Comedian Rowan Atkinson is understandably nervous about his career
in the light of proposed laws in the UK to outlaw insightment to religious bigotry. Having built his career
from playing comedy vicars and priests you can imagine him wondering if all his old material is suddenly worthless. Downing Street has sought to re-assure
as usual but you can see why he'd be filled with uncertainty. As he points out in a situation were personal opinion is involved, how would one tell if one was breaking the law. For example, some stand up comedy may be fine, but how about movies? Where does 'The Life of Brian' stand? Or 'Dogma' for that matter...
has declared the Internet un-Islamic, but elsewhere in the Muslim world, going online is one way to avoid the censors.
"Listen up: God isn't Santa"
says a retired bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church. The basis of prayer has always seemed like a paradox to me. I'm glad to see that John Shelby Spong agrees.
"He considers religion
as the scourge of humanity, which dampens down our fantasies and our lust to think and experiment.''
Academy board member Per Wastberg, about Nobel Prize winner for Literature V. S. Naipul (NYT-register, etc.)
Atheists feel alienated by calls for prayer
and the media finally noticed. I've only been able to find this Associated Press lagniappe in one online newspaper. Has anyone seen it elsewhere? Perhaps the other media outlets just haven't picked it up yet. (We ARE the largest minority
, you know.)
Focus on the Family likes watching bad TV.
Recently they have been howling about a cheesy CBS werewolf show, Wolf Lake. As Focus tells it the show is dripping with titillating lycanthrope partial nudity and guilty of promoting kooky Native American spiritualism.
"They had nudity - or partial nudity, at least - within the first twenty minutes," and, "There is an effort to put spiritualism on par with mainstream religion."
Granted, CBS’ Wolf Lake is no FOX’s Werewolf
- but Focus on the Family doesn’t stop with lycanthropes. They also have problems with other occult-glam fare like Buffy
Is Focus right? Are these shows damaging to the viewer? Should we just say no to hot werewolf sex? Or should these nutty right-wingers just flip the channel?
Where Was God?
.......there is nothing else I can say about this.
It is The Religion
A very strong case made for Why They Hate Us...and it is not so much our world-wide policies. This piece along with the earlier piece I had posted by Paul Berman (American Prospect) are fine appraisals of why Islam "fears" the West and what they ideally want. Sullivan avoides the (for me) overly simplistic single causes that so many seem convinced of and offers instead a much larger view. Via NY Times, free reg. req'd.
wish to dissent against the using of the Capitol rotunda and other governmental buildings for prayer meetings that focus on Christian or monotheistic ceremonies."
National Review Cans Columnist Ann Coulter
as a contributing editor after her call to "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." For a person who makes a living out of being as obnoxious, partisan and mean as she can be will this do anything but put her in the spotlight and help her career? The way she has slammed the National Review
since her axing seems to indicate this will be the case. And she's already blaming the "liberal" media and the "anti-Christian bigots."
Get down and boogie with your Mullah.
Speaking of famous people and religion, Jet Li
talks about religion, and his views on them.
"...upon closer inspection, the underlying heart and central principle in every religion is the same. Every religion boils down to love, to a respect for all living things, to choosing peace over violence as a means of resolving a conflict."
Sorry, more from Pat Robertson.
It seems Pat had a really
in-depth discussion on his show with a "reformed Muslim" about what the Muslim faith really
I know this much is true...
For years, I have said that the greatest thing about the modern state of the US is that we hold nothing as "True". I was wrong. Apparently our "Truths" were just sleeping; now everyone seems to have some, and they're proving to be as divisive and factionalist here as elsewhere. So - apart from any particular issue - are there "Truths", or are there just perceptions of an issue? And, just to keep some edges sharp, in answering, are you at all religious?
Promise a man death is not the end
and he will slam himself into a skyscraper. Evolutionary biologist and arch-skeptic Richard Dawkins writes about religion in the Guardian.
Religion Urgently Needed - Or Not?
Pat Robertson, that 700 Club freak, proclaims the attack on Tuesday was all our fault. Our pursuit of non-religiously good stuff (i.e, money, sex, power... how ironic) has caused god to 'lift his protection from us'.
Anyone wanna guess when we had god's complete protection? I can't seem to figure it out. I think it was a Thursday back in September 1981.
Sorry, I don't have a link for this post, but in light of the tragedy, I was thinking of the Tower of Bable story from the Bible. As I understand the story, man was trying to build a tower to reach God, but God made sure man didn't succeed.
For those of you who do (or don't) believe in God, do you think there is a message in all this sadness?
An anthropology professor explores the common threads of fundamentalism ranging from Native American revivalism, Christian fundamentalism, the Islamic Movement, Jewish Orthodoxy and Shinto and how they give rise to vigilante groups such as Operation Rescue, American militias, Hamas and Gush Emunim.
For the Mormons here at MeFi -- and, of course, anyone else -- the Church
is broadcasting a Memorial Service
nationwide, that is also being streamed
(requires Windows Media Player). I'm sure other national religious organizations are doing the same... so if you know of others, post them here.
Six-year-old kid goes to school, gets beaned with rocks. Class bullies? No. Protestants
. Doesn't it seem like there are some places in the world (Middle East, Eritrea/Ethiopia, Balkans, etc.) where people just insist on hating and killing each other until everyone's dead? Or is it just that the various media paint it that way?
Buddhist monks and leaders are people too, although it's easy to think otherwise judging by the uncritical adoration heaped upon the religion, and it's most high-profile representatives, in the United States. Why is it difficult for religious adherents to accept the basic fact that any religion (including Catholicism
, and the Church of the SubGenius
) includes helpings of the good, the bad, and the ugly? Maybe this is why I refuse to join any group that would have me as a member
So Help Me God
: "Ninety-five percent of the people believe in God. An invocation of his name, in conjunction with the seriousness of telling the truth, has an importance beyond mere legal requirement," Sessions said Thursday.
Re-Versed Christian Lyrics
supplies alternative Christian lyrics to the rock songs you know and love. Be sure to check out "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
and "Hell's Bells"
while you're there. As a Christian, sites like this usually just make me cringe. I got a pretty good laugh out of this one, though, so I thought I'd share. [Link borrowed from Memepool.]
July 17th - The Day That Counts.
These people have a plan to make their feelings known on the issue of public money being diverted to religious organizations. I had no idea that the atheists were so organized! Is this sort of thing a tremendous waste of time, or do you think it can, or will affect policy discussions?
is at it again.
Is the fact that he is able to get away with things like this an indication of a backlash against the more open
years of Democrats in the White House?
Is this secretly what the American public wants?
From 1972 to 1998,
the number of American voters claiming to attend church regularly has stayed stable at 37%. The number who say they never attend church at all has risen from 14% to 33%. What affect will this have on American politics?
Nothing like a little religious tiff over God smiting Fargo
to keep the editorial page busy. Start from the bottom, and work your way up, skipping the stories on baseball.
Muslim congressional intern removed from White House
During a meeting between Muslim community leaders and the White House office of faith-based initiatives, too. Random administrative error, or religious profiling?
Do I make you h*rny, baby? [censored]
This is far from new, but I just stumbled on this hilarious review of the Austin Powers sequel written by ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP). I don't post this to bash Christians or to inspire a bazillion comments about religion or censorship. I just thought CAP's outrage over an essentially harmless film was fun to read.
Can Christians use Marijuana for recreation?
In 1Cor 6:12 Paul writes:
"Everything is permissible for me--but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me--but I will not be mastered by anything."
So, does that mean that Christians can use marijuana recreationally, as long as they are not mastered by it? This paper looks at the issue from many angles and should provide good fodder for both sides of the pot debate. Personally, I think God would not have put cannabis on the earth if we were not to smoke it.
[found on 4twenty.net]
Someone else's Religion or your health?
How the Catholic church is manipulating medical research in the United States. Stem cell research offers some exciting opportunities for medicine but the Pope doesn't think so.
"The marriage was in trouble. And Pastor Williams had just the thing to fix it: nude photography."
I have no problem with organized religon in theory, but the execution is sometimes disturbing.....
Ever wondered why the Buddha wears a toga?
Understanding the origins and symbolism behind images of the Buddha.
New! Jesus Sports Statues
. When you saw the Buddy Christ
idea in the movie Dogma
you thought it was a funny, yet biting swipe at the Catholic Church. But apparently Catholics think it's a great idea. These figurines have already sold out. Jesus playing tackle football
is my favorite.
Prince wants to sell you the Watchtower and Awake magazines.
I am very surprised at this turn of events. What's he gonna do about all his songs that have so much sexual content?
Missionaries are frank imperialists.
But because they operate in the spiritual realm, they continue to enjoy a fuzzy kind of permission to conduct a kind of business that is largely impossible in other less ethereal spheres of life.
How far will the Taleban go
in isolating themselves from the rest of the world? This possible move brings to mind memories of how the Nazis treated the Jews during WWII.
Well, I *would* have given to The Family Values Party,
but, alas, I have tattoos. That makes me a sinner. Sinners can't donate. Neither can gays, women, gun owners, and the guy who sold me my gin this morning. Damn.
Online Scientology critic seeks political asylum in Canada A couple of weeks ago computer engineer Keith Henson was found guilty in California of a criminal act related to posts he made in the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, which contained obviously comical (all right, Sophomoric) references to targeting Scientologists with a nuclear missile.
The United States. Liberty and justice for all. Oh yeah, baby.
From the International Herald Tribune:
How's this whole separation of church and state working out? AG John Ashcroft: "It is against my religion to impose my religion on people..."
However, the department [DoJ] also issued new style guidelines for correspondence that carries Mr. Ashcroft's signature. They forbid, among other things, the use of "pride," which the Bible calls a sin, and the phrase "no higher calling than public service."
Ask the rabbi...about storing your ammo.
I love the total randomness of this, including the fact that it's all coming to you from Wisconsin, the Badger State.
The Book of Revelations, Pokemon style. Yes, that's right. The really strange thing is how seamlessly the Pokemon elements fit into the story. Maybe St. John anticipated more than we thought...
(PS: Those with a limited sense of humor about this kind of thing can probably already see where this is headed, and should feel free to just not click the link.)
Anti-bullying vote blocked by Christian Conservatives
The Washington State bill would have required school districts to set up policies against harassment, bullying and intimidation. Christian conservatives that blocked the vote claim "it amounted to censorship of their right to condemn homosexuality." There is no mention of homosexuality in the bill at all. So this leads me to the conclusion that these Christians condone "harassment, bullying and intimidation." How far from the Golden Rule can you stray and keep a straight face?
The Tibet Game
: Doom for Buddhists. Give away your possessions, pump up your karma, see and hear beautiful Tibet. (Don't forget your high bandwidth, grasshopper.)
dishes out church-friendly daily cartoons like this one
, which are sometimes [p]funny (and at other times stale). You can also get the funnies in your PDA
Urban Legend, I choose you!
Pokemon is being banned in several Muslim countries because of rumour that it is anti-religious. What's your favorite urban legend that resulted in widespread societal changes? (You need not limit yourself to religious edicts . . . an sort of change made by people in power because of an urban legend will be fine.) Why do you think that urban legends have this power? What does this say about human cognition?
So many questions... were the nuns simply trying to save their own lifes? If so, does that make it any better? And does a Belgium court have the right to preside over crimes in another culture? Can anything good come of this?