Pagan Soup: Burqinis, Polytheism, Circumcision and More

Nigella Lawson Sports A Burqini

Nigella Lawson was seen frolicking on a beach wearing *gasp* clothing! The curvy celebrity chef is no stranger to showing skin, so maybe she just didn’t want a sunburn? People pointing out her cellulite?Muslim blogger Spirit21 writes:

Lawson’s fear of sunburn may have inadvertently prompted the realisation that there is liberation in covering. This is something that Muslim women like me have expended much effort in explaining and defending. But maybe we can now move on from this constant need for explanation, defensiveness and the vague sense of liberal apologetics that occasionally appears. Perhaps it’s time to be a bit naughtily smug and say: we already told you so.

I’m not the least bit ashamed of my body and find the idea of swimming in heavy wet fabric unappealing, but I admire the “stick it to the man” statement Lawson makes here.

Is Circumcision a Religious Right?

San Francisco wants to ban the practice of circumcision, which understandably has the Jewish community furious. Is the issue one of body modification for religious reasons? Or is it that the child has no choice in the matter? We do a lot of things to our kids they have no choice regarding, things that affect them more than whether or not they have a flap of skin on their penis: their schooling, their nutrition, their religion, their community, etc…

One uncircumcised Jew thinks the practice is unnecessary today:

Although uncircumcised, I am a very proud Jew, with a very strong sense of Jewish identity, and never hesitate to affirm my Jewish identity, to Jew and non-Jew alike, but particularly to myself. I can assure you that having a foreskin has not made me less of a Jew than those without one, and in fact has given me additional reason to think about it. I would rather be an uncircumcised self-affirming Jew than a now too common circumcised self-deprecating Jew.

Is this an attack on religious expression and ethnic identity? While no son of mine will ever be circumcised, I kinda think this does infringe on religious rights.

Groovy Pagan-ish Art

Byron Ballard over at The Village Witch shared this link this morning and I’m fascinated by it.

What Is Polytheism?

I find myself often confused by the theological identity of Hindus. Are they monotheists? Are they polytheists? In the Patheos library section on Hinduism I found this answer to that question:

The other criteria for polytheism is that these separate and autonomous gods are all of equal status with each other and are worshipped simultaneously. However, Hindus rarely worship all of the gods and goddesses simultaneously; instead, Hindus generally worship only one God/Goddess as being higher than the others (although, in theory, they are all equally Brahman). Therefore, Hinduism is not polytheistic.

While the Hindu scholar who wrote this may be entirely correct in the case of Hinduism, I doubt this definition of polytheism fits any polytheistic religion or culture I can think of. If Zeus is King of Olympus, are Hellenics not really polytheists? If you don’t actively worship an entire pantheon, or worse yet, don’t actively worship ALL Gods, are you not a polytheist? If you think the Gods have a hierarchy, are those of lesser importance even Gods at all? Are we meant to worship only the highest and best?

Is Venus A Comet?

Apparently at some point Venus had a beard, horns or hair depending on which ancient source you reference:

The Vedas said that the star Venus looks like fire with smoke. The star had a tail, dark in the daytime and luminous at night. This luminous tail, which Venus had in earlier centuries, is mentioned in the Talmud `Fire as hanging down from the planet Venus. Described by the Chaldeans the planet Venus `was said to have a beard. “Beard” is used in modern astronomy in the description of comets.

Of course, mainstream space resources give no mention of this, so this may be nothing more than a bit of curious pseudo-science.

Temple of the River Closing?

It seems like Drew Jacob, despite not identifying as Pagan, keeps popping up in Pagan news. The Facebook page for the group reports that Temple of the River is closing, after having been featured the in PNC-Minnesota as part of their Sacred Spaces series.

PNC-Minnesota is reporting on the closing:

The Irish Cottage Temple closes its doors at the end of June and is available for rent. Ms. Scanlon Schopper says she was surprised by the news and sad to hear the temple is closing its doors, “but I have hope that the cottage will continue to serve as a gathering place, no matter what the gatherings may be.” The current owner believes the temple may be rented out as an art studio or for another spiritual group to use.  Jacob was the former owner of the land the Irish Cottage Temple sits on, but he sold the property in January of 2011 and presently lives at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Minneapolis.

Included in the PNC article is an interview with Drew Jacob. I’m going to need time to process this. I’m sure speculation will abound in the blogosphere, especially in light of his participation in the recent debate regarding identifying as Pagan.

About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jannekebrouwers Janneke Brouwers

    The Temple of the River closing already? I also need time to process this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jannekebrouwers Janneke Brouwers

    The Temple of the River closing already? I also need time to process this.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tpoaic Cora Post

    This is a soup of topics for sure!

    My humble 2 cents:

    1. I want a burkini: well the 3/4 sleeve, crop pants, sans hijab version that is made. Why? For the very same reason that was quoted in the post. There is freedom in modesty.

    2.Circumcision is private matter and has no right to be banned by the government. Both of my boys are circumcised because their father is. If my husband wasn’t, then they wouldn’t have been. This decision should be up to the families to make.

    3. Interesting…but not my cup of tea.

    4. How different religions and cultures viewed the same things has always been amazing to me.

    5. I’m not familair with the Temple, but still…what a shame.  

    • http://omo.peacockfairy.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      If your husband lost both pinky fingers, would you have cut them off your boys, as well?  If your husband had alopecia, would you get your boys full-body laser hair removal “so that they can look like daddy”?  If you’d say “no”, then why must their penises “look like daddy”?

      Your rationale is actually very sick and fetishistic.  These are YOUR SONS, all you should care about concerning their genitals is that they’re clean and healthy, which is actually really easy to maintain on men in their natural state.  But no, you want them to have penises that remind you of their father.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tpoaic Cora Post

    This is a soup of topics for sure!

    My humble 2 cents:

    1. I want a burkini: well the 3/4 sleeve, crop pants, sans hijab version that is made. Why? For the very same reason that was quoted in the post. There is freedom in modesty.

    2.Circumcision is private matter and has no right to be banned by the government. Both of my boys are circumcised because their father is. If my husband wasn’t, then they wouldn’t have been. This decision should be up to the families to make.

    3. Interesting…but not my cup of tea.

    4. How different religions and cultures viewed the same things has always been amazing to me.

    5. I’m not familair with the Temple, but still…what a shame.  

    • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

      If your husband lost both pinky fingers, would you have cut them off your boys, as well?  If your husband had alopecia, would you get your boys full-body laser hair removal “so that they can look like daddy”?  If you’d say “no”, then why must their penises “look like daddy”?

      Your rationale is actually very sick and fetishistic.  These are YOUR SONS, all you should care about concerning their genitals is that they’re clean and healthy, which is actually really easy to maintain on men in their natural state.  But no, you want them to have penises that remind you of their father.

  • Donna

    Out of all the reasons people site for circumcision, I think religion is the most valid, BUT I still take issue with the practice. 

    I find myself wondering why it is ok for boys to be circumcised for religious reasons when it is not ok for girls to be circumcised for religious reasons (female circumcision is commonly called Female Genital Mutilation, and would probably cause a scandal in hospitals where male circumcision is routine).  Are the Jewish beliefs calling for male circumcision healthier than the African, Asian, and various tribal religions that call for FGM?  After all, the World Health Organization and the UN have both taken action to end FGM worldwide, so there must be an inherent injustice involved in altering an infant’s genitals for non-medical reasons.

    I also wonder if people would feel the same about other types of permanent body alterations on infants for religious reasons.  Religious tattoos on a one day old?  Branding?  Cutting other body parts (the foreskin has more nerve endings than the fingertips, btw)?

    It’s a dicey subject, for sure.  Personally, I think a government has the right to make laws like this, but there should be an exception to the law for religious reasons.  If nothing else, it will perhaps reduce the number of people who have their sons circumcised because it’s something their OB/GYN and/or hospital does as a matter of routine (a profitable routine at that), which is probably the point of the law in the first place. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/rena.mcgee2 Rena McGee

      The medical risks of “female circumcision” are a lot more pronounced than the medical risks of “male circumcision,” from what I’ve read.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Pannell/1588993580 Nathan Pannell

        The male circumcision you know is one of the least damaging forms of male genital cutting and in terms of physical damage is the equivalent to removal of the clitoral hood and sexually is equivalent to removal of the clitoris. The risks of male genital cutting become more pronounced the more extreme the surgery is just like it is with female genital cutting. We forbid female genital cutting no matter how safe it is even to the point of banning even pin pricks due to the inherent human rights violations therefore to not do the same for males is nothing short of sexist. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

      The anti-circumcision crowd are loons, pure and simple. I can see challenging the old wisdom which almost mandated all parents to circumcise, but to criminalize it? Before we go down that road, we need to ask ourselves exactly how many decisions about our personal and family lives do we want to yield to other people who fancy themselves well meaning progressives?  They’ll be perfectly happy to dictate what sort of medical care is appropriate for your kids, how they’re educated, what religion is appropriate for them.

    • Donna

      @facebook-100000687478826:disqus There are different types of FGM, some are very severe and involve the inner and outer labia, and some are less violent (by comparison) and involve cutting the skin around the clitoris or removing the clitoris.  All forms of female circumcision are banned in the US by federal law. Male circumcision is not without risks, boys can and sometimes do lose all or part of their penis, lose sensitivity in the skin of their penis (to varying degrees), or die from complications like infection.  I don’t have the data to say whether one carries more medical risks than the other, but I suspect that at least some of the perceived difference is social bias.

      @yahoo-PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA:disqus , If we’re going to resort to name-calling in lieu of adult discussion I suppose those of us “loons” in the “anti-circ” crowd could come up with a few for the “pro-circ” crowd, but I don’t see why we should need to go down that road at all. You are right in that if we allow other people to make medical decisions for us we’re in trouble. I’d like to offer that, in absence of a medical need or religious mandate, circumcision is essentially elective cosmetic genital alteration.  I can’t think of any other time it’s acceptable or ethical to preform non-medically necessary cosmetic procedures on an infant.  The fact is nothing about this issue is pure and simple, there are religious, social, medical, financial, emotional, and ethical aspects involved.  Whether banning the practice by law is the appropriate course of action or not remains to be seen, but I don’t think dismissing the issue, or the people involved, is justified.

      Anyone wanting to find out more about circumcision (and the looney anti-circ folks) can go to http://www.nocirc.org/

    • http://twitter.com/ouranophobe Áine

      My understanding is that female circumcision typically includes removing the clitoris entirely… something rather detrimental to the sex life of the female to whom it is done.

      Whilst male circumcision may also be detrimental to the sex life of the male to whom it is done, it is not to the same degree, unless something goes horribly awry.  This being the case, I can certainly understand why global organisations are fighting to end the practise and label it as pejoratively as they do.

      • Syna

        Not “typically”. That is one form of circumcision; other forms include removing part of the clitoris or the labia, or infibulation. The most common form is not as extreme as removing the clitoris– not that this is saying much. You’re certainly correct that it’s not damaging to the same degree.

  • Donna

    Out of all the reasons people site for circumcision, I think religion is the most valid, BUT I still take issue with the practice. 

    I find myself wondering why it is ok for boys to be circumcised for religious reasons when it is not ok for girls to be circumcised for religious reasons (female circumcision is commonly called Female Genital Mutilation, and would probably cause a scandal in hospitals where male circumcision is routine).  Are the Jewish beliefs calling for male circumcision healthier than the African, Asian, and various tribal religions that call for FGM?  After all, the World Health Organization and the UN have both taken action to end FGM worldwide, so there must be an inherent injustice involved in altering an infant’s genitals for non-medical reasons.

    I also wonder if people would feel the same about other types of permanent body alterations on infants for religious reasons.  Religious tattoos on a one day old?  Branding?  Cutting other body parts (the foreskin has more nerve endings than the fingertips, btw)?

    It’s a dicey subject, for sure.  Personally, I think a government has the right to make laws like this, but there should be an exception to the law for religious reasons.  If nothing else, it will perhaps reduce the number of people who have their sons circumcised because it’s something their OB/GYN and/or hospital does as a matter of routine (a profitable routine at that), which is probably the point of the law in the first place. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/rena.mcgee2 Rena McGee

      The medical risks of “female circumcision” are a lot more pronounced than the medical risks of “male circumcision,” from what I’ve read.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Pannell/1588993580 Nathan Pannell

        The male circumcision you know is one of the least damaging forms of male genital cutting and in terms of physical damage is the equivalent to removal of the clitoral hood and sexually is equivalent to removal of the clitoris. The risks of male genital cutting become more pronounced the more extreme the surgery is just like it is with female genital cutting. We forbid female genital cutting no matter how safe it is even to the point of banning even pin pricks due to the inherent human rights violations therefore to not do the same for males is nothing short of sexist. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA Kenneth

      The anti-circumcision crowd are loons, pure and simple. I can see challenging the old wisdom which almost mandated all parents to circumcise, but to criminalize it? Before we go down that road, we need to ask ourselves exactly how many decisions about our personal and family lives do we want to yield to other people who fancy themselves well meaning progressives?  They’ll be perfectly happy to dictate what sort of medical care is appropriate for your kids, how they’re educated, what religion is appropriate for them.

    • Donna

      @facebook-100000687478826:disqus There are different types of FGM, some are very severe and involve the inner and outer labia, and some are less violent (by comparison) and involve cutting the skin around the clitoris or removing the clitoris.  All forms of female circumcision are banned in the US by federal law. Male circumcision is not without risks, boys can and sometimes do lose all or part of their penis, lose sensitivity in the skin of their penis (to varying degrees), or die from complications like infection.  I don’t have the data to say whether one carries more medical risks than the other, but I suspect that at least some of the perceived difference is social bias.

      @yahoo-PMTLR3IIGKPHZ2YNU3PDXWK4WA:disqus , If we’re going to resort to name-calling in lieu of adult discussion I suppose those of us “loons” in the “anti-circ” crowd could come up with a few for the “pro-circ” crowd, but I don’t see why we should need to go down that road at all. You are right in that if we allow other people to make medical decisions for us we’re in trouble. I’d like to offer that, in absence of a medical need or religious mandate, circumcision is essentially elective cosmetic genital alteration.  I can’t think of any other time it’s acceptable or ethical to preform non-medically necessary cosmetic procedures on an infant.  The fact is nothing about this issue is pure and simple, there are religious, social, medical, financial, emotional, and ethical aspects involved.  Whether banning the practice by law is the appropriate course of action or not remains to be seen, but I don’t think dismissing the issue, or the people involved, is justified.

      Anyone wanting to find out more about circumcision (and the looney anti-circ folks) can go to http://www.nocirc.org/

    • http://twitter.com/ouranophobe Áine

      My understanding is that female circumcision typically includes removing the clitoris entirely… something rather detrimental to the sex life of the female to whom it is done.

      Whilst male circumcision may also be detrimental to the sex life of the male to whom it is done, it is not to the same degree, unless something goes horribly awry.  This being the case, I can certainly understand why global organisations are fighting to end the practise and label it as pejoratively as they do.

      • Syna

        Not “typically”. That is one form of circumcision; other forms include removing part of the clitoris or the labia, or infibulation. The most common form is not as extreme as removing the clitoris– not that this is saying much. You’re certainly correct that it’s not damaging to the same degree.

  • Kerry W.

    The “flap of skin” phrasing makes it sound as if circumcision is no big deal, physically; the rest of the abstract makes it sound as if it is possibly a big deal religiously and politically.  But there are lots of “flaps of skin” that we can’t imagine being without.  Any on my body, certainly.  In any case, it’s a biased phrase that’s used in an argument that gets heated fast.

  • Kerry W.

    The “flap of skin” phrasing makes it sound as if circumcision is no big deal, physically; the rest of the abstract makes it sound as if it is possibly a big deal religiously and politically.  But there are lots of “flaps of skin” that we can’t imagine being without.  Any on my body, certainly.  In any case, it’s a biased phrase that’s used in an argument that gets heated fast.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    I think the information on polytheism found in that Hindu Library document is very flawed, at best. No polytheistic system suggests that all the gods have equal standing, or that each and every one must be worshiped by all people; Zeus is not of the same standing as a local river god, hero, or sea nymph, and the same is equally true of the thousands of deities and local spirits of folk Hinduism down to the present day.  Many strands of modern Hindusim–including the major sects of Shaivites, Vaishnavas, and Shaktites–tend to be monistic, just as most of the post-Vedic philosophical writings of India have tended to be.  Some Hindus remain quite polytheistic, particularly in more folk and popular forms of the religion, whereas many more philosophical and Brahmanic authorities are pretty insistent on monism rather than polytheism.  In any case, there’s a lot of misunderstanding of what the term “polytheism” actually means evident in the excerpt you gave above.  (The same, though, is true of varying interpretations of Shinto, which range from animistic and/or polytheistic to monistic.)

    • Henry

      ‘whereas many more philosophical and Brahmanic authorities are pretty insistent on monism rather than polytheism.’
      Hmmm, not sure I’d agree with the terms you use here. There are schools within vedanta that are more dualist than strictly monist.
      instead of ‘many more’, I would say ‘some’. One can be a monist and quite polytheistic.
      I can’t  agree that the library document is very flawed, LOL it is EXTREMELY flawed, I there are few accurate statements in it, and even of those, the accuracy is minimal

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    I think the information on polytheism found in that Hindu Library document is very flawed, at best. No polytheistic system suggests that all the gods have equal standing, or that each and every one must be worshiped by all people; Zeus is not of the same standing as a local river god, hero, or sea nymph, and the same is equally true of the thousands of deities and local spirits of folk Hinduism down to the present day.  Many strands of modern Hindusim–including the major sects of Shaivites, Vaishnavas, and Shaktites–tend to be monistic, just as most of the post-Vedic philosophical writings of India have tended to be.  Some Hindus remain quite polytheistic, particularly in more folk and popular forms of the religion, whereas many more philosophical and Brahmanic authorities are pretty insistent on monism rather than polytheism.  In any case, there’s a lot of misunderstanding of what the term “polytheism” actually means evident in the excerpt you gave above.  (The same, though, is true of varying interpretations of Shinto, which range from animistic and/or polytheistic to monistic.)

    • Henry

      ‘whereas many more philosophical and Brahmanic authorities are pretty insistent on monism rather than polytheism.’
      Hmmm, not sure I’d agree with the terms you use here. There are schools within vedanta that are more dualist than strictly monist.
      instead of ‘many more’, I would say ‘some’. One can be a monist and quite polytheistic.
      I can’t  agree that the library document is very flawed, LOL it is EXTREMELY flawed, I there are few accurate statements in it, and even of those, the accuracy is minimal

  • http://twitter.com/ouranophobe Áine

    I’m sad to hear that the Temple of the River is closing, but I admire Drew’s courage in taking that step.  It can’t have been an easy decision, particularly in light of the recent debates about Paganism and identifying as such.  I wonder if that particular kerfuffle somehow contributed to the Temple’s closing.  I’m definitely bracing for the next dust-up that’s undoubtedly going to roll through the blogosphere over it.

    I also wonder why it is that there seems to be so much divisiveness and bickering going on in the net.community of late… it seems to me that it has been one dust-up after another since Pantheacon and it makes me tremendously sad. 

    • http://blog.dianarajchel.com Diana Rajchel

      I’m saddened to hear about the temple closing, too. I believe that the reasons for it, however, are entirely practical and have little to do with Drew’s personal religious identity and path.

  • http://twitter.com/ouranophobe Áine

    I’m sad to hear that the Temple of the River is closing, but I admire Drew’s courage in taking that step.  It can’t have been an easy decision, particularly in light of the recent debates about Paganism and identifying as such.  I wonder if that particular kerfuffle somehow contributed to the Temple’s closing.  I’m definitely bracing for the next dust-up that’s undoubtedly going to roll through the blogosphere over it.

    I also wonder why it is that there seems to be so much divisiveness and bickering going on in the net.community of late… it seems to me that it has been one dust-up after another since Pantheacon and it makes me tremendously sad. 

    • http://dianarajchel.com Diana Rajchel

      I’m saddened to hear about the temple closing, too. I believe that the reasons for it, however, are entirely practical and have little to do with Drew’s personal religious identity and path.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1226891346 Cara Schulz

    My son was circumcision, but I don’t have a strong bias either way on the issue.  Comparing male and female circumcision is not valid.  Female circumcision is done specifically to prevent ‘wantonness’ because if you allowed women to enjoy sex, they would become raging, out of control, sex machines that would hump anything that comes across their path.

    However – this initiative in California?  Holy cow people.  The person behind it is as anti-Semitic as you can get.  Matthew Hess created the group MGMbill.org -the group that is pushing this Bill and Hess helped write the language for the bill.  Hess is also one of the people behind a web comic called foreskinman.com.  The villan is “Monster Mohel” who is described this way in the comic – “Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old infant boy.”  Monster Mohel is depicted as a
    dark-haired, wild-eyed man toting glistening scissors. His appearance as a Jew is exaggerated and demonized.  Foreskin Man is a
    blond-haired muscle-bound superhero.  Read the comic and look at the photos and tell me this doesn’t look like something that should have been printed in German about 50 years ago.  You’ll have to look at the cached version as they took the website down – http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:EYNAeJa03F8J:www.foreskinman.com/+foreskinman&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

    Antisemitism is not only alive and well in this country, it is thriving.  Look at the violent crimes with religious bias stats – Jews are always at the top as victims of crime directed at them because of their religion and ethnicity.  It is on the sharp rise in Europe.

    I do NOT make the argument that those who are against male circumcision are Antisemitic – but you may want to look at who is behind this particular Bill and what their motivations are before you jump on board that bandwagon.
    http://theweek.com/article/index/216001/foreskin-man-proof-that-anti-circumcision-activists-are-anti-semitic

    • http://omo.peacockfairy.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      …like something that should have been printed in German about 50 years ago.

      The Nazis were in power in 1961?  Not in my history class.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1226891346 Cara Schulz

    My son was circumcision, but I don’t have a strong bias either way on the issue.  Comparing male and female circumcision is not valid.  Female circumcision is done specifically to prevent ‘wantonness’ because if you allowed women to enjoy sex, they would become raging, out of control, sex machines that would hump anything that comes across their path.

    However – this initiative in California?  Holy cow people.  The person behind it is as anti-Semitic as you can get.  Matthew Hess created the group MGMbill.org -the group that is pushing this Bill and Hess helped write the language for the bill.  Hess is also one of the people behind a web comic called foreskinman.com.  The villan is “Monster Mohel” who is described this way in the comic – “Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old infant boy.”  Monster Mohel is depicted as a
    dark-haired, wild-eyed man toting glistening scissors. His appearance as a Jew is exaggerated and demonized.  Foreskin Man is a
    blond-haired muscle-bound superhero.  Read the comic and look at the photos and tell me this doesn’t look like something that should have been printed in German about 50 years ago.  You’ll have to look at the cached version as they took the website down – http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:EYNAeJa03F8J:www.foreskinman.com/+foreskinman&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

    Antisemitism is not only alive and well in this country, it is thriving.  Look at the violent crimes with religious bias stats – Jews are always at the top as victims of crime directed at them because of their religion and ethnicity.  It is on the sharp rise in Europe.

    I do NOT make the argument that those who are against male circumcision are Antisemitic – but you may want to look at who is behind this particular Bill and what their motivations are before you jump on board that bandwagon.
    http://theweek.com/article/index/216001/foreskin-man-proof-that-anti-circumcision-activists-are-anti-semitic

    • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

      …like something that should have been printed in German about 50 years ago.

      The Nazis were in power in 1961?  Not in my history class.

  • Ianlestrange

    My understanding of Hinduism is that there are several theological schools, including a more traditionally polytheistic outlook and a more recent, monotheistic-like notion of all “gods” being a reflection or aspect of a single divinity (pushed by Rammohun Roy).

  • Ianlestrange

    My understanding of Hinduism is that there are several theological schools, including a more traditionally polytheistic outlook and a more recent, monotheistic-like notion of all “gods” being a reflection or aspect of a single divinity (pushed by Rammohun Roy).

  • A.C. Fisher Aldag

    “The other criteria for polytheism is that these separate and
    autonomous gods are all of equal status with each other and are
    worshipped simultaneously”Whose criterion might that be?  It seems that many polytheistic religions have “major” and “minor” Gods in their pantheons (panthea).  There are parent gods and their offspring.  There are gods who have only a tiny minor role in the year, or in a single myth.  We could argue that Odin is more important in the Norse pantheon than, say, Oestara, yet Norse Ways and Asatru are polytheistic religions.

  • A.C. Fisher Aldag

    “The other criteria for polytheism is that these separate and
    autonomous gods are all of equal status with each other and are
    worshipped simultaneously”Whose criterion might that be?  It seems that many polytheistic religions have “major” and “minor” Gods in their pantheons (panthea).  There are parent gods and their offspring.  There are gods who have only a tiny minor role in the year, or in a single myth.  We could argue that Odin is more important in the Norse pantheon than, say, Oestara, yet Norse Ways and Asatru are polytheistic religions.

  • Rua Lupa

    Circumcision should only be permitted by a consenting adult. I feel that it is wrong to force it on an infant who in adulthood may not have wanted it done. I feel that fathers who are circumcised feel embarrassed if their son is not circumcised and therefore force their child through it.

    I’ve seen a documentary by a woman whose husband was circumcised and she didn’t know if she wanted to circumcise her possible son and following sons. Throughout the documentary she searched for answers on both sides. She in the end didn’t agree, but had it done because of her husband’s insistence. He himself felt horrible witnessing the pain he caused his son, but had it done with the second child knowing the pain he allowed them to be put through, because he didn’t want him to be left out when seeing his father or brother being different. Before he was only focused on the fact that it was tradition and wanted it continued. The problem I see is that once it is done, you cannot go back. You are permanently disfigured and desensitized. When she was searching for answers she came across one man in favor who decided to get it done later in age, and was in favor of letting be a choice.

    I say, let it be a conscious choice by the believer, if it is a religious right. But to mutilate an infant is simply wrong in my opinion.

    • http://omo.peacockfairy.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      I say, let it be a conscious choice by the believer, if it is a
      religious right. But to mutilate an infant is simply wrong in my
      opinion.

      That’s where I’m at.  It’s basically a body modification, but it has more risks than the majority of what we consider “body modification”, and those procedures all require the person getting to to be either a consenting adult a a minumum age with parental permission.  An adult, even an adolescent boy, has a fair idea of who he is and what he wants his body to say about him; an infant has no idea what any of those words even mean, much less a cognisant idea of his own identity, religious or otherwise.

  • Rua Lupa

    Circumcision should only be permitted by a consenting adult. I feel that it is wrong to force it on an infant who in adulthood may not have wanted it done. I feel that fathers who are circumcised feel embarrassed if their son is not circumcised and therefore force their child through it.

    I’ve seen a documentary by a woman whose husband was circumcised and she didn’t know if she wanted to circumcise her possible son and following sons. Throughout the documentary she searched for answers on both sides. She in the end didn’t agree, but had it done because of her husband’s insistence. He himself felt horrible witnessing the pain he caused his son, but had it done with the second child knowing the pain he allowed them to be put through, because he didn’t want him to be left out when seeing his father or brother being different. Before he was only focused on the fact that it was tradition and wanted it continued. The problem I see is that once it is done, you cannot go back. You are permanently disfigured and desensitized. When she was searching for answers she came across one man in favor who decided to get it done later in age, and was in favor of letting be a choice.

    I say, let it be a conscious choice by the believer, if it is a religious right. But to mutilate an infant is simply wrong in my opinion.

    • http://www.peacockfairy.com Ruadhán J McElroy

      I say, let it be a conscious choice by the believer, if it is a
      religious right. But to mutilate an infant is simply wrong in my
      opinion.

      That’s where I’m at.  It’s basically a body modification, but it has more risks than the majority of what we consider “body modification”, and those procedures all require the person getting to to be either a consenting adult a a minumum age with parental permission.  An adult, even an adolescent boy, has a fair idea of who he is and what he wants his body to say about him; an infant has no idea what any of those words even mean, much less a cognisant idea of his own identity, religious or otherwise.

  • sahil_mehta

    It might be good idea to ban circumcision atleast for some time, you know, just for fun. Lets see if this can make jews and muslims unite and fight towards common cause.

    Jokes apart, we have to go by what medical research says about circumcision. Lets say if research conclusively proves that circumcision exposes the kid to higher risk of infection or something else, why any parent would like to take this risk for their kid, just because of some old customs?

    On the other hand, if research proves that circumcision doesn’t add any extra risk at all, then it should be left on parents to decide, why ban it?

    Having said this, I am afraid that it won’t be possible to do unbiased research as lot of religious minded people will try to influence the outcome of research through backdoor channels.

    Sometime back I had read some research conducted by muslims in Germany to prove that killing animals for food by islamic method (halal, where you drain out all the blood from animal before it dies) is less painful than killing animal in one shot. Point being, people will find a way to twist logic to support their belief.

  • Anonymous

    It might be good idea to ban circumcision atleast for some time, you know, just for fun. Lets see if this can make jews and muslims unite and fight towards common cause.

    Jokes apart, we have to go by what medical research says about circumcision. Lets say if research conclusively proves that circumcision exposes the kid to higher risk of infection or something else, why any parent would like to take this risk for their kid, just because of some old customs?

    On the other hand, if research proves that circumcision doesn’t add any extra risk at all, then it should be left on parents to decide, why ban it?

    Having said this, I am afraid that it won’t be possible to do unbiased research as lot of religious minded people will try to influence the outcome of research through backdoor channels.

    Sometime back I had read some research conducted by muslims in Germany to prove that killing animals for food by islamic method (halal, where you drain out all the blood from animal before it dies) is less painful than killing animal in one shot. Point being, people will find a way to twist logic to support their belief.


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