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April 24, 2008

Took a quiz today called “The Vitality Compass” (Imagine Yin saying it very intensely…it’s fun). Apparently my body is 20.3 years old. I should live to be 88.6, but only be healthy until 73.8. So shoot me when I hit 74, please.
This quiz tells me that I can add 8.7 years (not specifying healthy or otherwise) if I do such boring things as take salt out of my diet, and gross things like eat more seafood. Granted, I’m trying to cut back on salt, but mostly because I don’t want to get a heart attack next year, not because I want to live longer. *laughs* I want the heart attack to come when I’m 74… like the line from The Bucket List: “Somewhere, some lucky guy is dying of a heart attack right now.” Maybe I shouldn’t cut back on salt; seems like a better way to go than cancer, which it seems like kills everyone.
But back to the quiz. You can pay these people to add two years to your life in the next six months. Presumably by doing things that your mother already tells you to do: eat right, sleep enough, exercise, and relax. You have to pay for this advice why? And how depressing is it that everyone’s got about ten years at the end of their lives where they’ll be unhealthy. I’d much rather go early and quick. Well, by early I mean my seventies. I want to be a crazy old lady for a few years first. It’ll give me an excuse to do all the things I do right now anyway but get harassed for.

Subject change to a recent post by Adam, on the subject of atheist churches. First of all, Richard Dawkins is an ass. “Fraternizing with the enemy”, oi. Too bad he came up with the scarlett letter t-shirt – that’s hilarious, and I’d go for one if it was his thing.
Anyway, on to a more reasoned response. I think the idea of an atheist church is an amazing wonderful idea. Or rather, something (haha perhaps like the Unitarian Universalists) that allows it’s members the perks of religion without being told what to do. What do I mean by perks? All the things Katie and I cling to when we talk about our religious childhoods, and no, not the fairy tale of an afterlife. I’m talking about the community. What I remember of my Catholic youth is mostly warm and fuzzy, and something I’d like to give my kids. I remember learning to say no to things I like for forty days, a habit I still keep, which helps me remember just how damn lucky I am. I remember going to breakfast at Big Boy after Mass with Grandma and the cousins. I remember being taught to think of other people, both in religious ed and every week when I was allowed to drop a dollar in the offering basket. I remember playing games with kids in class, games that centered around accepting others for who they are, and I remember the first time I recognized what diversity was, when a student talked about a conversation she’d had with a protestant at her public school. I guess I’m lucky in that we left the church before they tried to tell me much what to think, and defiantly lucky that my parents always allowed me to be myself, because I’m left with great memories of what a church can be. I know that

Hmm I’ve totally lost that thought. I’ll leave you right there.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    April 25, 2008 4:48 pm

    I always like reading your responses to my entries. Did you not like it when Father Dawkins quoted Mark Twain, “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born.”
    On a day when I was feeling especially down, depressed, and away from home I found myself in need of comforting things, as many people do. When in this situation you can choose between the pantry, the medicine cabinet, the liquor cabinet, or the night stand. If you really are away from home and staying in a hotel, then you can be sure there is a wonderfully bound stack of cigarette rolling papers in that night stand with some iteration of sacred text.
    On this day I found myself reaching for Dawkins, as in I literally wanted him to appear so that I could talk to him. I knew I couldn’t reach for God because that is no longer applicable. I wanted to talk to Dawkins, off the soap box, and find out about what it’s like for him when he feels down. I didn’t want dogmatic assurance, and I don’t think that’s what Dawkins provides although people like to argue that he does. I just wanted someone to affirm my worldview in my loneliness that day but not in a moralizing kind of way.
    Sure we can have coffee and donuts with a common spiritual stance. I just want us to be conscious of what we’re doing and not just something that we do. I don’t want it to be seen as a requirement for membership nor do I want for it to seem like atheists are void of the good things that encompasses the church experience. This is what I think the article hinted at which is why it left a bad taste in my mouth.

  2. April 28, 2008 4:08 pm

    I did enjoy that Mark Twain quote. I need to remember to write it down. I think that’s a fantastic way to look at death, and probably part of why I feel so strongly against being kept alive in a vegetative state.
    That’s amusing that you prayed for Dawkins to appear. I always choose the pantry. Or a walk and a talk with the moon. How spiritual are you? Do you ever talk to the moon (my personal connection to anything more there might be) or have existential moments that don’t include Dawkins or absenthe?
    I think the common perception of atheists as amoral is exactly why a church type setting is an important message to send. It’s a very easy connection to be made for those who don’t want to think about the issue any further, who don’t realize that church and morality don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other.

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