Hey, I loved Star Trek growing up and I think my whole generation did. But be forewarned. I am going to help you find the tears. But until I thought of Star Trek and Dr. McCoy, I could not find the tears either. The themes of Star Trek are great. The inclusiveness, the friendship, the camaraderie, no one was expendable, we were all members of the crew, no matter race, faith, colour or sexual orientation, we were all working together for the common good; for the mission.
Though we were both raised Catholic, my husband and I made a conscious decision to eschew religion when raising our son. I'm a big believer in love over rites and rituals. Like many parents, we want him to make an informed decision about his own spirituality when he is old and mature enough to do so. Yet part of me wonders if agnosticism is truly the right move.
That Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins are disappointed that religion hasn't gone the way of the dinosaur perhaps speaks to the fact that religion provides something of great importance to human beings, an importance that is beyond their grasp. Science provides the cold hard facts of life. Religion provides meaning. Even Dr. Krauss agreed that we make the meaning in our lives. Why can't that meaning come from religion?
Skepticism is good, but we usually trust someone's account of something, even though we did not see it ourselves. Carl Sagan was famous for saying extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. But really, I would have loved to have asked Mr. Sagan or ask Richard Dawkins today, how many accounts from "good" people are you not going to trust, before you at least move from atheism to agnosticism?
How can the adherent of any religion (or even the atheist) -- who believes that his faith (or lack thereof) defines the true reality and offers the correct perspective on what is ethically and morally correct -- even accept a value of freedom of religion when it permits behaviour that this person deems incorrect?
Last month, I wrote how patriarchy and racism give birth to rape culture, not a drunk woman or her miniskirt. But it is baffling to see the dialogue outside of these platforms going off on a tangent, in random directions. This needs to stop, now. Here are five "solutions" that aren't stopping rape culture.
There is an interesting disconnect in our world today regarding religion. Being an adherent to a certain religion is simply seen, to most people, as a description of the way by which this individual achieves spirituality. This is not, however, the way that religions -- even more so, traditional religious systems -- actually view themselves.
The Easter egg has similar pagan roots. Many cultures around the world have long regarded the egg as a symbol for life and fertility. Engraved and decorated ostrich eggs found in Africa date back thousands of years. The early Christian communities adopted the custom of painting eggs, usually in bright red, as a reminder that the blood of Jesus was shed on the cross for them.
From this year's Charles Taylor Prize winner: When Abraham Lincoln embraced the end of slavery, he transformed a domestic civil war into a struggle for the soul of humanity. With this transformation, he now presided over America's first war of humanitarian intervention, with a crusading, explicitly religious moralism at its core.
Dinners and drinks with family and friends, gifts and well-wishing is my idea of Christmas, a lovely time of year, but some people can't get into the holiday spirit without gay-bashing. The Pope is such a man. He believes gay people are actually heterosexuals who choose to be gay. However unwarranted, the pope still holds influence over some people. That Canadians are increasingly rejecting this stuff is a credit to our intelligence and basic decency. It's time we stop being guided by these dusty mirages.
NOTHING polarizes parents more than Santa. It is where religion, idealism and perfection of parenting clashes with more debate and bluster. My son Adam told me that a kid in his class is telling everyone that Santa isn't real. This boy happens to be of a culture and religion that does not do Christmas. Adam and I feel that no matter your beliefs, you have to respect other peoples beliefs, cultures and origins so I tend to get a bit upset when other parents don't feel the same way I do.
The exurban neighbourhods of El Paso County, Colorado seem, to this observer, environments designed for alienation and loneliness: street after street of developer-built houses fronted by enormous, power-operated garage doors, which display an defensive attitude to the street, and to the larger world. It all makes The Netherlands, where I currently live, seem mighty urbane, and civilized.
Harper Conservatives have established religion as a basis from which to establish and alter policy. But I highly suspect the Christian right isn't alone in aspiring to have the power to decide where trangendered people are allowed to pee and poop, and it is most certainly not the only religious sect hell-bent on controlling the abortion debate.
Because today is National Coming Out Day, I was reminded of my own journey. Almost two decades ago, I came out of that supposed "closet" publicly and purposefully for when I finally figured out I was gay, I wanted to shout it to the world. I eventually found the label "gay" something to be proud of. The gay label is just one small part of the big picture. But take it away and I wouldn't be me.
A friend's kid said to me the other day: "I'm a Darwinist...I don't believe in God." Okay, I thought, hold on there kid. Darwin wasn't a prophet who started an "-ism," and Science isn't a faith. We need to get rid of some of the category confusion that has crept into current debates and percolated down to secular kids. It can be tempting to respond to the sheer idiocy of American Creationists like Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA,) who recently described evolution and the Big Bang as "lies straight from the pit of Hell" by broadly rejecting religion. But these are not either-or categories and it is startling that they should have become so.
After interviewing hundreds of accomplished women over the past few years, in my quest to discover the keys to their success, I have become aware of recurring themes. For many of these successful women, the importance of having a regular meditation practice is not only important; it has been paramount to helping them achieve career and/or overall life success.