Presque vu II
A 1998 Purdue University survey found that religious Americans were more likely to be overweight than their nonreligious peers. Baptists were the fattest, according to the study; Jews, Muslims and Buddhists were the least overweight, though the researchers attributed this to differences in income, ethnicity and marital status, not denomination.
Nevertheless, there has been a rash of Christian diet books published in recent years, with titles like:
- The Maker’s Diet
- What Would Jesus Eat?
- Body by God
- The Hallelujah Diet
- Maker’s Diet
- More of Jesus Less of Me
- The Weigh Down Diet
- Slim for Him
- 3D: Diet, Discipline and Discipleship
- Pray Your Weight Away
- Angel Foods
There have been a number of reviews of the book, Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity by R. Marie Griffith, an associate professor of religion at Princeton. According to Griffith:
Protestant Christianity’s contemporary obsession with thinness should be seen as a logical outgrowth of the religion’s historic focus on the outer body as the primary sign of a person’s inner life.
Being thin can be interpreted as an outward sign of spiritual growth, which, I suppose is what leads some of its adherents to talk like this:
We take in God through our mouths, and expel the Serpent through our bowels. You see, food is a type of Christ, while bodily waste, or fecal matter, is a type of Satan. This is why we bless our food, and flush our waste down into the underworld.” (Reverend E. Dwayne Looper)
Zoe Williams in The Guardian writes an interesting article about Sophia Loren. And, in passing, tells how her spellchecker tries to alter the ‘correct’ spelling of nudity to untidy. I’m glad WordPress doesn’t do that.
NO2ID report that over 700,000 British schoolchildren have been fingerprinted without the prior consent, and sometimes even knowledge, of their parents.
As well as riding roughshod over the principle of consent, it appears that parents are left largely in the dark about which agencies in what circumstances will have access to their child’s information – not just data derived from their fingerprints, but all associated records.
British parents are encouraged to check out a new campaign site, LeaveThemKidsAlone, and cast a vote in the online poll at http://www.leavethemkidsalone.com/poll.htm
Something to Read
Travis over at Zen Moon is a poet who hasn’t read a lot of fiction lately. In his own words, he says: In general, I normally do not go out looking to read fiction. But he has agreed, at my prompting, to read a novel and we’re looking for suggestions for him. We’ve had BS Johnson’s Albert Angelo suggested by Joel at Biroco, and personally I wondered if it should be Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude. But all other suggestions are invited. What do you think? Something contemporary or classic? Short or long (but not too long, we don’t want to frighten him off)? What would you give Travis to read? Think carefully, though, Travis is the kind of guy who is always going to come back and tell us what he thought about it.