Sunday, April 14, 2019

"I'm a better person without religion"

I tried for quite a while, probably until I was just about 10, to make sense of the idea of an all loving god that was, by all the evidence presented to me, anything but. My parents encouraged me to go to religious studies in school so I would learn more about Christianity and had a choice, but the more I learned, the less convinced I was---and the older I got, the less my parents pretended they believed.

Finally, when most of my friends started doing their ‘confirmation’ at church, I decided that really, I could think of better uses of my time than go to church and recite things I did not believe in just because it was the done thing and everyone was doing it. I really couldn’t see a silver lining to it. 

I think it was one of my dad’s proudest moments when I told him I didn’t want to do it. He actually went so far as to tell me, traditionally you receive a cash gift once you completed confirmation and he was very proud that despite that I had chosen not to go through with it because I knew I didn’t believe in it. 

I was actually not being noble but was merely unaware there was a monetary reward associated with it but to be honest it didn’t really bother me. Not going to church still sounded a better reward!

...Today I’m happily and openly atheist. Sure, occasionally I have doubts. I’m a worrier. I constantly worry about horrible things happening so quite naturally once in a while the question: “What if I’m wrong and burn in hell?” does pop up in my brain.

But then I realize if there is an all loving god, he’ll love me anyway and if he’s more like the creationists describe him, I couldn’t in good conscience worship him anyway so I would go to hell all the same for not being devout enough and so, in the end, it really it makes no difference what I do as long as I’m a halfway decent person and not a psychopathic axe murderer.

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Spotlight on the Coastal Commission

George Russell


On September 7, 2018, in a detailed 12-page ruling, the Superior Court rejected the defendants' request against SOCC to pay the Attorney General's Office in excess of $649,000. 

In the same ruling, the Court ordered the defendants to pay in excess of $959,000 to cover SOCC's court costs and attorney fees. According to the Court, "[t]he main litigation objective pursued by plaintiff in this action was to shed light on lax ex parte disclosure practices at the Commission. This objective was met, with the court finding violations by each of the defendant Commissioners and awarding substantial penalties against each of the defendant Commissioners. Plaintiff's then-nascent lawsuit was likely an impetus for the 2016 changes in Commission procedures which were discussed in the [Court's final statement of decision]." 

"We are grateful that the judge recognizes the extraordinary public service this all-volunteer organization has provided and the tremendous risk we took in doing so," said SOCC president Kathryn Burton. "Because the Attorney General's Office refused to enforce the law, SOCC had no choice but to act. Standing up to unethical public officials is never easy, but it was the right thing to do. And when we saw the Attorney General's Office take the defendants' side instead of the public's side, this confirmed that SOCC had done the right thing."

See also Coastal Commission and "the development community"

California Coastal Commission

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