but when the different sides start trafficking in their own “facts” what do you do about that? It’s obvious to me that this has been a strategy, not an accident. People like Steve Bannon have been working for years to undercut the reliability of traditional media so that people would begin to put major news organizations on the same level as Breitbart or social media memes. How do you combat falsehoods when trust in the news has been decimated? Thankfully, most news outlets seem to be trying harder in response. And some social media platforms, like Facebook, are trying to combat the lies where they can as well. Maybe they’ll have some success.
But I don’t want to talk about that stuff. What can I say about it that hasn’t already been said anyway?
So why not talk about religion? Sadly, I haven’t had much energy for that lately, either. Don’t get me wrong — I still think it’s an extremely important subject, and I’m still just as much an atheist as I was a few months ago. But when I post on the subject, I often find myself becoming dogmatic about some aspect of it: “No, the Bible is wrong about _______” or “Why would God do ________?” And really, all I want is for atheism to be more accepted and for religion to take up less space in our politics, schools, and government. I don’t want to fight with Christians — in fact, I think they can often be our allies in things like church and state separation.
UnkleE had an excellent post about this back in January. He asked the question “Atheists and Christians — does it have to be war?” And no, I don’t think it does. So that has added a bit to my writer’s block here.
Nevertheless, I’ve been thinking more about the blog lately, and I can feel the pressure slowly mounting to get some more content out here. I love this blog, and I have no intention of letting it fade out. So keep an eye out for some more posts coming your way soon. I’ve already started a draft on one, anyway. And I have some ideas on a series or two I can start up if the writer’s block begins to creep up on me again. Stay tuned. 🙂
15 thoughts on “Silence”
Hi Nate while reading your comments I was reminded of the Simpsons episode from March 2000. In this episode they were imagining a future when Lisa Simpson became President but was struggling to deal with the budget deficit inherited from President Trump. We really do have to wonder how it has come to this that a joke on a comedy cartoon series has become reality:
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You’ve been missed. ❤
This article discusses why 17 years ago the Simpsons writers predicted President Trump:
The pertinent point from the article is:
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Nice to see a post from you, Nate.
Tonight Donald Trump bombed Assad’s airfield in retaliation for his dastardly act of dropping Sarin gas on innocent men, women, and children. After 100 days of hating everything that Donald Trump has done, I finally had to cheer the guy. He finally did something good.
He also demoted (sp?) Steve Bannon a couple days ago.
Things are looking up.
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It’s just a coincidence, but I had decided I would send you an email also, asking how things were going, and before I got around to it (my brand of christianity is called Procrastination), Kent did it and then you posted. I’m glad to hear things are good.
We were in America the week of the election, and in a Republican state, and our daughter, her friends and us were pretty much all devastated by the result – and my wife and I don’t live there. I’m not sure what positive we can say to those who fear the policies (and more scarily, the lack of policies) of the current regime, except that we can hope this President doesn’t start two wars and a global financial crisis like a previous President, and if that is the case, perhaps he won’t be the worst President ever.
We can always hope.
Indeed. I haven’t had the energy or inclination to take on actively pursuing how to respond to the current President and his cronies. It’s just too sad.
As for the news media, I really wonder if the facts have been massaged and machinated throughout the decades and it’s finally becoming so glaringly obvious as a result of doing that particular business as usual with impunity – or if it’s just now becoming the 3-ring circus we’ve recently seen unfolding.
As for writing about – or even dealing with – Christianity, I decided about halfway into this journey of coming out of it and searching for truth to give myself breaks from taking on the Goliath that it is whenever it becomes clear that it is necessary to my well-being to retreat from it. It’s a bloody business taking that on. And the whole point of coming out of it, for me, was to simply experience life as a human being as opposed to a parrot and/or automaton of some Machiavellian subculture now permeating the whole of the culture with the goal of blotting out the original intent (at least, that is what my observations thus far have led me to conclude is going on). I highly recommend extended vacations from it.
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In my not so humble opinion, you’ve never been about “war” here on your blog Nate.
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It seems to me you’ve simply been laying out systematic reasoning for your departure from Christianity; not in an effort to “war” with Christians, but for your own edification. And typically isn’t that the first thing Christians want to know? Why don’t you believe? It’s certainly not war to lay out your reasons.
Having said that, I’ve had quite a bit of writer’s block lately, too. For many of the same reasons you have laid out here. Glad to see you post and glad everything is going well.
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Glad you’re back, Nate! 🙂
Does it have to be war? As the writer of a class warfare blog, I find that the case is that the only people who shout “Class war” as an epithet are class warriors who have already basically cleared the battlefield of opponents. I also find that the religious seem to complain about atheists a lot but really have no answers regarding the rise of atheism and the status of being a “none.” The usual apologetics are still lame. I do not see a war, per se, what I see is the same thing for diseases. Once reliable ways are identified for diagnosing a disease, the incidence of it being reported always goes up. (We didn’t know it before, but now that we do …) So, I don’t think there are any more atheists that there were before, but it is safer to declare oneself to be one. In my lifetime, we went from being an atheist lead to social and possibly economic ostracism, certainly politics was not going to be ones profession, to one in which being an atheist is often a non-issue. Please note that Americans would still rather have a baby-raper as president than an atheist, so it is still not perfectly safe.
So, the “war” between atheists and theists is in most ways like the war on Christianity, a marketing ploy. As an atheist cold warrior, I am just teasing out as many lame apologies as the apologists can produce so that people watching, who haven’t come out of the closet yet, can see the full panoply and realize they are all smoke and mirrors. As to actually hurting someone, I just would not. The most I seem to be able to hurt is their feelings and if that is the case, the word “war” is ridiculous hyperbole. How about ““Atheists and Christians — does it have to be antagonism?” The answer is “yes” loud and clear, at least until they decide that thought control is not a path to a more humane future.
Thanks for posting.
I’ve been slacking off on blog posting lately, and for similar reasons. I keep trying to remind myself to get back to it.
And yes, I agree that we don’t have to be at war with religion. I never saw it as war. I’m a “lets all try to get along” kind of person.
Oh, Yahweh! I thought we’d gotten rid of you. Bloody deconverts everywhere. They’re like a biblical plague!
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I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this, although for me the sudden thought is usually, “How the hell could we have done this?” The shock of Nov. 8, 2016 has still not completely worn off.
Also nice to ‘hear’ from you, Brent! 🙂
I wasn’t feeling sick when Trump was elected… I sort of laughed in disbelief… Even now, I feel like I’m still waiting on the punchline – this can’t be real…
The world has gone mad