Articles tagged "religion"
Benedict XVI is only the third pope to ever resign from the position, so there isn’t much precedent for post-pope behavior. Here’s what we think he’ll be up to now that he doesn’t have to wory about all that poping around.
- Become the shadow pope! (All the power, none of the annoying speaking engagements.)
- Look into Wicca
- Just literally pray all day. Like, wake up, pray, eat, pray, eat, pray, eat, pray, sleep, as if his life were a significantly less interesting Elizabeth Gilbert novel
- Finally get caught up on GIRLS
- Gardening (I hear he’ll be living in the Vatican garden. No joke. In a tent? There’s a garden house? Who knows.)
- Train Luke Skywalker to fulfill his destiny and restore peace to the galaxy
- Put on the pope hat when no one is looking
- Sigh and shake his head ever so slightly whenever he makes eye contact with the new pope
- Re-read Harry Potter a bunch
- Finally get on top of his twitter game
- Add false embarrassing childhood details to the new pope’s Wikipedia page
- Cannoli, lots
- Bunga Bunga parties with Berlusconi
- Mutter “more like the dope” soft enough that only the new pope can hear him
- Watch Matlock and reminisce about the Second Vatican Council just like every other retiree
The largest religious festival in the world started this week in India. It’s called the Maha Kumbh Mela, and while smaller festivals are held every three years, this largest gathering occurs only once every twelve years at the convergence of two actual rivers and one river that news outlets unanimously refer to as “mythical.” I think popular American religions could learn a thing or two from this giant Hindu pilgrimage, so I’ve put together this list of things I learned about the Maha Kumbh Mela that we need more of in our stodgy Western spiritual practices.
Naked Holy Men. All the holy dudes get butt naked and swim in these rivers, even if they don’t belong to the same religious sect. I think everyone would be better off if Joel Osteen went skinny dipping with the Pope. Most of all Joel Osteen and the Pope. Lighten up, dudes.
Mythical Destinations. Everyone is meeting at the intersection of THREE rivers but one of them is MYTHICAL so like, maybe it was there once, or it wasn’t. It IS AND ISN’T there. It’s MYTHICAL. Next year, let’s have Christmas at Atlantis, and I don’t mean the resort.
55-Day Holy Festivals. The Maha Kumbh Mela is nearly two months long, but only happens every 12 years. That comes to about four and a half days per year. If we consolidated Chanukah this way then every 12 years we’d have 96 nights of presents and a really intense fire hazard. I SAY LET’S GO FOR IT.
Samosas. As far as I can tell samosas don’t have anything specifically to do with Maha Kumbh Mela but they ARE delicious. I think our religious festivals (like Easter) should include samosas. As well as our non-religious festivals (like Bonnaroo.) And our lunches (like every day.)
Saffron. The color. Why are the colors associated with our religious activities SO BORING? Red and green, blue and white, pastels. PASTELS?! Come on. What is this, 2nd grade? How about turquoise and oxblood for Palm Sunday? THINK ABOUT IT. Or a nice bright yellow? Not on me, I’ll wash right out, but it’ll look goooood on B.
Rivers. Christianity talks a mean river game, but never follows through. “I went down to the river to pray?” More like, “I watched football in high-def and ate store-bought cheese dip.” Also, Rivers Cuomo. I don’t know if they’re into the Blue Album in India, but swimming and Weezer sounds like religion to me.
Destination Holidays. Sure there are pilgrimages to Mecca, and people like to get all Old Testament and visit Israel or whatever, but I think we need more local holy sites. Every holy place has to start being holy sometime, right? Maybe now is the moment for the Mississippi River Delta to take that next step. Plus, the food there is GREAT.
Let’s make this happen. I’m talking 55 days of naked holy dudes eating cajun samosas at mythical swimming holes. Oh, and Weezer is playing. WHO’S GOT A GOOD RELIGION NOW? Sign ups are below.
During the interview, Rubio was asked how old he thinks the Earth is. And his response began with:
Cross your fingers. Let’s see how he actually finished up:
”I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”
There’s so much crazily wrong with this I don’t even know where to start.
More importantly, acknowledging the age of the universe actually has an imperial fuck-ton to do with the GDP and our economic policies, because believing that evidence is important in evaluating solutions is a sign that our political philosophy is going to be based on reason and not on playing pretend. It’s a sign that when all (ALL!) of the available evidence says that cutting taxes on the wealthy does not lead to greater prosperity, we’ll go “Huh, guess THAT doesn’t work” and try something else, instead of saying “Guess it’s a debate amongst economists” and punting the ball while actual people suffer. It’s a sign that when faced with consumption that far outpaces the scarce resources available to us, we’ll search for new ways of being, rather than hoping everything’ll just shake out in the end. It’s a sign that when someone suggests that our economy can just keep on growing forever and ever amen, we’ll evaluate the likelihood of that being true (hint: none) and adjust accordingly. Sheesh.
Finally, nobody — really, nobody at all, anywhere — thinks the earth was created in “7 actual eras”. It was clearly created in 9 Semi-Actual Eons. Duh. Come on, Marco: TEACH THE DEBATE.
Apparently some Ivy League somebody verified the authenticity of some ancient scrap of papyrus stating that maybe Jesus had a wife. This information is particularly interesting to the holier-than-thou hypocritical so and so’s in the Catholic sector who claim that Jesus’s single-dom and celibacy is the basis for their priestly practices. I just can’t imagine that the reality of whether or not Jesus had a wife will have any real impact on my life. I live in the now. Where people actually have wives. And husbands. And sometimes, if you’re in the right state, you get a two-for. I’m not anti-religion, or anti-history for that matter, but shouldn’t the geniuses from Harvard and Princeton set their sights on more pressing issues in our current non-mythical world? Like cancer. And Right-wing Republicans.
And so I present to you, What If Jesus Had a Wife (and Other Hypothetical Historical Inquiries):
What if Jesus had a wife?
What if Shakespeare wasn’t one man, but a group of writers?
What if Mussolini had a cat?
What if Gandhi secretly ate like six or seven vegetable samosas while he was “fasting”?
What if former President J. Edgar Hoover was a closeted gay man?
What if Rosa Parks was partially deaf and in a deep sleep with her eyes open?
What if Malcolm X was only willing to work for equality by two or three means?
What if Jack Kerouac never actually set off on the road with his friends?
What if young Michael Jackson and ol’ white Michael were two different people?
Why hypothesize the past to influence the present? I investigate the present to influence the future.
VOTE BIEBER 2012.
- 1. Chick Fil-A: You’ve got employees who are dying of stress and an entire community of people mad at you. Get it together.
- 2. Kristen Stewart: Damn girl. You have everything going for you. You’re white. You’re famous. You’re rich. You’ve got a much-coveted boyfriend. Why’d you go and screw it all up? Aren’t you content in your life?
- 3. The Jackson Family: Not even sure where to start with this one. Michael Jackson’s kids vs. Michael Jackson’s siblings? The drama is never-ending. When’s the reality show?
- 4. Madonna: Woman, you have offended MANY by wearing a swastika in your European tour. Don’t you know that wearing that is OFF LIMITS? Especially in Europe?! Dang.
- 5. University of Colorado Denver Hospital: One uninsured victim of the Aurora, Colorado shooting faces $2 million in medical bills. He was shot in the eye. He’s raised $70,000 thus far. The University of Colorado Denver Hospital doesn’t look like it’s going to wipe his bill clean, like some other hospitals are doing. BIG. TIME. FAIL.
This year, Ramadan – the Muslim month of fasting – began on July 19 and will end on August 20. During all of these days, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, and having sex with their partners until sundown. It’s supposed to teach Muslims about patience, humility, spirituality and submissiveness to God. Wow … this sounds like a wonderfully Eat Pray Love kind of adventure. I love Elizabeth Gilbert, so even though I’m not Muslim, I’d like to participate and see what I learn!
Tuesday, July 24
9:00 am. – I am doing GREAT. The sun is shining, and I wasn’t bogged down by a heavy breakfast of eggs and bacon and toast. And since I’m alone, I didn’t have anyone around to have sex with. I’m feeling lightweight and great.
10:06 am. – This is super wonderful. I feel like a real Muslim! I wonder if there’s a mosque in Prospect Heights that I can go to.
11:17 am. – Um … okay. I’m feeling a little bit hungry.
12:06 pm. – If I eat something and no one’s around to see it, did I still eat it?
1:03 pm. – I can’t move. Otherwise I will eat something.
2:18 pm. – Why are the rules so that I can’t drink, either? I’m parched! Why does this happen in July while it’s so hot??!
3:01 pm. – … maybe I’ll be skinny after this?
4:36 pm. – [Sweat and saliva stains on page]
5:23 pm. – Give me something to have sex with. I am so hungry and angry.
6:46 pm. – All I want is some meat on a plate. Meat on a plate. Meat on a plate. AGAIN: why does this happen in summertime when the days are so long??
7:09 pm. – Give me a protein shake! I want to have sex with a protein shake!
8:17 pm. – SUNDOWN. [The rest of this page is unreadable. It has been eaten.]
8:23 pm – Okay. I’m headed to Shake Shack. I’m gonna grab me a burger, a milkshake, and a custard thing. Oh, and anyone, anyone at all to have sex with.
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