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Image courtesy of Dreamworks

This past week, my partner and I watched Dreamworks’ 1998 animated musical Prince of Egypt. It’s the biblical story of Moses, with some license taken, and even though I’m an atheist and have been for a while now, I still love it and watch it at least once a year. In fact, I’d say it’s the best deconversion movie I’ve ever seen.

Now, if you don’t know this film, you either never were raised Christian or you were raised so Christian that animated Egyptians’ bare chests were anathama in your house. For those of us who were just liberal enough to allow cartoon nipples on our TV screens, it’s one of the best (the only truly great?) …


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Image courtesy of KATU.com

What’s Going On?

Since at least July 14th, 2020, unnamed and unidentified federal agents have been grabbing Portland Oregon citizens off the street and taking them to undisclosed locations in unmarked vehicles. This is an illegal and unconstitutional action, one which has been condemned by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. US
Attorney for the Oregon District Billy Williams has requested an investigation to be opened, and the ACLU is suing the Department of Homeland Security for constitutional violation.

Why Is This So Important?

This is important for multiple reasons. First, it is a violation of our constitutional rights. Second, it sets an extremely dangerous precedent in which DHS is militarized against American citizens. Third, because these illegal actors are not using any identifying information, it is impossible to tell who is truly a federal agent and who is a reactionary counter-protester who is looking to kidnap or harm those they disagree with. …


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“Where is Dad now?” I asked my mom this week. We were sitting around her kitchen table, a few days after he died by suicide. It wasn’t a conversation I wanted to have, but it was one that I felt was important. I needed to know where she stood, and I honestly didn’t know what she’d say.

“He’s in Heaven,” she said, after a short pause. “He was mentally ill, but I think he really did love Jesus. God understood that.”

“So you’ll see him again?” He’d abused her emotionally, verbally, and physically for 20 years. …


(It’s Not The Reason You Think)

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In one of the most recent comprehensive polls on religious groups’ attitude toward Donald Trump, we see that white evangelicals continue to give him high marks. Granted, their collective veneration is down 11% — from 80% in 2016 to 69% in 2019 — but it’s still substantially higher than any other religious group. Why could this possibly be? What initially drew them to such an unlikely candidate, and how are they still (for the most part) driving his support across America?

I’ve heard many theories about evangelical support of Trump: they are racist, they are sexist, they are single issue voters, they only care about winning court seats. And yes, all these things are true to an extent. …


(In A Completely Traditional Way)

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It’s the holiday season! Pine garlands and twinkle lights wrap entryways, ornament-laden trees peep out from warmly lit windows, and every commercial district raises its staticky voice in a collective cacophony of classical hymns and religious ballads. It is a time of year to valiantly defend the traditional, to uphold the “reason for the season.”

It can also be a time when we are expected to spend time with family members who may not completely understand or approve of us: our worldview, our identity, our lifestyle. I myself will be traveling deep into the heart of suburban New Jersey, where diners serve all-day pancakes alongside a constant stream of Joel Osteen and Tucker Carslon. …


Or The Moment You Realize You Won the Cosmic Lottery

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You’re spiraling through the vast coldness of outer space at 1000 miles per hour, yet you can’t feel a thing. You’re snuggled deep into your blanket in a serene, dark room, and the only thing keeping you from hitting the ceiling with enough force to break your bones is gravity — a force you don’t really even understand. It’s the same thing that moves oceans and ensures the daylight will always follow the dark. We measure gravity and call it GRACE.

This universe you’re hurtling through? It’s bigger than your tiny brain can even compute. Your synapses simply aren’t evolved enough to fire in that way. It will remain forever out of reach: a quantifiable physical truth completely enshrouded in impenetrable mystery by a biological reality. What you do know, lying there under your blanket and listening to the sirens outside, is that scientists have only yesterday discovered a titanic structure in the early universe, the size of a million billion suns and about 11 billion years old. They call it Hyperion after one of the twelve Titan children of Gaia. Because mythology — storytelling — is the only way to even remotely capture how impossibly gigantic and ancient this galaxy proto-supercluster truly is. …


Coming to Terms with The Aftereffects of Indoctrination

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I recently stumbled across a diary I kept when I was eleven, and was deeply embarrassed as I read through it. Not because it held secret crushes, petty sibling rivalry, or that stereotypical preteen angst (although it had those too). No, I was embarrassed because page after page was full of religious indignation at the state of the world. They all needed Jesus, it was disgusting how far from grace we’d fallen as a nation.

What did I know of “the state of the world” at the age of eleven? I was barely allowed to go outside, let alone have any kind of first-hand experience that was not carefully curated by religiously paranoid parents. How did I know who needed Jesus, and why did I assume our country was in rapid moral decline? In other words, what had made me such a judgmental, holier-than-thou little shit?


Exploring The Intersection Of Two Terrifying Identities

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The other week, I got an Instagram message from a stranger who had read my article “7 Questions For A Queer Atheist Witch.” A hardline skeptic who was finding himself drawn to learning more about witchcraft, he had some really compelling questions for me. Then, the other night, I found myself in a conversation with a Christian on Twitter who was equally fascinated by the intersection of skepticism and magic. The overarching concern is always the same: How can you be an atheist and a witch at the same time?

At the most basic level, the answer is simple: “An atheist witch is a witch who doesn’t believe in God.” But if you’ve been following this blog at all, you’ve probably noticed that atheism and witchcraft are two of my favorite topics, so why not delve headfirst into all the nuances this intersection contains? My own perspective has changed over time, as I’ve explored the history of witches and how it intersects with my skeptical worldview. I have come away with some ideas that feel good to me. Hopefully this post will lay out those ideas in a cohesive way and inspire even more questions! …


Leave Your Spaces, But Only To Conquer Others

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Today is the #FemaleBlackout, during which women on social media change their profile pictures to black in protest of this week’s ravaging injustices. As a woman who felt this week particularly strongly, I understand the desire to leave a gaping hole to be felt by those around me, to say: “You don’t value me? See what happens when I disappear.” In fact, this past Thursday, I canceled all my appointments, wrapped myself in a blanket, and cried into the silence of my empty apartment for most of the day.

In one way, a concentrated blackout is very effective. As women, intentionally disappearing from spaces (online, at work, at home) is intrinsically rebellious and threatening, since society depends on women’s availability to preserve and care for it. Since the beginning of modern organized socity, women have traditionally been the ones to prepare the meals and preserve the home. To this day, regardless of our daily chores, we perform large amounts of emotional labor and physical labor for free, and we are the powerful procreators of life. Women’s absence is an inherent threat to existence itself.


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When I was a child, I was racked with guilt. It was relentless, sickening, following me from the time I got out of bed to the moment I fell asleep. Everything I did was wrong and cause for guilt. How I played with my sisters, how I helped in the kitchen, how I cleaned my room, how I slept in my bed. My thoughts and feelings were also suspect, and I would be burdened for days over a disrespectful thought or mean emotion. …

About

Vi La Bianca

I’m the androgynous cat cyborg your mother warned you about. If you want to support me, consider donating at www.patreon.com/vilabianca

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