I usually manage to fall asleep at 3 am,  preceded by an hour or so of mind wanderings. The mind wanderings tend to be thoughts that I’ve thought 100 times before.  Occasionally though, I come across a raw, untouched thought that hasn’t been combed over, thought over, talked about, or processed. The other night, it was death.   Truthfully, I haven’t given death itself much thought. I didn’t either as a Christian. As a person, I have always avoided the thought of death.

I have been to exactly 3 funerals. The first was my grandmothers when I was 5. I didn’t understand why I didn’t have one of those “fun” bags with coloring books and snacks I got in church.  The second funeral I went to was for my late guinea pig Fluffy. The third was the funeral of my moms best friend Maureen, who I had only met a handful of times. She was a single woman, the same age as my mom, who had adopted a daughter from China.  Her adopted daughter was probably 12 years old when her mom died. And at the funeral I sobbed. I mean, I totally lost it. And I do not like to cry in front of other people, especially my family. I did not understand why everyone else at the funeral managed to keep it together. And an open casket?!?! I wanted to throw up.  I was surprised by my strong reaction to the death of someone I hardly knew, so I just tried to block everything from the funeral out.

About a year later, a close friend asked if I was afraid of death to which I answered with an unhesitating “No”. She was shocked by that. She wanted to know how I couldn’t be afraid of death. I said because I knew I was going to heaven, and once I got to heaven I wouldn’t miss anything on earth and everything would be amazing.  But my friend wasn’t asking about life after death. She was talking about dying itself. The process in which the human body stops living and breathing. And after I thought about it some more, I realized, shit, dying is scary.  Then I did my best to not think about it again.

As I lay in bed at 3 am, I realized that I have to accept that I am going to die. That it might hurt. That it might be sad. That (hopefully) other people will be sad and miss me. One day I will cease  to exist and so will all of my family and all of my friends and all of the people I don’t like.  There will be a time in my life when I have to go without someone that is very close to me everyday.

Overall, the whole idea of death is much more peaceful as an atheist than as a Christian.  Heaven and hell cause so much grief in families and relationships. You’re told life in heaven will be better than you could ever imagine, and you won’t miss your friends or parents or even your spouse. You don’t get to be married in heaven. You don’t get to have you dog in heaven. Everything you know to be wonderful and happy in your life is diminished by saying that really, in comparison, it’s nothing. What’s even the point? As an atheist, I don’t worry about what will happen to me when I die. That’s peace. Peace isn’t knowing that I’ll be floating around not missing everything that I have that is wonderful while at the same time someone I know and possibly love is eternally suffering for not pleasing a jealous god.

I am content with the life I have. I seek to fill it with as much happiness and love as I can, and then one day I’ll die.  The End.


Religion and Walls, Actual Walls: My Visit to Belfast

Hi Everyone,

I went to Belfast, Northern Ireland over the weekend.  I won’t pretend to be an expert on Irish history or politics in this post, I promise. (Listening to Irish peoples sometimes overbearing take on American politics has been quite exhausting, so I do not want to do the same.) But, in case you aren’t familiar with the topic, the north of Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, using British money.  The Republic of Ireland is part of the European Union, and uses Euros.  The Republic of Ireland is mainly a catholic country, whereas Northern Ireland is Protestant.

The Irish Republican Army, or the IRA is/was a Catholic affiliated group that promoted (with terrorism…) that Ireland be united as one country, not divided between the north and the south.  The Protestants up north however, wanted to remain a part of the UK, who they identified religiously and historically with.  And from what I understand of the “troubles” in the 1960’s and 70’s there was a shit ton of bombings, murders, terrorist attacks, and arson out of anger between the protestants and the Catholics.

My program director, who showed us around the city is from Belfast, and was also raised catholic.  He told us stories about his brothers involvement in the IRA, the police arresting him and asking him to be the spy, and other horror stories about growing up in such a turbulent time and place. He told us that the city is peaceful now, but I can rarely remember feeling so anxious and nervous as I was in West Belfast. I felt less creeped out in Juarez, Mexico.

I would not define Belfast as a peaceful city. There is a HUGE wall dividing the catholic and protestant neighborhoods. And there is NO movement for it to be taken down. In fact, the last addition to the wall was 8 MONTHS ago. The schools are completely segregated. The hospitals are completely segregated. Catholic pubs are totally gated off with cameras outside, so you can’t get in unless you are recognized. The old “joke” goes is that they would check you for a gun at the door, and if you didn’t have one they would lend you one.

Wall Separating Catholic Belfast and Protestant Belfast

I wasn’t expecting to see a wall like this. I mean, I remember my parents telling me about the Berlin wall and growing up hearing about that. I know that there is a lot of segregation in the world, but I wasn’t expecting to see such stark division here. I have been  living in Ireland for about a month now and overall it is pretty comparable to the US.   It was just so sad and depressing to hear about the violence and segregation caused by religion.  I hate violence. I find it detestable.  I don’t subscribe to a world view that everyone in the world should get along and be friends, or that we will ever be without conflict. But I don’t find believing in a slightly different religion to be a good enough reason to bomb and kill each other.

Most bombed hotel in Europe–the Europa in Belfast

On the walls separating the city was some graffiti that said “a good argument for atheism”, and I could not agree more. It’s so ironic that these walls are sometimes referred to as “Peace walls”.  Peace is not closing gates to the catholic area between 10pm and 7am.  Peace is not terrorism. Peace is not celebrating “heros” of the IRA or the Volunteers who murdered innocent people.  Religion ruins everything.  I would recommend the film Shadow Dancer–it is an Irish political thriller focusing on the IRA and the Troubles. I would also recommend reading God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. He talks a bit about the political atmosphere in Belfast in the book.

A good argument for atheism

On a side note, the most frustrating part of the trip was when some fellow students h started taking funny pictures next to the walls. I was nearly moved to tears, realizing that I was on a street that was once burned down because of religious conflict and here these girls stood–making fun of Asians eyes in front of a modern day tragedy.  I have some dignity, and some hope that I can be even a very small part of a world that moves towards peace and rationality.

be kind,


Joy Everyday

So, I really thought the excitement of being an atheist would have worn off by now. Not to say I expected to get bored with it, I just expected it to become routine, normal, and be ingrained in who I am. And it is, but it is also like getting a little present everyday. I’m always having new moments of excitement brought on by realizing just how much I like being an atheist. Sometimes it comes from not having to defend my faith as reasonable justification for god in philosophy class. Sometimes it’s meeting someone who agrees that it’s not right to raise children by telling them there is a god and we believe in the right god. It’s realizing how small my world was when I was a person of  faith, and seeing just how big and limitless it is now that my focus is on rationality and happiness. It feels so good to sit down with “God is Not Great” and feel impassioned and interested about something.

When I was a young teen, I remember leading a bible study on the difference between joy and happiness. I think that the point was that joy was a pleasure that came from god. It just seems so silly to me.  Tell all these people they won’t have true happiness if they don’t commit their lives to this narcissistic and arrogant god. I feel that faith always left me reaching for more and feeling confused, but every now and again when I was all pumped up with adrenalin and really nice things being said either in church or at a bible study I would feel “joyful”. Or anytime I felt really happy and I would attribute it to god instead of attributing it to my friends and or family who were bringing me happiness.  I guess now I feel things, both happy and sad, a lot more genuinely.

I hope everyone is doing well, and staying away from large politically and religiously charged crowds.

Stay Adorable,


I kissed the blarney stone and did not get the gift of the gab. I got a sore throat.

Cleaning Up & Moving On

Hi friends,

I am leaving to study abroad on Sunday.  (mini freak out here). I’m going to Ireland!!  When I come home, I am officially moving into my new apartment with my fiance Patrick. This means my mom wants me to clear out my room and get rid of all the junk I’ve been storing in here since 2nd grade.  I started with the bookshelf.

Most of my bookshelf was Christian literature. It was a weird feeling to see all of these. To be honest, I was super surprised at just how many I had.  I haven’t read all of them, but most. They brought back a lot of emotions for me.   I remember hating memorizing passages from Luther’s catechism for my confirmation.  I remember really enjoying Mean Girls, Sexy Girls, and Idol Girls and the retreats I read them on with my youth group. I remember being angered and frustrated by A Call to Die because it made me feel like an awful person.

My friend got me 10 Lies the Church Tells women for my birthday after I had a heartbreaking conversation with a youth leader who I admired. He shared his messed up ideas about women and their “role” in society. I remember breaking down and sobbing, being angry, and then just deciding that he was stupid. It was a defining moment in my teen years, and what shaped my desire to be a rational Christian for the following years.

These books were my efforts to make sense of religion. To make me feel fulfilled and happy. The topics range from building faith to seeking logic and truth. I read all those words looking for answers, and now I know I only needed one thing: atheism. Some of the books I have good memories associated with, others not so much. But the ones I have the most positive memories with were the ones I read with other people, in bible studies, youth groups, church, small groups, or whatever other settings bible things are read.  Which only supports my theory that I liked religion for the community it provided me.

My bible especially still holds some value that I have a hard time letting go of.  I was in a women’s bible study at my university. Sure, some I thought were a little loony, but I still liked it. We would read passages of the bible and pray. It was an hour a week to escape from work and school.  Patrick would always ask me what I got out of it, and sometimes I had an answer, sometimes I didn’t. But looking back I think I mostly enjoyed having a break that I could look forward to every week where I knew I would be surrounded by women with positive attitudes.

But I know when I go back to school my relationship with every single one of those girls will be non-existent. They don’t really know anything about me, and we no longer have the commonality of Christianity.  So I suppose my atheism opens the door for me to cultivate new and meaningful friendships and find a new weekly break to look forward to. As far as my bible goes,  I’m still opening it up and reading, but it seems a whole lot crazier, weirder, and less good-promoting than I remember. And it’s a little sad. Something I put so much trust in, so much thought in, and so much hope in is really just a crazy book of  a vein god.  It’ll be less sad overtime, and new things will become important and sentimental.

I also feel less guilty about consulting my stuffed penguin chewy after a bad day instead of the bible, so that’s a plus.

I know this was a long one, but thanks for letting me share.  Please share something about your story.

stay adorable,


“Somebody is Looking Out For Me”

Today I watched this video of Adam Savage speaking at the Reason Rally. It  inspired me. It made me happy. I listened to it a few times, because he says so many great and meaningful  things in such a short time.  I thought about every Christian speaker I’ve ever heard (which is a lot) and  wondered what their speech would sound like. My analysis is as follows, “We have a god who loves us” (cheering from the crowd), “We need to win back our schools for god” (cheering from the crowd), “God has a plan for you” (Cheering from the crowd), “Gods mercy rains down on us” (Cheering from the crowd).  Probably some music playing, some time to think quietly about all your transgressions, emotion filled testimonies, more singing, and a whole lotta crying.

I was that a part of that crowd several times. Now I long to be a part of a crowd like the one at the Reason Rally. I want to cheer for and celebrate human reason. Adam Savage states a lot of facts.  I want to celebrate facts. Facts don’t make me agonize over the lack of clarity they offer.  Reasonable thought doesn’t leave me with a million what if’s and no way to get to the answer. It means so much more to me to cheer for reason, truth, facts, ideas, and a fellow human’s story than cheering for abstract, questionable, emotion based empty phrases. I am excited to think of my morality as truly mine, not bestowed upon me or demanded of me to receive “life”.  Failing as a faithful person led to a road of wonder, frustration, sadness, questioning, self-loathing and a variety of other emotions. Failing as an atheist means determination, problem solving, wonder, and education.  Truth has changed my life for the better.

The ending quote was my favorite and sums up so much of how I feel.

I have concluded through careful empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me, keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less than I ought. Giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I’m capable of. I believe they know everything that I do and think, and they still love me, and I’ve concluded, after careful consideration, that this person keeping score is me.

Stay Adorable,


Prayer for an Atheist

Hi Adorable People!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Mine was fun..but bittersweet. It was my last weekend with my fiance Patrick until January. (I’m leaving to do a semester abroad in Ireland). We stayed up late playing a lot of Minecraft, watching movies, and drinking wine from the bottle. It really is good to be in a relationship with your best friend.

On to today’s topic, Prayer! As a Christian, I generally enjoyed praying. Not the kind where you read pre-written prayers in church though, or where they make you stand forever and all you can think about is sitting down. I enjoyed just falling asleep saying my prayers. I never really believed in the power of prayer, it was more of a reflection for me. I never asked god to help me get an A on a test or anything, but I would pray about having patience and remembering to take it slow. And eventually in praying to God, I realized I was just reminding myself and focusing on something important. And that’s what I liked about praying—just a quite time to sort through emotions and think serious things, the ups and downs of life, what I need to work on, what is going well, etc.

So, now as an atheist, I don’t pray. But I do find myself missing that quiet serious time. Reflecting to myself with no sort of direction is harder to make time for and not as rewarding. I do enjoy talking to Patrick about what we are thankful for, and the best and worst part of the day (from the part of me that was a camp counselor…). I also enjoy listening to some comedy before falling asleep, because laughing is important.

I love the rawness of trying to create something like a new routine for reflecting. Sometimes you try something and it just sticks, sometimes ideas just fails. It’s a process and somewhere along the way you learn about yourself by figuring out how you like to reflect, not from the actual reflecting.  I feel that atheist “prayer” is ultimately more fulfilling because it’s about me taking responsibility of my decisions, happiness, and life instead of making that out of my control.

How do you reflect? I’d love to hear about it!

Have an adorable day,


Coffee and tea are excellent beverages to drink while reflecting.


Rights for Women, Hooray!

I care deeply about women’s health.  I love and support Planned Parenthood and all the great things they do for women. At the Planned Parenthood I go to, there are protesters every single day. They hold up graphic signs and hand out brochures with mis-information.  The Catholic Diocese  pays someone to protest all day long.  I hate that I’m forced to drive through a judging, scary mob just to get birth control pills.  I hate that women who are having one of the worst days of their lives have to go through a bunch of holier than thou judgmental Christians who think their belief should create a universal standard for all people.  And, a bunch of the protesters are men! What is your business worrying about what is or is not inside my reproductive organs?

I attend a Catholic University, and we are required to take three theology courses.   I took my first course with a priest, and during the semester the university decided to pull all funding for contraceptives from their health care for employees.  That’s fine–it’s a private institution and they can do that.  But anyway, the priest wanted to have a class discussion about it. He told me to my face that the legislation regarding contraceptives wasn’t a women’s issue. It was a theology issue.  I haven’t been so mad in a very very long time.  And I have never been so proud to give such an obviously disgusted look at an authority figure.

I watched this video and perused Planned Parenthood’s Action Center for some information on how the health care plan will effect women.  I keep reading over and over from different sources that women will be able to get birth control for no co-pay.  That just hasn’t sunk in for me yet. Like, I can have it, for free? All I have to do is have a prescription and an annual check-up? That must only apply to some women…It just seems to good to be true….

I’m just a firm, firm believer that I can have sex with whoever I want! And no one should decide if I take contraception (or any other kind of medication or treatment for that matter) besides me and my doctor.  And if these conservative Christians have such a problem with abortion, why don’t the spend more time on addressing the root issue of unwanted pregnancies, or offer to pay for the damn child to be born, or to improve the foster care system in this country?

Stay Adorable, and Safe.  M.C.

Atheist Book Monday

Happy Monday Adorable People!!

I hope you all had a good weekend.  Some highlights of mine were visiting the apartment Patrick and I will be sharing come January, going to a baseball game with some friends, and of course, my new atheist books!  I got God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens and Irreligion by John Allen Paulos.  I love to read–and as a young teen I read a lot of Christian devotionals and books, so it feels right to read a little bit about atheism.  Hopefully I’ll get a lot of reading done this week, I’m really looking forward to learning more and thinking more about something important to me!

What books have you read that impacted you?

Stay Adorable, M.C.

Sex Talk

I really enjoy sex.  That being said, I was a big believer in waiting until marriage at one point. Eventually that evolved into a more reasonable part of me that believed in waiting until it was a person that meant something to me.   I ultimately made that decision, and I didn’t make that decision in a heat-of-the-moment have to have you now situation. It was a several month long constant debate in my head, followed by a lot of “are you sure’s?” from my now Fiancé.

I always thought that abstaining from sex would make me feel pure, or superior, or more in control.  But having a blanket rule with no room to question isn’t empowering. I lied to myself. I wasn’t empowered, I was suffocated. When I decided to start having sex, I was the most in control of myself and my body that I had ever been and it was liberating! It felt private because it was.   There was no God judging me. It was me and Patrick and extremely special.

I feel a lot more in control and connected to myself by being able to say, “Hey, sex is really fun, and I get to choose who I want to share myself with”, instead of , “Sex is this super dooper sacred thing and I won’t even think about it until my wedding night”.  I’m not going to sit around saying that my sexuality is some sort of “gift” for someone else. Of course it’s special, but it’s also fucking mine and I can fucking enjoy it however I want!!! And I do. And it’s fun!

So hooray for sex and having the guilt free luxury of being in control of my atheist body!