Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Vegan Pagan's Prayer

I found the most beautiful prayer on this website and had to share:

A Vegan Pagan's Prayer

Lord of the forest and field, Lady of the starlit night,
I acknowledge the truth that for me to live, something must die.
I give thanks for the gift of free will,
And I acknowledge the responsibility that comes with the freedom of choice.

I choose then to abstain from the cycle of unnecessary suffering.
I pledge to be an agent of healing, not a bystander to slaughter.
I say to the animals:
You do not have to suffer and die for me.
I say to the workers:
You do not have to kill for me.
I say to the corporate death machine:
You will no longer profit from my blindness.
I say to the Earth, and to all that is holy,
That though we are taught to feast upon war,
I choose to lay down the sword
And take in peace instead.
I ally myself with Nature, not as her master, but as her child.
I will not claim dominion over that which is wiser than I.

Lord of the forest and field, Lady of the starlit night,
May compassion fulfill and transform me
May I give as You give, may I love as You love
And may my choices bring grace to my life
As You bring grace to the world.

So mote it be.

Picture from here

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And yet more Zuma, or, The Protector of Other People's Virtue

Once again, Mr Zuma has shown his utter contempt for the Constitution, and for human rights, by stating that we must make children pray before school.

I am flabbergasted.  I commented as follows on the article:

"So do we start fearing God once we've finished committing adultery or trying to wheedle our way out of facing the court on criminal charges? And which religion are we going to force on schoolkids? Will the ANC decide? Is this all part of a grand plan to brainwash our kids, starting by taking them from uneducated mothers and then forcing religion down their throats? At any rate I would prefer to teach my child to conduct herself according to love and compassion, not fear. Mr Zuma, you have previously shown your bigotry with, among others, your comments about gays, and it appears you say whatever your audience wants to hear. But your contempt for our Constitution is becoming intolerable. Religious freedom is enshrined in the Constitution, and any attempt at infringing upon it by your party will be met with legal action."

I am pleased to say that many other people also expressed their concern - well said Sharon :) - but scarily many people seem all for it.  In fact many people seem to think that his suggestion that "people would consider their actions more carefully if they kept in mind how the departed, or God, or other citizens, would view their behaviour" is correct.  Um, again I am prompted to ask, when did Mr Zuma complete a degree in Social Science, Psychology or Criminology?  Fear is never a good basis for behaviour.  Instilling respect for the rights and dignity of others, however, may go a long way towards promoting positive behaviour among children.  But this would mean that we'd have to start at the top, and that won't be easy.

And again I say, NO-ONE will force my child to say any prayers to anyone, least of all the misguided self-styled protector of our virtue. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Zuma is at it again...

...shooting his mouth off.

Read this gem of well-reasoned discourse. 

I commented as follows:

"What a joke. School dropout is a complex problem and "educating by force" will not solve it. And how pray tell, if our government can't provide free basic education to any decent standard, how will they provide tertiary education for those who cannot pay for it?? Better, safer schools, better infrastructure, more protection and encouragement for children would be good places to start.

Better yet, are we now going to punish teenage mothers by taking their babies away? There is culture of viewing women and girls as objects, and unprotected sex as a man's "right". THAT is what needs to be addressed. But hey, if we take children from their mothers we have a better chance of indoctrinating them."

The man never ceases to amaze me. Perhaps the fact that he had no formal education makes him more sensitive to the difficulties faced by kids in a similar situation, or perhaps I'm trying too hard to justify his ridiculous comments.  Most of our Grade 3s are functionally illiterate, so one may imagine that the matter is a bit more complex than educating people by force??