My First PDA
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11-05-2017, 01:18 PM
RE: My First PDA
My wife and I, when we travel, love to look at the older churches in the area. Of course, Europe overshadows most of what's in the US. We were in St.Louis a few years back, and I heard the Cathedral was impressive, so we went. I have a sometimes annoying tendency to research things like this to the Nth degree. My wife was raised with no religion, and I was raised Catholic, so I'm explaining some of the architecture, themes, etc. when a priest overhears us and says, "ah, you must be a parishioner". I said no, but we really liked old churches. He asked me what parish I belonged to, and I answered, "I'm not a believer". He scowled and walked away. He then leads a group on a tour (beautiful church, btw) and as we start to follow, he says they have to limit the number of people at once, staring at us. Fine, we waited and did our own tour.
But, at the other end of the spectrum, We have vacationed in Shrewsbury, UK a number of times and, on my first visit to the Abbey, the docent asked if I was Anglican (I think he overheard me talking to my wife about the Reformation) and again just said that I wasn't a believer, but loved old churches. He just smiled and looked around and said,"No proclamation of faith needed to appreciate beautiful things!" and walked us around for over an hour, talking of Brother Cadfael (a literary character placed in the Abby in the 1100's) and The Battle of Shrewsbury. We kept running into him at the pubs we visited over the next few days, and he invited us out to a lawn bowling game and after, we went back to his house, his wife made us tea, and we went through the family albums.

This may have little to do with PDAs, but I've rarely had even a neutral response to "I'm not a believer" in the US, and to have it tossed aside as so trivial in the large scheme of things, as well as being a foreigner and treated like family really almost brought me to tears.

I LOVE Shrewsbury, btw. Big Grin
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11-05-2017, 04:11 PM
My First PDA
I have a bumper sticker on my car. It says "ATHEIST." It's about 10x5 or so and has white letters on a black background. It's been vandalized several times, usually by keying. Once my bumper was bashed in using what looked like a hammer. My insurance doesn't care about the sticker and pays for damages promptly.

Once, when I was loading my groceries in my car, I was assaulted. I had always taught my daughter about situational awareness, but I never thought it could happen in broad daylight. I had just put my son into his car seat when this man bashed me in the side of the face, knocking me to the ground. He told the arresting officer that he was doing Jesus' work by assaulting a young-ish professional woman in front of her 2 kids. The officer testified at the trial that my bumper sticker had provoked the irate Christian man. Coincidentally, that was the defense his attorney used.

He was found guilty, fortunately. At the sentencing he came unglued and lunged at me in the gallery, calling me a demon who ruined his life, Lilith, Beelzebub, and other epithets. When he was released, I went down to get a restraining order against him and was informed he was relocating with the permission of the court. I got the order anyway.

I don't live in the buckle of the Bible Belt, but rather in a very conservative county in California. Still, it's unsettling to see how rabid a True Believer can be.
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11-05-2017, 04:56 PM
RE: My First PDA
(11-05-2017 04:11 PM)Rachel Wrote:  I have a bumper sticker on my car. It says "ATHEIST." It's about 10x5 or so and has white letters on a black background. It's been vandalized several times, usually by keying. Once my bumper was bashed in using what looked like a hammer. My insurance doesn't care about the sticker and pays for damages promptly.

Hmm, seems like a sweet deal Thumbsup
Do they pay out more than it actually costs to fix it? because if so, cha-ching! I think I just found myself a new business venture. Consider

Anybody got any used cars for sale? preferably black paint, all black interior, blood stains acceptable. I'm willing to pay up to 40% of the Kelley Blue Book price.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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11-05-2017, 05:17 PM
RE: My First PDA
(11-05-2017 04:11 PM)Rachel Wrote:  I have a bumper sticker on my car. It says "ATHEIST." It's about 10x5 or so and has white letters on a black background. It's been vandalized several times, usually by keying. Once my bumper was bashed in using what looked like a hammer. My insurance doesn't care about the sticker and pays for damages promptly.

Once, when I was loading my groceries in my car, I was assaulted. I had always taught my daughter about situational awareness, but I never thought it could happen in broad daylight. I had just put my son into his car seat when this man bashed me in the side of the face, knocking me to the ground. He told the arresting officer that he was doing Jesus' work by assaulting a young-ish professional woman in front of her 2 kids. The officer testified at the trial that my bumper sticker had provoked the irate Christian man. Coincidentally, that was the defense his attorney used.

He was found guilty, fortunately. At the sentencing he came unglued and lunged at me in the gallery, calling me a demon who ruined his life, Lilith, Beelzebub, and other epithets. When he was released, I went down to get a restraining order against him and was informed he was relocating with the permission of the court. I got the order anyway.

I don't live in the buckle of the Bible Belt, but rather in a very conservative county in California. Still, it's unsettling to see how rabid a True Believer can be.
I guess what it boils down to is that if you use such an identifier you can expect it to occasionally act like a red flag in front of a crazed bull, and must be willing to take the associated risks. Personally I wouldn't want the associated risks, but everyone is different. The nutjob absolutely had no excuse for his violent behavior, and deserved everything he got, and then some.

There are other versions of this problem, for instance, if you ever spend time in the Phoenix area, particularly the north and east sides, you'll see plenty of Mercedes and Beemers, Jaguars and the like, in general traffic (not just in nice 'hoods), so if you have such a beast no one even registers that you do. But here in upstate NY I wouldn't choose to own so much as a 300 series Mercedes or BMW as it would probably get keyed just for out of jealousy or resentment from someone too poor, too conservative, or, ironically too liberal. Not that I care to anyway, my point is that it was an option when I lived in Phoenix but would just make me stand out like a sore thumb here, and I don't want to suffer any potential consequences. Here in fact everyone seems to own Volvos (4 wheel drive and safety rep) or Subarus (4 wheel drive, reliability) or Priuses (eco-friendly). Lo and behold I have an old Volvo, my wife has a middle-aged Prius, and our next car would likely be a Subaru. In all cases: no bumper stickers (though we made a rare exception for Bernie). It's not that I care to fit in as such, I just don't want the damn car keyed or dinged just because it feels good to someone to do it. To me a car is just at thing to get us from point A to point B, not to make a metaphysical or political statement (or serve as a projection screen for someone else's resentment). As it is, some hit and run specialist banged the Volvo up while it was parked in a public lot, and only the kindness of a stranger who witnessed it and wrote down the license # and left us a note, brought the miscreant to justice.
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11-05-2017, 05:18 PM
RE: My First PDA
(11-05-2017 04:11 PM)Rachel Wrote:  Once, when I was loading my groceries in my car, I was assaulted. I had always taught my daughter about situational awareness, but I never thought it could happen in broad daylight. I had just put my son into his car seat when this man bashed me in the side of the face, knocking me to the ground.

That goes to show how dangerous merely conditioning people, like dogs, to loaded religious terminology can be. And not just dangerous to unbelievers but to the believers themselves as well.
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11-05-2017, 05:54 PM
RE: My First PDA
(11-05-2017 04:11 PM)Rachel Wrote:  The officer testified at the trial that my bumper sticker had provoked the irate Christian man. Coincidentally, that was the defense his attorney used.

I'm impressed that he admitted to that. Also that guy needs some serious help wtf Blink

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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11-05-2017, 05:59 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2017 06:03 PM by cactus.)
RE: My First PDA
Sometimes I wear a tie when I go out in public on Sunday afternoons. Not gonna lie, it's kinda fun to make people think I'm in a cult. Laugh out load

I don't go crazy with it, though. No cross necklace or anything. I swear I get more free stuff and discounts this way, usually coffee/donuts.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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11-05-2017, 06:32 PM
My First PDA
(11-05-2017 05:17 PM)mordant Wrote:  I guess what it boils down to is that if you use such an identifier you can expect it to occasionally act like a red flag in front of a crazed bull, and must be willing to take the associated risks. Personally I wouldn't want the associated risks, but everyone is different. The nutjob absolutely had no excuse for his violent behavior, and deserved everything he got, and then some.

I've had a number of people say the same thing. I disagree with it. If believers can advertise their various imbecilic and dangerous beliefs with impunity, then so can I. Not that my beliefs are imbecilic or dangerous! Unbelievers are often depicted as wild-eyed, raving lunatics. I think it's nice to see a "normal" (i.e., not wild-eyed nor raving lunatics) family who don't need a god to be decent, loving, and moral.

As long as we stay in the closet, afraid of violence, we allow those stereotypes to persist. That's why the bumper sticker says volumes for me and stays on my car, vandalism notwithstanding.
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11-05-2017, 06:35 PM
My First PDA
(11-05-2017 05:18 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(11-05-2017 04:11 PM)Rachel Wrote:  Once, when I was loading my groceries in my car, I was assaulted. I had always taught my daughter about situational awareness, but I never thought it could happen in broad daylight. I had just put my son into his car seat when this man bashed me in the side of the face, knocking me to the ground.

That goes to show how dangerous merely conditioning people, like dogs, to loaded religious terminology can be. And not just dangerous to unbelievers but to the believers themselves as well.


It's also an object lesson that religious violence can erupt without warning and for little reason.
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11-05-2017, 06:38 PM
My First PDA
(11-05-2017 05:54 PM)cactus Wrote:  
(11-05-2017 04:11 PM)Rachel Wrote:  The officer testified at the trial that my bumper sticker had provoked the irate Christian man. Coincidentally, that was the defense his attorney used.

I'm impressed that he admitted to that. Also that guy needs some serious help wtf Blink


I believe he was institutionalized in his new location. The guy has kids and I worried about their safety. But I didn't have any input on his sentence.
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