After a long hiatus, I’m starting the podcast back up. There are a few changes, however:
- I’m abandoning the “Atheist’s Prayer” title, and rebooting this as simply the “Mind on Fire podcast.”
- The content will range widely, but will include stories I’ve written, interviews and conversations, and fun audio projects like the First of May collaboration.
- My goal is to alternate the videoblog and the podcast each week, but the podcast will dominate for the next few weeks.
This week’s podcast consists of an interview with Brecken Chinn Swartz (pictured next to Jana, above), cofounder of the HandReach Foundation, Professor of Communications, Teacher of Yoga, and all around awesome person. She and her husband left the LDS Church while he was a Bishop, and she talks about her deconversion and the spiritual and humanitarian pursuits that have replaced her work in the Church.
Here are a couple of links to augment the podcast:
If you’re interested in giving to HandReach, I will have some links up later this week, when I launch a little fundraising raffle. Check back soon!
If you have problems listening to the podcast, here is an alternate download option.
One of my cousins visited recently & we watched part of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics as well as Women’s Beach Volleyball, which she proclaimed to be simply “Olympic Porn”. I thought this was an entertaining commentary, especially in light of the video game based on beach volleyball.
Until I realized that it was indicative of a greater sexism in the Olympics: that of displaying women’s bodies for consumption even as they compete in respected sports. FeministLawProfs first turned me on to the story, but it was soon picked up on in other feminist sources I frequent. Since my only interest in Summer Olympic sports is Judo, and I can only get that online, I’ve not been watching the Olympics & did not pick this out for myself. It is generally the case, however, that women’s uniforms in most sports are more revealing than those of their male counter parts. Hoyden About Town in Australia gives us a side-by-side comparison.
And the results are shocking (to me) since it had never occurred to me, especially after the big to-do about Nike’s LZR Racer, that Olympic sports uniforms filled any purpose other than performance. Stateside, the Reclusive Leftist reminds us that women’s competence decreases proportional to the revealingness of their clothing.
Food for thought the next time I watch sports.
Originally uploaded by MatthewBradley
From AP (via BeliefNet):
“The Tibetan people would not support a successor selected by China after my death,” the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying on a trip to Japan by the Sankei Shimbun, a national daily.
“If the Tibetan people wish to uphold the Dalai Lama system, one possibility would be to select the next Dalai Lama while I am still living,” he was quoted as saying in an interview.
“Among options being considered are a democratic selection by the high monks of Tibetan Buddhism, or the appointment of a successor by myself,” he said.
I am fascinated by the Dalai Lama succession system. When a Dalai Lama died, his advisers began searching for his reincarnation (the discovery of the present Dalai Lama was illustrated beautifully in the movie Kundun). The young boy was then brought to the capital and trained as a monk and ruler. Regents rule until the boy comes of age. It may come as no surprise, then, that for 200 years, only two out of seven successors survived past the age of 21 (and those two died in their forties). Clearly, the office of the Dalai Lama is a hazardous one.
The Chinese government is currently a player in the appointment of successors. In 1995, when the Dalai Lama announced that they had found the successor to the Panchen Lama (the #2 head monk in his school of Tibetan Buddhism), the boy and his family suddenly disappeared, and the Chinese government appointed a new Panchen Lama. Now if you suspect that someone is the reincarnation of a revered guru, you have to fill out a “reincarnation application” and stand in line at the State Administration for Religious Affairs. I’m not making this up.
Though the 14th Dalai Lama’s suggestion would be a radical break with tradition, given the specter of Chinese meddling, it’s probably a necessary one. I wonder, however, what his followers think. Many, if not most, regard the Dalai Lama as the living incarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara. I’ve witnessed the devotion of some Tibetan Buddhists, and their reverence for him is comparable to the regard that many Catholics have for Mary. Is a reincarnation electable?