This last weekend saw the Gadhimai festival in southern Nepal, an annual Hindu event that involves the ritual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals.
Many people express outrage that such an event can take place… and then go off to a chicken BBQ, or a fish fry, or to cook themselves a nice […]
Whereas the participants in Pamplona are seeking to create a display of their physical and mental toughness, the people participating in the bull ritual in Ujjain are seeking forgiveness through submission. Instead of running away from the bulls, they wait for them. […]
In order to meet the high expectations of Joan Clayton, I propose the following theological holiday greeting: “Happy Sacrificial Baby Day… For lo, a child is born, for no other purpose than to be tortured and executed on a sacrificial crucifix in a weird ceremony of blood that’s supposed to compensate for our own feelings of guilt.” […]
Where would we find magico-religious ritual portals, of the sort described by Arnold Van Gennep in The Rites of Passage, in our own time? Here’s a hint: They only allow three ounce containers for your liquids. […]
People who had baptism imposed on them during their childhood are seeking a way to create a compensatory public statement of their own, that they can no longer be claimed by Christian churches as part of the “flock”. […]