Women Beyond Faith


February 10, 2021 Leah Janet Season 4 Episode 1
Women Beyond Faith
Show Notes Transcript

"It’s so important that we take the time to check in with ourselves, especially when our relationship to the future brings a certain kind of weariness."  YWA

Is 2021 shaping up to be better than 2020?? 

Is anyone else struggling with Uncertainty? 

Yoga for Uncertainty 

Braver Angels

Useful Idiots Podcast

Unregistered Podcast

The Hill -- Rising

Recovering from Religion

Support the show

Welcome to women beyond faith, where we are finding freedom on the other side, one story at a time. For women who have walked away from faith, the challenges are often overwhelming, isolated, abandoned by family, misunderstood by partners, ostracized by friends, shamed for thinking critically, cursed for speaking out subdued by the patriarchy. Thank you for joining us today, as we provide a platform for women to speak up, to speak out and to share their stories, because their stories count their stories. Well, hello there, ladies and gentlemen, it's me, it's been a while. It's been a long while. And it's not that I haven't been reflecting upon life, and all its ills and many wonders. And it's not that I haven't been attempting to make connections with amazing women, and Natal women and women who are trans or transitioning has been difficult. A lot of people are really not interested. And having a conversation right now, and I get it. I feel numb. Many days, many of the days I feel emotionally immunized many of these days, since COVID-19 hit our shores. And as I've been reflecting, over the course of the last few days, there's been a word that has kept coming to mind. And that word is uncertainty. I am uncertain about so many pieces of my life. So many pieces of society. I don't have clear definitive answers or clear obvious paths on which to journey. There's a whole bunch of I don't fucking know what the answers are. what is best for me, for my family for our country for this world. I don't fucking know. And I hate that that uncertainty drives me batty. And I don't know how much of that has to do with those days in religion where I could pretend at least, that I had some of the answers or that someone had some of the answers to the meaning of life or how I should then live? Wasn't that a book by Chuck Colson back in the day? How should I then live or something like that? anywho I'm currently reading a book called Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Now that'll fuck with your mind. And it talks about how the takers, which would be most of us in today's society, especially here in America, and in other first world countries. How the narrative that we've been a part of that we've then following that has been passed on to us through our parents and our grandparents and the generations and our ancestors that have come before us. But they needed certainty. They needed to know that someone somehow some way some thing, some god or gods, depending upon which religion you fell into, had the answers for the right way to live. And, you know, I think I found that I know I found that very comforting. During my days as a Christian, woman, wife, mother, I liked the comfort that came with the belief that I had answers to life's bigger Questions, even the smaller questions? Or I knew people who were perhaps more in tune with hearing God's voice, who were able to discern those answers to those questions better than I, or me myself, during my prayer time, down on my knees, crying out and begging for my God, my Christian evangelical God, to offer those answers to me, obviously, didn't work, right. And I was eventually able to discern that that was all a bunch of shit. But those years that I believe that it was possible to know the answers for how I should live my life, and what I should teach my children and how I should behave as a wife, and what my role was as a good homeschool Mama, as a friend, as a daughter, as a Christian friend. But then the scales fell from my eyes, as they have for so many of us. And then we're left in this new reality, where we come to the realization. Now we don't have any of the answers. And so for some reason, somehow between the pandemic and the protests over Black Lives Matter and the insurrection on the Capitol on January the sixth, and the believing that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to be our saviors, and the vaccination for COVID-19 now being available. Somehow and all of this shit show that was 2020 and is continuing into 2021 I feel less secure the foundation beneath my feet most unsettling. And I'm uncertain about so many things. I made a short list. I'm sure there's many more and maybe they'll come up during this time of rambling. Or maybe I'll cover be able to cover all of those things that have been keeping me up at night and plaguing my dreams and distracting me from the piece that I so desire. In life. Here's my short list work humanist community. Our caravan community here in Cincinnati. Politics. Travel. Dan this COVID thing is cramping my style. I was supposed to go do the Camino trail hiking across Spain. Six weeks on my own. Just me. My hiking shoes, my backpack and the other pilgrims six weeks I was supposed to do this in August and September six weeks trying to find myself and make myself one with the universe and enter COVID-19 slash mini pandemic. You ain't going nowhere. Yeah, so travel, the uncertainty surrounding traveling and finding myself and my escapes. The regular escapes that I made from my everyday reality. My attempts to try to find myself separate from my everyday reality. uncertainty in relationships with my kids, my young adult kids. My marriage my in laws What a fucking shit show. That is right now. Friends I've had a friendship blow up. up in my face over the course of the last few months, it seems like personality disorder disorders have played a factor in that. But that has rocked my fucking world. uncertainty and therapy. I'm currently seeing a therapist who specializes in religious trauma. Damn, that's tough shit. That's bringing up lots of uncertainty in my life COVID-19 What the fuck is going on? Why are we arguing? Why are we still arguing in February 2021 whether or not masks are helpful in keeping the covid 19 virus at bay? Why? Who the fuck is responsible for that bullshit dems? You play a role here? CDC? Who? Dr. Fauci Hello? uncertainty. Who Who are we supposed to trust? When are we supposed to trust the authorities? Why should we believe what the hell they have to say today? When what they were saying back in February was a bunch of bullshit. Okay, my medical professional medical professionals have been wearing masks for eons. medical professionals have been wearing masks to protect themselves and to protect their patients from the germs that they may have. They have may or may not have masking. Hello, why are people still asking the question? Why should I wear a mask? What the fuck does a mask do to help me Stop treading on my personal rights on my autonomy to determine whether or not I want to wear a mask. People in my life believe that wearing a mask infringes upon those rights. The government is trying to tell them how they should then live. So hence, we have more cases a COVID-19. I mean, and again, this is where this uncertainty. One of the roots of this uncertainty in my life. It seems so fucking obvious. Where your goddamn masks people. But then I'm like, Am I missing something? Wait a second. why in the hell did the CDC and the wh o back in February tell us mass didn't help? Hello, it's a respiratory virus. It the transmission is through respiratory droplets and sterilization. Hello, I wear a mask. But maybe I'm missing something. How is that such a huge infringement upon your rights? I don't get it. Are you pro life? So many of these people that are arguing, I don't want to wear the fucking mask stop telling me what to do are our Christian folks. Okay, and these Christian folks state that they are pro life, stop killing the fetuses. And yet they are unwilling to do something so simple as wearing a mask to protect others from potentially contracting the COVID-19 viruses. I don't get it. I don't get it. It's a mindfuck hurry for me. And then the last thing on my list is this podcast. Why is it so difficult to find people to interview? Why is it so difficult some days for me to have the emotional energy and the wherewithal to be able to sit here in front of this microphone and have a conversation with you all? Why? I mean, I'm at a stage in my life where I only want to do the things that I want to do that I love to do that bring me joy that bring me energy that are helping to make this world a better place. And I know that I think I know uncertainty Hello, rearing its ugly head again. I think I know that this podcast is one of those things. So anyway, I don't want to ramble too much but I want to just touch on a few of those topics that are bringing uncertainty into my life. So my local humanist community, damn fucking COVID knocked us out of our leadership was unable to sustain what this pandemic did to us. And that frustrates the hell out of me. It makes me angry makes me sad, because there are people who need us who continue to need us. But those of us on leadership, most of us we didn't have what was necessary at the time, nor even right now to be able to foster up that energy to make something happen for our local community. So we've let them down. And, you know, I like to think that as more and more people get vaccinated, and we hit that herd immunity level, whatever that might be, Dr. Fauci is it 70 8085 90% we don't know that our little community here in Cincinnati is going to be able to, to make it even make it like we haven't been making it, but that it will be able to start over again, we've started as a leadership team actually meeting again. And that's been so good to see these beautiful humans, whom I love and adore, with every fiber of my being, to be able to feel safe in a space where we can get together and see one another space and socially distance. And be able to catch up and feed into one another. You know, and a part of that fall. Part of the lack of strength that we had as a leadership community in our local humanist community here was that we had a person in our midst that was just creating a lot of havoc behind the scenes, and there was lots of confusion, it was creating strife amidst our relationships among our relationships. And I think it really just put us at a place where we were weak. You know, we would show up for our weekly meetings, and there would be strife. And there would be disagreements, and there would be arguments, and there would be contention. And we weren't used to that. And we didn't know what to do with that. And so when the pandemic hit, and we were trying to create something online, some kind of community online, we did not do it well, and like to be honest, our community here in Cincinnati, it was never designed to be an online format. We built that community. To be an in person, I see you, you see me, we can touch and feel each other. We can shake hands and give each other a hug and drink coffee and eat doughnuts alongside one another. But that wasn't safe to do in February and March. And we just didn't have the energy to sustain an online format. And so we basically dropped the ball. And that's been tough, has been really tough. But I'm hopeful, admits this uncertainty, I'm hopeful that we're going to be able to pick up those pieces and find a new way forward. And I don't know what that means. And I don't know what that looks like. Even if it's just this leadership team, coming together again, and being able to be there for one another and celebrate each other and build into one another, and laugh again and cry on each other's shoulders and be able to heal from the strife and the anks that we have experienced over the last year. That'll be a success, at least in my book. But yeah, uncertainty And who who do I have right now? Who do we have in our lives right now to go to power strength to provide some kind of certainty for us? You know, cuz I feel like nearly every single person in my circle is struggling and has gotten hit over the head with this pandemic stuff. And then all the subsequent fallouts from the pandemic, right. Another reason why I'm in therapy, thank you, religious trauma expert, specialist, my therapist for helping me politics, what the hell is going on in our country? What the hell? I mean, Christian nationalism. Hello. showed up at the Capitol. I mean, it showed up for four years prior to that. But it really hit the fan on January the sixth at the Capitol. What the fuck was that? Today, Tuesday, whatever today's date is, was the first day of Trump's second impeachment. I didn't watch the news. I don't know what happened. I guess today's not Tuesday, Monday. I don't even know what to think about all that. It seems like a bad dream and nightmare. And who's right and who's wrong? And how can we be so divided? And how is it not so obvious that our former President Donald J. Trump was responsible, not necessarily in full, but in part for inciting this attack? on the Capitol? We have members of Congress who have stated that other members of Congress should be killed. I mean, what the hell is that? What country do we live in? What year is this? I keep feeling like I'm gonna wake up in from a bad dream. What the hell has happened to us? How did we get here? Okay, like lefties. You're not innocent in this. righties? Neither are you. Like you both suck. Stop blaming the other party. Stop blaming your neighbor, stop blaming your family members, and start taking some fucking responsibility for getting us to this place in which we find ourselves. All right, I'm so tired of each side thinking that they hold they hold the truth and placing all the blame on the other people. All right, when are we going to fucking wake up that we're all a part of this fucking problem? I'm attempting to have conversations with people with whom I disagree on agree with on these topics. And Holy shit, is it tough? There's a couple people I reached out to that I went to high school with aeons ago, who lean much more right than I do. Both of them veterans, which I thought that would be interesting to have a conversation with them about why they believe what they believe why they continue to support President Trump and think that former President Trump and believe that he was good for our country, one of these people is an atheist. Okay, and that person is a trumpist a trumpian. And believes that Trump did great things for our country. Right. And I think he did do some great things for our country. Now. I'm going to place that on a scale and our balance and try to figure out which side comes out? heavier, we have more heavily weighted. I'm gonna I'm gonna bet that former President Trump Hallelujah, its former President Trump did much more harm to our society than he did good. But I don't fucking know. Where do you even go to find find truth? What resources What news agencies? What social media outlets Do you even go to? To find truth? I mean, basically, there's an expert out there that can that can provide you with whatever truth you want to believe is, is true. Whatever works for you. The place in which you find yourself. So I'm finding it very difficult to have conversations with people with whom I disagree. And you know, one of the other things that I've, I've thought a lot about recently is I can't stay on the right. I can't stand the left. Personally, I'm a libertarian who happens to lean a little bit left. But the libertarians fucking drive me crazy, too. I'm in a local libertarian Group here in my Cincinnati area. And they're all a bunch of shits to who thinks they have all the answers to solve the world's problems. Okay. I don't know where to go. like New York Times. Oh my god. They're ridiculous. Fox News. fucking ridiculous. So I try to go to news outlets that provide a fair and balanced quotes. fair and balanced. Isn't that Fox's tagline fair and balanced? Take on what the hell's going on. And you know, that's hard to find. few of my favorites recently have been useful idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie helper. They start out their show with something like called the for food grip groups. And it's like, Democrats suck, Republicans suck. And they kind of give a story from the week that shows how sucky both of the parties are. So I appreciate that. And they bring on people and experts quote, unquote experts with nuanced ideas. Like Aren't you guys tired of people telling you how to believe for those of you that came out of religion? Hello. How many years did we live? Under that authoritarian rule? Were pastors and Bible study leaders. And whoever the fuck you listen to told you what you should believe and how you should believe and what you should do to live your life. Well? Aren't you tired of other people telling you how to live your life? because let me tell you, my first few years out of the church into atheism, agnosticism, that's all anybody tried to get me to do? come underneath of this other authoritarian rule, atheist secular, and we're gonna now tell you how to live your life. What? Are you fucking kidding me? No, I'm a free thinker. Okay, I'm a critical thinker. Ain't nobody going to tell me how I should live my life. I've been hoodwinked. a timer to my years in Christianity, and that ain't happening again. I am protecting myself from that. But let me tell you, it sure seems like those of us that have left religion. We leave religion. And then we find ourselves underneath of this other set of rules, authoritarian rule, an autocracy, that's now telling us how to live and like, are we even thinking critically about what these rules are? So we leave the republican party and now we're democrats and all sudden the democrats shit doesn't stink? I don't think so. So useful idiots if you haven't heard of them or listened to them? I mean, they're kind of goofy. Sometimes. That's kind of a dork. But it's way better than listen to CNN, or MSNBC, or Chuck Todd, or Noah. What the hell is Trevor Noah or Michael Barbaro? And it sure is how is better than anybody on fox news? another podcast I like to listen to he's gotten a little extreme in his views, but lately, but he's not really a libertarian, but he's a former lefty tends to lean more right these days. Thaddeus Russell, and the unregistered podcast. I was first turned on to him through a podcast I used to listen to years ago called the school sucks podcast. As a homeschool mom. It was like the bomb for me as far as unschooling goes and reasons for why we homeschooled our kids outside of religion. And he got to be in relationship with this Thaddeus Russell. And so I listened to Thaddeus his podcast. He's got some interesting folks on there. He's gonna get you think and that's one of the taglines for his podcast. He brings people on there who are going to challenge your thought processes. Do you want your thought processes to be challenged? Or do you just want to find yourself underneath of somebody else's rules and regulations that are teaching you how to think and what to think and how to live your life? Not me. But you know what? I think that's one reason And why I'm struggling so much with uncertainty. Because I don't have really anybody right now that I feel like lines up with what I believe to be true about the world and how this world works. I mean, do I just like that? That's something I'm wondering about myself? Do I just like to be onry? Or do I just like to be an outlier? Or do I just like to bitch and moan and complain about all of the people out there? Because that makes it easier for me to not definitively determine what it is, I believe to be true about the world. Maybe? I don't know. Maybe I do know that I really like Bernie's mittens, And all those memes that took place after the inauguration. I do think I kind of like Bernie. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. So politics, what the hell are we doing? I mean, does anybody love Joe Biden? He was not my first choice, nor second, third, fourth, fifth, six. How many were there running? He was probably one of my last choices during the Democratic primary, and here he is. And yeah, he beat the Donald Trump. But I'm not excited about him. I mean, he's a man who said he wanted to utilize the legislative branch of government to make law. And yet the last time I checked, which it's been a while, I think he had signed 41 executive orders, and like the first week of his presidency, okay, Joe, that's really utilizing the legislative branch of the government. Huh? Yeah. So what does that do to the political climate? Joe says he wants to utilize the legislative branch. But instead, he signs more executive orders than perhaps Trump did his entire presidency. I don't know if just but a whole lot of executive orders within a week. And yeah, granted a number of those probably, we're negating a lot of the shit executive order orders Trump put into place. But still not okay. All right. We bitch about it when Trump does it, but it's okay. When our guy does it. Okay, that's really gonna change the culture and change the climate. Yeah, but that's what we do, isn't it? Yeah, if we lean left, it's okay. When our guy does it. If we lean right, it's okay. When our guy or girl does it. Do you guys remember when Trump won? Okay, one, w. o. n, the 2016 presidential election. Do you remember what Democrats were saying that not all Democrats. But some? I think Nancy Pelosi was one of them. That the election was stolen, that he was not a legitimate president. Okay, that was 2016. That was the democrats saying that. And now when the republicans are saying that in 2020. Democrats are saying that that's outrageous. Now, yeah, Trump took it to the next level. Holy shit. Oh, my gosh, funny memory. Do you remember when Giuliani showed up at the Four Seasons landscaping business to do the press conference there in Philadelphia? Oh, my God was in a moment. Anywho. I digress. So politics, what are we doing? How are we creating a better story? What are we doing those of us that lean left? Those of us who are anti Trump? What are we doing to create a better conversation? What are we doing to hold our elected officials and media personnel accountable? I ain't seen much. So what does that look like? To those on the Right, who supported Donald Trump? What does that look like to them? Okay, that were a bunch of hypocrites. Yep, just like we think they're a bunch of hypocrites. They think we're a bunch of hypocrites. Okay, that doesn't help. Who's going to be the bigger party? Who's going to be the bigger man, the better woman who's going to be the party or the group or the portion of the party that's going to rise to the occasion and make quality change happen? I ain't seeing it. I'm seeing it on the right. with Liz Cheney. Kudos to you, Liz Cheney. I don't agree with all of your stances as a Republican, but I am proud of you for continuing to stand up and speak your mind and speak what you to believe. What you have interpreted truth to be? I am proud of you, Mitt Romney. Thank you. Thank you for being a man of integrity. Okay, where are those people on the left? Bernie? I really like Bernie. Even though he's a little bit too far left and too far socialists from me, but cut Damn, he's so sweet. I want him to be my Grandpa, grandpa, my kids. Ah, so how are we creating quality conversations? How are we helping to improve the conversation that's happening in our country? because let me tell you, in my family, amongst my husband's side of the family, who all pretty much are beholden to Donald J. Trump, who are conservative evangelical Catholics, pro life who believe some way or another, he was put into his position of power by God. Some of whom believe that the vaccine contains a microchip. And also that this vaccine makes our young women in fertile. So they are actively prayerfully. Deliberately encouraging my daughters to not get vaccinated when their time comes because they need to be able to procreate. How do you have conversation with those folks? It has not gone well. Fortunately, we're in a pandemic, or mini pandemic, as I prefer to call it. And it's cold here in Cincinnati. And we haven't been meeting indoors, and they're a little. They don't want to meet outdoors. So it's been convenient for us to not have a whole lot of conversations. But it's tricky. Like, I like to pride myself in the fact that I can have a conversation with anybody. And then I'm a really fabulous, empathetic listener. And I'm not quite so sure how these conversations are going to go. I'm practicing with friends. And actually, I don't know if you guys have heard of an organization called braver angels. I'm a little concerned that it's a little bit too churchy. For me, I think it was founded by at least one of the founders, I believe, was a pastor, maybe even both of them. But they're having events, they're holding events, while at least they were pre pandemic. And then I know they're doing zoom events, where they are helping to humanize the other. Where you listen, and you empathize. And you hear out what the other person has to say about their stances and why they are, for example, pro life or anti LGBTQ or whatever it might be. And you humanize that other person, you humanize the other side. And so actually, just this evening, before I came on this call, whatever you want to call it, I started donating to them and send an email out to a local organization, or the local branch of this organization, braver angels to get involved, because I have got to learn how to have a better conversation with those I disagree with because I'm kind of feeling helpless and uncertain about the future. Like I don't even know if I can go away on our family vacation with these family members who hold these beliefs that Trump may still end up being President of the United States this year in 2021. How What do you even talk about? How do you even begin and I'm not a small talk person, I can't stand small talk. It's it's like the death of me. pieces of me die. When I talk about the weather, or silly stupid stuff. That's just so not how I roll. And I'm not saying I don't have room for growth there. But that's a struggle and so like a whole week at the beach, talking about that shit now. That's not that That unusual, let me tell you, because 

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