Posted by: wegottobefree | May 24, 2009

Oh, no — she’s questioning everything they taught her!

Category: Religion Posted on: May 24, 2009 5:31 PM, by PZ Myers

One of those agony aunts, Dear Margo, got an amusing request for help.

Dear Margo: Our daughter started college a year ago, and we’ve noticed during her visits home that she’s not the sweet, innocent girl we sent away for higher learning. We raised her with strong Christian beliefs, but lately she’s saying that she’s joined an atheist club on campus and is questioning everything we taught her. Now my husband refuses to let her in the house and is threatening to turn her in to the FBI. I’ve tried to cure our daughter and reconcile with her, but nothing seems to work. I’ve prayed over her at night while she sleeps, enlisted friends in a phone prayer tree and even spoken to my priest about the possibility of an exorcism. I’m at my wits’ end. How can I recover my daughter and keep her from hell? — God-fearing

There’s a regular stampede of young people doing exactly what “God-fearing” describes — isn’t it wonderful? This is exactly what happens when you send your kids off to college: if it works, they start thinking for themselves, develop surprising new opinions, and aren’t afraid to share them with other people.

Hooray for college students, some of my favorite people! As for these poor parents, they shipped their daughter off to college with the wrong idea. They thought college would just confirm them in their same old traditional beliefs. We really ought to send little information packets to the parents of our students, carefully explaining that there will be little shocks like this, because their kids will come back as smart, independent human beings.

Margo’s answer isn’t bad — she tells them that it is normal for people to think for themselves — even if she does bend over backwards to give some unwarranted sympathy to freaky religious beliefs.

And that fanatical devotion to peculiar Christian dogma? Well…

Posted by: wegottobefree | May 24, 2009


On the Deathbed -Rumi

Go, rest your head on a pillow, leave me alone;
leave me ruined, exhausted from the journey of this night,
writhing in a wave of passion till the dawn.
Either stay and be forgiving,
or, if you like, be cruel and leave.
Flee from me, away from trouble;
take the path of safety, far from this danger.
We have crept into this corner of grief,
turning the water wheel with a flow of tears.
While a tyrant with a heart of flint slays,
and no one says, “Prepare to pay the blood money.”
Faith in the king comes easily in lovely times,
but be faithful now and endure, pale lover.
No cure exists for this pain but to die,
So why should I say, “Cure this pain”?
In a dream last night I saw
an ancient one in the garden of love,
beckoning with his hand, saying, “Come here.”
On this path, Love is the emerald,
the beautiful green that wards off dragonsnough, I am losing myself.
If you are a man of learning,
read something classic,
a history of the human struggle
and don’t settle for mediocre verse.

Posted by: wegottobefree | May 23, 2009

A Softer World

Posted by: wegottobefree | May 17, 2009

Television Show or Tornado

Posted by: wegottobefree | May 11, 2009

Even More Quotes

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

—André Gide
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

I’d rather live with a good question than a bad answer.

—Aryeh Frimer
We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.

—Bill Vaughan
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.

—Cyril Connolly
I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.

—Edith Sitwell
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

—Ellen Parr
Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.

—Erica Jong
Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

—Oscar Wilde
Posted by: wegottobefree | May 11, 2009

Funny Quotes and an Amazing Song

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

—Oscar Wilde
Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.

—Lily Tomlin
We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.
Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.
—Cullen Hightower
There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
—Dick Cavett
Posted by: wegottobefree | May 11, 2009

Great Wisdom

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

—Ambrose Redmoon

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.


To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.

—Abraham Maslow

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

—Baltasar Gracian

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.


What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

—John Ruskin

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

—Marcel Proust

Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.

—Virgil Garnett Thomson

Posted by: wegottobefree | May 3, 2009

Swine Flu!

Posted by: wegottobefree | May 3, 2009

Pete Townshend Bloopers

I think my favorite is when Pete tried to do a high kick over his mic stand at Live Aid and fell flat on his back. What’s even funnier is that Roger started rolling around on the ground to make it look planned…

Pete falls off stage. Knowing that he didn’t get hurt makes it funny. Plus, he made it look cool. Lucky guy who got to play his guitar!

At the Bridge School Benefit in 1999, as Pete was talking a bit about how the atmosphere reminded him of the 60s, and suddenly apropos of nothing, blurted out “John Lennon? Yeah, I fucked him.”

He then turns to the back of the stage…. and notices several bleacher rows of children, the very young students of the Bridge School, who traditionally sit on the stage for the entire show.

Oops! Pete looked profoundly embarrassed and said, “I forgot where I was for a minute there!”

There’s a big one in the Concert for NYC. The bass and drums are out of sync during BOR. Once Daltrey started the harmonica part, Entwistle heard it and fixed it in a second.

Posted by: wegottobefree | April 23, 2009

Life Story

Life Story

by Tennessee Williams

After you’ve been to bed together for the first time,
without the advantage or disadvantage of any prior acquaintance,
the other party very often says to you,
Tell me about yourself, I want to know all about you,
what’s your story? And you think maybe they really and truly do

sincerely want to know your life story, and so you light up
a cigarette and begin to tell it to them, the two of you
lying together in completely relaxed positions
like a pair of rag dolls a bored child dropped on a bed.

You tell them your story, or as much of your story
as time or a fair degree of prudence allows, and they say,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
each time a little more faintly, until the oh
is just an audible breath, and then of course

there’s some interruption. Slow room service comes up
with a bowl of melting ice cubes, or one of you rises to pee
and gaze at himself with mild astonishment in the bathroom mirror.
And then, the first thing you know, before you’ve had time
to pick up where you left off with your enthralling life story,
they’re telling you their life story, exactly as they’d intended to all

and you’re saying, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
each time a little more faintly, the vowel at last becoming
no more than an audible sigh,
as the elevator, halfway down the corridor and a turn to the left,
draws one last, long, deep breath of exhaustion
and stops breathing forever. Then?

Well, one of you falls asleep
and the other one does likewise with a lighted cigarette in his mouth,
and that’s how people burn to death in hotel rooms.

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