Tuesday, August 5, 2008

5 ’Av 5768: The Nine Days/National Night Out/National Mustard Day


Worthy causes of the day: “Fire-Safe Communities Act” and “Take Action: Save The Internet”.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions: “Tyson Foods Muslim Holiday”. I know someone is likely to bug me about this if I do not say anything about it. In this case, in a single Tyson plant with many Muslim employees (Somali refugees, specifically) , they are making Id ul-Fitr a paid holiday. Big deal. If a lot of employees are going to be absent for religious reasons anyway, it only makes sense to ask whether it makes sense to be open that day. Panic over Labor Day no longer being a paid holiday is ridiculous; Labor Day is still considered a holiday there, and since the number of paid holidays is not changing, it really makes as much sense to talk of Labor Day being a paid holiday and Id ul-Fitr being unpaid as vice versa.  I find it bizarre that people are trying to drag “patriotism” into this, as no one is asking anyone to do anything unpatriotic.  Some people are talking about how immigrants should “adapt” to life in America, implying that following one’s religion is wrong when that religion is not the religion of the majority, completely forgetting that 1) conformity is not a virtue, 2) the majority is not automatically right, and 3) the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion, an thus accommodating employees who want to practice their own religion is perfectly American.  Now, if they start pushing for non-Muslims to violate their own religion or for Muslims to be privileged over other religious groups, then it makes sense to complain.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s H. P. Lovecraft tale of “horror”, in lieu of a weird thing due to the Nine Days/the Three Weeks, is “The Thing on the Doorstep”.


Theological review of “The Thing on the Doorstep”:

There is little new theologically in this story. Reused are ideas such as mind-swapping, a corpse which continues to act in this world, and the cult of Dagon. The only thing new is the idea that male brains are better suited for working magic than female brains. Where this idea came from, I have no clue whatsoever, considering the traditional association between women and witchcraft.

Theological rating: D.

Scariness rating: My eyes are rolling too much to be scared, and my pants remain on. And my pet Shoggoth in the backyard ate the thing on the doorstep.

Coming up tomorrow: “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward ”.

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