It’s been an exciting, sad, and creepy week for us. That Heathen Girl and I got engaged (Same weekend two other awesome people I know got engaged), Twinkies will be no more (from Hostess) and an awesome discovery of something so insanely creepy.
Let’s first look at this very informative image about Hostess:
That really says a lot. This company has had nothing but failures, greedy CEO’s, and complete lack of caring for their employees. I’d love to see all the behind-the-scene plays that was done in board rooms. Sure their food wasn’t very healthy for the body, but man oh man did a twinkie make you feel good mentally. They were good stuff. A lot of memes are floating around the interwebs like this one:
Of course America had nothing to do with it, but the coincidence of timing is pretty humorous.
Now onto awesomeness. That Heathen Girl and I got engaged on the 8th of November! We spent three days in a secluded cabin in Upstate Arkansas to consummate our engagement. We were going to go to Skepticon 5 that weekend, but you know what? Love is more important than a secular convention. JT Eberhard got the best of both worlds when he proposed on-stage. Way to go JT and Michaelyn!
That’s us enjoying our Cabin (ironically titled “Morning Star”) at Silver Run Cabins. If you ever think about a log cabin getaway… this place has cabins of all shapes and sizes. I would highly recommend booking your next getaway with them!
Last, but not least… Take this Lollipop! I won’t spoil it for you, but it is the creepiest thing you have ever seen. Brilliant, just brilliant.
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!
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 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.
Next up, Cindy Cooper, who gave a great presentation about Camp QuestOklahoma. 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!
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 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 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… 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, 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, 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