The Circumcision Conundrum

It’s considered cruel to surgically alter the genitals of baby girls. Yet when it comes to baby boys, it’s common practice in a wide range of very civilized countries, and it’s not getting talked about all that much. Except now, when a proposed circumcision ban in California has raised the issue and gotten people talking.

So I might as well add my voice.

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Reading Through the Looking-Glass (And Getting A New-Age View)

Book with flower petals and sunglasses

Image via the Vision Care Guide.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about New Age spirituality, which is about way more than wearing crystals and listening to Enya. The worldview that underpins New Age thinking is diverse and spiritually rich – whether you take it as truth about our metaphysical world or just a good fantasy story. To some it’s myth, and to some it’s fact, but either way it’s fascinating.

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Mean Money: Why Capitalism Doesn’t Work Without Compassion

Big business says, "Isn't it something? We go on a binge, and they get the hangover."

Image via Gateway to the 'Burbs.

“I think people should be allowed to reap the benefits of their hard work,” said one of my friends late last night in conversation, and I agreed. Capitalism as a system works better than any other. But unfettered capitalism, the reign of the free market? That leads nowhere good.

When even the most caring person acts in their capitalist role, all focus rests on the goal: making money. That’s what it’s all about. And concerns about things like ethical behaviour or human tragedy fall by the wayside when there’s a moneymaking opportunity. People don’t mean to be cruel and heartless . . . but, after all, they have a debt to the shareholders. If we’re not extraordinarily mindful of our choices, money can make us mean.

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Blue Cheese Risotto

Rosenborg blue cheese

Image via Heini's Cheese Chalet: artisanal cheeses produced in Ohio's Amish Country since 1935.

Seeing as I find cooking and sharing food a spiritual experience that affirms life, expresses love, and shares the riches that God (however you see the deity) has provided, I thought the occasional shared recipe would be appropriate for this blog space. Or maybe I just wanted to have somewhere to share popular recipes in a hurry. Either way, I’ve had a lot of requests for this one.

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Canadian Democracy Inaction

I guess we’re now getting what we asked for. From the introduction to this morning’s episode of The Current on CBC Radio One:

A new poll finds that a majority of Canadians don’t believe in corporate tax cuts or buying F-35 fighter jets, two major pieces of the Conservative government’s plan. Currently, I guess those same Canadians also don’t believe in actually voting.

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The Luxury of Lime

Every year since we met, my husband and I host a Cuban Independence Day Party some time towards the end of May. We’re not closet Commies (and, in fact, we’re not even using the modern date Cubans honour under Fidel Castro) – we just enjoy Cuban food, mojitos, and a chance to get together with our friends for a unique, fun occasion. Every year we do it a little differently based on our circumstances, with a core list of old standbys: rum balls, guava (or cheese) mini-empanadas, our signature guacamole, and Key lime pie.

Every year until now, that is.

Key Lime Pie

Image via Kestrachern.

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What To Expect When You’re Expecting The Rapture

Rapture 2011 sticker.

Image via Get Glue.

I admit this is partially my fault: for the sake of sounding pretty, I’ve been using words like ‘rapture’, ‘apocalypse’, and ‘end of days’ fairly interchangeably. Nor am I the only one. For this reason and probably many others, there’s a certain level of confusion about what’s actually been predicted for today.

Well, I can clear that up for you. In fact, I shall – and in a helpful Q-and-A format, no less. As a librarian and blogger, it is my duty to spend the end of days spreading knowledge, so people can approach the Rapture and the ensuing tribulation better informed. And rest assured that as long as the Internet survives in our post-Rapture world, I’ll continue to blog helpful hints for surviving the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Or, y’know, other stuff. Just in case the Second Coming isn’t forthcoming.

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Apocalypse Now – Well, Actually, Next Saturday

Apocalypse Party poster

Image via Nice Try Zia on Flickriver.

So how are you celebrating the end of the world?

It’s closer than you think. The 2012 crowd may be surprised to find out that Judgment Day is slated for May 21, 2011. That is, next Saturday. Yup, it’s more than just the Victoria Day weekend for us north of the border.

I’ve been remiss. I should have warned you earlier. I’ve been driving by a roadside ad about it for about a month now. I even took a picture of it on my cell phone. But that’s okay: it’s not too late to make your own plans to celebrate the Apocalypse.

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Reclaiming My Orphan Blog

Blogging: Demotivational Poster

Image from - really!

It’s been more than two months since I last posted at Experience Pearls. I’ve been busy at work, tutoring children in various school subjects (mostly math, French, and reading/writing). For a while it seemed like this would become one of those orphan blogs you sometimes see in Google searches: the ones that have obviously been left behind, victims of their creators’ busy lives, to float in the online ether.

What’s more, I’ve been sort of spiritually uncertain, a little bit at a loss. How do you get your spiritual groove back when you’ve been going through a particularly crazy time of it, and you’re no longer entirely sure what you believe? There’s been a lot of change in my life, and as I try to reorganize myself around a series of new ways to interact with the world, I also need to figure out a new way to interact with the divine.

That will be the focus of my blog going forward: how do I work my spiritual side into my daily life when I don’t even know how to characterize my faith? Where do my new beliefs and my spiritual heritage interact? Where do the old and the new meet? My interior life has changed. Now I have to figure out how to bring that new inner skin into contact with the spirit that lives outside of me – the God that my old self knew, but my new self needs to reimagine with all-new assumptions.

And of course, there are some things that haven’t changed. I’m still fascinated by fundamentalism of all kinds, still interested in how people live out their beliefs, and even sometimes gobsmacked by the crazy things people take as straight-up, Gospel truth. There’s a lot to explore in all that, and I welcome everybody who’s interested in exploring it with me as I do my best to take it outside the box.

God Hates Picket Signs

In the U.S. of A., picketing funerals is a Constitutional right, according to the Supreme Court. Given that, I just want to make the highly unoriginal point that just being legal is not enough to make something okay.

Youth holding pickets about God sending you to hell.

Image via Bodhipaksa blog.

The irony here is that Westboro Baptist and other picketing fundamentalists (if any even exist outside of crazy Westboro Baptists) would agree with me. They would argue that legalizing same-sex marriage or abortion doesn’t make it right or acceptable in the eyes of God. In fact, they’d argue, it’s so repugnant to God that we’re actually doing the right thing by picketing these funerals, raising people’s awareness of His coming wrath.

And yet, somehow they don’t get the fundamental rule of social courtesy: that you don’t treat somebody in a way you wouldn’t want yourself treated. That there are certain social boundaries that need to be respected, and one could make the argument that customs around saying farewell to a loved one are some of the most important. The message about how much God hates fags/abortion/you can come later.

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