Thursday, July 12, 2007

Friday Word "Rant"
Update: Video ink and some more info here
Mona says the Friday word is "Rant". Now while I could not think of a poem for this one right away, it is I am afraid rather easy to rant about the state of affairs both at home here in the US and around the world.

But let me get this quick rant off my chest. There is a tradition of the US senate opening with prayers. I don't have a big issue with that. I would rather we do something more useful like try to get health care to the uninsured in our nation rather than offer prayer to the man/woman (who says that the creator have to be a he?) in the skies who controls us all. The question of there being a creator remains open for some minds.

This episode just makes me wonder about whose freedom of religion it is that we are talking about?

Three people were arrested Thursday after staging a noisy protest as a
Hindu chaplain read the opening prayer at the US Senate, branding his appearance
an "abomination."
US Capitol Police said the protestors, apparently Christian religious activists, were ejected from the chamber and charged with an unlawful disruption of Congress.
As Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed started to recite his prayer, one protestor was heard chanting "Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer which is an abomination in your sight.
Faith leaders from various creeds are sometimes invited to give the Senate's daily opening prayer, though it is normally offered by the chamber's Christian chaplain.
The pressure group Americans United for Separation of Church and State condemned the protest. "This shows the intolerance of many Religious Right activists," said the group's executive director, Reverend Barry Lynn. "They say they want more religion in the public square, but it's clear they mean only their religion."

I guess it is freedom of religion for some people, but what they mean is freedom for them to practice their version of Christianity and the rest of us are going to hell. ;-) But this intolerance is seen to various degrees in all religions and like has been said before, while religion can and does serve as a force for good, scores of people have been killed in its name around the world. And I won't address the unanswered question for some, is there truly a god?

That is my rant for the day.

Hot Steamed Buns


BEIJING, China (AP) -- Chopped cardboard, softened with an industrial
chemical and flavored with fatty pork and powdered seasoning, is a main
ingredient in batches of steamed buns sold in one Beijing neighborhood, state
television said.

The hidden camera follows the man, whose face is not shown, into a ramshackle
building where steamers are filled with the fluffy white buns, traditionally stuffed with minced pork.
The surroundings are filthy, with water puddles and piles of old furniture and cardboard on the ground.
"What's in the recipe?" the reporter asks. "Six to four," the man says.
"You mean 60 percent cardboard? What is the other 40 percent?" asks the reporter. "Fatty meat," the man replies.
The bun maker and his assistants then give a demonstration on how the product is made.
Squares of cardboard picked from the ground are first soaked to a pulp in a plastic basin of caustic soda -- a chemical base commonly used in manufacturing paper and soap -- then chopped into tiny morsels with a cleaver. Fatty pork and powdered seasoning are stirred in.
Soon, steaming servings of the buns appear on the screen. The reporter takes a
bite. "This baozi filling is kind of tough. Not much taste," he says. "Can
other people taste the difference?"
"Most people can't. It fools the average person," the maker says. "I don't eat them myself."
The police eventually showed up and shut down the operation.

This story gives a new meaning to the term “Product Contains 60% Recycled Paper Board” and “Buns of Cardboard” or “Hardboard Buns”. And of course I meant the kind that you can eat..oh wait...


Id it is said...

Given that it is in the midst of every major conflict in the world today, religion is losing face and ground within the thinking world.
As for 'rants' they usually follow the 'cants' of power mongers!

AVIANA said...

Hey, belief is that religion has no place in government...although religion is suppose to be positive, it only divides people...the world is made of different people with different beliefs and when different religions come near each other division and chaos comes about...

i firmly belief that once religion is taken out of the equation in terms of politics/government then things might actually get peace...

my thoughts

ML said...

The steamed buns had me dry heaving. Yuck!

I am completely against having an "opening prayer" at any public event. Things like that should be done at home privately.

Have a great weekend, Sanjay!

Aditi said...

damn ..that almost makes me wonder what they put into the food that is sold on the streets here (almost.. but not enough to quit eating it..hehe)
as far as religious tolerance is concerned.. i remember working as a salesperson at a store years ago in high school around xmas time and a few people walked upto me and preached on how i would be going to hell in a handbasket cuz i didnt believe in christ..and that in a city.. often makes me wonder what the little towns are like

Carrie said...

I can't believe they still do prayer. We are never going to learn.

patches said...

I knew I could depend on you for a good rant. Good grief! That gives recycling a bad rap. The intolerance versus separation of church and state burns me up every time I read about it.

Lotus Reads said...

What a great rant, Sanjay! I think I'm with your other readers, I really don't care much for "opening prayers" at public or government events, still, this is not so much about that but that they would make a fuss about something just because it is non-Christian.

Oh man, I'm just about ready to give up eating hot steamed buns after reading this...scary!

Beenzzz said...

I saw the cardboard dumpling story on the news this morning! GROSS!

Sanjay said...

@Id.. True. Religion is losing face and acc to some is under seige.

@Aviana Thank you for your comment. I agree that religion has no place in government.

@Ml. I agree about not having an opening prayer at any government sponsored event. You have a great weekend too.

@Aditi. :) I can see why you can't stop eating street food. I would have trouble too were it not for my stomach which is no longer resilient having lived in the US for so many years now.
Oh I love how so much loving these ppl are to tell us we are going to hell eh?

@Carrie..Dare I say Amen?

@Patches.. thanks. Yes it does give recycling a bad name. :) And yes I am all for separation of state and religion.

Sanjay said...

@Lotus. Thank you so much for your comment. Yes I agree that religion should stay out of government events.
And what you say is true, for some people freedom of religion means freedom for their religion to be numero uno and others just suck.

I agree about what you said about steamed buns. Normally I would be tempted to try street food if I say visited China, but now I am not so sure. :) Have a great weekend Lotus.

Sanjay said...

@Beenzzz. Gross indeed. :)

meno said...

Freedom of religion only means freedom for MY religion. This kind of thinking explains why religion is such a huge cause of strife. Great rant.

Sai said...

Religion to me is as personal as sex! I don't like PDAs and in the same token don't like public prayers either!!!!!Besides religion has no place in the govt. REligion has become synonymous with politics these days.

I cannot deal with any kind of just infuriates me....then be it the evangelists, right wing BJP-Shiv Sena or the Imams!

listie said...

Great rant, Sanjay.

And those buns - the story made me gag.

Diana said...

For me, it all comes down to people. "Good" people can turn most things to a positive, "bad" people do the opposite. Obviously, this is way over simplified, but you get the idea.

paris parfait said...

This is why the Constitution calls for the separation of church and state; religion is a private matter, not a governmental one.