Monday Thought

The Holy Hair Wrangles

There is a story about two sisters who became prostitutes in Egypt. Men fondled their breasts, caressed their bosoms, and poured all their lust out on them. They too lusted after their lovers, whose genitals, we are told, were like those of donkeys and whose emissions were like those of horses. The twins, Oholah and […]

Flickr/Illustration by Sunny Sone

The Bucket

Last fall, with the arrival of the rainy season we were told to expect, I began washing the dog’s feet at the apartment door after mornings in the dog park. We bought a raw aluminum bucket at the hardware store, and I used that and a rag. Anticipating our return from the park, my wife […]

Larre, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Death to the Baobabs!

I. What defines Ìdí-ẹgbẹ́ as Ìdí-ẹgbẹ́ is the huge baobab tree there. I can’t guess its age, but by the hypothesis by which science uses to predict the age of ancient trees, we can agree it is centuries old. Everybody met there including Sunday Alálùjọ̀nú, its devotee. Ìdí-ẹgbẹ́ is called Ìdí-ẹgbẹ́ because it used to […]

Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

Letting that Burden Go

There is one very short spectrum when it comes to the way people view misfortune. There are those who look at it as mere bad luck, and there are those who see it as a repercussion for the wrongs they may have done in the past. And there is a third group: those who attribute […]

Charles Taze Russell, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Growing up Jehovah’s Witness and Dutch Reformed

On my tenth birthday, my dad sat on a chair, glancing at his Watchtower magazine with a grin on his face while my mom dashed about organizing the cake, the gifts, and the friends who would attend my birthday celebrations. I was exceptionally excited about my birthday (like most fifth graders would be), but that […]

The Roots of Nigerian patriarchy

Here is a Monday Thought for your Wednesday. This post is co-published in partnership with our Brick House colleagues at Olongo Africa A whopping 70 percent of women in Nigeria have been abused at some point in their lives. In a country where religion is the order of the day, a stalwart religious patriarchy enforces a […]

Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Public High School Turned Me into An Agnostic

Growing up in the U.S. melting pot, kids understand early on if they stand out for any reason. I could feel that I was “different” because of the way I was targeted and treated as a child in school. In my case it always felt like a double whammy: I was Indian American growing up […]

This is not a letter to my Christian School

For years, I’ve had a recurring dream of writing a letter to the Christian school I attended from grade six to grade 12. In this letter, I would tell my teachers and school administrators  about the damage that they did. I would tell them that their forceful insistence that Christianity is the only true religion […]

Bernard van Orley, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

My Table is My Altar

When I need to call upon inner strength, I often think about my mother’s hands. In the ten years since she passed away, I can no longer remember her exact smell. Nor can I see her face as clearly in my mind as I once was able. I see it blurred, soft and undefined, like […]

Aziz Efendi (d. 16 August 1934), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Language as Salvation

There is a part in Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns where Mullah Faizullah, an aged Islamic cleric, teaches a very young Mariam to read the Qur’an.  The book itself is a devastating chorus of tragedies, lost loves and war in Afghanistan. I still consider it to be one of the best things ever written. […]