Articles from 2021

Anti-Mask and Vaccine Madness comes to my son’s school

My son is back in school after a year and a half, and parents have gone mad.  I’m reading articles in the local paper about our and nearby communities having heated debates over mask mandates.  Just now I read about school board resignations and threats from parents.  Superintendents are scared to do what must be done.

I’m just glad my entire household is vaccinated, including my son.  We’re highly unlikely to experience anything worse than a bad cold or flu.  But Delta’s viral load is said to be strong even in the vaccinated, so we could still spread it if we catch it.

It’s scary to see in my own country, my own town, the danger of mass delusion.  Before now, I just read about it happening in other countries, such as Nazi Germany, the charismatic leaders spreading lies that too many people believe, until it causes real harm and damage to others.

The science is clear, and so are the news reports, but too many people refuse to believe the truth.  Many people are dying.  This is, unfortunately, Darwinism at work.  Will the survivors be smarter after this?  Who knows?  Or will they find some way to, say, blame Biden for a pandemic raging even though–because of him–vaccines are plentiful, and even though people refuse to take them?

After being inside for so long, the past several months I’ve finally been venturing back out again–but what I find disturbs me.  I can’t even go to a frickin’ barbecue without people yelling about CRT and complaining about being called racist (after they’ve just said things that are in fact racist).

The pod people are in my own family, very close to me.  The pod people are among my friends, “laugh emojiing” at my Facebook posts and harassing me in the comment section.  They’re at writer’s club.  They’re in church (the new person who keeps saying things like “masks in church are clown masks” and “don’t be driven by fear”).

I go out to an appointment and pass a house with a “STOP VACCINE MANDATES” sign.  On the way to church, the doctor, pretty much anywhere, I pass a house with so many disturbing signs on the lawn that I fear a future mass shooter is lurking there.

I go to the doctor, and the next day, read an article saying that a bunch of staffers there protested the vaccine mandate.  If someone is involved in some way with my health care, I want them vaccinated!!!!!!!

Over a decade ago, my narcissist ex-friend Richard made these same crazy comments about the swine flu and swine flu vaccine.  He said if there were a mandate, he would refuse, even if one of his kids died.  He sounded so heartless and asinine.  And now there are thousands of Richards all over the country!  I had thought when I cut off relations with him, that I wouldn’t hear any more of this kind of idiotic rhetoric.  But then the TEA Party took over the Republican Party, and they all went crazy.  Richard’s friend Chris is even crazier than he is about vaccines etc., seeing alien nanite overlords everywhere, and now there are Chrises all over the country!

I fear for this country and its future.  We have little dictators convincing people that God wants them in office.  We have mass hypnotism.  We have raging climate change that people still deny.  We have idiocy forcing its will over everyone else.

This is why some of us ex-Evangelicals can’t help wondering if the End Times prophecies were for real after all.

 

Friendship, lust, doubt, Evangelicalism: response to Wondering Eagle

My friend Wondering Eagle just put up a blog post that covers a wide range of topics based on Evangelical culture, regarding friendship and loneliness and doubt and lust etc. etc.  I posted this in reply:

1) Years ago, songs like this one probably would have struck me as blasphemous, because of how Evangelicalism “trained” me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ijwj1xOLYY  Nowadays, after almost two decades of doubt and disillusion combined with stubborn refusal to give up on God, I can truly appreciate that Gary Numan is the Gothic Job.  (He’s an atheist, BTW.)  Every now and then, I get obsessed with this song; here we go again. 🙂  It helps a lot that Orthodoxy and Catholicism actually let you have doubts and the dark night of the soul.  In Evangelicalism, I felt like I wasn’t supposed to have doubts (“ye of little faith”) or question the moral values the elders passed down (“you just want to sin”).  And that made me harder on others than I should’ve been.

2) My church has usually been a fairly safe place, with both Republicans and Democrats.  I come back to church after getting vaccinated, and after church a newcomer is yelling at the church president and a couple others because everybody’s wearing “carnival masks.”  A few weeks ago, she wondered about a necklace I was wearing (I wear Gothy jewelry; this piece was based on Poe’s “Raven”) and said, “I thought, it couldn’t be Harry Potter!”  It’s put my spidey senses on alert: Is it a Trumper? Is she like the Evangelicals I used to go to church with?  Around that time, we’re told that TWO members of the board have submitted resignations, and I wonder what’s going on behind the scenes.

3) My narcissist ex-friend, at least according to the stories he told me and others, was once a promising up-and-coming preacher in Foursquare, packing churches.  Some TV celeb wanted to get him on TV.  Yet he told me that secretly, he didn’t believe any of it, and whenever he spoke in “tongues,” it was just a bunch of gibberish he made up.  Unlike the other preacher celebs, though, he finally got disgusted and walked away.

4) The messaging on lust doesn’t just destroy young men.  In college, I was in a friends-with-benefits “relationship” that never actually went “all the way.”  It was with an Evangelical; I was Fundie, influenced by Evangelicals.  For that reason, it was full of so much lust and guilt and blame that it almost destroyed me.  I had normal feelings and desires, which he did his best to stir up, but he made me feel like a slut who was driving him away from God.  And I thought demons were tempting me, and poured it out to my prayer partner.  I told the guy what was going on, hoping for his help–and he turned around and treated me like an evil temptress he had to avoid like the plague.

5) I was raised in the 80s, when nobody around me said opposite-sex friendships were somehow bad.  Both in the church and out, it was expected and normal that people, both single and married, would have whatever friends they like.  I didn’t encounter this part of purity culture until my friendship with that narc ex-friend in #3, during the naughts.  The wife was very controlling and believed it was her prerogative to tell him who to be friends with, whether male or female.  She decided I was a threat.

Apparently the purity culture affected Orthodoxy through converts, because I confided in some converts online and they treated me like *I* was the problem for wanting to have a close friendship with a man!  It shocked me.  For years I wrote about it on my website/blog, seeking out articles proving that I wasn’t some kind of deviant and that it isn’t right to tell your spouse who to be friends with.  And yes, I still maintain various friendships with men!  One is in my own church, which is mostly “cradle” Orthodox, and nobody has ever so much as given me a side-eye for being close friends with him.

In recent years I finally found out this attitude was coming from Evangelical purity culture.  Samantha Field, who is bisexual, would hear this and think, “Samantha, you can’t have any friends.”

I’ve upgraded my website

I usually change my main website theme every year or two, so after two years with Storytime, I was getting that itch again.  But it’s such a pretty theme with so much cool stuff in it–and it’s compatible with ClassicPress, unlike a lot of themes that are getting into blocks now.  Also, Storytime is specifically for authors.

So I checked out what it’s up to now, and discovered that the premium version has been upgraded with a new Story Post and some other features I’d like.  (The free version hasn’t changed much.)  The Story Post turns your short story posts into books, with (on a desktop) artwork and the title on the left and your text on the right.  So I didn’t need to change themes at all, just upgrade.

So I did that.  At first it had issues with ClassicPress, but the fix for that was in the support forums, so I got that out of the way.  And now my short stories and travelogues (which you can find on my Writing page) are turned into “books,” while I’ve upgraded the rest of the site colors/background/etc.  I also hacked into it some to personalize features with my own photos.  It looks really pretty.  Come check it out!