Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Sanctity of Traditional Crocodile-Politician Marriage

Croco-bride. (source)
American social conservatives and all-out bigots have been feeling really down the past week after the momentous Supreme Court decision to make same-sex marriage a legal right in all US states. I mean, just look at how US Catholics are suffering intense persecution!

There's been a whole lot of talk about traditional marriage (Christian man-woman marriage) and about how letting two consenting adults of the same gender get hitched is a slippery slope toward humans marrying roller coasters or any number of other things. No wait, that's been happening forever.

In fact, Mexican mayors are marrying crocodiles and turning them into croco-princesses!
After the crocodile, christened Maria Isabel, was married, she danced with her new husband in a party packed with the town's residents. Mayor Rojas said he was delighted to take part in the festivities.
Better watch this delightfully romantic sympathetically magical story here. It's a win on many levels.

The tradition has its roots in local traditional religious beliefs.
"Indigenous people have great faith and many beliefs, many myths, especially a lot of mysticism. To be part of that pact between animals, humans, the environment, represented today with the celebration of this marriage, is a privilege that not everyone can have. I feel very lucky," he said.
Oh, and this has been happening for years and years - just look it up on the web. It's traditional marriage!

Disclaimer: All jokes aside, I don't think this is a real marriage, per se. It's all symbolic... but I often think that symbolism is the sole basis for US conservative Christians' arguments against same-sex marriage, in the form of definitions.

I also do not condone marriage between humans and animals due to lack of ability of true consent.

Ultra Conservative Muslim 'Faceless' Dolls Are Scary As Hell

Aisha dolls. (source)
Call me old fashioned, but I really prefer my dolls to have eyes, a nose and a mouth. So did Tom Hanks' character in the movie Castaway. He painted a crude face on a soccer ball and called it Wilson.

Some months ago, I came across the website Aisha Dolls. Aisha is the little 9 (or 10!) year old girl, with whom a 53 year old Mohammed consummated their marriage. The Hadith apparently makes a point of specifying that the marriage actually took place when she was 6 or 7, but Mohammed patiently waited until she was nine or ten before doing the deed. What a considerate guy.
Aisha Dolls was the first of its kind on the market. Aisha Dolls are faceless, wearing modest/Islamic clothing, soft to cuddle and play friendly. Aisha Dolls cater for Islamic values, and are made with quality and imaginative play in mind, all very important aspects of every Muslim child’s life and upbringing. Aisha Dolls also offer multicultural dolls with different skin colours, reflecting our Muslim community.
The name of Aisha Dolls says it all. I was inspired by the hadith describing how Aisha (may Allaah be pleased with her) used to play with dolls which had no facial features in the presence of the Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam). Having children of my own, I noticed that there was no company offering faceless dolls specifically for the Muslims. To begin with I made dolls for my own children, thereafter I saw other Muslim families’ need for this toy. I decided to create my own models and the idea for Aisha Dolls was born, the first company offering dolls of this kind to the Muslim community.
There's something deeply odd to me about giving a child a doll with no recognizably human facial features. I just can't put my finger on it. Happily, a Professor of Muslim Societies, Fawaz Gerges, has pointed out that the majority of Muslims out there are just as creeped out by this as me.
‘The doll is a gimmick, an ultra-conservative interpretation,’ he told Mail Online.

He added: ‘It is a very isolated phenomenon and with all due respect I imagine it would only appeal to a very tiny group.’
A similar project, the Deeni Doll -- which Gerges is above referencing -- was launched in the UK last year by a former Muslim school teacher, after some parents were expressing concern that their daughters' dolls looked human.
"I came up with the idea from scratch after speaking to some parents who were a little concerned about dolls with facial features," she said.

"Some parents won't leave the doll with their children at night because you are not allowed to have any eyes in the room.
Isn't it amazing? Eyeless, faceless dolls would scare the bejeebies out of me in a dark bedroom.

This all boils down to aniconism where you're not allowed to have any depiction of animals (humans or otherwise) in sculpture, art, etc. So much for the Venus de Milo. So much for GI Joe.

The Aisha Dolls website was actually sent to me by Toronto Pakistani sex and religion blogger, Eiynah Nice Mangos. I had originally found these cartoon depictions of people on Jamaican-born Canadian Muslim television personality Bilal Philips Facebook page. She sent me the page to point out that they're faceless for a reason and that it's the real deal for some Muslims out there.

Look ma! No eyes!

2015-07-05: Correction, Hadith not Quran mention Aisha's age.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Parody Mitt Romney's Interesting Take on Christian Morality

Mitt Romney (source)
There are a lot of really good progressive politics shows from south of the border. In addition to liking the David Pakman Show, I also regularly listen to the hilarious Jimmy Dore Show, to which Mystery Science Theater's Frank Conniff is a regular contributor.

The program often makes fun of religion gone extra crazy on their Oh My God segment. Their most recent episode is a collection of some of their funnier stuff. In it there is a parody interview with a parody Mitt Romney (voiced by Mike Macrae) which very neatly explains much that is wrong with Christian -- or indeed most religious morality.

Here's an embedded player version cued up the the right part (8:25). The full episode is here.

Romney is making excuses for Josh Duggar and the coverup actions of his family after it was revealed he had incestuously molested girls -- including his sisters -- when he was younger.
Lemme explain. Jimmy, you secular progressives have it all wrong. You don't understand Christian morality. People like you think that acts are wrong. Things that people do are wrong. And that people are judged by the actions they make.

In truth the reverse is true. People are good or bad. If someone is, like, part of your class or race or tribe or religion, they're good people. If they do bad things, those are mistakes that God forgives. But if someone is not like you, then their sins are worse and they need to be set on fire.

That is Christian morality. I mean, what else would you expect from a tradition was born, literally, of tribalism?

Good comedy and satire can explain concepts so succinctly! If you liked that, I highly recommend you listen to the entire podcast.

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