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Welcome to The Secular Gospel According to Jess! In this blog you’ll find everything from cartoons that make me laugh, to quotes that inspire me, to stories of my own personal experience when it comes to dealing with religion and pretty much everything in between. The title of my blog is intended to be ironic, as one doesn’t often hear the word, “gospel”, associated with secularism, but my intent is to preach, for lack of a better word, what I think gospel should really be about: love, rationalism, fairness, equality, human rights, science and truth. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A prayer...

"We'd like to dedicate this song to those who lost their lives in London...and those who were maimed and injured...

We would like to turn this song into a prayer.

The prayer is that we don't become a monster in order to defeat a monster.

That's our prayer tonight."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wise words

The Dalai Lama's Instructions for life:

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
Follow the three R's:
- Respect for self.
- Respect for others.
- Responsibility for all your actions.
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
Spend some time alone everyday.
Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
Be gentle with the earth.
Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
—Dalai Lama XIV

Awkward Family Photos

This could not be a more perfect example of a family who took the stories in the Bible a little TOO literally.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What is it you so despise?

A rant

I realized that the fact that we add the letters B.C. and A.D. before and after the year in order to separate one period of time from another is vexing to me, given that the letters stand for "before Christ" and "Anno Domini" (the year of our Lord).

I dislike this concept for two major reasons. First, it assumes that Christianity and the birth year of Jesus are relevant to everyone. Second, it assumes that Jesus is Lord.

In this country, it is unconstitutional to uphold the beliefs and values of one religion as superior to another, but doesn't the use of the year of Jesus' birth as the manner in which we split up a given period of time suggest that Christianity is the most important of all world religions?

I just don't agree with that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Protest the Pope and his crimes against humanity


Last week I was called a feminist, and it was meant as an insult. During an episode of the TV series "24", I commented that it was refreshing to watch a show that acknowledged women in positions that have historically been male-dominated. In "24", a woman is President of the United States, a woman excels in the IT field, and a woman is one of the best field agents the FBI has at its disposal.

Don't get me wrong. I believe that there are a lot of things men and women can do equally well. I also believe there are a lot of things men can do better than women and vice versa. What I DON'T believe is that thinking that a woman President and women excelling in technological and combat fields is good makes me a feminist.

I can't help but wonder sometimes if these distorted views about women in power and the belief that they are too "emotional" to successful wield it are rooted in the Bible, where subjugation of women and the confinement of women to a series of roles that made them anything BUT man's equal are the norm.

Some women accept these roles and don't resent being told they can't do the same things that men can do. I don't, and if that makes me a feminist, so be it. I've never thought of myself as one, but if the only alternative is to unquestioningly accept the role of women as indicated in the Bible, then I'm proud to call myself a feminist.