The Godless AfroLatino
Sometimes We have to speak up

I spend large amounts of time making this decision each and every time I step out of my house. Religion permeates every part of our society. Even in a causal conversation, people project their beliefs on others. Most of the time I just nod my head and keep it moving. It’s just not worth the energy most of the time.

At work, I don’t bring up my disbelief. Everyone I work with are hardcore members of their congregation. I get invites all the time when it comes to the church. Sometimes, they even try to set me up to attend a church event. I am at the point where I just shake my head and say “yeah, yeah, yeah, let me know.” I also try to hide my facial expressions because they do give me away.

The other day, my facial expressions were being checked by a student.

“I see your face when people start to talk about Jesus, Mr. Omi,” This one student pointed out.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I can tell you are like, ‘please stop soon,’” she continued.

“You think?” I asked sarcastically.

“I’m not stupid, Mr. Omi, I know you are just going through the motions. You don’t buy that Jesus stuff. You never talk about it like everyone else does here.”

“Yeah I try not to put my stuff on other people you know? I think it’s not appropriate for me to bring it up.”

“What? That you don’t believe in Jesus?”

What followed was an awesome conversation. She revealed to me that she was an atheist and pegged me for one as soon as I walked through the doors of that job. She said my body language gave me away. She admitted that she is frustrated when it comes to finding other atheists to talk about. She also said she wish she could attend more programs that are secular. We exchanged information and invited her to our organization. She was really excited and admitted that she rarely has conversations like the one we just had.

I learned that maybe its a good idea to be more vocal about it because you never know. Again, I have to choose my battles more wisely.

It’s not a worldview for me

After much of the ignorant questions have been batted away after folks find out I am atheist, I get a bunch of questions that are pretty good. Many of them deal with my opinion on certain issues. What I remind people I know is that my non belief doesn’t really drive how I feel about social issues like abortion, living wage, feminism, etc. I came to those opinions way before I became an atheist.

What atheism does for me is push the idea of religion completely out of the equation. My atheism tells me that religion should not be part of a political forum. We shouldn’t execute people for crimes because some God tells us to be peaceful, we shouldn’t do it because we should seek alternative forms of punishment that actually restores justice and makes our communities safer. That’s the moral thing to do and unfortunately the Bible or the Quran doesn’t show us how.

I think people get that part of atheism mixed up. It’s not a political system or worldview. We just don’t believe in the supernatural. That’s it. We don’t go to church or a mosque. We don’t pray. We don’t worship or recognize certain holidays as sacred. That’s it. I will say that some atheists do attend church with their families and travel to visit family on certain holidays. That happens. If I get invited to Christmas dinner, I shall go with my family.

The thing is that too many people assume atheism is this big shift in one’s ideology. For many, it means a huge lifestyle change especially if they were fundamentalists, clergy, or consistent volunteers in their religious organization. I am sure they still continue to do the things they enjoyed before like watch the same movies, attend the same ballgames, frequent some of the places they love to, read books, etc. The person themselves won’t change dramatically.

I remember my wife asking if I was going to change completely when I admitted I was an atheist. Just the other day she pointed out that I am the same guy she married over 13 years ago.

Invitations to church services…

There was a time when it was annoying. What I should say is, there was a time when I quickly grew tired of being invited to church. Since moving from down south, the invitations have dropped dramatically, but I still get at least one invite per week. 

In no other aspect of life, have I received so many invites to any function. I do get invited to several parties, events, and dinners, but never on the same frequency as church. I also get that many members of churches are urged to invite people. 

The thing is, I find church services boring outside of the singing. I mean extremely boring. Ironically, the louder the clergy person the more apt I am to fall asleep. So it’s not only a matter that I find the so called holy books to be partly offensive and partly ridiculous. 

What I do now is just nod and say “yeah sure,” and hope that the other person doesn’t follow up. Sometimes I am just too tired to debate the entire situation. 

#instavidapp #favpeopletofollow #aprilphotochallenge2014 @anowaadjah @realhiphopchess @zuluquic @ehcapoeira @wrecklords @bgirlpeppa

#instavidapp #favpeopletofollow #aprilphotochallenge2014 @anowaadjah @realhiphopchess @zuluquic @ehcapoeira @wrecklords @bgirlpeppa

#nationalsiblingday #tbt - my sister on the top & bottom left, my little bro @discdolo in the middle and bottom right - and my baby brother at the top right …

#nationalsiblingday #tbt - my sister on the top & bottom left, my little bro @discdolo in the middle and bottom right - and my baby brother at the top right …

#instavidapp my latest piece on #Illmatic - can’t believe it’s almost 20 years #Nas #hiphopmusic #NYC #NGE

#instavidapp my latest piece on #Illmatic - can’t believe it’s almost 20 years #Nas #hiphopmusic #NYC #NGE

I am so late with #tbt this is for #aprilphotochallenge2014 - this was taken in dec 2006 at #relativetheory in #norfolk - I was with my youngest hosting a hip hop show #Zulu

I am so late with #tbt this is for #aprilphotochallenge2014 - this was taken in dec 2006 at #relativetheory in #norfolk - I was with my youngest hosting a hip hop show #Zulu

bigtab:

terribaeddel-magpie:

ladymargo:

Dear Tumblr,
I just got around to seeing this movie, despite the fact that it did not get a wide-release.
Find it and watch it.
Believe me when I say, this film is in the same league of sci-fi/speculative film classics as Bladerunner and Children of Men.
This.
Movie.
Should have a HUGE fandom.
It deals with issues like class, caste-systems, oppression, and the nature of humanity in a way mainstream films like The Hunger Games never could.
Let me tell you a story about the film-maker Joon-Ho Bong. Some years back, I had the privilege of attending a screening of one his films and the man happened to be there. At that time, he’d already gotten some notice for making The Host, another awesome film that allegorizes heavy issues in humanity.
So, he does the q&a at the end and someone asks him why he’s never produced a Hollywood movie.
…And he says, paraphrasing; that Hollywood would never let him make the kind of movies he’d like.  He’d have to hire an all-white cast and the actors would have to fit a certain aesthetic. They couldn’t be non-white, older than twenty-five, or non-thin…especially actresses.
He said, it’s not worth selling out, when he can make the kinds of movies he wants in South Korea.
…And then he makes this.
I’d love to spoil it for you, but suffice it say it was, as all good speculative sci-fi is, very effecting for me.
Again, I beg you PLEASE SEE THIS MOVIE.
And if you need more convincing??
Your faves are in it:  Octavia Spencer aka the above flawless actress in the poster, Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris and the father/daughter pair from The Host, Kang-So Hung and Ah-Sung Ko (which had me thinking AU!).
Now, I shall commence spamming my tumblr with Snowpiercer reblogs…
Apologies ahead of time.

mmm the host was great i’d love to see this.

You had me when you said he was responsible for “The Host.” Then you said who was in it. And now I will spend the rest of my evening searching for it.

bigtab:

terribaeddel-magpie:

ladymargo:

Dear Tumblr,

I just got around to seeing this movie, despite the fact that it did not get a wide-release.

Find it and watch it.

Believe me when I say, this film is in the same league of sci-fi/speculative film classics as Bladerunner and Children of Men.

This.

Movie.

Should have a HUGE fandom.

It deals with issues like class, caste-systems, oppression, and the nature of humanity in a way mainstream films like The Hunger Games never could.

Let me tell you a story about the film-maker Joon-Ho Bong. Some years back, I had the privilege of attending a screening of one his films and the man happened to be there. At that time, he’d already gotten some notice for making The Host, another awesome film that allegorizes heavy issues in humanity.

So, he does the q&a at the end and someone asks him why he’s never produced a Hollywood movie.

…And he says, paraphrasing; that Hollywood would never let him make the kind of movies he’d like.  He’d have to hire an all-white cast and the actors would have to fit a certain aesthetic. They couldn’t be non-white, older than twenty-five, or non-thin…especially actresses.

He said, it’s not worth selling out, when he can make the kinds of movies he wants in South Korea.

…And then he makes this.

I’d love to spoil it for you, but suffice it say it was, as all good speculative sci-fi is, very effecting for me.

Again, I beg you PLEASE SEE THIS MOVIE.

And if you need more convincing??

Your faves are in it:  Octavia Spencer aka the above flawless actress in the poster, Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris and the father/daughter pair from The Host, Kang-So Hung and Ah-Sung Ko (which had me thinking AU!).

Now, I shall commence spamming my tumblr with Snowpiercer reblogs…

Apologies ahead of time.

mmm the host was great i’d love to see this.

You had me when you said he was responsible for “The Host.” Then you said who was in it. And now I will spend the rest of my evening searching for it.

Pen Pals in the Belly of the Beast

I facilitate college classes at a local women’s prison. Many of my students (about 22 of them) have asked me to get them pen pals from all over. They are not trying to get with anyone I might add they just need to interact with folks. A great number of them  have been behind the walls for close to 10 years. If you are interested feel free to email me at dantresomi@gmail.com or tweet @dantresomi 

Slamming Doors

On Saturday mornings, I am usually up early and out. It’s rare that the Jehovah Witnesses catch me unless I am walking in another neighborhood. When I am home, I usually invite them in so that they can actually meet an atheist. Usually our discussions are very interesting. Fortunately, I get a few of them to actually think of what they are doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it takes large amounts of courage to walk up to an entire neighborhood and bang on doors to spread anything let alone a gospel. Whether it’s to sell a magazine or a vacuum cleaner (yes those still exist). You never know who is going to open up that door or what mood that person might be in.

Still though, everyone can agree that Jehovah Witnesses are annoying as hell. It says so much about humanity when we just nod and accept whatever they offer when they bother folks so early on a Saturday morning. My wife always gets nervous when I am home and they knock. It would be easy to just not answer my door but they seem to know when my mail carrier comes and I open the door. This time however, I decided to just nod after this happened:

“Good morning, sir,” said this short woman. A man who was also short stood to her right.

“Good day!” I replied loudly holding my hands up.

“We came here to tell you about the greatest thing that has ever happened on earth!”

“What is that?” I asked perplexed.

“When Jehovah sacrificed his only son, Jesus!” She almost sang with her eyes to the ceiling of my porch as she shook in merriment.

I was dumbfounded.