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August 31, 2007

Open mindedness is not an attack on anyone

My mom brought me a newspaper article from a local town paper where I used to live. Apparently, the library had the unmitigated gall to hold a Tarot workshop one afternoon. Imagine?

I have looked online but can't find the original article that includes the library's response. The Board of the Library looked into it, researched it, and voted that it would be an appropriate event that would appeal to young adult readers. Tarot is not a religion and therefore doesn't conflict with any of the libraries policies.

But what if it was a religion? It's not, we're all clear on that, but hypothetically, what if it was? Wouldn't a class that doesn't preach but simply explores and researches be of interest and possibly even promote understanding between people with differing opinions? Is open-mindedness and curiosity a direct pathway to hell these days?

In this protest letter that I managed to find the author is so terribly upset that they are teaching a "tool of the wiccan religion." The author compares the tarot to the bible which in itself makes me chuckle, but let's take a second to consider. As a literature major we were often offered a course on the bible as literature or, even more fun, the bible as mythology. Neither of these were courses teaching people to be religious. They were courses examining the "tool" that Christians use in their religion. I am sure that the protesters would have no qualms about this type of a course being taught at the library. In fact, I would imagine they would endorse it. So what about a course on the Qur'an or the Torah? Would these also be acceptable or are texts only considered acceptable when they are acceptable to Christians?

The next response was not nearly as sane. Not everyone who disagrees with an opinion is destined to spend an eternity in a hell of your creation. Addictive personalities are frightening even if the addiction is religion.

If libraries would be allowed to hold events that helped to explain the differences and similarities in the religious beliefs of it's communities maybe people would be more tolerant of each other. No, the extremists, like those who wrote those letters, would never be convinced. So maybe, pardon the pun, it's like preaching to the choir. But wouldn't it be interesting to understand other beliefs a little more. Wouldn't it make life a little richer to know more than what you do in your own little community?

If we start banning information in events are we going to start banning books with similar information next? That I know of there are books on religion of all kinds shelved at the library. Should only those that you agree with be allowed on the shelves? Who gets to decide?

Don't get me wrong. I believe strongly in separation of church and state. You can't underestimate my intense feelings on this subject. But the library didn't cross any lines here. They weren't holding a prayer meeting or endorsing one religion over another. They were providing an opportunity for people to learn. And again, Tarot is not a religion. I know many Christians who like to read cards or have their cards read. If you want to hold an event that teaches the Bible as literature, that explains some of the stories and fables, fine. As long as you aren't endorsing one belief system at the expense of another I think it would be an interesting and useful proposition.

Anything non-Christian is not an attack on Christianity. People secure enough in their beliefs know that. I hate that the protesters (who as I understand it were quietly and respectfully protesting) found it necessary to hand the attendees tiny bibles and pamphlets. That is just insulting. How about if they attendees handed out small tarot decks. Could you imagine the craziness?

Again, believe what you want. Let others do the same. It just doesn't seem that difficult.

Oh yeah, and the most interesting thing about Tarot is that it isn't a religion or magic but allows people to read in the cards only what is already in their subconscious. It's just a way to think over things that are already on your mind. The cards only "work" as a tool for introspection. So evil? Well, that's telling, isn't it.

Posted by michelle at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)


I found a live yoga site online that offers one hour classes for free. I'm going to try it out this morning if the kids will let me for an hour.

Yoga Today

I have always wanted to develop a personal yoga routine but, like all my other grand exercise plans, I seem to be easily thwarted. I am hoping that the spiritual aspects of yoga will help to keep me on track.

Posted by michelle at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2007

Testing the waters

Not parting them or anything, just testing. Mainly this is a site for my wanderings and ramblings and other things that I think might be best suited for their own space.

The name?

We watch a lot of baseball around here. No really. A lot. And when we aren't watching we are at the fields, year round, playing.

While watching a game one night we noticed a number of players who, upon safely reaching the promised land of first base, kissed a thank you up to the big guy. This strikes me as odd. I don't really believe in god--at least not a personified deity who interacts daily with each individual. So what I am wondering, since clearly he is being thanked for this great gift of a single is this...does jesus hate the pitcher? Didn't the pitcher pray for a strikeout? Or at least a grounder? Possibly he was greedy and was shooting for a double play ball to end the inning and thus needed to be struck down by the glorious single of his opponent.

So, it's a running joke around here. Whenever we see a player reach first base and thank the heavens for that blessed single, we chuckle a little and say, "Yup, Jesus hates the pitcher."

Now my spiritual views are a lot more complicated than that and it has taken years to get to the point where I am and I anticipate years more before I stop searching, learning, reading and examining. Then again, maybe the examination is really what's important. I read a quote once that said, "I am only one god more of an atheist than you are." Don't believe in Zeus? Ra? Allah? Well, then possibly you are an atheist as well. Just for different gods. It's all relative.

Sometimes I will sound a bit snarky here. It's my site. It isn't disrespect even if it is often disbelief and vigorous head shaking and eye-rolling. Believe what you want. It's good to believe in something. But allow me the freedom and respect to believe what I want as well. Light hearted humor, snarky rants, curious introspection, you'll probably find all of that here at times. Comment if you want. I'll only approve respectful conversation. Disagree if you want. That's fine too. I'll probably give you a lot of ammo.

I'll leave you with a favorite quote and then get to the important business of fiddling with the look of this place.

I believe in the church of baseball. I've tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones.I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic's rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there's no guilt in baseball. And it's never boring, which makes it like sex...It's a long season and you gotta trust it. I've tried them all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the church of baseball - Annie Savoy Bull Durham

Posted by michelle at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)