mollyringle: (winters jewels)

While (badly) playing songs on piano tonight from my book of Christmas sheet music, I found myself amused, as I am every year, by the repeated insistence on figgy pudding in "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." I mean, it's the subject of three of the four verses. So I tweeted about that, and got an even more amusing response out of the blue within minutes.

Speaking of holiday carols: as someone slightly more inclined toward paganism than Christianity (though I have a Christmas tree in the house and Christmas music and all that--I count as a "cultural Christian" when it comes to some of the holidays), I have to tip the hat every year to "Deck the Halls," which is possibly the only popular carol that doesn't reference Christmas or Jesus anywhere in it. It's all about Yuletide and greenery and harps and gay apparel and fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. Also it's ridiculously cheerful.

So, I wish you a merry Christmas, a happy new year, a joyous Yule, a happy Hanukkah, and good times in whatever else you might be up to at the end of this calendar year. And of course I really hope you get figgy pudding. If that's actually any good. I'm not sure I've tried it, to be honest.

mollyringle: (bat)
Here in Seattle, cool drizzle has moved in, and I was outside just now enjoying it, and listening to Dead Can Dance, and thereby having a delightfully Halloweenish feel to my lunch hour, and that led me to a revelation about Halloween and the Southern Hemisphere:

I have friends in Australia (e.g. writer Dean Mayes​) who have expressed dissatisfaction about Halloween; it seems to them just a pointless imported American holiday. And I've always been all, "Noooo, but Halloween is our one truly cool holiday! All the others are tedious, but Halloween's different and spooky and crazy and awesome!" Which I still believe.

HOWEVER, now that I think about it, I bet the problem is simply this: in the Southern Hemisphere, they've got Halloween in the middle of spring. And you cannot have Halloween in the middle of spring. That makes zero sense.

Halloween (or properly Samhain) is all about the decay of summer into autumn, life into death, the veil between our world and the Underworld becoming thin, and all that spooky goodness. You MUST have it on a chilly autumn night with leaves falling off the trees and scudding along the street in the wind. You totally cannot have it among blossoming bushes and greening gardens.

So, see if this makes more intuitive sense, my Australian and other Southern-Hemisphere friends: picture Halloween on April 30/ May 1. Then picture Beltane ("May Day") on October 31. I'm betting that fits a whole lot better. Right? (This blogger has said as much too. I feel silly that this confusion hasn't occurred to me until now.)

Seasons and holidays: sorted.
mollyringle: (Hughes - Night)
A couple of years ago, as the spring equinox approached, I wrote a short piece about Persephone digging herself out to get the season going. Today is the autumn equinox, and I've finally written a corresponding piece about her descending back to the Underworld. There. We now have a pair of equinox bookends.

I should note that these two vignettes do not feature the same Persephone and Hades that I've written about in Persephone's Orchard. The Persephone and Hades shown here are more magical and more connected to the seasons, have a much more tentative marriage, and in general are more like the gods in the myths. Enjoy, and happy equinox!


Persephone treads the forest path alone. Twilight is falling earlier now, just after dinner, and the air is turning cold. She glances at the jewels on her rings and sandals, but so far they aren't lighting up to brighten her way. They haven't sensed the Underworld and Hades yet.

She has said goodbye to her mother for the summer, which is always sad for both of them, and the poignancy has radiated out into the world. A cold wind blows at her back and shoots through the forest. It desiccates green leaves, turning them brown and red and yellow and sending them swirling to the ground. Good thing she and Demeter snipped all the frost-sensitive herbs this morning and hung them up in the kitchen to dry.

Over the past six months, they've also banished apple blights, blessed grape arbors and wheat fields, celebrated the birth of lambs and calves, and attended about a thousand and one harvest festivals. Honestly, Persephone's sick of making fresh grapevine wreaths for her head every day. Switching those for one sturdy jeweled crown, which needs no maintenance except the occasional quick polish, is fine with her. Read more... )
mollyringle: (sleazy fandom)
I don't in fact aim to invite a flame war, but there was this amusing moment in season 4 of The Big Bang Theory (a show that you should watch if you haven't yet, because it is hilarious):


Priya: Listen, Rajesh, Leonard and I have decided to see each other again, and you don’t get to tell me who I can and can’t have a relationship with.

Sheldon: Actually, he can. The Hindu Code of Manu is very clear in these matters. If a woman's father is not around, the duty of controlling her base desires falls to the closest male member of her family; in this case, Raj. The code also states that if she disobeys, she will be reborn in the womb of a jackal and tormented by diseases. If true, that seems like an awfully large gamble given that the prize is Leonard.

Raj: There it is, Priya. We're Indian. We believe this stuff.

Priya: I think it also says that if you eat beef, you need to live with cows for three months and drink their urine.

Raj: Some of it makes sense, some of it's crazy. My point is, you can't go out with Leonard.


"Some of it makes sense, some of it's crazy" is basically the response I got recently when (with great foolishness) I ventured to say on an online forum that it isn't wise to cite the Bible as a defense for being anti-gay, since you could also use the Bible to be pro-slavery and pro-stoning-women-to-death-for-adultery, not to mention anti-shellfish and a number of other "crazy" attitudes. It was coolly suggested that I don't really understand the Bible if I propose such parallels. Okay, some truth to that; I am not in fact a religious studies scholar. Nonetheless, it *is* almost indisputable that some of the Bible makes sense and some of it's crazy. And the parts that now seem crazy are usually due to out-of-date cultural standards (or maybe mistranslations). So, when are we ready to admit that gayness being an abomination to God is just as culturally out of date as slavery being A-OK with God?

The Big Bang Theory is comedy. They know Raj is actually objecting to his friend dating his sister because of a basic annoyance and disgust factor, not really because of religion. Religion is just a handy excuse. So, yeah. Parallel, much?
mollyringle: (York Minster - interior)
I recently re-read Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and hereafter follows my Goodreads review of it, should you be interested.

(Rating: 4 stars out of 5)

When I first read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, during my tear through all the Bronte novels in existence, I ultimately deemed it my second-favorite, after Jane Eyre (and just before either Shirley or Wuthering Heights--I need to re-read those to remember and decide anew). But this time through I found myself irked by a couple of things. One was the meandering, hitting-you-over-the-head-with-moral-instruction, heavy-on-the-foreshadowing dialogue. The other, which is interrelated with that complaint, is the oppressive piety. More than once, I found myself thinking incredulously, "You're talking about theology at a time like this??" (Most specifically, when Helen and Gilbert are trying to tear themselves away from each other for what they think will be the remainder of their lives.)

Then again, that was Victorian England for you. And that was the exact reason Helen couldn't easily get rid of her abusive husband, or let herself indulge in a love on the side. So, without the piety, there wouldn't be much plot. Even so, I can't help being annoyed by it, because Anne Bronte seems to be defending the virtues of such a system even while showing what massive problems it holds. I for one would hate living in a society like that. (Except for the pretty dresses. And the servants to help with meals and child-rearing and stuff.)

All that said, I did find myself sucked into the story and wanting to keep reading it, which is my basic and most important test of the quality of a novel. And though some find Gilbert Markham vapid or irrelevant, count me among those who really, really like him. He's a perfect balance between the monstrous hedonism of hubby Arthur and the severe piety of Helen--he's passionate but responsible, with the capacity for fun. I don't think my liking is just because the divine Toby Stephens played him in the miniseries, but you can never be too sure. (Doesn't hurt that the also-divine Rupert Graves played Arthur. I'm willing to overlook a lot of plot changes for the eye candy in that one.)

Anyway. Maybe this book deserves five stars, not four. Hell, we'll compromise. Four and a half. Er, sorry, Miss Bronte; I meant "h---."
mollyringle: (Froud - kissed by pixies)
Evidently today, April 30, is Walpurgis Night, and while I can't say I've celebrated it before or have definite plans to do so today, I must say it sounds rather cool. Here's what Encyclopaedia Brittanica says on it (and it must be true since it isn't Wikipedia):
Walpurgis Night, a traditional holiday celebrated on April 30 in northern Europe and Scandinavia. In Sweden, typical holiday activities include the singing of traditional spring folk songs and the lighting of bonfires. Celebrations in Finland include a carnival and the drinking of alcoholic beverages, particularly sima, a type of mead. In Germany, the holiday is celebrated by dressing in costumes, playing pranks on people, and creating loud noises meant to keep evil at bay. Many people also hang blessed sprigs of foliage from houses and barns to ward off evil spirits, or they leave pieces of bread spread with butter and honey, called ankenschnitt, as offerings for phantom hounds.
[Molly's interjection: Phantom hounds! How awesome is that? Why don't any of our usual holidays involve phantom hounds?]

The origins of the holiday date back to pagan celebrations of fertility rights [sic - surely "rites"?] and the coming of spring. After the Norse were Christianized, the pagan celebration became combined with the legend of St. Walburga, an English-born nun who lived at Heidenheim monastery in Germany and later became the abbess there. Walburga was believed to have cured the illnesses of many local residents. After her death she was canonized as a saint on May 1. Although it is likely that the date of her canonization is purely coincidental to the date of the pagan celebrations of spring, people were able to celebrate both events under church law without fear of reprisal.

Other sites give the same basic information; namely, that it was yet another pagan celebration that got turned into a Christian and sometimes specifically anti-pagan holiday. There are reports that in German folklore, Walpurgis Night was when witches met atop a certain mountain, so in a way it's a celebration for witches; but nowadays it sometimes involves symbolically chasing away the witches till next year. Very similar to some interpretations of Halloween/Samhain, that way.

In any case, it sounds like a fun way to start off Beltane/May Day/Spring Day. May you all be the May Queen or Green Man of your personal household this weekend. I did bring in some fresh sprigs of sweet woodruff and orange-mint, so perhaps I'm celebrating in my small way too!
mollyringle: (Kimberley)
Some years spring comes gently and gracefully. Other years, like this one, it seems we have to fight endlessly for it through snow, slush, mud, wind, and rain. Currently, I long for spring and am wanting to throttle winter. So I wrote this. Other than a mood piece or a really weird short-short story, I'm not sure what you'd call it. But I call it...


Persephone treads the stone passageway under the earth. The jewels in her crown, belt, and sandals light the path for her, surrounding her with a gentle white glow, like those little lights humans string on their houses at winter solstice. (She's never up there that time of year, of course, but she's seen pictures.)

The solstice was three months ago. She's done now with the winter half of the year. She's arranged and co-hosted the Underworld holiday party, supervised all the clean-up, and personally written the thank-you notes. (Honestly, did Hades ever help with those? Good thing he has broad shoulders and a world of jewels to recommend him--and the attractive habit of not talking much.)

Hours ago she locked up her winter wardrobe, kissed her husband goodbye, and set off. She passed the three-headed dog, who whined and yipped and jumped up to lay his heavy paws on her shoulders. She sent him into a stern Down-Stay, scratched all six of his ears, and moved on. She exited the hundred-foot-high gates of the Underworld, wiggled through the dense crowd of ghastly and sad and excited souls crowding for entrance, and set out on the lonely road that sloped gradually upward. A glowing soul, or a regular living cave insect, has sometimes crossed her path, but otherwise it has been nothing but her and the cool black rocks.

Now she feels grit beneath her sandals. Soon it turns to soft soil, and then squishy wet dirt. The smell of earth and mold fills her nose. Before long her foot splashes in a shallow puddle, sloshing cold water over her foot. "Crap," she mutters. She lifts her skirts out of the way and continues forward in the increasing muck, her glowing jewels reflected and twinkling in the puddles. As she advances, the walls of the cave narrow and the ceiling lowers until she has to stoop to keep from hitting her head.

Finally she finds herself at the end of the tunnel: a complete blockage in the form of a huge tangle of tree roots. They corkscrew down from above, covered with grime and dripping with chilly water.

Persephone stops with a sigh, looking up at the gnarly hunk of roots and earth. "I hate this part," she says, then takes a deep breath and ducks into the tangle.

She reaches up, fingers parting the roots to make room for her head. Taking hold of two sturdy, slimy roots, she hauls her body upward into the knot of dirt. She dislodges mud and groundwater, which splatter onto her hair and gown and face. Wincing, she mutters a lively curse Hermes once taught her (in Ancient Greek, even), and pushes her arms further upward into the wet clump. As she fights her way higher, the pressure of roots and earth squeezes her tighter. Pebbles and clods of dirt tumble down the back of her gown and lodge against her rear. Worms and insects crawl over her hands and feet. The roots score scratches in her arms and tear at the hem of her gown. Soil and dead leaves fall into her eyes and land on her lips; she grunts and spits them out, and continues to struggle up--painfully, slowly, up.

Just as she's wondering if this is finally the year some other bastard god or bitch goddess has played a mean trick on her and gotten her trapped in some endless hole, her fingers break through the surface. Through the narrow fissure, white daylight pours onto her skin. With a gust of relief, she shoves one foot against one root, her other foot against another, and stretches both arms into the free air.

Persephone hauls the rest of her body out of the earth and collapses on her back, coughing the dirt out of her lungs, and gulping down the cold fresh air. She's shivering convulsively. Beneath her crackles a crust of snow on top of a carpet of dead leaves. The sky, sensing her presence, parts its clouds and lets the sun spear a beam down onto her. The brightness and hint of warmth make her open her eyes, though she has to shield them for a moment against the glare. She casts a look around from her position on the ground. Beside her rises the massive oak whose roots she just battled. Around her is a forest of similar trees, their branches rising bare and their feet in the snow. Still, her arrival brightens the colors even as she glances about--tree buds swell and turn a deeper red, wildflower bulbs send their green spikes an inch higher, the earliest tiny leaves on a shrub unfurl in brilliant chartreuse.

She drops her hand and looks straight at the sun. "There you are. You'd better warm this place up. It's fricking freezing."

She sits up, and heaves herself to her feet, shaking dirt out of her skirts. "Ugh." She examines her clothes, arms, feet, and hair (which has completely come loose from its tidy twist and is matted with grime now). Her tongue finds a fleck of dead leaf stuck inside her lip, and she spits it out. Where her saliva lands, a clump of daffodils springs up and blooms, delighted to receive such honors.

Persephone plants her hands on her hips and addresses the sun again. "Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to take a nice long bath in the hot springs, get a massage, and put on a clean gown. Then I'm going to come back out here and start taking care of things. You need to have all this--" She kicks at the crust of snow. "--cleared away by the time I get back. Understood?"

The clouds pull farther away from the sun, letting it shine brighter. Simultaneously, a gentle rain begins to fall, melting the patches of snow.

"That's better." Persephone turns and begins walking toward the rainbow that's appeared beyond the nearest hill. "Also, if you didn't get me a cute massage guy this time, we will have storms of trouble."

In obedience to the goddess of spring, thunder rumbles from dark clouds on the horizon, backing up her threat--but keeping its distance until she should give her orders. As she walks, violets sprout in every spot that her dirty, cold, scratched feet touch the earth.
mollyringle: (girl reading with moon)
Ordinarily I do a post at the end (or start) of each year, wrapping up the 10 best books I read during the previous 52 weeks. See 2007's list, 2006's, 2005's, 2004's, 2003's, and good God do you think I've had this journal long enough?

This year, though I did a goodly amount of reading, I cannot come up with ten books I'd enthusiastically and wholeheartedly recommend. Too many just did not grab me; or they were good for the first three-quarters, then slogged along for the final one-quarter; or some other mix resulting in dissatisfaction.

So, how about three? Here are three novels I can actually recommend. (Oh yeah--I should mention I seldom include nonfiction in this list unless it really quakes my world.)

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I once saw it advertised as "a novel in the tradition of Jane Eyre," and I rolled my eyes because jeez, what a cheap gimmick. Who wouldn't want their novel advertised that way? But as it turns out, it really does have a Jane Eyre feel to it. The British setting, big old mansion, dark family secrets, things that might be ghosts or might just be mysteries, death and maiming by house fires, and a tremendous love of reading woven throughout, are all factors designed and destined to hook someone like me. That is, yeah, someone who loved Jane Eyre, and who lingers in used bookstores with contentment and joy; but also someone who admires the disturbing, quirky works of Joyce Carol Oates, too. Check it out.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. If you tend to find my juvenile-yet-well-intentioned brand of humor appealing, you may be a good candidate for becoming a Moore fan. He's an oddball, no question, but such a creative and funny one. This book in particular impressed me with (I kid you not) the scholarly research he had to do to fill out the world in which Joshua (a.k.a. Jesus) and his pal Biff ("Levi who is called Biff") set out on a trek to help Joshua figure out this Messiah stuff. The Bible doesn't cover what happens to Jesus between childhood and age 30 or thereabouts, so Moore decided he'd do the job--making sure to include that time when Jesus learned martial arts, of course. It's hilarious quite often, bawdy most of the time, and yet somehow not offensive unless you're completely without humor. It's even poignant and heartbreaking in a few spots. I daresay plenty of the Christian folk on my friends list would love this, and I have no doubt the agnostics and other-religioned would too. It's the atheists I'm less sure of.

Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite. Men, you might want to skip this one, unless you're gay. And even then, it might be too girly for you. For despite the cast being almost entirely male, and the story consisting of vampires spilling truckloads of blood, the book is basically slash, eyeliner, slash, hair products, slash, music like The Cure, and more slash. As a seasoned Cure fan with occasional slash-reading tendencies, I of course thought it charming. Truthfully, it does have an alluring dark-magical edge that pulled me in, and even an almost-literary touch of Southern Gothic style. If you find Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) too slow and bland, and Anne Rice too maudlin and flowery, invite this one out for drinks.

Next I'll check my movie-viewing history for '08 and see if I can scrape together ten worthies on that front.

Enjoy your champagne and confetti tonight, me lovelies!
mollyringle: (Gothic Choir)
Dude. My mom recently collected old family stories from her side, via various far-flung cousins, and this one stands out. To say the least.

The Nolans were a large family of Irish Catholic immigrants living in the Midwest in the 1870s, and were devastated when the mother died of illness. In accordance with her deathbed wish, her daughter Rosa willingly joined a Catholic girls' school in Iowa. After that, at about age 16, feeling that the best way to help her bereaved father and brothers was to pray for them and serve God, she joined a convent.

Her dad and brothers didn't entirely like this idea, as this was the type of convent where once you got in, you didn't talk to the outside world anymore. In fact, the nuns enforced the rule so strictly that when Rosa died some time later, nobody informed her family. Her father only found out by traveling to the convent and asking about her. The nuns' explanation was something to the effect that Rosa belonged to God/The Church now and not to the world.

Well, the dad did what any good father would. He went home and collected his sons, and they all drove the wagon back to the convent under cover of night, snuck into the cemetery, dug up Rosa's coffin, and took it home to rebury it, allegedly somewhere on the farm.

As you can imagine, Nolan family feelings for Catholicism after that point weren't of the fondest, but apparently several did remain with the church.

But seriously. Dude. Grave robbing. I am so going to write a short story about this.
mollyringle: (Hogwarts)
Ahh, I have to sit back and chuckle as I watch all this. Let's review the J.K. Rowling business model:

1. Write books. Finish series. Get world at your feet and become richer than the Queen.

2. THEN tell the world the Harry Potter books are partially based on Christian tradition.

3. Within a week, also tell the world that Dumbledore is gay.

4. Congratulations! You have now shaved off the anti-Christian loonies in one step, and the anti-gay loonies in the other, while leaving your calm centrist base to float on the waves with big amused grins on our faces.

5. On the other hand, maybe with step 3 you got some of those Christian fundamentalists to rethink their avoidance of the books--only to cause them, in step 4, to go right back to slapping the Harry Potter series atop the Banned Books list. Or, vice-versa: maybe you piqued some gays' interests, but once they hear about the Christian thing, they aren't going to read them after all.

6. However, I bet you did actually gain a bunch of fans in both communities, since there's a lot of cross-tolerance that the media and general public don't often notice.

7. Not that it matters how many fans you gain or lose, as you are already richer than the Queen, and even if your next venture only sells half as many books as HP, you will still outsell all other living authors.

8. You get to edit and veto the movie scripts? Damn. Most novelists never, ever get that privilege. I want to be you when I grow up.
mollyringle: (Parrish stars)
A short Alaskan fable, as told on "Northern Exposure," Christmas-y episode 3.10 ('Seoul Mates'), which we just watched:

"A long time ago, the raven looked down from the sky and saw that the people of the world were living in darkness. The ball of light was kept hidden by a selfish old chief. So the raven turned himself into a spruce needle and floated on the river where the chief's daughter came for water. She drank the spruce needle.

"She became pregnant and gave birth to a boy, which was the raven in disguise. The baby cried and cried until the chief gave him the ball of light to play with. As soon as he had the light, the raven turned back into himself and carried the light into the sky. From then on, we no longer lived in darkness."

The figure of Raven is a powerful "trickster" persona like Coyote from elsewhere in North America, Hermes/Mercury from Greece/Rome, and Anansi from Africa, to name just a few; and though these types of gods wreak havoc, I'm always especially fond of them. Prometheus also comes to mind with this particular story, bringing light or fire to mankind. But mostly, it's a good story for the winter solstice--which I suppose is why, in part, the writers of "Northern Exposure" won an Emmy for that particular episode. I recommend looking it up if you want to diversify your holiday viewing a little.

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of glaring sunshine and heat, but all the same, I like balance in everything; and therefore I am pleased to welcome back the sun as we tip the scales that direction again. Happy solstice, everyone.
mollyringle: (Froud - kissed by pixies)
In the interest of reading something similar to what I'm writing, I am in search of a novel (not a short story, not a movie, not nonfiction) meeting the following criteria:

1) Features angel(s)
2) Is not overtly religious or "inspirational" (e.g., I don't want so-called Christian fiction, or an adventure about dangerous Biblical artifacts and an OMG!Church Conspiracy!)
3) Is set in more or less modern times
4) Is set in the real world, or at least close to it (i.e., not a fantasy realm)
5) Features some teenage main characters, though doesn't have to be aimed entirely at young readers

Yes, I've done internet searches, and my eyes are getting tired of sorting through the slush. The only book I can think of that comes close is Good Omens, but that's still not very similar to my own. For one thing, it's a bit more frivolous (which of course is one of its attractions); and for another, it's ever so British (which is also one of its attractions, but I digress).

In the movie world, Michael and City of Angels/Wings of Desire are the closest, but they don't deal with teenagers.

Searches for teen angel fiction come up with lots of Buffy novels about the character Angel, who, despite his name, is a vampire and thus no help at all. So I'm giving up and asking youse-all.
mollyringle: (York Minster - exterior)
Quick and dirty test results below. I've gotten "Buddhism" as a suggested answer before on longer tests, so there may be something to that. However, the rest... uh, I don't think Islam is going to appeal to me to the exact degree agnosticism does; and, needless to say, you guys don't have to worry about me becoming a Satanist anytime soon. Devout Christianity really is a lot likelier for me than that, I daresay. ;)

You scored as Buddhism. Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Buddhism. Do more research on Buddhism and possibly consider becoming Buddhist, if you are not already.

In Buddhism, there are Four Noble Truths: (1) Life is suffering. (2) All suffering is caused by ignorance of the nature of reality and the craving, attachment, and grasping that result from such ignorance. (3) Suffering can be ended by overcoming ignorance and attachment. (4) The path to the suppression of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, which consists of right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right-mindedness, and right contemplation. These eight are usually divided into three categories that base the Buddhist faith: morality, wisdom, and samadhi, or concentration. In Buddhism, there is no hierarchy, nor caste system; the Buddha taught that one's spiritual worth is not based on birth.




















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with
mollyringle: (kodama)
On that survey I filled out two days ago, there was a question about whether I believe in ghosts. My answer basically is that I haven't ever seen one, but some part of my mind thinks they're possible. Or, rather, hopes they're possible, because it would suggest life after death and all kinds of interesting physics-related things.

When [ profile] ten_fifteen filled out the survey, she alluded to a few experiences she couldn't quite explain away. She and her husband ([ profile] alltimeqb) are rational, reliable people, as far as I know, so I prodded her into relating some of these experiences, and they are genuinely creepy and pretty difficult to account for.

So, the rest of you: do you have any such encounters? Let's do a forum on this. I want only first-hand ghost stories, stuff you personally experienced, not a tale handed down from your grandfather or your mother-in-law (even though those may be cool). Also, feel free to do your best at explaining it - e.g., "But then, I was looking through a pane of glass, so I suppose it could have been a reflection..." - just to make this as scientific as possible.

Banshees, poltergeist, telekinesis, and other strange earthly phenomena are fair game, too; it doesn't have to be an actual visible "ghost." But let's leave Bigfoot and UFO's out of it. We'll do that another time.

P.S. Kev or Kim, say the word and I'll remove that link (and/or your names). You needn't be an exhibit if you don't want to be. :)
mollyringle: (Parrish Stars)
Inspired by [ profile] silverowlwings...

A bit of humor that was forwarded around on email a long while back. You might have already seen it. As a prelude, I feel I should state my position:

While I am a great believer in freedom of religion (provided it doesn't involve seizing and sacrificing your neighbors or their pets, etc.), and have respect for most religious stripes, and am something of a Catholic-by-default myself, I do not think anyone should do anything or believe anything for the sole reason that "the Bible says so." (Exception: you could do an archaeological dig based on clues from the Bible as to location of ancient cities. This has actually worked a few times.) The Bible has a lot of good advice, but, like all ancient religious texts, it has been through too many translations, and is too far removed now from its original cultural context, to be taken literally in all passages. So, that is why this forward amused me, as it demonstrates this point quite well.

(author unknown - written as a letter to an advice columnist)

When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice, however, regarding some of the specific laws & how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day & age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male & female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it's a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some room for negotiation here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse & blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev.24:10-16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

Hee hee.


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September 2017

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