Thursday, July 21, 2016
Miracle Girl: Partying Like It's 1968
Keith and I have been watching the Republican National Convention. We do that every four years, but we've never seen one like this. Neither have most people alive today.
Donald Trump is scary enough, but when I learned he's taking a leaf from Richard Nixon's 1968 playbook, I became truly terrified.
You should be too.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Miracle Girl: 5 Reasons Why Heaven (Tourism) Isn't for Real
My doctors wrote me off as a vegetable during my six weeks in bye-bye land. But as should be well known to my readers, even as they were shining lights in my eyes, I was telling them to leave me alone so I could get back to sleep. But since I was saying this in my coma-dream, they continued to shake their heads.
Instead of seeing angels, I saw miniature zoo animals holding a tea party. What was the difference? Could it be that I had been raised not on religion, but a steady diet of old science fiction movies?
In my latest Miracle Girl post, I present 5 Reasons Why Heaven (Tourism) Isn't for Real, but there are many, many, many more.
Friday, July 15, 2016
Miracle Girl: In God's Name
When Keith came home and switched on the English-language France 24 news when he got home from work, my heart sank.
Not again, I thought. I knew that there had been another tragic attack on France,
As I rode the exercise bike for rehab. And, instead of watching our usual evening entertainment, we continued watching the interviews with experts and the repetitive stream of videos.
There is much the French authorities still don't know about the attacks. But what we do know is that it wasn't perpetrated by an atheist.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
|Photo credit: Craig Sunter|
Miracle Girl: Make America More Like Me Again
Satire can be a tricky business. As one commenter to my latest Miracle Girl post said, "Stephanie, How close can satire get to the truth before it stops being satirical?"
I don't know, but I pulled out all the stops in the post, which purports to be a guest post by one Homer Whiteman. He's angry white supporter of Donald Trump, who asks where did my country go?
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Miracle Girl: Handcuffing Humanism
I felt I needed to add some wider point to my post, The Blind Leading the Blind. To me, the Amazing Atheist represents a strain of atheism that seems bound and determined to prove the ridiculous slanders theists throw at atheists.
TJ Kirk really does seem to have no moral center. Or at least, he shows no evidence of any humanistic empathy.
To me, humanism is the theology of atheism. Therefore, atheist of Kirk's ilk lack the philosophy that undergirds and binds together the atheist movement.
Friday, July 8, 2016
Miracle Girl: The Blind Leading the Blind
I've been watching with growing anger and sadness the war brewing between YouTube atheist vlogger TheAmazingAtheist and Patheos Atheist blogger Martin Hughes, writer of Barrier Breaker.
My fellow Patheos writers have watched as TAA has done his best to smash Barrier Breaker with his white gangbangers of hate. Helpless to aid him in any other way, we've been writing blogs in support.
The Blind Leading the Blind is my blow against the bullying forces arrayed against Martin and Steve Shives, as well as anyone else who criticized TAA.
As someone who was bullied relentlessly as a child, how could I not defend people being pummeled by the forces of intolerance?
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Miracle Girl: Jew or Not a Jew
When you think about it, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. To some Jews and atheists, I can't be Jewish because I'm an atheist who has never practiced Judaism. But to anti-Semites, my heritage will follow me forever.
I learned that at a very young age, when my best friend informed me that his Dad said I killed Christ. Not the Jews, mind you, but I did.
All five years of me.
- In July of 2013, I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died. When I awoke from the coma, I could barely lift my head. It has been a hard road to recovery. The doctors advised my loved ones to give up all hope for my full recovery, but while they were shining lights in my eyes to gauge my level of consciousness, I was telling them grumpily to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep...in my coma-dream. I was experiencing covert cognition, and the coma-dream was my version of a near-death experience. I'm a skeptic, so I saw surreal images instead of spirits or dead loved ones. According to my research, as many as one in five people with consciousness disorders have covert cognition.
Not a miracle recovery, but a miracle of modern medicine
In 2013 I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died after I contracted legionella. The Legionnaire's disease was in turn triggered by immunosuppression caused by the prednisone I was taking for my rare autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis.
I suffered a series of strokes on both sides of my brain when the sepsis caused my blood pressure to plummet. I fell into a deep coma. My kidneys and lungs began to fail, as my body was began dying one organ at a time. My doctors told my loved ones to give up hope for my full recovery. They expected me to die, and even if I somehow lived, I would remain a vegetable or at best left so hopelessly brain-damaged that I would never be same. But unbeknownst to them, while they were shining lights in my eyes and shaking their heads, I was telling them in my coma-dream--my secular version of a near-death experience--to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep. I was experiencing what is known as covert cognition, the subject of my Skeptical Inquirer article "Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience," which appeared in their July/August issue.
But it wasn't a miracle--despite what so many continue to believe--that I recovered so fully. I owe my life not to God, but the miracles of modern medicine, as well as the nature of the watershed-area brain damage I suffered, as I detailed in my article and in this blog.