Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Culture Wars - I

Dear readers of the blog, yes both of you, which is worse in your opinion; a transgender wo/man having a baby and garnering false publicity? Or a polygamist community using religion to engage in child abuse?

I say false publicity because the transgender person has female biological organs and so its really not so much a "miracle". It is just something that is unusual but is biologically possible. And people being people are milking it for all the fame & publicity they can.
Here's a site I read often Biblical Womanhood. It is a site promoting a very narrow view of Christianity. I feel that they follow the letter of the Bible without understanding the spirit and complete beauty of the gospel. Well, each one to their own. I am not going to criticise their view, after all, there are many rooms in our father's house. What I do find objectionable are posts like this. There are about 80+ comments on this post. Most of the commenters say almost the same thing over and over again even using the same sentences. But some of them and even the blog author blame feminism (how original!) for this event and that my friends, is a lie. They try to use feminism as a scapegoat for all the ills in this society and it is sad that so many people have been fed that point of view.

And then there is this story . Now, I am a live & let live kind of person. To me polygamy is not inherently bad, if all the people involved are adults and are 100% for it. But forcing 13 y.o into "spiritual marriage" with 50 year olds, that's pedophilia. To make matters worse, they do it in the name of religion.

So conservative women, where is the moral outrage over this story? I mean, how can any sane person think that feminism & other social reforms are worse than "traditional customs" like child marriage & forced pregnancy? I saw angry posts regarding the transgendered wo/man on many conservative blogs but there was absolutely no mention of the real tragedy in their midst.

I am so happy that I live in a day & age where most people are angry about the second story & mostly ambivalent about the first one. But fundamentalists are different in that aspect, they seem to have a distorted sense of morality IMHO, and they do it in the name of Jesus Christ. The irony would be delicious if it weren't so sad.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008



Google Adsense has placed an ad for Ben Stein's Expelled on my blog, probably because of this post . I don't want that ad over here because I am almost sure that the movie is pure nonsense. All the reviews about the movie say that it is very poorly made and has very little substance. Also PZ Myers was asked to get out of the screening of the movie for no apparent reason so I'm not feeling the love.

Maybe I'm biased, I think creationism & ID do not belong in schools or colleges. It should not be taught along with evolution. I guess its because I come from a secular country, I can't imagine creationism being taught in my class where we had Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Sikhs and everything in between. Science is science and faith is faith. Twisting science to fit faith is dishonest, to say the least.

After coming to the US six months ago, I started hearing more about creationism and that how somehow christians were supposed to believe in it. My faith is perfectly compatible with evolution, thank you very much. The idiots who promote creationism give other Christians a bad name. The Bible uses metaphorical language people.

Now repeat after me.
We don't need to believe the six day creation account for us to be good christians. We don't need to believe that the universe literally revolves around the earth. We don't need to believe that the earth is six thousand years old.

God is bigger than that.

Btw, I know that the link is actually to Expelled Exposed. Orders of PZ Myers :-)


Monday, April 14, 2008

Garage sales are soooooo coool!

We were looking to furnish our house but didn't want to spend a lot of money because we are not planning on settling in this country. The other day we went to a garage sale & drove away with a used Dining table & 4 chairs for $30. We were able to bring it home in 10mins in the car itself. I'm sure the set would have cost atleast $100 had we got it through Craigslist.
Some other good finds were a knife set that costs $125 on Amazon for $5 and it still looks new. And the best yet(for me), 4 books for $1!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I'm watching The Return of the King for what seems to be the 165th time. What's it about this film that compels me to watch again & again?

I'm a major fan of the books so when the film came out, I thought that it would be a disappointment. No director can live up to a fan's imagination, right? But after reading some reviews, I decided to watch & I am glad I did. Peter Jackson did a hell of a good job though there are a couple of instances where he strayed too far from the books. Faramir's character is an example. In the books, Faramir is shown as wise unlike his brother Boromir. And he bonds with Frodo because of their fondness for Gandalf. But in the movie, Faramir is a typical of the race of men, unable to resist the call of the ring.

Despite that, I think all the LOR films are good unlike the Harry Potter films; the 1st one (HP & Sorcerer's stone) was TERRIBLE. But it got better from there. Now I am trying to get my hands on the 5th film(Order of the Phoenix). People say that its the best one yet.

Indoor plants

Over the last 3 months, I've managed to acquire four African Violets, one miniature rose & one foliage plant in 4" pots. As most people know, African Violets are beautiful flowering plants which are comparatively easy to look after. The fact that these plants still live is a testimony to the above statement because my treatment of them has been less than optimum. :-P
In fact, I did manage to kill off a one foot Norfolk Island pine recently. In my defense, it had an insect infestation which did too much damage before I was able to fix it.

The windows in my house face to the north; rather unfortunate because its the worst possible w.r.t direct sunlight. I'm thinking of investing in some fluorescent lights. Yes, there are grow bulbs available, I know that. But they are at $60 a single bulb and I am not willing to dole out so much for the upkeep of $4 plants :-)

Actually, they are not even $1; they were priced at ShopRite 3 months ago for $1.25 for the plant & pot and 29c for the plastic cups. But the cashier scanned the plastic cups & so I got all four of them for the price of the plastic cups. I found out the mistake later when I was entering the bill amount in our budgeting software about 2-3 days later. I was debating on going back (don't be so quick to judge me, the store is rather far from where I live) when I realized that they had overcharged me $3.50 for the fish. So I guess it kinda evens out.