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San Francisco
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"...its members never learned to bite their tongues and just say to one another: “I love you.”" That statement really bothers me. It sounds like he's arguing in favor of repressing justified emotional reactions in order to keep the peace - silent submission as a virtue. "But if those were the only faces of Islam, it wouldn’t be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world today. " When everybody in a particular region is forced to show deference to a religion on fear of ostracism or even death, I'd say that might just be one cause for that religion's growth. "“I don’t want to create the impression that all people from Muslim countries or tribal societies are aggressive,” she writes — and then she proceeds to do just that." Ok, I haven't read the book, so maybe she does - but if that is what she does, the part he goes on to quote certainly doesn't support the point. Nowhere in the quoted statement does she refer to the individuals as being by nature violent, rather she talks about Islam as a cultural, educational institution. It's a distinction that regularly seems to fly over the heads of detractors of people openly critical of religion. Oh, and a quick aside Greta - I really wanted to come to the SF meeting last Saturday and couldn't make it. If anyone recorded your presentation and will be posting it please let us know.
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I love Letting Go of God, and I recommend it to anyone because it is so perfectly arranged, accessible, and funny. I listened to the audiobook within months of fully realizing and accepting my lack of belief, and was humbled by how much effort Julia Sweeney put into her journey towards atheism. While I found she hit many of the points that I did (from being a Christian girl with a desire to be an altar boy and a nun, to seeing god in nature, to identifying god as love, although happily I was never drawn to Deepak Chopra's particular brand of woo), I didn't spend nearly as much time or effort as she did on any of them. I agree that it's powerful and think this monologue is a great resource for showing believers who tend to make such accusations that the path from belief to nonbelief is not about jumping in on new trends to be hip, that many of us have thought carefully about our beliefs and have struggled with reconciling them with our observations, and that we're not all humorless cynics. Also, lol at your criticism of the grainy quality of the video. That really is about all there is to criticize, isn't it. I own the DVD, and it is also a little grainy, so it wasn't just the projection.
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I was at the festival all day, but was in the small theater during this movie. I just finished watching it on Netflix. To say it distressed me would be an understatement. I also got the impression that O'Grady is mentally ill. It's reprehensible that the bishops kept moving him to new areas that would give him access to even more children. The fingerpointing at homosexuality is just ridiculous and infuriating - the church is acting as an enabler, and is not only unwilling to take steps to protect its parishioners from further abuse, but apparently willing to tar innocent people in order to cover up its crimes. The comparisons to behavior commonly seen in corporate environments seems pretty apt. The officials involved are concerned with their own career advancement, and the underlings are conditioned to be deferential. I've seen people who are normally independent and outspoken suddenly take on an air of submission around executives, I can imagine that that effect would be even more pronounced if they were convinced that the executives had control over their afterlives. I would recommend it as well, but am kind of glad I didn't watch this on Sunday, I don't know if I could sit still in a theater for another movie after watching this.
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