Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Where Christian Churches and Other Religions Stand on Gay Marriage

Posted By Levi

March 18th, 2015 8:25pm

Category: Religion

Yesterday, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) took an historic vote to recognize gay marriage.The Church’s constitution traditionally recognizes marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The church kept the original definition of marriage but also defines marriage “as a unique commitment between two people.” Over the past several years other religious groups have recognized same-sex marriages. These include the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. However, some of the largest religious institutions have remained firmly against allowing same-sex marriage, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Jewish movement and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the Southern Baptist Convention and other evangelical Protestant denominations. Here is a nice chart from the Pew Research Center showing where the major religions now stand on gay marriage. And this map tells us the c Read More

Why are Muslims so angry about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad?

Posted By Levi

January 12th, 2015 7:28pm

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Over the last few years, the publication of images of the Prophet Mohammad has angered many Muslims and caused violent outbursts. The terrorists who killed twelve journalists from the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo last week cited the publication of cartoons mocking Mohammad as the reason for the attack. They said they found such images to be insulting and offensive to the Prophet. Of course, you don’t attack and kill people simply because they offend you. The question many people are asking is this: Why are Muslims so angry over the publication of cartoons of their prophet? Generally, Muslims are opposed to images of Mohammad and other prophets because of fear that they could lead to idolatry. They worry that statues or images of the prophet could be used as idols and that people might call upon them to intercede with God which would be against religious law. In the eyes of many Muslims this is blasphemy – the act of showing insult or disrespect to God and religion. Does the Koran Read More

In Iraqi classrooms, ISIS bans the teaching of evolution and segregates boys and girls.

Posted By Levi

October 5th, 2014 12:52pm

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In the areas they controlled in Iraq, ISIS, the Sunni extremist group, has issued new instructions to schools.  Under the new rules, all classes and instruction should be conducted according to Sharia laws, a Muslim religious code. Under the new rules ▪ Male and female students must be separated; they cannot be taught in the same classroom. ▪ The teaching of evolution is to be removed from textbooks ▪ Anything that encourages patriotism –like the phrase, “Republic of Iraq” – is banned. ▪ The teaching of subjects such as art, music, philosophy and social studies are banned Also banned are geography, history and literature lessons as well as any teaching about Christianity. However, physics, chemistry, mathematics, Arabic and English will continue to be taught. ▪ In science books, any reference to Darwinism or to natural evolution is to be deleted. This would be replaced by sentences that made it clear that God was the creator of everything. Watch: Twitter:@Levianthon Read More

The World’s still mostly Muslim and Christian.

Posted By Levi

February 5th, 2014 8:07pm

Category: Religion

Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group. A comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life estimates that there are almost 6 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe. This represents 84% of the 2010 world population of approximately 7 billion. Christianity is still the largest religion – 32% of the world’s population or 2.2 billion followers. Half of all Christians are Catholics. But Islam is growing fast – 23% or 1.6 billion Muslims. An interesting part of the data is the growth of “Unaffiliated,” those who are not connected to any religion at all. They are the third largest group behind Christians and Muslims.  Surveys indicate that many of the unaffiliated hold some religious or spiritual beliefs (such as belief in God or a universal spirit) even though they do not identify with a particular faith Here is the b Read More

Religious Fundamentalists Demean Women

Posted By Levi

October 3rd, 2012 8:03pm

Category: Religion

I have written before on the terrible treatment of women and girls in the conservative Muslim state of Saudi Arabia. See here and here. Apparently, women are not even allowed to be seen in advertisement. The retail giant, Ikea, has come under fire for removing women from their catalog that appears in Saudi Arabia. (h/t David Atkins). Here is an example of one such image which have been altered to suit the Saudi officials. This image appears in Ikea’s catalog all over the world. Here is the image that appears in the Saudi version of the catalog. The woman disappears. But before you start condemning Muslim fundamentalism, hold your breath for a minute. A Jewish fundamentalist sect in Brooklyn, New York has also not been kind to women. Remember this picture that was released by the White House showing the President and top officials watching the raid that killed Osama bin Laden? Here is the picture that appears in the Yiddish-language newspaper of Der Tzeitung. Notice that th Read More

How Two Muslim Families Hold the Key to Christiandom

Posted By Levi

August 19th, 2012 11:16am

Church of Holy Selpchure This post was written sometime ago. I am reposting it to correct an error in the original post. In that post I pointed out that the custodian of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the family of  Wajeeh Nuseibeh. However, recently I  received an email from Sari Jawad Joudeh who lives in Jerusalem. He points out that his family, the Joudeh family, is the custodians of the keys to the Church. The Nusseibehs are entrusted only with with opening and closing the door of the Church. He also sent me this document outlying the responsibility of each family. ******************* Here is the updated story. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the most sacred shrines in Christianity.  It is venerated by Christians because they believed it was the place where Jesus was crucified and buried. Since the 4th century, the site has become an important pilgrimage for Christians. Here is a fascinated story of how two Muslim families in Jerusalem literally hold Read More

Orthodox Jewish Men Denounced The Internet

Posted By Levi

May 31st, 2012 7:26pm

Category: Religion

From Jonathan Turley: Almost 40,000 Orthodox Jewish men gathered in Citi Field to call for an end to the Internet as a danger to their faith. Women of course were not allowed to attend because that would also be an affront. They were allowed to watch . . . you guessed it . . . on the Internet. The seven hour event cost $1.5 million and featured prominent Jewish leaders who railed against the Internet as corrupting the faithful by exposing them to outside ideas and influences. One participant is quoted as denouncing “unadulterated freedom” as a threat to religion. One Rabbi warned that the “internet is a fire that burns a person’s body and soul.” Much like their counterparts in Iran, the religious leaders warned that having Internet access without approved filters and limiting software is immoral and violation of faith. Information going to them and their families must remain closely controlled and approved by their religious leaders. Moreover, any family breaking these rules Read More

Easter in Jerusalem – Christians, Muslims & Jews work together

Posted By Levi

April 7th, 2012 5:44pm

 Update Below As the Christian world celebrates Easter, I would like to draw your attention to an amazing story that plays out every year at this time in Jerusalem. It’s a story of how Christians, Jews and Muslims work together to facilitate the celebration. It concerns the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here is a picture of the main entrance to the church. The Church was originally built by Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D. to commemorate the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ’s burial.  Eastern Christians called it the “Church of the Resurrection.”  It is situated within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a complex of cave-like rooms, winding corridors, a soaring domed roof, and ornate decorations alongside broken furniture. The site is venerated by Christians because they believed it was the place where Jesus was crucified and buried.  Since the 4th century, the site has become an important pilgrimage for Christians. Here is the amazing part. T Read More

Christian Priests Brawl at Jesus’ Birthplace

Posted By Levi

December 29th, 2011 6:37pm

Juan Cole: The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem has now seen its annual brawl between Armenian and Eastern Orthodox priests, who are jointly responsible for its administration. Police of the Palestine Authority broke it up but made no arrests because the pugilists are “men of God.” Somehow you get a sense that Jesus of Nazareth would not have approved of his own followers coming to fisticuffs over his birthplace. Wasn’t there something about turning the other cheek? Wouldn’t the Christian thing to do be to abandon one’s claims to the physical site and devote oneself to the spiritual meaning of it? Aljazeera English has video: Such scuffles at the Church of the Nativity between priests of the churches that administer it are common. Indeed, such conflicts have sometimes spiraled out of control and contributed to the outbreak of major wars. Thus, [pdf] we can read in this article by Raymond Cohen about how struggles between the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox church ov Read More