Community Profile – jess

How did you find out about online freethought communities, and what’s your favourite thing about them?

I was in a discussion with some family members about something obscure in the Bible, and I did a Yahoo search (yes, I used Yahoo then) and found IIDB. I was just coming off of 4 years of unsuccessful infertility treatments, and it really helped me displace my energy as well as help me heal.

I love how people on freethought boards don’t just smile and nod at you. I’ve learned a great deal about never simply stating something in casual conversation on a freethought board, because someone will demand proof. I now check pretty much anything I think is ‘common knowledge’ or that some one tells me ‘everyone knows’. People have stopped sending me informational emails as a side effect.

I also love how some posters are so incredibly tolerant and intelligent. So many other types of boards are full of people posting ”me too’, like some brain dead AOLers’.

What board or fora are we most likely to find you in and what will you be talking about?

My current internet home is Ratpags , a great site that’s more tolerant of woo ideas than most other free thought boards, which gets some interesting conversations going. I spend the rest of my time at TR. I guess Ratpags is home and TR is my summer place?

When I started out, I was mostly in the ‘existence of God’ type fora. That was where my interest lay. After the community aspect started to be built at IIDB, I started to burn out of more serious discussions and just hung around to play. Without the community there, I would have sworn off IIDB completely after burning out of arguing with Christians.

I still read the heavier stuff, but mostly I have fun now. That means I’m in games or social fora, mostly. But I get most of my news at Ratpags.

If you had to spend your life marooned on a tropical island with three people that you’ve met online from this community, who would they be, and why?

Oooo that’s a hard one! Would I still have internet access?

In addition to these being simply great folks, I’d go for David B, because I know I’ll always eat well with his foraging capabilities, Jobar, because there’d be a roof over our heads… and ravenscape, because she’d keep everything running smoothly, somehow…

Which freethought or humanist thinkers have most inspired you?

Heinlein. I started reading his stuff as a juvenile, and never stopped. Nothing else ever taught me to think as well.

Except Spock. I fell in love with Spock at about 3 years old.

What’s your least favourite religious verse, and why?

Judges 19: 22-30. It makes me sick to read it.

If you could get rid of one stupid anti-freethought argument, what would it be? Why do you hate this one above all the rest?

I’m not sure this counts, but I hate the ‘exclusivity’ of religions. If they’d lose the ‘but I’m right and you’re WRONG!’ aspect, they’d all be more tolerable.

Invisible Pink Unicorn or Flying Spaghetti Monster?

IPU. The IPU is a much stronger parody, being both pink and invisible. And you can’t prove she’s not standing next to me right now, unlike the FSM.

Who did have a nice snapshot taken of him just a little while ago, though.

So what is it you do with your life when you’re not hanging around here, anyway?

I’m a slave to our dogs. I’m home full time right now, and I am at their beck and call. It gets worse, though. Our older dog is 15 and senile. So he calls me over to him and then can’t remember what he wanted.

Other than that, I’m a stay at home mom because we’re working hard for that (we’re not ‘lucky’ as so many people put it) and I’m taking the chance to become an embroidery teacher. Because that’s where the big bucks are.

What’s your favourite book, and why?

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was by Barry Hughart. Karalora reviewed this at Ratpags and I’ve found it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s a fairy tale with a bite.

What’s the most embarrassing song you sing and dance to when you’re absolutely sure no-one else is around?

I don’t. I learned a long time ago life is too short to worry about what other people think like that. I won’t do in private something I’m too embarrassed by in public.

But some people may laugh at me for bopping to Robbie Williams’ Rock DJ lately, but just because it gives new Halloween meaning to ‘take it all off!’

What’s the one thing you want to do with your life before shuffling off this mortal coil?

Get the damn novel I’ve been working on finished and published.

What’s your poison? How much of it is needed to drive you under the table?

I’m one of the cheapest drunks you’ll ever meet. I’m gone a half glass of champagne. And was, after Obama won. I like wines, red and white but not in-between. I like good reds and porters and stouts, but not wheat beers. I like fruity girly hard liquor drinks, thank you kindly.

Lucky #13: Who do you nominate to be interviewed for next month’s issue?

Livius Drusus, Lady Shea, ravenscape or Kassiana. I can’t count real well, can I?

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