I've haven't had new topics to discuss in depth, and even when I do, I haven't had the time to go into them as deeply as I would like to. I'm kind of a perfectionist in that way, I want a post to be the best writing that I can do, and if I don't feel I can do that, then it kills all the motivation to write.
For instance, I've had a guest post that I need to finish for the blog for the site Homeschoolers Anonymous, it's a great site, they have already re published a post I wrote several months ago for the blog Reason Being, and the creator of the site said that he thought it would be a great idea for me to write an original guest post for them.
I've been working on that post for several weeks now, and I've got writers block. I think in many ways it's important for former fundamentalists like me to share our stories with the world, but it gets tiring. Rehashing the past, bringing up all those old memories again, and then struggling to find a way to keep the writing fresh, and to keep from repeating the same thing over and over. However, at the same time, that's what people want to hear about the most often, my story, my past. Such is the paradox of being a former fundamentalist blogger.
Oh well, I should quit complaining..... Though I haven't been able to write recently, there's a few items of note in the blogging/commentary world that I want to share with everyone in the meantime.
Turkish sociologist thinks there's a link between atheism and autism, and that's not a good thing to him:
From My Secret Atheist Blog, written by my good blogging friend, Godless Poutine. (Read full story here):
A Turkish sociologist, Fehmi Kaya (pictured at left), sincerely believes that that autism and atheism are one and the same, and that autistic children "lack a section for faith in their brains"
A few quotes from the post by Godless Poutine that I really love in response to this, he has a son with autism, and has personally experienced some of the more bizarre beliefs regarding autism and "cures" for it that have been floating around both in the outside culture, and within the autism community in Canada:
This, naturally, caused a great deal of outrage among autism associations around Turkey. Now, I find it outrageous because there appears to be no credible scientific study to back it up. And if it is true that people with autism are statistically more likely to be atheists, then what's the problem? In this sense they likely see the world more clearly than many neurotypical people who's brains seem to fall prey to superstitious mumbo jumbo.
But I suspect many people in Turkey (and pretty much everywhere outside of Sweden) find it downright threatening. Because being identified as an atheist there is unlikely to help anyone who already has the sufficiently burdensome challenges of being on the spectrum or caring for someone who is autistic. It's more than likely going to compound any problems you would already have navigating the healthcare system trying to find plausible treatments.
If people in a highly religious nation like Turkey start thinking of autistics as atheists, that's just going to make discrimination and misunderstanding more prevalent, since atheists aren't viewed in a highly positive light in predominantly Muslim nation.
The idea that autistics are more likely to be atheist, or have a hard time grasping religious concepts is something I have seen before, I saw that in reactions to my guest post at The Wartburg Watch. I would like to see more studies done to see if autistics actually are more likely to be atheist, or otherwise non-religious. It would be interesting to see if this is true, and if it is, why.
HSLDA's campaign against homeschooling regulations and child welfare protections:
From Libby Anne of the Patheos blog, Love, Joy, Feminism, latest installment in the series can be read here, all posts related to HSLDA can be found here.
Libby Anne's recent series on HSLDA goes into their lobbying tactics, and the advice they give to families when they get into an encounter with state social services investigators or local law enforcement. HSLDA is opposed to all state regulations of homeschooling, and they feel that the only legal obligation that homeschool families have to their state is to merely inform their local school district of their intent to begin homeschooling, if the student was previously a student in that public school system.
HSLDA also has a major persecution complex when it comes to state social services/child welfare agencies. HSLDA loves to promote fear and mistrust of such agencies, and portrays themselves as protecting innocent homeschooling families from unjustified visits and legal action from these agencies. Libby Anne points out how their advice on how to stonewall social services actually hurts families who are not abusing their children (it turns a simple inquiry/open and shut investigation into a court case dragging on for years), and makes matters worse for children who are being abused, since they won't have an opportunity to have an interview with the social services agent.
HSLDA also seems to have their head in the sand about the fact that it is in fact possible for abuse to happen in homeschooling families, just like in any other group. HSLDA campaigns against various aspects of child welfare laws, and laws that make it easier to report abuse, such as anonymous tiplines and mandatory reporter laws, which allow people to report cases of abuse anonymously, and require adults in certain professions (members of the clergy, healthcare workers, teachers, etc) to report case of child abuse to law enforcement, prosecutors or state social services.
Going undercover inside right-wing events:
read his report on the event here), promoting "pro life" activism.
His blog is full of his accounts of infiltrating such events and conferences, as well as links to various blogs and web sites keeping watch on the Religious Right. What would be interesting is if he would infiltrate a fundamentalist church long term, blend into the congregation, attend services and Sunday School classes, much like I have had to do as the Undercover Agnostic. His blog really is a great read if you are not familiar with the fundamentalist mindset, it can be a great insight into that world.
I Fired God:
It's the rather ironic (since as best I know, she's still a Christian), title of Jocelyn Zichterman's new book on her time in the Independent Fundamental Baptist cult from her childhood, up until the time she left.
She has been a vocal critic of the IFB, she started a popular Facebook page for survivors, when very few people were talking about the IFB, or had ever heard of them, and has made media appearances on 20/20 and CNN to expose the IFB.
I haven't had a chance to get a copy of the book and read it, if anyone out there in the blog audience has read it, let me know what you think of it in comments or by e-mail at ramblingsofsheldon (at) gmail (dot) com. If you would be willing to write a review of it for the blog, let me know.