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Rant on Science vs. Prayer

 

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So, as you most certainly know, I am a scientist. I LOVE science….. If I could marry science, I would. As a result of this adoration/lust for science, when people start dismissing it, I am so enraged, I have a fit of anger that just turns me into a creditable hulk.

 

True story!

 

So when someone belittles science and our modern world by saying how science requires faith, or about how it hasn’t gotten us anywhere, I crack a little on the inside…. The ability of people to completely dismiss what has given them almost everything good in their life in incredible. 

 

I usually spill of this little rant.

 

Look around, for just a moment. In you are inside, almost everything you can see was brought to you by science. The carpet on the floor. The paint on the walls. The building itself was designed using scientific knowledge in the form of architecture. Not to mention every piece of cement, metal, PLASTIC. All of these things did not happen because someone prayed. These things did not just magically appear. These wondrous things happen because of science, hard-work, and the HUGE sum of knowledge that we have accumulated since the beginning of mankind. These Modern miracles, like Cellphones, Power-lines, Chemotherapy, Wikipedia, microwave dinners, hot tubs, and even the Laptops/desktop/tablet that you are reading this from, happened because we were not sated with religious dogma. We wanted to make the world a better place, and so we did. We do more in a single day of research than thousands of years of prayer have ever done. 

And that usually shuts them up. Whether or not they listen and take any of that to heart is beyond my knowledge, but I can always hope. 

 

 

 

The most aggravating thing is when people are thankful of some advances, and completely against others…. 

 

The lack of continuity that some people have is simply amazing…. Speaking of lack of continuity, donate to #SSAWeek

 

 

So, over the next day, please consider donating money, or at least sharing our blog and hashtag  #SSAWeekFor more info please visit http://www.secularstudents.org/ssaweek or to donate Visit here. Thanks for your support, and see you soon!


 

 

 

 

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On Miracles

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Every once and a while, a friend of mine will post a link to a sweet story about how god saved someone, or about how a prayer saved a life… Really just about a Miracle something similar to this http://www.godvine.com/Mother-s-Inspiring-Video-About-her-Blind-Baby-Boy-1484.html

 

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, it is a emotional story. Her son was born with a birth defect, and will have a more difficult life because of that. And the mother loves her son, despite the difficulties he has, which is a sweet story, and she does seem to show real compassion. Don’t get me wrong, that is a good story…. Except for one thing….

 

She never talked about the hours that god spent in surgery to help him. She never talked about how god helped council her through this difficult time. She never even talked about how god footed the medical bill.

 

 

 

 

Why would that be?

 

Oh, that’s right! Its because God didn’t do any of that…. Doctors spent all that time in surgery, other medical professionals assisted with the other problems, and all of us, as taxpayers and insurance payers helped to foot the medical bill….. So what exactly did god do?

 

Well, from how I recon it, the best that god could have done is not exist. That is because the alternative is that god actively caused him to have these problems…. As a result, the most help god could have been is if he simply didn’t exist… But is that what she thought? NO

 

She gave her imaginary friend all the thanks for helping her child. And the people that actually helped, that spend their lives helping those in this type of this situation, get no thanks. Don’t worry though, He is a miracle. A miracle of modern medicine!

 

 

Ill just pop this here…

 

 

Speaking of things that are simple, Have you heard of how much your donation during #SSAWeek could help?

 

So, over the next day, please consider donating money, or at least sharing our blog and hashtag  #SSAWeekFor more info please visit http://www.secularstudents.org/ssaweek or to donate Visit here. Thanks for your support, and see you soon!


 

 

 

 

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Me, Ben SweaterVest Blanchard.

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On College Republicans

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Earlier this year, my university Saint Cloud State, was host to the…. Interesting…. Bradlee Dean. Now, for those of you who are lucky enough to have never had to hear of this man, Bradlee Dean is the founder and executive director of the ministry, YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CANNOT HIDE INTERNATIONAL.  Bradlee Dean is best known for evangelizing in public schools. That is right…. in public, tax funded schools, this man would openly preach about god, the bible, and focuses on “ADD and ADHD as diabolical fictions and emphasizes the importance of setting and adhering to rules and holding children accountable for their mistakes.” Additionally, the students are split into groups, where the young girls are given a “Virtue Class” and reminded to not become “leftovers” for their future husband. All of this in PUBLIC schools…

This was the most appropriate Face-Palm I could find

Now, since he has gained some notoriety, he has not been able to continue this violation on church and state, and instead he has spread hate on other mediums. Including these pleasantries that Rachael Maddow called him out on

In case you didn’t want to watch, although I would certainty recommend it if you want a laugh, he talks about how there should be more bloodshed of the gays, and about how each gay “molests 117 people”

on average, before they are found out…. He literally said that on his radio show, The Sons Of Liberty…. This means that either

  • A) Several of my friends are behind on their quota OR
  • B)  He is a hateful idiot

Now, by hateful, I don’t mean by my own standards, I mean that he has had his videos taken down by Google, because of hate speech….

 

A fact that he brags about on his site

A little more recently, he gave a “non-denominational” prayer, where he started off fine, then crashed and burned when he started talking about Jesus… This performance lead several republicans to “personally denounce” him. That along with his views on homosexuality that other republicans stated was similar to that of Nazi Germany. Now, the wonderful College Republican at Saint Cloud State invited him to come and speak. A man who’s entire notoriety is due to being a hate-monger…

     That being said, when the event came closer, the national republicans warned them to not host this speaker, and that they would supply a different speaker. When the current president, who had only been president a few weeks, declined, the party insisted. They made it clear that they will have trouble finding Republican jobs in the future. Still, the SCSU college republicans held strong, to disastrous complications…

“Sometimes young people need to have better judgement in who they invite to things under the Republican banner. If you are going to do dumb things, and not take the advice of the state college Republicans and the state chairman of the Republican party, it might have some  consequences…..When you’ve been given good advice from the top of the food chain, sometimes, you’ve just got to listen,” – Pat Shortridge (Party Chair of the MNGOP)

Additionally, the chairman of the Minnesota College Republicans threatened to disassociate the group from the statewide organization if the speaker performed with the groups blessing.

Now, I understand where the group is coming from, they don’t want to be bullied by anyone, even their own higher-ups. And I understand that the current president likely did not plan this event, and is in a very difficult position. That being said, it should be a simple matter. The event should be canceled…. And this is because of one simple fact. We are students. This is a student group, and you rely heavily on the national group’s support. I know that if one of my groups had their backing pulled, it would be devastating…

Sadly, the group did, in fact, host the event. In a last minute protest, thrown together on Facebook, there were over 100 students in a peaceful protest on the lawn outside of the event. The event itself only drew in about 50 people, and it seemed from the open mic section immediately after his performance, that the majority of them were only there to voice their disapproval. As a whole, the event was a blunder. The only real effect of the event was the protest, which caused dozens of people to feel support and love. From my own instinct, it was actually beneficial, as the group opposing mine is now significantly worse off.

That being said, I know that as a whole, this event has had irrevocable damage to Saint Cloud State. That is because, the College Republicans kept their word, and have actually removed Saint Cloud from the list of chapters.

Now, I know that I was a bit skeptical when I looked this up, thinking that perhaps they were never on the list…. so I asked the internet, and was given the archive page, where guess what, as of the last saved archive page,

http://web.archive.org/web/20100409003200/http://mncr.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=41

Saint Cloud State is listed…. So, based on all the evidence, the Minnesota College Republicans no longer exist at Saint Cloud State, and as a result, there will be a lot less of necessary debate. Without this debate, people will no longer be fighting as strongly, and this makes me sad. Because now, apparently, my own beliefs have won at SCSU, but have won because there is no opposition. And this makes me terribly sad, because as much as I love winning, I don’t like winning by default.

Just so you know, I still love science!  (you may have to click this image to see it)

Speaking of things I love….. Have I introduced you to SSAWEEK?

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Atheist Music

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So, as many of you may know, or at least after reading a few blog post you may now know, I don’t sleep nearly as much as a normal human does. I can survive for weeks on end with 4 hours a night. and I have done this, for weeks on end. Now, I am not happy about getting such little sleep, but I still perform at peak performance.
They took away my axe after my last extreme sleepless week…
Besides caffeine and the insatiable need to get things done, the greatest tool I have to keep awake in these difficult times is music. Now, for those who don’t use music as a stimulant, you need a nice strong rhythm and beat to keep you moving. Also, if it inspires a strong rebellious/courage/righteous feeling, its all the better. That is why I was super excited to hear one of Fun.’s new songs One Foot 

PLAY THIS… NOW
This is an awesome song, especially if you need to keep a driving beat. It is also kinda a militant atheist song.

I happen to stumble upon a chapel last night.And I can’t help but back up when I think of what happens inside.I got friends looked in boxes. And no way to live.But you call it a sin. Isn’t up to them.After all, after all I thought we were all your children,But I will die for my own sins thanks a lot.We’ll rise up ourselves thanks for nothing at all,so up off the ground up for fathers who are nothing but dust now.

Now, this is certainly not the first atheist song, nor the best, that being said, I have been blogging for many hours, and this song is playing, so I’m going to be talking about it. {By the Way, donate to SSAWEEK }
This brings me to an odd place though. Should there be atheist music. A gut reaction of mine says, why? for those who never took a middle school music class, there are 2 categories in music, sacred and secular. Sacred music being music directly about god, and secular music not being about god. So most music in today’s society is secular…. Isn’t that enough? Do we need music about atheism?
Also, do we need Justin Bieber? NO!
So, After much thought and introspection, I have realized that we really do. Besides the fact the becoming an atheist can be a very meaningful experience,  being an atheist in a very theistic community, like many American atheists, can be a very difficult thing. You can be ostracized, harassed, and even assaulted. And that kind of experience is one of the truest experiences that you can ever have. And it leads to some really awesome music…..
For instance, Shelley Segal‘s An Atheist Album is really awesome music, that wonderfully express some of the experiences that an atheist goes through today. http://shelleysegal.bandcamp.com/
I highly recommend her music, and I really love it. (especially Saved (Acoustic)) Speaking of things I recommend, did you know it’s #SSAWeek?
So, over the next day, please consider donating money, or at least sharing our blog and hashtag  #SSAWeek. For more info please visit http://www.secularstudents.org/ssaweek or to donate Visit here. Thanks for your support, and see you soon!
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On Awesome People

 

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So, you may ask me “Ben did you put hot chocolate powder in your wide awake coffee co coffee?”. If you asked me this, I would respond, “AHHHH HOW CAN YOU SEE ME? Where are the cameras?”

I would then explain that even though I am a bit of a coffee snob, I still enjoy a fake/cheapo mocha everyone and a while, because I am only human. 

 

Now, the same is true for some really awesome people. Everyone has flaws. Even really, really awesome people…. Even people who have done heroic things and who we should all respect. We are all human, and we all have flaws, and we all make mistakes. 

 

 

 

My mistakes often are corrected due to spell-check, though not always…..

 

So, when we are confronted by a “hero’s” or someone-else-who-we-look-up-to’s mistakes and humanity, it can be a very difficult, aggravating, even confusing experience. And it can be difficult to move past such an experience, even though we have to. Now, just to give you a little background (and because its my blog, so you can’t stop me), I’ll give you a scenario that I had to go through. 

 

Several months ago, on a drive back from a secular event, I found out that one of my friends/ another secular student leader, was kinda heterosexist. Now, this was not a “those dirty f@gs” moment or a “marriage is for man/woman couples only” moment. It was a lot more of a “poor made joke implying gays are all sluts” moment. And I was kind of offended, both that he would think that, and that a leader in my community would think that. And it was a very sobering moment. Because we are all human. And we all have less than savory traits. 

 

Why Not MySpace?

 

Mine may be an addiction to Futurama 

 

Now, I am in no way saying behavior like this is acceptable, because its not. But what I am saying is that we need to be understanding. In this case, the person in question had grown up in a small community, with very little experience with the queer community. Additionally, it was not intended as an insult, but rather as a cheap joke. That being said, I spent the next several hours correcting the individual, explaining in great detail how the comment was offensive, and why such things shouldn’t be said. 

 

Now, I am aware of similar behaviors and traits of other high profile secularists, and it can sometimes be difficult, but we as a community need to acknowledge that there are no saints. That no-one is above reproach, and that when someone fuc%s up, we need to call them on it. Several amazing people have been excellent at calling out bull$hit behaviors by men toward women, such as the exemplary Rebecca Watson, but doing so must be difficult. I hope that when/if I am ever put in that situation, I will have the strength of will and conviction to call out such terrible behavior. 

 

Wow, another serious entry…. I better ruin a childhood memory. 

 

 

I Love You, You Love Me... RIGHT?

 

There we go!

 

 

So, over the next day, please consider donating money, or at least sharing our blog and hashtag  #SSAWeekFor more info please visit http://www.secularstudents.org/ssaweek or to donate Visit here. Thanks for your support, and see you soon!


 

 

 

 

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So, I have always been an overachiever. Currently I am on executive board of 3 organizations, President of 2, and I work full time. So I am going to reveal how I am able to get everything done. But, Because Im me, Im going to reveal my secrets in graph form…. 

First, I have how I would get things done in an ideal world

 

Boy, How I long for this world….

 

Now, the sad truth of how I get things done…. P.S. Don’t tell my cardiologist.

 

 

Sadly, there is only a limited amount of caffeine a person can engust before it has no more effect. We call that limit Ben at 4:00 PM…. It is not always pretty… Sometimes there are no survivors…

 

Now, on a more serious note,  I do use quite a bit of caffeine. That being said, I don’t really do anything else that is really that bad for me, so I am dealing with my one addiction. Though, in case anyone cares, my favorite source of caffeine is:

I LOVE THIS COFFEE

 

Legitimately,  my favorite coffee in the world. If I had any cool talent that would allow me a corporate sponsor, it would be wide awake coffee co. If I found out that the grounds have 2% orphan, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t drink less. On of the pieces of evidence that there is no god is that no christian group has ever given me this coffee as a gift. God himself would keep this coffee in his pantry. 

Additionally, I love having an epic theme to keep me going. Im really jiving on Two Steps From Hell, but anything that sounds like the hero/heroine is running/sword fighting will do it for me. 

Though most of all, the thing that keeps me going when I’m out of coffee, or when I don’t have headphones, is the hard work of others. The hard work of all of the SSA staff, especially JT, Lyz, and Sarah, is what inspires me. The awesomeness incarnate that we refer to as Debbie Goddard from CFI is what makes me realize I can always be dong more. And the love and support of my very own Sarah Maddox is what makes me realize that what I do matters. 

 

Thank you all….

 

Wow, that got a little soppy near the end…. 

To give you perspective into my life, this is my desktop background 

Download this wallpaper, Because it is awesome!!!

 

 

 

So, over the next day, please consider donating money, or at least sharing our blog and hashtag  #SSAWeekFor more info please visit http://www.secularstudents.org/ssaweek or to donate Visit here. Thanks for your support, and see you soon!


 

 

 

 

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So, over the next day, please consider donating money, or at least sharing our blog and hashtag  #SSAWeek. For more info please visit http://www.secularstudents.org/ssaweek or to donate Visit here. Thanks for your support, and see you soon!

 
 
 

This is post 12/24 by SSA@SCSU for the SSA blogathon in support of the Secular Student Alliance! Go donate to them!

 
 
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-Grant Norman
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