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I'm just going to say it. I have had it up to fucking here with the Atheist Role Model Who Is Causing A Lot Of Drama In My Personal Circle bullshit. This is utter BULLSHIT. I have had the opportunity to interact with him for a three years or so now. Granted, it was usually one sided, and when he wanted something, but I have been privy to a lot of background discussion he authors. Ever having a shoulder and ear that many of us mutually shared to let him vent his woes. In all honestly? I'd known him approximately 6 months, and tried to shake off my red flag warnings. But goddamn, once again, I should have listened to my inner voice. He is a dishonest person, and while we can't be perfect, repeat behavior like this is a problem. A little background as to why I am so vehemently stepping out here. As many of you know, I'd dealt with a dishonest man for 17 years. Prior to that? Well, let's just say my ex-husband didn't fall far from the tree on the standard mistake of men I have a penchant for. He was father of the year in the streets, a selfish bastard in the sheets. He would always tell me to communicate with him what I wanted, and I'll be damned if he would ever acquiesce. All the way down to coitus. He would ask my advice, if he didn't agree, he treated me as if I were infantile, and then of course, if he would use my advice? Declare he had come up with the chosen action all on his own. I was never considered a contributor, unless he was showing off his family. Relationship wise? Oh, we were monogamous, but he would serial cheat, telling the other women either that he was single, or in an open relationship. Of course he would insist I pleasure him on demand whether I wanted to or not (god forbid he went more than 3 days), and blame me for everything that ever went wrong. If the world wasn't in agreement with him, then surely something was wrong with the world. So, when dealing with a certain atheist super hero of the South, I began to feel an odd atmosphere of deja vu. I tried to shake it, but then the drama with a particular non profit erupted. And seeing and hearing his own testimony, behind private group doors, on what was going on versus what they said, I took a grain a salt from both parties. Worse, I let slide the fact this atheist "role model" only approached me if he wanted "crowd sourcing" ideas, wanted to be sure whose side I was on when I was reading through past posts of the non profit mess, or shared a thumbs up if recent pictures of my tits looked amazing. In all honesty, I could give two shits less if he didn't stay with the non profit, I just didn't want a good service disappearing due to drama that BOTH parties should have taken to arbitration. I know damn well if he were in the right, that non profit would have been on the hook for the arbitration bill, and vice versa. I now am faced with what I suspected he would do to a friend mine, who is also a former girlfriend of his, coming into reality. Trash and burn. And frankly, I understand that it is his relationship and none of my damn business, except... He violated consent. Not once, but at least three times. With his now ex-wife. With my friend. And now another friend. And I don't mean he sexually assaulted anyone, but he took sexual advantage. He changed the rules without consent. Cheating is a serious consent issue if you didn't know. If I am in a monogamous relationship, and I decide I want to sleep with other people and not clear this with my partner, or the other partner I am sleeping with, I am taking away their consent to the relationship because I have changed the dynamic of the relationship. Yes, if you sleep with a different partner, and the other does not know, a little bit of advice: DO NOT FUCK YOUR ORIGINAL PARTNER AGAIN UNTIL YOU TALK ABOUT IT. More partners mean more risks. Health wise, emotionally, and financially. I used to take a very different attitude about cheating. My standard rule of thumb has been if someone cheats, just move on, let it go, and treat it as another lesson learned. I no longer take it so lightly because of the earlier mentioned reasons. I've been a victim of disease being brought to my bed. I've been a victim of the emotional toll of desperately trying to save a relationship I was told was still monogamous-despite his cheating. And I have been a financial victim because I had to move almost immediately as my ex-husband couldn't stand me living in the home if I wasn't going to be in a relationship any longer, or wouldn't at least still fuck him in the mean time till I moved. And I have walked the fine line of cheating, more like disappointing future expectations, but still came clean before engaging my partner again. I gave him the option to stay or walk, and he walked. Deservedly so. I gave him the choice to continue. I gave him a voice. I didn't lie. I didn't hide my actions. I didn't seek to possess him on terms that would have been against his will. So, I do not take this continuation of behavior as just a "life lesson" that this role model continues to repeat. Does he really need consent explained? I highly doubt it. In fact, I think he needs to be honest about who he really is, and what he wants in a relationship. Quit being a coward. If he wants an open relationship, then go into a relationship that is open. Do not promise whatever the lover wants to hear in order to have this person in your life, making you feel special and wanted. That person is not there for you only, and selfish desire is never a good reason to manipulate someone to get what you want. If this person isn't open to being open, then you can't lie and violate them like that. No, means no. You will just have to live with the rejection and move on. FWIW, my ex-husband got 17 years of my life. 17 years of constant lying, possessiveness, secrets, disease, narcissistic torture, and violation of my consent to the terms of the relationship. He never once said to me,"Kate,I cannot be in a monogamous relationship." He never gave me the opportunity, or even show the respect to allow me to participate in our relationship. No, he used me. He abused my role as mother and caregiver. He also stood on the backs of countless other women in order to fill his starving ego and insecurities, and he also used them to punish me, and further his career that took him out of town for weeks at a time. This role model for secular and exiting religious alike, is violating consent on every level. It is disgusting and below him, especially when writing "“We are a sex positive community if we are nothing else. Personally, I’m proud of that fact, because as a former Southern Baptist I am so very done with the body shame and antiquated approach to sexual relationships that I inherited. But people also use the freedom this affords to exploit others and take advantage of them." What he is doing isn't just a small matter of cheating. If what is said is to be trusted, he outright abandoned a family he created, and then proceeded to wreck another. So why am I acting like I have any part of his circus? His behavior has had a negative effect on my own social life within certain secular circles. I passed up on what he refers to as a "fight club" get-together last year because I knew he would be there. You know, some of these gatherings are a very intimate settings, and the idea of even shaking his hand, or worse hugging him, made me sick to my stomach. I skipped out on two conventions because I knew he would be there, and there was no way I was going to stand by with a happy shit smile. And the fact I am passing up on events to avoid him, and the drama attached, is bullshit. Who is he to have this effect over me? I will tell you. He is a trigger zone of red flags for me. I know his fan club will be jumping all over me, and so be it. Unlike the majority of them, I have dealt with him on a much more intimate level. I've seen and read enough from his fingertips to be justified in my scorn. To be clear, my scorn isn't for him to personally answer to. He owes me nothing, and this word salad might seem unnecessary to many, but it's my rally cry for him, and others like him, to get help. This role model is burning out fast, and I don't know if he can see it. So let me hold up that mirror for him, and let him decide. He can claim that this is me projecting past bad relationships on to him, but it isn't. His own actions have triggered my own warning flags to stay away and avoid. Please do better, oh Southern Secular power house. Your own kids could be your next victims simply because of the example you have set. ****Special Entry Update**** I have screenshots from the accusers, and am not going to retract one iota of what I have penned here now that I have read it all. I am glad they are working together to not only share their experience and eventually put the screens out there, but are keeping a stiff upper lip with the absolute hatred they are receiving in the fall out. There have been some who question the use of words and phrases like "sexually violated", "sexually assaulted", etc. I leave that up to the discretion of the accuser, as I am not in her shoes. I will say a violation of consent is most definitely an issue here, and I stand by my assessment that the women involved were most definitely sexually taken advantage of by this spokesperson I am blogging about here. Don't like it? See my field of fucks, and that it is barren.
Craig Hicks made headlines this week after brutally gunning down three UNC students over an alleged parking space disagreement. Many are saying in reports that his aggressive response was part of a larger ideological motive. Deah Barakat, 23; Yusor Mohammed, 21; and Razan Abu-Sallah, 19, were of Muslim faith, and Hicks is a self declared atheist. There are postulations abound to be read about Mr. Hicks and his deadly act of violence against these three young people just getting their feet into the grown up world. I have had a difficult time of making fact out of a lot of fiction, but consistently throughout the numerous articles, blogs, and forum discussions, one thing is clear: No one wants to claim Hicks as part of the tribe in the atheist community. Yes, many agree Mr. Hicks is indeed an atheist, but that's as far as it goes. The bright spotlight glaring down on us unbelievers is making many heathens squirm, trying to end discussion on the definition of atheism alone, and then even encouraging us to be even more individualistic in practice than unified. To throw our hands in the air and cry: Atheism is only a lack of belief. We got nothing to do with it from there!" This isn't just pathetic, it is downright cowardly. How many of us are raging with incredulity when yet another pastor has been caught hurting a young child, and all we hear from the faithful is: "Well, he wasn't a true believer in Christ if he did that." How can our own role models, writers, and outspoken scientists use a fair turn about strategy in response to Hicks and his despicable actions? I'll tell you how. Narcissism runs deep in human nature. Atheism, like other cultures (yes, I see it as a culture of sorts...another blog), has a problem with it too. See, narcissism is one hell of a defense mechanism. It pushes one to keep above the fray, even if perpetuating a state of denial in order to do so. That is why you hear the same moving of standards every time the religious, or in our case irreligious, are confronted with negativity in something held dear. We cannot have it both ways, friends. Right now, atheism is the boon of the free thought movement. It is also one of the most least regarded ways of moral structuring in the world today. It is a hard concept for those hard wired with doctrine to grasp the idea of setting your own standards based on your surroundings and culture. The notion that there isn't one set of moral standards to be followed, an absence of an engraved tablet of Do's and Don't s, scares people. Many folks would rather be trapped with a rapist in a stuck elevator than one of us godless blights on humanity. When we get bad press by the likes of Mr. Hicks, what are we supposed to do? It would seem the whole catch and release type of damage control is our default mode too. I would put forward that it is true that atheism is only about lack of belief. This very straight forward standard has a confusing effect on the masses though. For some reason, folks think that is where atheism stops, but that is not the case at all. The reality is, unlike Islam, Christianity, or even Hinduism, because atheism has only that single standard to be met, we allow for complete freedom of practice within our simple label. We have atheists who are sexist, racist, thieving, bigoted, and so on. You can be a buggerer of sheep for all I know, but your lack of belief qualifies you as a member of my ranks. I cannot boot your identifying as an atheist because you have a sexual penchant for sheep. Mr. Hicks is a murderer. He is also an atheist. He is part of my community. His actions are a wake up call in our family of non believers, and I hope you are listening. Unlike other faiths who disavow any association with members who sully their doctrine's image, we need to embrace Hicks, crimes and all, as a parent guiding a son or daughter. We cannot dictate a man's personal freedom to surround himself with bigoted tendencies. We cannot force another to drop his Hammurabi's Code notion of conflict-resolution as Hicks did. To the world communities hurting and watching our response, we can show a larger sense of accountability. Demonstrate we accept the laws of the land we live in, and that any difference in our personal ideologies or life style choices will not rise above those governing laws. Namely, thou shalt not kill. We can show a larger sense of presence in respecting the governing laws of the communities we live and participate in, and amongst our members. This isn't about making atheism have humanistic traits. That, to me anyway, flies in the face of individual freedom that is inherent in atheism. Mr. Hick's is not bound by law to respect anyone. Identifying as an atheist does not bind him to embrace humanism either. Unlike many of the supporters of Shariah, whether Islamic or Christian, we do agree that he is not above the governing bodies he lives under. We agree that he is not free from the consequences from his actions. We agree omnipotent beings have little to do with the situation, and we hope Hicks gets served appropriate punishment. He is, however, bound by the laws of the land to not take the governing legislation into his own hands, let alone deal out his own values on human life. Embracing horrendous acts committed by atheists, whether in the name of a particular lifestyle or not, is essential to being taken more seriously on the world stage. If we continue to perpetuate the same measures of avoidance as all the religions we don't ascribe to have done for millennia, I wouldn't trust an atheist anymore than a rapist either.