Sometimes I Feel Like an Athiest

A FaceBook friend of mine posted the clip below. It’s from a public access TV show in Austin called Atheist Experience. This episode is hosted by Tracie Harris and Jen Peeples,both are calm, well-spoken,  and offer sound arguments for their position. The caller seems to be willfully ignorant. It wasn’t so much the subject of the exchange that struck me, but the tone, it all sounded much too familiar.

Te clip was like too many discussions many of us have had concerning adoptee rights. First, the caller assumed the host had had a bad experience, that they just hadn’t found the right church, because if they did, they would agree with him. Sound familiar? Ever been accused of having a bad experience with adoption? When Tracie Harris mentions that she actually had some good experiences in church and her atheism was the result of knowledge she had acquired, it was so much like an adoptee rights activist telling someone that they do love their adoptive parents.

Moving on to the “Why do you even have to have this show?” section, I got that one 100% too. How many times have we been asked the same thing. Just like the hosts, when we point out all the wealthy, well-established institutions (many of the same institutions the atheists are pointing out, in this case) who promote adoption, and justify our right to express our own differing position, it doesn’t matter. We still should just shut up and go with conventional wisdom, because they say so.

Then there’s the whole “it’s a miracle that Gabby Giffords is going to live and recover” thing. To my ear this sounds so much like the “if we can just save one child” argument. I agree with the hosts, it’s great Mrs. Giffords is going to be OK, but it’s no miracle, it’s a tragedy. Many people aren’t OK because of that act, they matter too. The caller just can’t see that. Much like many adopters can’t see that they participated in a system that hurts many, that their little miracle doesn’t make that OK.

Anyway, here’s the clip…

So, anybody else feeling like they’ve been there, done that?

 

 

Free Haitian Orphan Slight Return

Update 2/2/10

It’s been brought to my attention that the link I gave for Safe Families Haiti does not match the text I quoted.  That’s because the site I pulled that text from has been taken down.  But luckily it’s available in cache..

The site they don’t want you to see.

I’d like to thank my commenter Jill for pointing it out to me.

If you read through the enteries you’ll find all kinds of interesting craziness.

Gee, I wonder why they took that down?

In my place somewhere in the middle of the adoption world, I get to explore many different perspectives on every issue.  Things bubble up, points are made, and very little ever seems to change. This has intensified in the last few days, just this morning I found these on my Twitter feed.

First an organization called Safe Families Haiti, whose mission is stated as…

Safe Families is a network of Christian families that extend a safety net to children by providing at-risk families a sanctuary where they can place their children in a time of crisis. As a voluntary, non-coercive alternative to the state child welfare system, SFFC temporarily relieves parents from the responsibility of caring for their child and provides them time to address life issues without the fear of losing custody. Children are cared for by volunteer host families that are screened, trained, and serve to demonstrate Christ’s transforming love.

..seems to be looking for anyone who wants to take a Haitian child.  Here’s their website..

www.safe-families.org

Sounds OK, right?  A bit churchy, but non-coercive, and temporary.  Just what may be needed while families of Haitian children get their lives back in order after a terrible disaster.

Wrong.

Their next message reads like this….

Because of the response of families who desire to adopt children, we no longer need families who are interested in temporary housing. We are looking to place all children we receive with families who are considering adoption.

So I guess it’s just to hell with the temporary stuff, and you get to keep the kid.

All kinds of problems there.

But as I said, I’m in the middle, so I got this on my Twitter feed too.

Whites Make Pact With God, Expedite Haitian Adoptions

http://outlandishremarks.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/whites-make-pact-with-god-expedite-haitian-adoptions/#comment-54

Reading that, if not really changing anything about the situation, made me feel better.  I’m not just imagining this becoming some kind of free-for-all for ravenously entitled PAPs.

And you know what the really bad thing is? The above blog is about folks who were already involved in the process of adopting from Haiti.

Just think of the kids who weren’t matched, who won’t have any paperwork, who might have families that will come looking for them, and find nothing.

What is wrong with people? Folks can’t just help a kid out?  They have to get to keep them?  That’s hardly selfless, or well thought out.

Lions and Tigers and Baptists, Oh My!

Seems I’m not the only one who has been bothered by Baptist bent on burglering babies.  Haiti is having it’s own problems with that plague.  For those who have been under a rock, a bunch of Baptists on a mission decided they could just load up some kids off the street and whisk them away to a better life.  God knows if they were allowed to stay with their parents they might take up dancing.

While the dunkers don’t seem too good at this whole child trafficking thing, I wonder about what’s happening with folks who a little better at it.  The disciples of John seem to think that Jesus will provide some type of spiritual-diplomatic immunity, others know better.  They are craftier, sneakier, smarter.  Child snatching isn’t just something they do with their vacation time, it’s their profession.

Make no mistake, they are in Haiti.  They are looking, taking, profiting.

Right now everybody seems to be focused on the folks that got caught.  Maybe we should think about the others that are surely still out there.

In happier places, the weather relented a bit this weekend and I was able to go outside without risking my exposed skin freezing in a matter of minutes.  That was something.

Deathbed Conversions and Gumball Machines

If you haven’t read my previous Happy Monday post, please do, this one will make a whole lot more sense.

I know exactly how that stupid vending machine made it into the front of my store.

During the conquest of the Americas many missionaries were sent out to “civilize” the savages and bring them religion.  Some of the native people really went for the Jesus thing, some gave it lip service to save their butts, and some didn’t buy into any of it.

But as some folks who were less than impressed by Christianity approached death, they would ask to see the priests and convert moments before expiring. While this pumped up the stats of the church, I’m guessing that most of the deathbed converts were merely hedging their bets on the afterlife.

It does make sense to cover all of your bases.  The Pagan Gods tended to be forgiving of their peers, and only asked that they be paid tribute in the areas they were responsible for.  Even when the Christian God laid down the law, he asked only that no other Gods go before him.  So waving the spiritual giant foam finger at the Christian God in final overtime probably made a whole lot of sense.

While the Pagan Gods still have their followers, most folks are more into the things that have replaced them these days.  You know, money, success, standing in the community, doing your own thing.  Even though most folks don’t have a God for these things anymore, they tend to ignore the Christian God in order to pursue them.  I don’t think they think much about it, until they fear that their soul might be in some peril.  All in all, the number of deathbed conversions hasn’t suffered much over the years.

I’ve always found deathbed conversions to be ass kissy and tacky.  I’m perfectly willing to go into the great beyond with all of my doubts worn honestly.  I’m not going to beg to be invited to a party that I’m not dressed for.

I’m guessing that it’s mainly fear that motivates last minute conversions.  I’m sure they see it as fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of eternal damnation.  Legitimate fears I suppose, if you believe in that kind of thing. I have a hard time thinking a last minute apology is ever going to make up for all the stuff that leads to those fears, but some still try.

Even waiting until the last minute, presumably after all your deeds are behind you, can still lead to trouble.  These things aren’t exempt from the no good deed goes unpunished clause.  Attempts at getting the Lord on your side can complicate things with the very folks you fear you’ve hurt, that lead to all this ass kissing in the first place.

Take orphans for example.  Helping them out would seem to be a good way to get back in good with the man upstairs.  And as long as you really don’t have to do anything, well more is the better.  No need to check anything out, just do your good deed and get spiritual brownie points. Easy.

Well, maybe not.

While spiritual matters are mainly the concern the individual and whatever God they are working with, I think that how ones actions effect others probably come into play.  I’m certain not even thinking about how your actions will effect others come into play.  That might even earn you demerits.

I have no doubt that this is a difficult thing to understand for those who see everything in black and white, or good and evil, but it’s something to think about.  Thinking about things is hard, some just won’t go to the trouble.  That makes me sad and explains the gumball machine.

Adoption Rocks!

I don’t get this at all. .

Some dork wearing an Adoption Rocks! t-shirt.

 

Adoption Rocks?  What are adoption rocks?  Are people adopting rocks now?  Are they like Pet Rocks?

I remember Pet Rocks.  Now that was a great piece of marketing.  Imagine convincing everyone that they should pay $3.95 for a rock.  Everybody just had to have one, because everybody else had one.  You wouldn’t want to feel left out.  If they would have come up with Pet Rocks today even Madonna would have one, hell she’d be out on the Pet Rock World Tour right now.

Wait a minute, this couldn’t be about adoption could it?  No way.

There’s no way someone is financing their adoption adoption selling these t-shirts.  Can’t they get a HELOC or something?  What are their plans for the future?  Are they going to start selling “Community College Rocks!” t-shirts when tuition time rolls around in a few years?  That’s just wrong.

If they are serious about this they do realize that saying anything “Rocks” at this point is passe, or at the very least the height of irony, right?  Because adoption does not rock.  In fact, I suspect that international adoption is very fast becoming passe.  Let’s face it, it came out yesterday that we are in a recession.  Displays of excess like giant SUVs, Birkin Kelly bags, and toting an ethnically diverse adoptee, are out.  Green, useful and frugal are in.  You’ll get over in a much bigger way in your hybrid, toting a kid recycled from our very own foster care system.  You can easily still get them in a variety of colors and sizes.  

Besides isn’t having to sell t-shirts in order to pay for your international adoption a bit like wearing a Rolex Daytona with a Members Only jacket?