jueves, 26 de febrero de 2015

Faith healers

This entry's birth is due to stories like this.
A dozen kids's death in four years is not big deal, what makes it a big deal for me is that
  • They were avoidable deaths
  • They weren't avoided not because their parents couldn't get/pay the treatments but because they didn't want them
  • They're not being charged with child neglect or murder because their faith tells them to let those children die
More precisely, what their faith tells them is that, if prayer is not, by itself, enough to cure the child, the child's death and suffering is God's will and, thus, good.
The first thing that I think about saying is "Your son. Your daughter.", but that wouldn't make sense because if you feel as horrified as I do towards this, you treat your children more responsibly that this kind of parents. What I'm going to say is "Imagine it's your nephew, and that you sister lets him die. And then you have to put up a smile and tell her she did right letting him die."

The linked article says that actually most states has some kind of exemption to damage to children. Half a dozen of them have no religious exemption to crimes against children. Six from fifty? The rest go from "you can go to jail, but we can't save your children from your care" to "If it's by your religion, you can do to your children as you want"

The point I keep waiting for anyone to make is that children are their parents' responsibility, not their property. The freedom of religion of the parents is that they can let themselves die, but to allow them to decide whether their children receive proper medical care is to acknowledge children are property.
For a country so proud of Lincoln's anti-slavery (thought there's something to be said about that, too), children are still considered property by having laws as these.

And now, let's widen the scenery, shall we?

Is this too soon to remember that Islam allows marriage as soon as the bride has her first period? She has to give her consent, even when saying nothing is considered consent.
I don't see too many activist saying that is right for parents to punish her 12-year-old daughter (for disobedience) because she doesn't want to be wed - and deflowered - just yet, but exemptions like the ones allowing a couple to let their children die just set right that kind of girl-selling.

I'd like to bring attention to another point: please, look at that map of USA and look for the black states - the ones which exempts criminal and civil penalties from negligent homicide, manslaughter and capital murder: Idaho, Iowa, Ohio, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Religious exemption from capital murder. To emphasize what that kind of laws allow, I'd like to point out that, in these states it's legal (you're criminally and civilly exempt), if you're Jewish or Christian:
  • To kill a gay men just because he's gay (Leviticus)
  • To kill Woody Allen and/or Soon-Yin (Leviticus again, she was his son's sister, and since he had sex with her mother, she's his daughter)
  • To kill anyone who contradicts your beliefs (Leviticus attacks again, blasphemy) This one's specially ironic because A can kill B for contradicting A, and then B's brother can kill A because A contradicted B and his brother.
  • To enslave anyone that doesn't share your faith (Leviticus is a gold mine of this sh*t)
And this is just a handful of (nowadays considered) bad things that some people can get away with by claiming "freedom of religion". Now that I've cleared a few things about Bible, I think I can give a couple more about Islam, because, by those "freedom of religion" laws:
  • If I were a Muslim and I met an ex-Muslim, I can kill him (4:89)
  • Suicide attacks are legal (4:74) Remember the Twin Towers?
What is really ironic about all this "freedom of religion" stuff is that, if the government can't enforce their laws against religious people, then the most violent religions' followers are free - by the government - to kill everyone, until there's only one sect left. Kind like Iran.

I think I've let this burn enough, for now, at least. If you read this you can think that, yeah, all those things should be allowed because there's a religion who let them be. If you thought it wasn't a big deal, maybe now you can help bring some sense on other people by pointing out what is not being said and, just maybe, some day, country's laws will not be bent to forgive people just because.

sábado, 14 de febrero de 2015

Valentine's Post

Anybody can google a bit and read that Valentine was a Christian who married people by the christian rite in a time in which Christianism was illegal. His story is called "hagiography" because it's about a saint, and it probably has, in the better case, as much historical value as Beowulf - that is, some things may be true, so if you find coincidences comparing (with no hagiographies) sources, chances are those are true.
He was started being considered defender of the romantic love about two centuries ago but he wasn't. After all, people was already getting married by legal, at the time, rites, according with their own faith, before he started marrying other couples. And the people who came before him was already in love, so he just kind of "marked" them. Worse, the couples he married were formed by roman soldiers and their loved ones. Roman soldiers were banned to marry during service or, more precisely, the government would not consider the union legitimate. A lot of them did marry under the local custom they were in, so probably they didn't care too much about the rite as long as there was a rite. The part I say about Valentine being worse is that, then, he married a lot of couples who didn't believe in his religion, making him hypocrite and incoherent, and probably at least a bit of an indoctrinator.

Anyway, the thing is that today a subset of christians - because the Orthodox church, for instance, does in a different date - celebrate his execution by exchanging gifts and remembering - or pretending to remember - how good is to be together. A lot of non-christians engage in the same customs because it's a nice thing to do and everybody's gonna ask how it went, so why not to fold?

This post is dedicated to those couples who has a nice, working, beautiful relationship:

We hate you

Just kidding. It's beautiful to see couples loving each other so dearly, I just wanted to take some time to say because sometimes it's not easy to understand that from the inside. A loving couple does not need to love each other in a movie sense - think about what Amanda Palmer says in The Art of Asking about she and Neil Gaiman - but you are inspiring just the way you are. If we tell hero stories to remember we can be heroes, guess what that means to your (successful) love stories.

If there are problems, instead of focusing in the problems, please, focus first in why you got and kept together in the first place, for that may be the key to solve those problems or, at the very least, to remember why they're worth solving.

Be as happy as you can today, and please share it with everyone, for we all need some inspiration some time.

Just don't brag people. Make it nice ;)

Have a happy Valentine.

jueves, 12 de febrero de 2015

The beholder

"Vladimir looked very good in his red and black garments. He received the guests with a slightly too severe face, and guide them to the great hall, where he introduced them to our parents. He was courteous in every moment, but perhaps too rigid. Maybe he should learn to be more adaptable, to loose up a bit. After the introductions were made, Father and Mother rise and greet the guests, inviting them to the main table, the Baron at Father's right, the Baroness at Mother's left. Vladimir was told to sit at the Baron's right and he did.
The conversation seemed to be ok, driven by Father, with some questions for Vladimir to take part in it. From the Baron's face, I think he thought well of my brother, but far more higher from Father"

- "Not bad, Grigore, not bad. What about the Baroness?" -
- "I... em, I did not think about her, I thought the Baron was more important" -
The stern face in Grigore's tutor was all he needed to understand he was wrong.
- "Grigore, one day, your brother will need you as your Father does me. He will have to pay attention to the person before him and to what he says and does, and how he does those. You will not have to attend to yourself, and that is what frees you to pay attention to the things your brother can not." -
- "I know, Uncle. I will do better next time" -
- "I know, kid, I know. You have time to learn, just be sure you learn a new thing every time and it will be good. Now, I have to tell your parent about the Baroness, so off you go."

miércoles, 11 de febrero de 2015

The kiss

Alina stood in the moonlight, next to the gray trunk of a tree, naked by the cold winter. She huddle in her heavy cloak, the furry skin tickling her cheeks. Her heart beat strongly with the emotion of seing Pietr again, even more because, this time, it would be alone: no peasants would surprise them here, at this time of night.
There was but the slightest hint of doubt in her heart, barely fearing that he could be playing with her instead of being the corteus wooer he seemed to be, or that he could have found a prettier or easier target for his kind feelings.
And then, a soft whisper in her hear made her flinch and turn around, startled, and then burst into giggling when she saw his handsome face and mischievous smirk.
- I trust I did not make you wait for long - he said
- Oh! Don't worry. You're here, that's what's important -
- Of course I'm here - he laughed - How could I not come when you so graciously accepted my proposal -
- Oh! No, I didn't doubt it -
- Oooh! - he interrupted, playfully - We are so sure of ourselves, are we not? -
- No! I mean...! Wait. Stop playing with me - she finally said, smiling - Did you invited me - she started with feigned offense - only to make fun of me? - she ended, with a flirtatious blinking of her long eyelashes and a sure smirk.
- No, I did not. What I really wanted - he said, taking her in his arms - was this - and then, they kissed

domingo, 1 de febrero de 2015

Flint and water/Burn'em all

Beholding, like in another person's heart.
Fury, rancor, hurt feelings.
They don't move, compacting themselves in hard, stone cores,
eroded by red winds and red tides,
buried in sand, darkness and oblivion

Beholding, like in another person's heart.
Sadness, loneliness, unworthiness feelings.
They slowly flow, spreading, permeating,
reaching deeply,
so deeply they can be hidden,

Beholding, like in a low hill,
how the buried flint gives form to other hills,
and how the underground water is,
healthy or otherwise,
the new plants nourishment,
making them as they will be.

Ignorance is bliss, they say,
Ignoring the flint under the soil is going to help your crops' roots?
Ignoring the poison in the water is going to help your crops' growth?

What if the only choice is between
living in hard lands,
out of sick crops,
or burning'em all?