Tuesday, October 17th 2017

Spiritual Surf: Ash Wednesday, PETA, Polygamy, Madonna, atheist pastor, J.D. Salinger, yoga dating

ashwednesday1Ashes to ashes . . . this Wednesday

Christians this week celebrate Ash Wednesday in commemoration of Jesus’ sojourn in the wilderness where he faced demonic temptation.  Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, where Christians share a similar journey in a spiritual desert. Lenten practices usually involve fasting, penance, making confession, praying the stations of the cross (prayerful meditation on Jesus’ journey towards crucifixion), and receiving ashes on the forehead with the words “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return”.

fruits_and_vegetables11Give us this day our daily fruits and vegetables

If Christians abstain from eating meat on Fridays during the season of Lent,  why not go vegan for all of Lent?  PETA has made an online pledge to God for any Christian wanting to make a vegan diet part of their Lenten spiritual practice.  While many Christians will abstain from meat on Fridays (except from fish for US Catholics), scores of Christians will also abstain from meat throughout the week, with Sunday as an exception.  PETA’s divine pledge seems aimed at all Christians, who should know that the details (name and email address) of their pledge are shared with both the Almighty and PETA.

goel_ratzon1Polygamous cult leader arrested in Israel

Israeli cult leader, 60-year-old Goel Ratzon has been charged with many sexual offenses against his family of 21 wives and 38 children.  Though his wives lived in uncomfortably close quarters and dominated by their husband, several describe Ratzon as simply irresistible. Tattoos of Ratzon’s face and name adorn the bodies of a few of his wives, giving an eerie message of his relationship with them (“Goel” meaning “redeemer” and “Ratzon” meaning “desire”).

madonna2Madonna as reality show’s newest marriage counselor

Twice-divorced Madonna will be appearing on a new NBC reality show produced by Jerry Seinfeld called The Marriage Ref. “A comedic exploration of marriage” is the theme of the show, according to Seinfeld, where a special guest will play referee between an argumentative married couple.  In Madonna’s case, it is yet to be seen if she uses examples from her previous marriages and dabbling in Kabbalah as part of her repertoire.

klaas_hendrikse1Atheist pastor continues to shepherd his flock

Klaas Hendrikse of the Dutch Reform Church in the Netherlands was recently approved, by an investigative committee, to continue his role as pastor even though his creed is closely aligned with atheism.  Hendrikse argues that God is not a “being” with “existence” but a relationship between persons. In other words, ”God” is used to describe the best of human relationships. Many atheists and Christians find Hendrikse’s theology untenable because it appears as a “have your cake and eat it too” scenario, or in this case “have your God and leave Him too.”

salinger1J.D. Salinger had Hindu beliefs

Born Jewish, raised Catholic, J.D. Salinger was more sympathetic to Hinduism than anything else.  Over the course of his long life, Salinger showed a devotion to particular Hindu beliefs, such as reincarnation. Salinger was particularly influenced by modern Hindu spiritual notables like Paramahansa Yogananda and Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita, but his spiritual diet was eclectic; Reichian orgone, glossolalia (speaking in tongues), Christian Science, and a brief affair with Dianetics.

yogamanwoman1Speed dating takes to the yoga mat

If making small talk and impressive conversation during a date seems awkward, why not try yoga? Raina Nemeth has opened a yoga based dating workshop without the dinner and movie, but plenty of sensual experience.  Participants arrive, paired with a partner of the opposite sex, and use yoga to bond with a potential mate.  Words are unnecessary, but physical touch is a must. Chemistry is not only a matter of speaking and facial expressions, but a physical and spiritual matter.

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