Religion Lately: Pagan Seminary, Is The Religion of Battlestar Galactica About To Go Actual? The Rise of Christian Atheism in Europe and Teavangelicals in America

By Kenny Smith 

Looking for a different sort of theological education and ministerial training, one that includes both God and Goddess? Check out Cherry Hill Seminary, which recently added noted Wiccan author Viviane Crowley to its faculty.   

This past Sunday members of the International Raelian Religion participated in a “Go-Topless Day” in Dolores Park, San Francisco.

The demonstration was initiated by GoTopless.org  as part of a broader national campaign aimed at bringing equal topless rights to women. Raelians, however, seem to have added a number of their own ideas to the day’s agenda, for instance, that subatomic particles are in fact miniature universes full of conscious beings and thus must not be harmed by pesky scientific experiments, that Noah’s ark was in fact a spaceship, that philandering politicians should be praised for their honesty rather than persecuted, and the banning of Santa Claus as “he turns children into liars.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmQgGS3elvA&feature=player_embedded

Vanderbilt University officially included a number of Wiccan and Pagan holidays (such as upcoming Mabon celebrations on Sept. 23) in its interfaith calendar, alongside those from Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, and Baha’i traditions.  This move has been praised by American Hindus.  

Alongside the support of her husband (John Travolta), family and friends, actress Kelly Preston has credited The Church of Scientology with helping her through the death of her son.  In other instances, Scientology continues to be regarded as fraudulent, authoritarian, and even criminal, as is evidenced by recent protests by Anonymous members. 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22TRu0huHK8&feature=player_embedded

A federal judge rules that inmates have the right to keep Bibles in their cells, but not Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible  Some Christians worry that a new electronic epidermal patch that stores personal medical information is in fact a key element in a global satanic plot.

Is the religion of Battlestar Galactica about to go actual, that is, become a “real religion”?

This is precisely what seems to have happened with the Twilight series, as “Cullenists” (after the lead vampire character Edward Cullen), believe that “Twilight characters are real,” “the Twilight series should be worshipped,” and that “if they live good lives, they will dwell in eternity with its characters.”

While we’re on the subject, how different are ordinary religious folk and Sci-Fi/fantasy nerds, anyway, and how could a religion be judged “unreal” if someone’s practicing it?  

American Evangelicals are openly questioning the existence of Adam & Eve.  In Northern Europe, Christian Atheism is getting a serious hearing.   The syncretic blending of religion, economics and politics is bringing about yet another form of American Christianity, “Teavangelicalism.”

Some say that this Russian Orthodox Church in Queens, N.Y, resembles space-ship. Perhaps the Raelians will acquire it.  

Whereas a recent attempt to convert a vacant New York convent into mosque resulted in howls of protest, a new effort to do the same with a previously Hindu place of worship does not. Got purity concerns?  

Feeling both less educated and less interested in attending religious services?  This seems to reflect a growing national trend in which those without college experience are more likely to fall away.

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