1492 posts tagged with religion.
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Fitted

Activity trackers train users to love lives that are all work.
posted by almostmanda on Jul 29, 2015 - 127 comments

if it turns out that I’m wrong, I trust God will be faithful to catch me

An Update on the Gay Debate: evolving ideas, untidy stories, and hopes for the church
While I struggle to understand how to apply Scripture to the marriage debate today (just like we all struggle to know how to interpret Scripture on countless controversial topics), I’ve become increasingly troubled by the unintended consequences of messages that insist all LGBT people commit to lifelong celibacy. No matter how graciously it’s framed, that message tends to contribute to feelings of shame and alienation for gay Christians. It leaves folks feeling like love and acceptance are contingent upon them not-gay-marrying and not-falling-in-gay-love. When that’s the case—when communion is contingent upon gays holding very narrow beliefs and making extraordinary sacrifices to live up to a standard that demands everything from an individual with little help from the community—it’s hard to believe our bodies might be an occasion for joy. It’s hard to believe we’re actually wanted in our churches. It’s hard to believe the God who loves us actually likes us.
[more inside]
posted by imnotasquirrel on Jul 15, 2015 - 140 comments

Proposing certain things in terms of dystopia that are not untrue

"Science, Chance, and Emotion with Real Cosima": A Longreads profile of Cosima Herter, the show's science consultant and the inspiration for Orphan Black's character Cosima. Mostly not directly about the show, but probably contains some spoilers if you're not fully caught up through season three.
posted by Stacey on Jul 2, 2015 - 9 comments

PROBOSCIS TONGUES AND DEMONIC QUEEFING

An overview of folklore, religion and popular intuition surrounding childbirth, pregnant women, and young infants: abortion by aswang, blood-drinking Lilith, curses from witches, skeletal-faced spirits, and demonic births. content advisory: infant mortality [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jun 15, 2015 - 5 comments

The God of this world is riches, pleasure and toys

Who's the fastest selling Playmobil figure of all time? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a dinosaur? [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 9, 2015 - 29 comments

Miles Kimball: Secular Humanism and Universalist Unitarianism

Teleotheism and the Purpose of Life - "Please give this sermon a try. I think it has much in it that will be of interest to a wide range of readers: philosophy, cosmology, evolutionary theory, and science fiction, as well as theology. And nothing in it depends on believing in God at all." Abstract: As an enlightened form of atheism, I turn to teleotheism. Teleotheism is the view that God comes at the end, not at the beginning, where I am defining “God” as “the greatest of all things that can come true.” In this view, the quest to discover what are the greatest things that are possible is of the utmost importance. The best of our religious heritage is just such an effort to discover the greatest things that are possible. (via; previously)
posted by kliuless on Jun 7, 2015 - 33 comments

Meet self-proclaimed freedom fighter Matthew VanDyke.

This Guy From Baltimore Is Raising a Christian Army to Fight ISIS… What Could Go Wrong?
posted by brundlefly on May 28, 2015 - 41 comments

The Human Toll of Quiverfull

Quiverfull of shit: a Guide to the Duggars' Scary Brand of Christianity - Gawker, Jennifer C. Martin
"In 1985, a writer named Mary Pride published a book called The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality, which detailed her journey away from the second-wave feminism of the '70s and into what she perceived was a woman’s Biblical place in the home, and the commandment to fill the house with as many of her husband’s children as possible.

"Pride insisted that no woman could possibly find true happiness without submitting to her vision of Christianity: Relinquish control of your womb to God, and exist only to please your husband, give birth, feed everyone, and educate your children in the home—almost certainly without having received any formal higher education yourself."

posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on May 26, 2015 - 543 comments

“The brain is the station where every railway line passes through.”

Can evolution explain acts of kindness, and morality? [The Guardian]
We arranged a debate between a sceptical Tom Stoppard and the evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson. Stuart Jeffries acted as referee. We arranged for the two to meet recently in the grand boardroom of Wilson’s London publishers to discuss their differences, and reflect on two hard problems – what is the proper scope of science, and what is it to be human.

posted by Fizz on May 22, 2015 - 32 comments

The 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study

America’s Changing Religious Landscape: The Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life has published the results of a new study of the religious affiliations of Americans, and finds a precipitous drop in the share of Christians since the last such study in 2007, along with a massive increase in the share of "nones" (which includes atheists, agnostics, and believers with no religious affiliation) and a small increase in the share of non-Christian faiths. Highlights below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on May 12, 2015 - 135 comments

The Great & Beautiful Lost Kingdoms

Yet to tell the diffusion of Indian influence at this period as two separate processes partially obscures a still more extraordinary story. For it is now increasingly clear that between the fourth and twelfth centuries the influence of India in both Southeast and Central Asia, and to some degree also China, was comparable to the influence of Greece in Aegean Turkey and Rome, and then in the rest of Europe in the early centuries BC. From the empire of the Gupta dynasty in the north and that of the Pallava dynasty in the south, India during this period radiated its philosophies, political ideas, and architectural forms out over an entire continent not by conquest but by sheer cultural sophistication.

posted by infini on May 9, 2015 - 21 comments

Defending Darwin

I’m occasionally told my life would be easier if I backed off from my relentless efforts to advance evolution education. Maybe so. But to shy away from emphasizing evolutionary biology is to fail as a biology teacher. I continue to teach biology as I do, because biology makes sense only in the light of evolution.
posted by ellieBOA on Apr 7, 2015 - 63 comments

Indiana and the public sphere

The meaning of Indiana's "religious freedom" law.
posted by latkes on Apr 6, 2015 - 52 comments

Anti-LGBT Bill Leads SalesForce to Reduce Investments in Indiana

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, along with six other Indiana tech CEOs, co-signed a letter opposing the a bill which would allow business to refuse to serve LGBT customers. When asked about his participation in the effort, Benioff said in an email to IBJ: "We will be forced to dramatically reduce our investment in Indiana based on our employees' and customers' outrage over the Indiana religious freedom bill." [more inside]
posted by dotgirl on Mar 26, 2015 - 332 comments

"Spirit of my silence I can hear you / But I’m afraid to be near you"

Sufjan Stevens's new album Carrie and Lowell can be streamed in its entirety at NPR and The Guardian. Four (very) early reviews. Previously
posted by Going To Maine on Mar 23, 2015 - 35 comments

"I asked him a very old Jewish question: Do you have a bag packed?"

Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 17, 2015 - 181 comments

How Silicon Valley (WANTS to) Shape(s) Our Future

These are the high priests of technocratic capitalism... [more inside]
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man on Mar 11, 2015 - 128 comments

Gods and Gopniks

Simply said, we have reached a moment in Western history when, despite all appearances, no meaningful public debate over belief and unbelief is possible. Not only do convinced secularists no longer understand what the issue is; they are incapable of even suspecting that they do not understand, or of caring whether they do. David Bentley Hart on Adam Gopnik's review of the state of theism and atheism.
posted by shivohum on Mar 10, 2015 - 128 comments

Troubles in Paradise

Troubles in Paradise is a review of the history and arguments of the creationism/intelligent design movement, written by James Downard.
posted by brundlefly on Mar 4, 2015 - 25 comments

In Voodoo’s survival, a tale of black resilience

African religions fused with Christianity to create Voodoo, but today many open practitioners of the faith are white.
posted by josher71 on Mar 1, 2015 - 6 comments

Sacred Trash

The Holy Junk Heap: In 1896, a cache of manuscripts -- mostly fragments -- was discovered in the storeroom ("genizah") at the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. The collection outlines a 1,000-year continuum (870 CE to the 19th century) of Jewish Middle-Eastern and North African history and comprises the largest and most diverse collection of medieval manuscripts in the world, including Jewish religious texts such as Biblical, Talmudic and later Rabbinic works (some in the original hands of the authors), "letters, wills, bills of lading, prayers, marriage contracts and writs of divorce, Bibles, money orders, court depositions, business inventories, leases, magic charms and receipts" which give a detailed picture of the economic and cultural life of the North African and Eastern Mediterranean regions, especially during the 10th to 13th centuries. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 26, 2015 - 16 comments

Practicing Islam in short shorts

"There are many like me. We don't believe in a monolithic practice of Islam. We love Islam, and because we love it so much we refuse to reduce it to an inflexible and fossilized way of life. Yet we still don't fit anywhere."
posted by Ragini on Feb 23, 2015 - 63 comments

The devil you know. (Or *do* you?)

Vincent Price is theologically significant. Price wore a devilish goatee that made him look like Satan. How do we know that’s what Satan looks like? We learned it from Vincent Price — and from a thousand other pop-culture and folk-culture figures preceding him. Price carries a pitchfork — a red one, of course. That tells the audience that he’s the devil. What does a pitchfork have to do with the devil? Simple: It’s what we always see him carrying in movies. The pitchfork simultaneously references those folk traditions and reinforces them for future audiences.

But these pop-culture portrayals also reference and reinforce our “theology” of the devil. Sure, most Christians realize that the pitchfork and goatee don’t come from the Bible. But the devilish stuff that most Christians think does come from the Bible cannot be found there either. [Fred Clark, The Slacktivist]
[more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Feb 20, 2015 - 96 comments

What ISIS Really Wants

In the past, Westerners who accused Muslims of blindly following ancient scriptures came to deserved grief from academics—notably the late Edward Said—who pointed out that calling Muslims “ancient” was usually just another way to denigrate them. Look instead, these scholars urged, to the conditions in which these ideologies arose—the bad governance, the shifting social mores, the humiliation of living in lands valued only for their oil. Without acknowledgment of these factors, no explanation of the rise of the Islamic State could be complete. But focusing on them to the exclusion of ideology reflects another kind of Western bias: that if religious ideology doesn’t matter much in Washington or Berlin, surely it must be equally irrelevant in Raqqa or Mosul.
posted by shivohum on Feb 16, 2015 - 114 comments

partly a romantic romantiquarianism

From neo-pagan marriage ceremonies to edda study groups and plans for a new temple, Iceland is reconnecting with its pagan past.
posted by infini on Feb 6, 2015 - 9 comments

Chinese Christianity

Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice - "Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China's Christian population the largest in the world. Mr Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 1, 2015 - 47 comments

The Myth of the Gay Community

"I am the gay community that many people think of, that gets to have its voice heard, who considers the prospect of marriage. But it certainly doesn’t end with me." (SL Atlantic)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 30, 2015 - 19 comments

"According to Islam, traveling to space is encouraged."

"A Guideline of Performing Ibadah at the International Space Station (ISS)"
posted by cmchap on Jan 28, 2015 - 40 comments

"I don't want you to hate me, and I don't want you to disown me."

Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.

posted by Rhaomi on Jan 24, 2015 - 70 comments

"The Bible is true, and some of it actually happened."

Marcus Borg has died at age 72. The liberal Christian theologian was one of the leading figures in the modern-day "quest for the historical Jesus," participating in the Jesus Seminar and writing prolifically about how best to interpret the Bible. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Jan 23, 2015 - 8 comments

The Burpo-Malarkey doctrine

"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough."
Alex Malarkey co-wrote a bestselling book about a near-death experience – and then last week admitted he made it up.
posted by almostmanda on Jan 21, 2015 - 166 comments

My death needs to mean something.

17 year old Leelah Alcorn died last weekend when she was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on I-71; her suicide note (tw: suicide, transphobia) has been shared tens of thousands of times in the wake of her death, as part of her wish that her be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. "I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 30, 2014 - 290 comments

"confessions of a one-time religious right icon"

Frank Schaeffer: "You can’t understand why the GOP was so successful in winning back both houses of Congress in 2014, and wrecking most of what Obama has tried to do, unless you understand what we did back then." [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 26, 2014 - 66 comments

"How can they possibly believe this shit?"

Piety and Plenty: The Buying and Selling of Christmas
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 15, 2014 - 55 comments

Deliver Us

Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 15, 2014 - 86 comments

"Religious freedom applies to all"

The Satanic Temple is a controversial religious organization whose main purpose is not to worship Satan, but to bring awareness to the varieties of religious freedom in the United States. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt on Dec 3, 2014 - 46 comments

TempleOS is both a temple and an operating system

Terry Davis has offered the world a temple to a God who speaks only to him, and is and still waiting for everyone else to listen. [TempleOS previously on MetaFilter, including conversation with the author.]
posted by Zarkonnen on Nov 25, 2014 - 18 comments

They look nothing alike but they love each other.

"2013. In my Medieval Literature class at the University of Pittsburgh, we’re talking about Margery Kempe, a 14th century English woman who wanted very, very much to be a saint, one of the few roles an ambitious woman of her time could aspire to achieve. She talked a monk into writing down her dictated autobiography, a sort of proto-memoir/self-hagiography that – along with a lengthy explanation of how she convinced God to make her a virgin again after having 14 children – includes visions of interacting with the Christ child. There’s one in which she explains to Mary, the mother of God, how to diaper the baby." [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on Nov 10, 2014 - 15 comments

“If there’s no god, why should I believe in him?”

The Norden is a Finnish TV series, taking Americans and introducing them to their profession within the Nordic countries. First, James Conway, retired Superintendent of Attica Correctional Facility in New York, visits four Nordic prisons and facilities. An excerpt, and the full episode with English subtitles. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 8, 2014 - 70 comments

Naked Scripture Vs. Geopolitical Influence

Berkeley Students Rally To Remove Bill Maher As Commencement Speaker following critical comments about Islam.
"Freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities, including homosexuals, these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for," Maher said, "but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what's lacking, then they get upset."
In what began as a debate over Islam between Maher, Sam Harris, and Ben Affleck on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, tensions rose. [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Oct 29, 2014 - 282 comments

I also check my skeletons twice. You can never be too careful.

I waited silently for her to explain that the female pelvis is shaped slightly differently from the male’s, with a larger opening for childbearing. That part was the giveaway. The real purpose of the exercise was to make her prove her conjecture with measurements--to translate the theory to practice. I also wanted her to explain why this sexual dimorphism--that is, this sexually determined physical difference--is not nearly so pronounced in nonhuman primates, such as chimpanzees.

She spoke: Males have one fewer pair of ribs than females.
When teacher Robert S. Root-Bernstein got this answer to his question on how you should distinguish between male and female skeletons, he had to find a way to make her realise her error without disparaging her religion.
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 20, 2014 - 271 comments

All in the Family

The World Religions Tree [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Oct 13, 2014 - 65 comments

Si no fuera por el Almirante, que quería más el tributo

The Relación of Fray Ramón Pané famously records what one Hieronymite friar learned about the religious beliefs and healing practices of the Taíno between 1494 and 1496 (bilingual PDF with another translation and more introductory material), supposedly at the request of Christopher Columbus. Research published in 2006 on a "Lost document [that] reveals Columbus as a tyrant of the Caribbean" indicates that Pané was also a key witness in the trial of Columbus, partially responsible for sending Columbus home in chains, as depicted on the Columbus Doors of the U. S. Capitol building (detail).
posted by Monsieur Caution on Oct 12, 2014 - 3 comments

The American Dream has really good PR.

Guernica: In propagating a vision of life that's about wealth in the individual, perhaps the influence of these churches lies in what they obscure.

Anthony Pinn: Right. It hides the larger problem. The problem is poverty. And it hides the problem. We often associate black churches with a history of protest. But prosperity gospel and megachurches tend to be rather soft on political issues. T.D. Jakes doesn't take a major stand on political issues. Creflo Dollar certainly doesn't.

But it's the American way. So it seems to me that what they are doing is training black people to be even more American. To buy into this system rather than critique it. And if you're not gaining from it, to assume that the problem's with you. It provides a spiritual lesson that's very similar to the idea of "poor people want to be poor; if they just worked harder they could have more." Here, spiritual people could have more if they were just more spiritual and lived out scripture more authentically. So the prosperity preachers are training people to be better US citizens [laughs].
Meara Sharma at Guernica talks to Anthony Pinn about the ongoing embrace of prosperity gospel by preachers and parishioners at black megachurches across America: Divine Acquisition. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 7, 2014 - 35 comments

"Where ignorant armies clash by night."

Sea of Faith: a six-part documentary television series, presented on BBC television in 1984 by Don Cupitt. [youtube]
"The programme dealt with the history of Christianity in the modern world, focussing especially on how Christianity has responded to challenges such as scientific advances, political atheism and secularisation in general"
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 7, 2014 - 4 comments

“You don’t understand, women are holier than men.”

"I'm not sure whether it mattered. One young man very kindly said to me, 'You don’t understand, women are holier than men.' I said, 'That’s rubbish and it doesn't excuse the insult,' and then I added that I spent 13 years in yeshiva and there's nothing he could tell me that I haven't already heard. Then the original man, the one who refused to sit next to me, muttered to another man as he was walking away, 'She doesn't understand.' I said, 'I understand everything, and don't talk to me as if I'm not here.' He ignored me, and all the other men turned their backs and did not respond or even look at me." [Similar version at JewFem blog.]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 27, 2014 - 61 comments

A beacon, shining in the darkness of a world left behind...

The Online Legacy of a Suicide Cult and the Webmasters Who Stayed Behind. A short history of the Heaven's Gate Millenarian Cult and the (ex?) members who still keep the page running seventeen years after their last contact with the leader and members.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Sep 17, 2014 - 14 comments

"A Complicated Grief"

A Catholic woman grapples with the death of her sister's newborn baby. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein on Sep 15, 2014 - 18 comments

"'The family division is rooted in the same ground as fiction..."

Ian McEwan: the law versus religious belief. [The Guardian]
The conjoined twins who would die without medical intervention, a boy who refused blood transfusions on religious grounds…Ian McEwan on the stories from the family courts that inspired his latest novel.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 13, 2014 - 10 comments

[Writing] fiction is much closer to a sort of dreaming

Marilynne Robinson discusses her novels, fiction, and religion at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University in 2009.
Dr. Robinson talks about writing and the Middle West at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 5, 2014 - 7 comments

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