Catholic church plays hardball in the courts.
[NYTimes link, login metafi/metafi] "The dioceses have on the whole acted little differently from commercial institutions confronted by explosive litigation risks. They have tried aggressively to limit exposure to claims by setting up parishes as individual corporations, invoked the statute of limitations, subjected plaintiffs to days of grueling depositions and settled claims in secret." Should the church be behaving just like any private company? What would Jesus do?
posted by boltman
on Apr 14, 2002 -
Vaisakhi Festival - Sikh New Year.
Well, given the MeFi tradition of announcing religious celebrations et al, I just thought I'd note that today is the Sikhs invite everyone to celebrate Vaisakhi (or Baisakhi) -- traditionally the start of the agricultural year, and for the past several centuries also the birthdate of the Khalsa form of Sikhism. An interesting history
provides some information on how the Sikhs were used and abused by the British, and their struggle (and resulting violence) for independence in the Punjab.
posted by five fresh fish
on Apr 13, 2002 -
Two men arrested for handing out anti-Mormon literature.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' and Salt Lake City's restrictions on behavior they deem "offensive" on the plaza are now the subject of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver." ... "The deed made it clear it [the plaza] was not a First Amendment forum..." Does the ACLU have a good case?
posted by aaronshaf
on Apr 9, 2002 -
Inside an American Atheists convention.
"Ellen Johnson herself touted a recent City University of New York survey showing that the proportion of Americans who do not adhere to any religion grew from eight percent to 14.1 percent during the past decade. (However, Johnson did not share another finding with the delegates — that just 0.4 percent of Americans consider themselves atheists.)"
Could Atheist activist rhetoric and harsh attitudes towards the religious be responsible for this discrepancy? It looks like agnostics and non-religious people may not want to join what they see as an agreeable but fringe group.
posted by skallas
on Apr 7, 2002 -
Five Pillars of Islam
Bradley County, one of several Tennessee counties to vote recently to post the Ten Commandments
, has been asked to extend its endorsement of religious documents in public places to include the Five Pillars of Islam
Smith (the commission chairman) said he respects Cate's beliefs but believes that, particularly since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that have been blamed on extreme factions of Islam, it would be inappropriate to post the Five Pillars.
Would it be appropriate to post if there had been no 9-11 or is it just inappropriate.
posted by onegoodmove
on Apr 3, 2002 -
The God Squad
Christopher Hitchens gives (another) one to organized religion, and reminds us of the important role that the Islamic world played in preserving Western Civilization.
posted by Ty Webb
on Apr 3, 2002 -
Jesus! In The Raisin Bread? What Kinda Holy Communion Is That?!
Better read Helen Hull Hitchcock's
fascinating column on Catholic.net
to find out: "In recent months Catholics from around the country have been reporting with increasing frequency that their parishes are using "real" bread (i.e. table bread) instead of Communion hosts. Many are concerned that the validity of the Mass is affected. "Have I really received Christ?" is a frequent question. Are they right to be concerned? You bet
...So, have progressive Catholics gone too far
? And what does the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani
, known to all as IGMR
, have to say about that
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Apr 2, 2002 -
was spared by the mob in lieu of Jesus on Good Friday. Pär Lagerkvist
, a Swedish novelist, explored this incredible character in his 1950 novel:
The novel BARABBAS (1950) was immediately hailed as a masterwork...Barabbas, the criminal in the New Testament, is pardoned instead of Christ, and is sentenced to the silver mines. His is incapable of loving, but becomes gradually aware of greater forces guiding his life.
Now I am myself atheist/agnostic, but I think this is cool. It reminds me of Vonnegut's description of Kilgore Trout as a badly aging Christ, whose sentence of crucifixion had been commuted to life imprisonment.
posted by crunchburger
on Mar 29, 2002 -
Among the 'American Taliban' in Smalltown, USA.
"I discovered that Taliban-style attitudes are not restricted to Afghanistan and Pakistan. They exist tenaciously in American towns like this one. Sometimes tolerance prevails in small towns; other times the dark fears and hatreds of the "American Taliban" -- vicious fundamentalists -- are resurgent."
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Mar 29, 2002 -
Remember that Florida Mayor who banned Satan from town?
Well, after she got done talking to mass-media syncophants like Dan Rather, her utterly misguided publicist apparently let her talk to the keen and incisive sleuths from Satanosphere
, who, as usual, got down to the really important stuff. Like:
matt: ...The one question everybody has for you is this: Are you planning on banning any other major deities or demons? Like Skeletor?
So, will Skeletor
be banned forever from Inglis, Florida? Will the ACLU extend Skeletor
the same legal protection as it graciously offered Satan? And perhaps most important of all, what about Wil Wheaton
posted by rusty
on Mar 21, 2002 -
God Changes Everything
Let's say there was a school system or a chain of clinics on whose professional staff were a certain number of men who molested the children in their care and who, whenever this behavior came to the attention of their superiors, were shifted to another school or clinic, with parents and colleagues, not to mention the justice system, kept in the dark whenever possible...
posted by cell divide
on Mar 20, 2002 -
Saudi Arabia's religious police caused the deaths of 15 schoolgirls
by preventing them from escaping from a burning building. The children were not allowed to escape because they were not wearing the correct Islamic dress. When something like this happened under the Taliban it was taken as proof of Evil, but when it happens under our friends in Saudi Arabia it seems to just be ignored by the American government and the American media alike (or at least I haven't been able to find any reference to it in the American media.)
posted by homunculus
on Mar 16, 2002 -
Speaking of religion causing nightmares,
these just don't feel 'right'. Maybe it's the idea of 'reinforcing' the idea that Jesus is your friend, in all activities. Last i checked, forced friendships don't work well. And sandals aren't conductive to track and field.
posted by jcterminal
on Mar 16, 2002 -
A family of six
was found dead in a case of murder-suicide, authorities in Oregon said Friday. Bryant, the father, became estranged from several branches of his family, including his parents, three brothers and a sister. The other family members were Jehovah's Witnesses and the split appeared to involve differences over religious beliefs.
In other news, An angry, mysterious preacher
told Andrea Yates that she was evil, that her children were damned, and that only death could save her. Mr. Yates testified that the preacher had taught him and his wife that children are lost forever to God, and therefore damned to eternal hellfire, if they are not "saved" by the time they are 13 or 14.
Are we regressing to the religions produced nightmares of the Middle Ages?
posted by semmi
on Mar 16, 2002 -
No Profiling, No Saftey? ...to placate special interest groups that fear profiling will result in widespread racial or religious discrimination, authorities are imposing screening quotas that are unlikely to thwart a future terrorist attack. They should be doing the very opposite by creating more sophisticated profiling systems that catch real criminals.
Is it really "damned if they do, damned if they don't" or is there a better way?
posted by nobody_knose
on Mar 11, 2002 -
"Attorney General John D. Ashcroft yesterday cast the government's war on terrorism in religious terms, arguing that the campaign is rooted in faith in God and urging Christians, Jews and Muslims to unite in the effort." So as an agnostic, am I excused from the war?
posted by homunculus
on Feb 20, 2002 -
·Why do black folks seem to always order red or orange soft drinks?
·Why do men have nipples?
·Why do Indian woman have a red dot on their forehead?
·In Jewish dietary laws...can fish and milk be mixed, i.e. cod in cheese sauce?
The Y?Forum, the National Forum on People's Differences
. The Y?Forum "gives you a way to ask people from other ethnic or cultural backgrounds the questions you've always been too embarrassed or uncomfortable to ask them." Some of the topics discussed: Differences between people of different age, class, gender, geography, occupation, race, religion, sexual orientation.
posted by jpoulos
on Feb 14, 2002 -
Make way for the Mormons :)
Reports of religions' demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Economist reports, "[w]ithin four decades, one in 20 Americans may be a Mormon and there may be 50m or more worldwide. How will outsiders react to the next world religion?" Minivans, trampolines and canned food, hooray!
posted by kliuless
on Feb 13, 2002 -
Religion, Government, and Media
When all three are combined, as in Saudi Arabia, you get interesting newspaper articles. It would seem very strange to have a mainstream paper such as the New York Times having a section like this.
posted by LinemanBear
on Feb 12, 2002 -
Ohio school board considers adding "Intelligent Design Theory" to science curriculum.
I wish I could find better links than these. I've been hearing about this on NPR every morning this week, but have been unable to find any news links - I can't even find the Ohio State School Board site. They are debating whether or not to start teaching IDT, which seems to be Creationism with a pseudo-scientific background. Here
is a transcript of comments that were given to the board by John Calvert, J.D., a supporter of IDT. Anybody know any more about this theory?
posted by starvingartist
on Feb 8, 2002 -
How To Lose Faith Without Really Trying:
I lost mine when I was 13 and only recovered it twenty years later. I slowly read my way back to God. James Grimmelman lost his the same way. Reading Kierkegaard did it for him. Faith doesn't come easy but you can certainly lose it in a hurry...[This article from the Killing The Buddha webzine. Other good stuff by Grimmelman can be found on his web site, Laboratorium.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jan 30, 2002 -
Jesus at 250 feet.
Tom Monaghan, best known as the owner of Domino's Pizza, wants to build a 25 story high crucifix on his Ann Arbor, MI property. Is this a monument to religion or a really tacky roadsign?
posted by fujikosmurf
on Jan 29, 2002 -
Troll of trolls
In this one tiny piece in Modern Healthcare
hot button issues are pressed all over the place: abortion, public funds ($40 billion) for religious doctrine, contraception, patients rights, etc. etc. Of course none of this would be an issue if poor unwed mothers would take West Virginia up on their offer of $100 to just get married
. Flame away...
posted by victors
on Jan 25, 2002 -
Police Boycott "Harry Potter"
Police in Penryn, PA (near Harrisburg) have refused to direct traffic at a YMCA event. The police claim that because the YMCA reads "Harry Potter" to local children that they are promoting witchcraft. Fire Police Capt. Robert Fichthorn says "I don't feel right taking our children's minds and teaching them (witchcraft). As long as we don't stand up, it won't stop. It's unfortunate that this is the way it has to be."
posted by terrapin
on Jan 24, 2002 -
Patron Saints Index
I used to live in Bolivia, where they have an annual Day of the Dog
celebration in honor of Saint Roch
. It was while searching the Internet for the date of this event (August 16), I stumbled across this comprehensive site on the history and patronage of the Saints.
posted by Shadowkeeper
on Jan 9, 2002 -
"Fine! I'll do it!"
Man cuts off the penis. There, I did it. It has been 2 days since the last penis-related post. This is the most recent penis-related post.
Dear Penis-amputating man:
That thing there, in the Bible, it's a metaphor!
posted by jaysoucy
on Dec 7, 2001 -