Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flaming ass cups

My son has a hip problem. He's had an MRI and 2 x-rays, but no diagnosis, so naturally my husband took him to accupuncture.

I've done some reading about accupuncture - about its true history, not the myth that it's been practiced in China for 6,000 years therefore must be right. About results of clinical trials looking at how effective it is for various conditions. About the total absence of evidence for meridians or qi or whatever you want to call the hypothesis behind the accupuncture points.

My distillation of this reading is that accupuncture has a powerful placebo effect, and needling can have some beneficial impact on pain perception. But it doesn't have a curative effect. I don't expect it to help with my son's very real and very debilitating hip pain - either time will, or the physicians will diagnose the cause and fix it. I refuse to believe that this debility will be permanent.

Where do flaming ass cups fit into this? Well, his second accupuncturist - the first one's in China - applied flaming cups to his ass. I think the idea behind cupping is that it draws toxins out. Yeah, in the same way a hickey does - it doesn't, it causes bruising. So I am now doubly skeptical of this particular mode of treatment, as my opinion is that applying flaming cups to a 14 year old boy's bare butt is closer to pedophelia than medicine. Git yer flamin' cups off my kid's ass, quack!

Flaming ass cups would be an awesome name for a band.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

...and another thing that irritates me about religion

I'm an atheist. This means I don't believe in any of the gods humankind has proposed to explain the world. None of 'em.

In all honesty, I'm trying to be all liberal and accomodating about religion, but really I think if you're religious, you aren't thinking hard enough. I think I'm right, and if you disagree, well, you must be wrong. One of my favourite bloggers, slacktivist, is religious. But his non-religious thinking is brilliant (mostly), and I love reading his blog. It's helped me understand that you can be religious, and think profoundly about your religion, and not be a bigot, and be a most excellent person. But I still think religion has some major issues and not enough religious people are willing to discuss them.

My point? I do have one. I just can't segue into it nicely. I dislike the conservatism of religion. I dislike the misogyny that goes along with that conservatism. The current pope, Benedict, has said it's sinful to rape kids and to ordain women, and they are in the same level of sin. Being ignorant of the finer points of Catholic dogma, I don't know if he really means they are equally wrong, but he did make it clear both are seriously bad.

So he runs an institution that says women can't have employment equity. That this is wrong, a sin, and a big one. Yet the church gets charitable status, so we are, with our tax dollars, supporting an institution that says it doesn't have to follow the law. This is wrong. If an organization wants to apply for tax-exempt status, it should be required to follow all laws. If it does not wish to follow these laws, it should have to file tax returns and pay tax, if there is income after expenses, on that income.

Our wimpy politicians are afraid of insulting religion. Asking people who claim to be moral authorities to follow the law doesn't seem insulting to me. Failing to do so? I'm insulted. Enough that it makes me suspicious of all religous people. Even though I'm trying to be tolerant.