Sunday, February 17, 2008

Atheist Elves!?!

Man, it sucks being sick. I've had some form of cold/flu that has been running around my school like a rumor for the past week.


A student recently got me to read the book Eragon. Now, I like fantasy as much as the next math teacher (which is surprisingly a lot), and I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, so I read Eragon. It was a decent book, a little simple, but likable nonetheless. Then I saw the movie and I was definitely "meh" about the whole thing.

Two weeks ago the same student then asked me to read the sequel, Eldest. I decided to read it, as much to find a point of commonality with the student as anything else.

By the stars, that was a good book! Much better than Eragon. And while I suspected that the author, Paolini was trying to make some sort of secular statement in the first book, it was a blatant underlying message in Eldest.

Yes, there is plenty of magic and dragons and elves and dwarves, but Paolini's main character, Eragon, finds himself quite skeptical of all legends and religious practices. One of his tutors goes so far as to basically give an atheist worldview for Eragon's education. It was a quite remarkable move.

Nobody really seems to have noticed this yet, as only two books in the series have come out, but if they plan on making a movie out of Eldest, it will be interesting to see how they handle that.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Christian Bias and Republican Presidents

I'm coming off of last night's Super Tuesday feeling pretty good about our country.

I mean, sure I voted for Obama in my state's primary, but that isn't what I'm talking about; I'd be happy with either Obama or Clinton as the nominee. No, I'm talking about the Republican race. Getting John McCain as the Republican nominee is just what this country needs.

As anyone that has been paying attention knows, Mitt Romney's faith is an important part of his political beliefs. He seems to make clear that there really is no room for people who have no faith. Even worse is Mike Huckabee, an ordained minister who all but admitted in a televised debate that he's a creationist. These two men should raise chills in anyone of rational thought.

Luckily for us, there's two of them.

Since Romney is a Mormon, we can see the results of conservative Christians who don't really feel that Mormonism counts as Christianity, and who are voting for Huckabee. Yet conservative Christians are seeing they don't have as much power as they like to bluff - while Huckabee has the South in his grip, he's a distant third with no chance of winning.

As pundits have noticed, with Romney and Huckabee splitting the religious wackos, a more reasoned candidate is coming to the fore, one who really doesn't feel all that highly about the evangelicals.

And now conservatives are starting to say... "Ooops."

Yes, I have a smile on my face today, wider than the one I already had because of my snow day!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Necessary Intro stuff, I guess

Lord, I hate these intros.

For those of you new to me, I am the internationally unknown math teacher and atheist author Paul Donovan, who wrote the book entitled Happily Godless: A Young Adult's Guide to Atheism.
It is available from, or your favorite old-fashioned-building-store. You know, the place that looks lke a library, except more expensive.

I have been blogging on xanga for a couple of years now, in which I mused on atheist subjects and regaled my readers with exceptionally exceptional thoughts on writing a book. Looking back on it, it has been an interesting couple of years. I started out posting under a pseudonym, because I was fearful for my job as a gay atheist in a public school in which most of the administration was conservatively Christian.

However, I've never been one for being in the closet - I was actually out as a gay guy before my first month of teaching was done. I did keep kinda quiet about the atheist thing for awhile because I didn't want people's brains to explode as all their preconceived notions about such beasts as myself imploded in their heads.

However, having achieved tenure this year (and relying on the fact that it's damn hard to find math teachers), I'm feeling much more secure in my job and started posting under my own name last summer.

Besides, I figured the little matter of the book would eventually unmask me. It's my considered opinion that I wouldn't be able to stay anonymous, anyway. In this hyperconnected world there are no such things as secrets... only delayed transmission of information (However, please note that I have no intention of turning this space into a dish-serving gossip hole about my coworkers or students. So I will refrain from actually mentioning the name of the school; and any time I speak of the people inside, I'll be using fake names or initials).

Anyway, with this new book, I've been encouraged to get a blog that has the potential of catching more traffic than the suburban streets of xangaland. So while I will not be abandoning xanga, this blog will probably become my home base.

OK, I need to end here. I've already broken my rule of making blog posts less than about five paragraphs long. I mean, who has time to read anything long anymore? If you're a glutton for reading, feel free to spend your time perusing my old posts on xanga.