I just finished reading Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes, and I have so many feelings about it. In short, I highly recommend it for people on the spectrum, parents, teachers, basically, anyone who has contact with someone on the spectrum. There’s a lot to go over and digest and I’ll likely be writing about thoughts it spun over a period of time.
HEMPSTEAD, NY – SEPTEMBER 26: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton smiles during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. The first of four debates for the 2016 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
I’m a liberal feminist in Texas, so I hear a lot of sexist crap. And I expect it from conservatives. It needs to be challenged and fought against, however, it’s not surprising or disappointing when conservatives engage in sexist behavior. But when self proclaimed liberals or feminists do? It aggravates me a hecuva lot more because we should be better than that.
It was after I got pregnant with Sissy that it became more and more apparent that Buddy has autism, though we did not get an official diagnosis until he was four (he was 3.5 when Sissy was born). I started to wonder if it was a good thing to have a second child because I wanted them to be friends and worried about their ability to bond and relate to each other. As it is, after the jealousy wore off, they have been two peas in a pod.
Whether religious or non-religious, stories are important to our humanity. Before we were watching stories on tv and movie screens, we were reading stories in books and papers. And before we were reading stories, we were telling stories through an oral tradition. Stories help us find a way to relate to our world, to understand it. Sometimes we recognize our struggles in the struggles of fictional characters. Sometimes a story helps us make sense of something tragic that happened to us and helps us to move forward.
One criticism I see lobbed at atheists is that we spend a lot of time calling attention to Christians who do immoral things, such as Catholic priests who sexually molest children. Why can’t we ever point out the good things that Christians are doing? Well, in the United States, we live in a country that equates Christianity with goodness. Christian and good morals are synonymous. It’s one of those things that goes without saying. Further, atheism is equated with being evil and is extremely disliked. As an atheist who grew up with a very ethical, atheistic family, it was painful to hear people calling atheists “immoral” and “evil” and to use the word “atheist” as a slur, all while beefing up their own moral creds.