"On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked 'What God do you pray to?' 'What beliefs do you hold?'"
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has
the planned Cordoba Initiative
Islamic Community Center and Mosque to be built near Ground Zero against critics
. Yesterday, after the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted
the demolition of a building that would be replaced by the center, Mr. Bloomberg gave a speech
on Governor's Island (the location seems to have been deliberately chosen)
in which he eloquently defended religious freedom.
) (Previously on MeFi)
posted by zarq
on Aug 4, 2010 -
The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking religious extremism
for several decades, including anti-Islamic violence in the United States after 9/11. Nonetheless, the organization joined right-wing opposition
earlier this week to the construction of Cordoba House
, a 13-story Muslim community center and mosque that may be built two blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center. The ADL's alignment with calls for "refudiation"
by Republican celebrities Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, along with other members of the GOP who are ramping up
angry sentiments in voters during an election year, have puzzled and angered religious, political and cultural figures of various stripes, particularly within New York City itself. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2010 -
“There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety among religious traditionalists that when you take one step toward egalitarianism, the floodgates are open and everything that seemed self-evident will no longer be. Men go to work, and women raise children. If you undermine that, you have lost your whole universe.”
The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism have been ordaining women as rabbis for decades, but the religion's most traditional sect, the Orthodox, remains a lone, minority holdout against egalitarianism. Last year, Orthodox Rabbi Avraham "Avi" Weiss (political activist
and founder of the controversial
, liberal, "Open Orthodox" Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Yeshiva in New York) tried to shake things up by ordaining the first female American Orthodox rabbi
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 31, 2010 -
In the late 1950s, psychologist Milton Rokeach was gripped by an eccentric plan. He gathered three psychiatric patients, each with the delusion that they were Jesus Christ, to live together for two years in Ypsilanti State Hospital to see if their beliefs would change.
Vaughan Bell tells the story
of one of the weirdest experiments in the history of psychology. (via
posted by The Mouthchew
on May 27, 2010 -
The Inglehart Values Map
, based on the World Values Survey, visualizes the strong correlation of values in different cultures. Countries are clustered in a remarkably predictable way, with great cultural continuity across the English-speaking world.
posted by ms.codex
on May 9, 2010 -
In 2009, four Buddhist nuns (Bhikkunis) were secretly ordained
in Australia - the first ever ordination of Bhikkunis in Australia, and a first for the Thai Forest
tradition anywhere. London-born Ajahn Brahm
, a long-time supporter
of women's equality in Buddhism, facilitated the ordination. For this he was expelled
from his community, the Wat Pa Phong Sangha
, and his monastery's status was revoked
. This video
summarizes the conflict, and is possibly the first use of the Downfall meme related to Buddhism. This March, more nuns were ordained
in the UK for the first time since the Australia controversy, but they're still not equal
to male monks. This blog post
discusses sexism, fundamentalism, and the conflict between East and West. The modern opposition to bhikkhuni ordination is no ancient Buddhist tradition. It can be traced no earlier, so far as I am aware, than the abhorrent 1928 ruling against bhikkhuni in Thailand, made by monks who thought it reasonable to arrest nuns and throw them in jail for ordaining. [more inside]
posted by desjardins
on Apr 14, 2010 -
Is Facebook chametz?
An interview with two rabbis about their Facebook group
, encouraging Jews to consider giving up Facebook for Passover next week
. While the word "chametz"
strictly refers only to leavened bread, which is prohibited during Passover, the group is inspired by a Chassidic interpretation that connects the leavening of bread to an "over-inflated sense of self."
posted by albrecht
on Mar 24, 2010 -
Women were not allowed to speak
at a meeting held to determine the fate of suspended principal John Hartwig of St. John’s Lutheran School
in Baraboo, WI. While women are normally not allowed to vote at such meetings, this is the first time in recent history that the St. John’s Council President exercised his authority to keep females from even speaking. Women who wanted to ask questions were told to write them on a piece of paper and have a man read them aloud. Hartwig was suspended for distributing a document questioning Lutheran doctrine that says that women should not hold authority over men.
posted by Consonants Without Vowels
on Mar 24, 2010 -
An excellent response to Pat Robertson.
"This Vodou priest is not speaking about divine retribution, as has Pat Robertson. God is not punishing us for disobedience. Erol is speaking about a giant natural rebalancing act, a reaction against human dealings with the ecosystem."
posted by fullofragerie
on Jan 15, 2010 -