Archive | October, 2012

My First Secular Convention: Reason In the Rock

Posted on 28 October 2012 by That Heathen Girl

Mike Thom speaks about the National Atheist Party

As you have seen already, Reason In the Rock was a major success and played host to many amazing secular speakers. I was honored to take photos of the event for the website and was blown away by all the amazing people I met there. It was my first time to experience such an event and could not believe how much I’d been missing out on.

Since The Secular Nerd covered what happened at Reason in the Rock, I wanted to share with you how much it empowered me. What really hit me most was that a lot of the speakers had gone through what I myself had gone through. Jerry DeWitt and Teresa MacBaine’s stories really hit home because they too were recovering from religion like I had been and still am in certain aspects. My father, who is an overly religious man, had kept me in the dark for years with his preachy ways and forcing me to go to church. I did what most kids would do in that situation, I believed him. I went to church camps and and even a missionary trip to Arlington, TX for these people. I don’t think of it like a waste of time, just one of those mistakes you make in life that make you who you are.

JT Eberhard mentioned something that hit home with me about Columbine, and how Christian’s target their youth by telling them to say yes if it ever happened to them. When I was in my early teens I was still attending church at the time, and they showed this video of Christian youth groups speaking out about how they would say yes and so should you. I remember sitting there thinking, “Is this really what I would do? What I should do?”.

Of course now the answer is obvious, but it took me until the age of 17 to finally break away from my father. When Jerry talked to The Secular Nerd and I about Recovering From Religion I was so excited because I realized that I would finally get a chance to help those who also had gone through what I had and I can’t wait to share my story with them and help them to recover from religion.

Thank you everyone who came to Reason In the Rock and I am so glad to have met every one of you. Lauren was especially fun to hang out with! I can’t wait to become more involved and help others. See you all at Skepticon!

-That Heathen Girl

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Post Reason In The Rock Take

Posted on 28 October 2012 by The Secular Nerd

Reason In The Rock http://www.reasonintherock.org/

Reason In The Rock was already a huge success from the moment we started planning it. We just had to sit back and enjoy the ride. The Lineup was a monster lineup, and the only way it could of been even better, is if Richard Dawkins himself was in it.

Teresa MacBain

Teresa MacBain kicked off the event with her history, how she was indoctrinated, things she encountered along the way that poked at her magical bubble surrounding her most of her life. It was a very insightful story into a skeptical ministers story. She, like any other skeptic had questions. Questions that others claimed was Satan’s way of manipulating her. She went through her story, even explaining the moment she felt she finally shed all faith from her.

Cindy Cooper

Next up, Cindy Cooper, who gave a great presentation about Camp Quest Oklahoma. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her present at LogiCon earlier this year, so we were excited to see her give this presentation in Little Rock. Camp Quest represents a secular camp for kids, free of any indoctrination, persecution, etc, unlike the Boy Scouts. She was a little nervous on her presentation, but she works better with kids anyway!

Jerry DeWitt

Next up, right before lunch, the always exuberant former Pentecostal Pastor, Jerry DeWitt representing Recovering From Religion. If you have never had the chance to hear Jerry speak, it gives you goose bumps being in the same room as him. If the secular movement was a religion, I would seriously coin him the pope for us. He’s known nothing but being a Pastor almost all his life, so how he always presents himself, makes you feel like you are in church, but in an amazing way. His words are comforting, full of reason and not faith. His tone is sincere, and not filled with hate and lies like in church. If I had half the charisma this man had in public, who knows where I’d be!

He discussed a lot about his new book, Hope after Faith, which once it comes out, I’m buying ten of them. Keep an eye out for this book and buy one for everyone you know! After his speech, he had a few minutes, where he went into full blown pastor mode, used that pastor tone, and made the whole room laugh so hard. Below, is the video for this:

 

We broke for lunch after this, and I had to lead Seth Andrews, AronRa, Cindy Cooper, and a few others to our secret dinner for the VIP’s and speakers. We went to Stickyz, where the food wasn’t too bad. I had an embarrassing moment with Seth Andrews there, but I’m not going into details on that!

Mike Thom

Mike Thom was next, discussing The National Atheist Party. He did amazingly well pinpointing the core of NAP. I am a member of the Arkansas NAP on the Technology and Science Committee. He didn’t bring any slides, but he definitely accomplished what he sat out to do.

AronRa

AronRa was next. To be honest, he didn’t quite have the oomph that I saw at LogiCon this year with his presentation, but it’s always great to see him. He discussed a lot about his debates, the facts of what Evolution has, the lack of facts Creationism has, and really hit home with the issues we face with the secular movement.

Lauren Lane

Lauren Lane… If there was ever a person you needed to have, to get everyone in a great mood, explain Skepticon to people who don’t know what it is, and feel great about speaking out… she’s it. Just her personality alone, made me want to go to Skepticon (Even though I already had my hotel reserved for That Heathen Girl, and I). The after party with her was a lot of laughs. Fun fact: She loved Banana Bread beer.

JT Eberhard

JT Eberhard, of WWJTD had an amazing, full of emotion presentation. You can tell how passionate he feels writing, just by watching him present once. I almost cried when he got emotional, talking about the stupid, irrational things parents do to their kids with religion. If you don’t follow what he writes about, go to his blog now… catch up… This man is a must see at Skepticon. After his presentation, I saw his desktop, and when he passed, I asked him “Where’s your World of Warcraft Icon?”. He looked at me and said “World of Warcraft is for losers, Guild Wars 2 is where it’s at!”. I laughed so hard. Sorry JT, I have to disagree with you on something 😛

Seth Andrews

Seth Andrews, of The Thinking Atheist was the Key note speaker. I had no idea of most of his past, until he presented it to us. His voice really is of a DJ’s voice, and his words are very carefully chosen, through reason. He has a very interesting feel to him, when you are in the same room as him. I can’t quite explain it. He spoke a lot about his past as a Christian Radio DJ, the moments when he finally shed his faith, and gave an overall great presentation.

Overall, Reason In The Rock was a huge success, and I am so proud of the fact that I helped make it happen. I’ve come out of it with different, new creative ideas on some of my projects I am working on, and I am very glad to have met some new movers and shakers, catch up with some already known ones, and happy that everyone had nothing but positive things to say about the experience.

Thanks to That Heathen Girl, for the amazing photos she took! I’m so proud of her! You can view them all at the Reason In The Rock Facebook Page

-The Secular Nerd

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Pre Reason In The Rock VIP Get Together

Posted on 27 October 2012 by The Secular Nerd

Jerry DeWitt, Teresa MacBain, Myself, and Seth Andrews

In the first twenty minutes of being at the Pre Reason In The Rock VIP Get Together, Jerry DeWitt and Teresa MacBain violated the “Thou shall not covet thy neighbors burger” commandment. Teresa and Jerry were lusting for it! By the way, it was an amazing burger.

This was the first time I had met Teresa MacBain and Seth Andrews in person, but have had correspondence with them through e-mail/Facebook for Reason In The Rock planning. Over on the other side of the room, JT Eberhard was doing magic tricks, and singing (He has an amazing singing voice) in Spanish. The room was completely electrifying with this many awesome people in the room at once.

“That Heathen Girl” and Susan, president of Arkansas Society of Freethinkers

That Heathen Girl and I had a great time talking to all of them, and just sitting back and watching how happy godless people are, sitting around, just having fun. Reason In The Rock article soon to come!

All I have to say, is if you aren’t at Reason In The Rock, you are seriously missing out.

-The Secular Nerd and That Heathen Girl

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Reason In The Rock Oct 27th in Little Rock AR

Posted on 24 October 2012 by The Secular Nerd

Reason in the Rock is rapidly approaching in the bible belt (October 27th in Little Rock, AR), and I’m very proud to have been a part of it all. From the gatherings in a local pub, to members houses, it’s been a roller coaster of fun, stress, excitement, and determination.

I am a member of Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, based in Little Rock, Ar. A group dedicated to spreading the good word of logic, reason, and critical thinking. Being that I am on the Internet Committee for it, I have had the amazing opportunity to help spread the word for RITR, from making the website, to handling the majority of the functions for the Facebook Page.

From Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist) to Jerry DeWitt, to AronRa… this event is going to be so jam packed with awesomeness, that words can’t even begin to describe how awesome Saturday will be. I’ve met Jerry and AronRa before, and let me tell you, they electrify the room.

Speaking of room, unfortunately this year it will be a rather small room in the Library, with about 200 people max that will fit in there, and seating for 150. Next year, the  word through the grapevine is that we will seek a bigger venue. Reason In The Rock will continue on throughout the years, getting bigger and better every year. I will continue to ride that roller coaster, because it’s worth it. Every bit of it.

Recently though, it’s gotten some publicity from a local TV station (KARK 4). Let me tell you, their Facebook comments were set ablaze with angry Christians. Whatever happened to love thy neighbor and all that stuff? It goes out the window whenever you don’t believe in their god, that’s for sure. A lot of lax religious people did pipe in though, and pointed out the irony of the angry god-fearing, god-loving people. Those are the religious people I can respect and tolerate.

With RITR less than a week away now, it’s been struggling to gather enough donations to fund all the expenses it requires, to host all the wonderful speakers coming. I’m hoping to try to improve the visibility of RITR a pinch more, in the hopes that there are people out there who may not necessarily be able to attend, but just love donating to the secular cause. Visit the site at http://www.reasonintherock.org/ to donate, and make sure we show people we aren’t going anywhere!

-The Secular Nerd

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Falling prey to World of Warcraft and Lost

Posted on 07 October 2012 by The Secular Nerd

Mists of Pandaria

As with any other person who plays World of Warcraft more than they do normally when an expansion pack comes out, I have fallen prey to the devils game again. As of this post, I have a level 47 Pandarian Monk. It should be a lot higher now, since the game came out last week, but I have also been working, spending time with That Heathen Girl, and watching Lost for the fourth time.  I’ve been keeping a steady dose of everything, just so I don’t get sucked into the game again. I guess you could say that I have an addictive personality. World of “Warcrack” as I call it, can be extremely addicting when a new expansion pack rolls out.

The thing with this expansion pack this time around, is that I have an overabundance worth of things already on my plate. I started work on a major project that I will call “Project: Secular Awareness” for now. I have also been working hard on my Freelance contracts. On top of that, watching Lost again has been rewarding. Each time I watch it, I catch new things. That Heathen Girl has been watching with me for the first time. It’s always fun watching her predict what will happen. A lot of times, she has been spot on. Other times, it’s scary how much she can call it.

Getting back to World of Warcrack, I have actually been having fun just goofing around this time with it. The new pet battles (read as Pokemon) is actually kind of fun. Not a whole lot of strategy involved with it, but if you pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of your pets, compared to your opponents, you could seriously have the upper hand. The Pandarian island is beautiful. I love what they made. It’s very appealing to the eyes, because I love Asian culture. The Pandarians themselves are cute (except for the male ones). I love the new Monk class. Healing seems extremely balanced. I have dabbled in DPS some with it, but healing is where it’s at for me. So much so, that I have decided this monk is my new main. I am moving my Druid to second place.

If you are anything like me, with how you play World of Warcraft, I would highly recommend picking up the new expansion pack if you are on your usual hiatus. It’s worth it.

– The Secular Nerd

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