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Celebrity Atheists

The Godless Celebrity: As a list, it seems no better or worse than the God-fearing crowd. But the world needs atheists, if only for keeping - or trying to keep - the believers from ripping each other's heads off in the name of the various exclusivist true faiths. As Woody Allen said, it's scary that there are so many groups who are convinced they have a direct line to God. I wonder how many religious people respect and believe in the usefulness, political and intellectual, of the atheist. [Via Bifurcated Rivets]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jun 23, 2003 - 173 comments

Who's at the door?

Freedom from annoyance vs. freedom of religious expression A municipal bylaw restricting when Jehovah's Witnesses can go door-to-door protects residents' right to privacy and does not violate the group's right to religious freedom and expression, a lawyer argued Tuesday. The City of Blainville, which believes many of its residents don't want Jehovah's Witnesses at their door on weekends and in the evening, is appealing a lower-court ruling that declared its bylaw unconstitutional. But the three justices cautioned Mr. Paquin that it's dangerous to distinguish between someone's right to religious freedom and their right to express their religious beliefs.
posted by orange swan on Jun 17, 2003 - 56 comments

Generation J?

Red, White and Jew --an examination of 6 issues facing the American Jews of today and tomorrow, religious and non, from the holocaust as history to Israel fatigue to Jewish conservatives.
...We can finally be Jewish and American, but somewhere along the line nobody bothered to figure out entirely what that meant. So it falls to us, the next Jewish generation, to balance the scales. Will we be more Jewish, more American, or a fusion of the two? More importantly, how will we do it?
posted by amberglow on Jun 16, 2003 - 23 comments

Tibetan Buddhism in the West: Is it Working?

Tibetan Buddhism in the West: Is it Working?
posted by mediareport on Jun 13, 2003 - 14 comments

Mutawaeen

The Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the infamous religious police of Saudi Arabia, have their own website. (It was these "mutawaeen" who caused the deaths of 15 schoolgirls last year.) The site displays forbidden items and has a handy web form for informing on immoral behavior. [Via Silflay Hraka, who provides a translation and directions for using the form.]
posted by homunculus on Jun 12, 2003 - 22 comments

The Northern Way

Northvegr: The Northern Way is a site devoted to the practice, promotion and development of the Northern spiritual faith, which we call Hindrvitni or the Northern Way, aka the Norse ancestral faith, though the authors are careful to distinguish this from neopaganism, particularly Odinism and Asatru. Once you're on board, be sure to Buy Heathen!. [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Jun 10, 2003 - 17 comments

swaziland

Pants Are Evil -- at least for the ladies; so says the King of Swaziland. The absolute monarch of this small African nation says the Bible prohibits women from wearing pants, and also that individual human rights are an "abomination." Before you laugh in disbelief (like I did), learn more on Swazi political and religious beliefs inside... (via kottke).
posted by serafinapekkala on Jun 3, 2003 - 33 comments

Who's the Patron Saint of Pancakes?

Patron Saints Index Topic List. Because you never know when you might need the Patron Saint of Haemorrhoids or Gravediggers. This actually is a very nice resource for the history of the Saints, their (known or presumed) backgrounds, and when and why they were beatified. Enjoy.
posted by Ufez Jones on May 19, 2003 - 12 comments

Sandal Scandal!

I don't wanna start any blasphemous rumours, but I think these flip-flops got some 'splaining to do.
posted by mikrophon on May 15, 2003 - 38 comments

The Gospel According To Neo

The Matrix and Religious Undertones? Sci-fi fans, philosophers, Buddhists, and evangelical Christians are finding resonant themes in 'The Matrix.'
posted by turbanhead on May 9, 2003 - 77 comments

The easing of dissent

US quietly eases rules for faith-based groups. The Bush administration has quietly altered regulations for the nation's leading job training program to allow faith-based organizations to use ''sacred literature,'' such as Bibles, in their federally funded programs. Further, the change made by the US Labor Department last month, could allow faith-based groups to use religious books as historical texts. (via dp)
posted by four panels on May 9, 2003 - 30 comments

Wingwise, The Feather Distribution Project

The Feather Distribution Project collects molted wild turkey, macaw and parrot feathers and distributes them, free of charge, to Pueblo Indians for use in traditional religious ceremonies.
posted by gudrun on May 5, 2003 - 3 comments

Mithraism

The final and most refined form of pre-Christian paganism - Mithraism, an ancient religion found throughout Europe and Western Asia before the time of Christ. It is suggested that this religion provided the source of many practices and beliefs recognized in contempory Christianity; baptism, the concept of a holy trinity, the last supper, and the date of Christmas to name a few.
posted by Jimbob on May 5, 2003 - 13 comments

Beginnings

Beginnings at the Library of Congress. The origins of the Universe, humanity and society as viewed by different cultural and religious traditions; and their attempts to explain it all.
The Talk.Origins Archive presents a more scientific view of physical and biological beginnings.
posted by plep on May 3, 2003 - 6 comments

... but don't

Bill Bennett apparently has plenty of extra time (and cash) on hand in light of his success preaching morality and virtue. "I've gambled all my life and it's never been a moral issue with me. I liked church bingo when I was growing up ..."
posted by specialk420 on May 2, 2003 - 25 comments

and the Word became flesh

Jack T. Chick. When Clowes, whose screenplay for the indie film Ghost World received an Academy Award nomination, was in college, he read 80 Chick tracts in one sitting. "By the end of the night I was convinced I was going to hell," he says. link by bb.
posted by the fire you left me on May 1, 2003 - 26 comments

Open Source Religion?

Open Source Judaism? This is the baby of Douglas Rushkoff, who recently wrote a book about the subject and whose opinions about icons and branding remind me of someone else. He's even started an open source haggadah.
posted by sodalinda on May 1, 2003 - 6 comments

Bible Sex Stories

Bible Sex Stories: The Good Book's dirty bits explained. Pssst, wanna snack while you read? [From the always entertaining Jewsweek; Definitely NSFW or for those still with one foot still out of their handbasket to Hell.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 30, 2003 - 17 comments

The Timeless Theatre

The Timeless Theater. Extensive guide to the cultures of India - architecture, arts, religion etc.
Related interest :- Indian Temples.
posted by plep on Apr 28, 2003 - 5 comments

Sacred Texts

The Internet Sacred Text Archive is an online archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, and various esoteric topics. The site has many complete books from a wide variety of traditions, including the only (to their knowledge) comprehensive online translations of the Kalevala, Shinto texts, and the Upanishads. There's a lot of fascinating stuff here.
posted by homunculus on Apr 24, 2003 - 12 comments

Gods of Japan

Gods of Japan. A photo-dictionary. 'This photo library and dictionary is a labor of love. After moving to Kamakura in 1993, I became intrigued by the many deities and faces of Buddhism and Shintoism. There are over 650 photos in this library ... '
Related :- Quirky Japan. This site is just fabulous. 'Are you tired of shrines and temples, reconstructed ferro-concrete castles and tea ceremonies? Do you like to get off the beaten track? Would you like to meet Japanese people who do not meet the conformist stereotype? Japan, behind the conservative grey suits and formal bows, is a country quirkier than you can ever imagine. The Quirky Japan Homepage provides information about oddities such as the The Meguro Parasitalogical Museum, the Thousand Person Bathtub, Love Hotels, temple lodging, and the Yakiimo man (the ice cream man's evil twin). '
Related interest :- Lost Japan. Here's an interesting interview with the author, Alex Kerr; and here's a piece about his wonderful house.
posted by plep on Apr 23, 2003 - 14 comments

The New Chosen

The New Chosen. After reading about six Congressmen living in unbelievably cheap housing owned by a religious organization called "The Fellowship Foundation" (or "The Fellowship" or "The Foundation") (via Fark), I became curious about the group. They sponsor the National Prayer Breakfast, but they'd rather you didn't know that - they go to great pains to give the impression that it's an official government function. (President Bush's remarks from 2002, and Rev. Rob Schenck's take on missing the same breakfast.) In March, Harper's Magazine ran Jeffrey Sharlet's first-person account on being a Fellowship neonate, in which he describes the group's organizational structure (which takes its clues from terrorists, Hitler, and the Mafia). In 2002 the Los Angeles Times published an examination of the Foundation's political activities (hosted at toobeautiful.org, which recounts an interesting episode in which three Congressmen, all Fellowship members, take the opportunity to proselytize to a foreign head of state while on official government business. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids on Apr 22, 2003 - 35 comments

Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Us

How Important Is Religious Belief In The Definition Of Our Personality? I would say not at all, but Bernard Lewis's essay gave me pause. Bringing it all back home and wondering about MetaFilter's religious breakdown, does the fact that there are far more atheists, Jews (like me) and Mormons here than in the Western population at large, make any difference? Christians get a hard time here, in my opinion. Is it because, as Lewis says: "Tolerance was a much more difficult question for Christians"? Atheists, Jews and Buddhists seem to have a disproportionately large influence. Whereas Muslims, sadly, hardly get a look-in. What does this mean? That is, if it means anything?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 18, 2003 - 62 comments

The Yoga of Jesus

"The original holy instrument of The Yoga of Jesus."
posted by oissubke on Apr 16, 2003 - 5 comments

Ethiopian Icons

Ethiopian Icons: Faith and Science. Richly hued religious art from an African Christian culture.
posted by plep on Apr 15, 2003 - 11 comments

God's Filled Ya

Parodeities' Greatest Hits Don't miss: Adam Was Made From Dust, Welcomed by the Devil, Takin' Care Of Jesus, and, of course, God's Filled Ya [mp3 links all].
posted by Shadowkeeper on Apr 15, 2003 - 5 comments

S&M Easter - whips, nails, but no bunnies

So how will you spend Easter? Are your plans just a tad pedestrian? If egg hunts leave you cold, perhaps you need a bit more edge. For many, things begin this week. In Czechoslovakia, men carry woven willow sticks and whip girls on the legs, but in Taxco, Mexico, it's all about self-flagellation. In the U.S., many go theatrical with a living last supper; in the Philippines they favor more authenticity - every year about 20 people re-enact the crucifixion, nails & all. If that's too real, you could order supplies to build a backyard corpus shrine for next year. - more -
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 14, 2003 - 23 comments

The Burqa vs. the Wonderbra?

A Sexual Clash of Civilizations? Using data from the World Values Survey, two researchers argue that Samuel Huntington's theory of a clash of Islamic and Western civilizations completely ignores the role of sexual tolerance as an indicator of a democratic society. An interesting point to ponder when Islamic countries and Christian Right activists have teamed up to lobby the United Nations against the expansion of gay rights and family planning.
posted by jonp72 on Apr 11, 2003 - 20 comments

Cultural Entomology

Cultural Entomology. The role of insects in human cultures from every continent :- religion, art, literature, entertainment, and as pets.
Related :- insect drawings used as teaching aids; insects as food.
posted by plep on Apr 8, 2003 - 15 comments

religious fundamentalism rears its ugly head in iraq

"It's simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized," he said. [via anil]
posted by artifex on Apr 6, 2003 - 56 comments

vatican lexicon

The Vatican's publishing a new 900-page dictionary of "Ambiguous and Colloquial Terms about Family Life and Ethical Questions," such as "reproductive health" and "conjugal love." Some groups are looking forward to the tome...I personally would like to look up "pedophilia" in it.
posted by serafinapekkala on Apr 1, 2003 - 18 comments

pray for our president

"Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding" i think these people might be on to something.
posted by specialk420 on Mar 30, 2003 - 20 comments

the missionaries

Plans Under Way for Christianizing the Enemy. "Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population." (from Buzzflash) God please save me from your followers!
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 30, 2003 - 47 comments

Eschatological News

War in Babylon has evangelicals seeing Earth's final days, reports the SF Chron. End-Time Interpreters See Apocalyptic Meaning in Iraq War, reports Belief Net. End-times radio from End-Times.com. Israel's End-Time Gamble, from World Net Daily. Jimmy Carter notes that a stance against war is
an almost universal conviction of religious leaders, with the most notable exception of a few spokesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention who are greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel based on eschatological, or final days, theology.
Factoid:
The Southern Baptist Convention has more churches (over 37,000) in the United States than any other religious body — even more than the Catholic Church.

posted by hairyeyeball on Mar 30, 2003 - 23 comments

Integration of Church & State

House Resolution 153 recognizes the need for the American public to pray and fast in order to secure the blessings of "Providence" (read: Jesus) for our Armed Forces. Seriously. "Resolved that the President should issue a proclamation designating a day for prayer & fasting for all people of the United States". I take back the thing I said earlier about the Freedom Fries being the stupidest Congressional legislation I'd ever seen.
posted by jonson on Mar 27, 2003 - 75 comments

Softsoaping Armageddon

"Armageddon" is not a global conflagration gone totally out of control. It is, instead, the gathering of the armies of Satan in a place called Armageddon at the north end of Israel. Huh? Anyway, it's not like these guys are influencing American foreign policy. Heads up for April 8 when Tim La Haye, co-founder of the ultraconservative Council for National Policy, will release Armageddon, the latest installment in the Left Behind series of millennialist apocalyptic thrillers.
posted by jonp72 on Mar 26, 2003 - 21 comments

A Summary of Pythagorean Theology

A Summary of Pythagorean Theology
posted by oissubke on Mar 20, 2003 - 6 comments

The Seven Capital Sins - Revised!

Hey, It's Not Enough We Die Of Obesity without having to go to Hell too? Some enlightened Frenchmen are bending the Pope's ear, trying to spring Gluttony from the Deadly Sins blacklist. Well, even clever old Thomas Aquinas did his damnedest to narrow the seven buggers down. So: which sins would you excuse today's poor sufferers from and which ones would you insist on keeping, if any? [Something tells me MetaFilter is ideally suited to put in a good word for Sloth. I wonder why? Speaking of which, NYT reg. is required but you can read about it here instead. Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 12, 2003 - 19 comments

Or for Tupperware?

Art for God? Artist Stephen Sawyer sees Jesus in boxing rings and blue jeans. Evidently, Jesus also sells coffee filters in Versailles, Kentucky, USA. Field reps are needed. warning: NSFH
posted by ?! on Mar 12, 2003 - 14 comments

Tax Reform H. Christ

Jesus, fix our taxes! A professor is criticizing Alabama's tax system with Bible verses in tow. Some are saying it just might work, and others are calling it baptised Marxism. Fat Tuesday indeed!
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo on Mar 4, 2003 - 6 comments

ScientologyWatch.org

ScientologyWatch.org - a blog that's sure to bug Norwegian fishermen, Brazilian soccer players, Japanese businessmen, Greek artists and Italian educators. [Link via Politech]
posted by boost ventilator on Mar 3, 2003 - 23 comments

He maketh me to lie down in green pasture

George W. Bush is Jesus Christ. Bush delivers, he sets free. He liberates. He is the 21st century incarnation of Psalm 23. As the HAZMAT suit becomes the American burka, Bush is praying, and we will do the same.
posted by the fire you left me on Mar 2, 2003 - 56 comments

Does vomiting count as fasting? Then sign me up for this one!

Fast for George W. Bush. "If you are willing to fast at least one day a month primarily for George W. Bush's holiness (and other areas, such as bipartisan work among the Democrats and Republicans, Wisdom in his work, wisdom for his cabinet, healing for our nation, etc. ... but primarily holiness) then we encourage you to sign up and join us [...] Our goal is to have 1,000 people fasting for the President each day. That will greatly encourage him and keep him accountable when the Evil One seeks to sidetrack him from his commitment to the Lord. "
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Feb 24, 2003 - 92 comments

flake-o'-the-day

Our Almighty Father Indeed Did'nt Write His Bible For Toilet Paper! FOXY RELIGIONIST-POLITICAL discrimination for Inhuman Economic Exploitation forever prevails against our so-called "World's 'Minorities'" so perpetually deprived of Their God-given Most Primordial and Quintessential Human Rights and Property - AND THIS IS INDEED A FIRST-CLASS DOLLAR-CAMOUFLAGED EVIL.
posted by MrMoonPie on Feb 19, 2003 - 24 comments

Yellow Bamboo

How would you like to control the entire universe, both what goes within you and what happens with others? As you can imagine when you can knock down attackers from 10 feet away or heal someone dying from something just using your own energy- that is true personal power! Others are skeptical. I think I will hold on to my $19.99. The movies are entertaining, though.
posted by hockeyman on Feb 15, 2003 - 19 comments

390,000 Jedi in Britain

390,000 Jedi in Britain In a recent census 390,000 U.K. residents declared their faith in the Star Wars religion following an e-mail campaign that claimed 10,000 declared Jedites would make Jedi a 'legal and official religion.' So what happens now? Who will build the first Jedi church? (I reckon this says more about British attitutudes to form filling than attitutudes to religion).
posted by rolo on Feb 13, 2003 - 22 comments

Everybody Hates Us.

Everybody Hates Us. Michael Spencer notes that evangelical Christians are almost universally disliked. Are there good reasons? "We are loathed, caricatured, avoided and disliked because we often deserve it."
posted by aaronshaf on Feb 6, 2003 - 112 comments

Patron Saint of the Internet

Shawn Fanning - Patron Saint of the Internet? Fed up with hackers, a flood of spam and lousy connections, a group of Roman Catholics have launched a search to determine the Patron Saint of the Internet. Actually, I vote for Danni Ashe. I can't wait to see what her miracles are like...
posted by mathis23 on Jan 31, 2003 - 17 comments

Don't believe in evolution? Don't get a recommendation.

Don't believe in evolution? Don't get a recommendation. The Justice Department has been asked to look into the case of a Texas Tech biology professor who has made it clear that you won't get a recommendation from him if you believe in creationism. In his online notes to students, Dini writes "If you set up an appointment to discuss the writing of a letter of recommendation, I will ask you: 'How do you think the human species originated?' If you cannot truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer to this question, then you should not seek my recommendation for admittance to further education in the biomedical sciences." The Liberty Legal Institute, calls the policy "open religious bigotry." Texas Tech supports Lini, saying the decision on whether to recommend someone is a personal one. Clearly, it should be a professor's call on whether to give a student a recommendation or not, but did Lini make himself a target by laying out this criteria this way?
posted by Gilbert on Jan 30, 2003 - 182 comments

High-wire act

God did it? I'm not usually one to accredit daily occurrences to the whim of the Almighty, but in this case, one has to wonder. A young man is thrown from his vehicle in a rollover crash, ejected, and saves himself from impact by catching the telephone lines 25 feet overhead.
posted by Ogre Lawless on Jan 29, 2003 - 101 comments

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