By Kenny Smith, Emory University
As we approach the end of the year holidays, Public Display Wars have already begun, with one Virginia county offering public space to the first ten groups/persons to apply. An interesting solution. The result? As one frustrated blogger writes, “Christmas displays gone mad”: a traditional nativity scene, a sign calling Christian figures “myths” another advertising for the American Atheist League, a cryptic holiday display of the “Tree of Knowledge,” a letter dictated by Jesus himself submitted by a local resident, a crucified Santa Claus, and two signs from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Speaking of the holidays, check out Americans’ top-10 holiday dreads, for instance, having to be nice to others.
Why do Evangelicals tend to believe such weird things, for instance, that the earth is relatively young, having been created just a few thousand years ago? One author tries to make sense of it all.
As winter and government crackdowns on the OWS intensify, some churches open their doors to protestors. More, a small but growing contingent of religious communities is pulling their money from Wall Street banks, angry at such institutions’ unwillingness to do much of anything to prevent foreclosures or lend money to small businesses.
Symbols from the popular film, V for Vendetta, such as the infamous Guy Fawkes’ mask, seem to be functioning religiously for different kinds of protestors?
Raelians: the most fun of all religious folk! Here’s why: they always strive for pleasure, they are all young and beautiful, and they will strip naked in public.
In Europe, Raelians are appealing to an EU court to overturn legal bans on posters depicting star folk.
An early fall Pagan-con saw considerable unity among a very diverse group of Wiccans, Druids, Heathens, Celtic Reconstructionists and Pagan Eclectics. In taking such unity considerably further, some hope to re-establish the American Council of Witches. The U.S. Air Force has officially recognized Pagans, Witches, and Druids, with new Pagan-friendly worship spaces for cadets.
Scientology continues to do well among celebrities, as Kelly Preston praises the Scientology-inspired weight-loss program, Organic Liaison, though meanwhile the Church is getting hammered in much of the mainstream press for some very disturbing charges, while also attracting the attention of some rap artists.
If you’re worried about the end of the world arriving in 2012 because the Mayans predicted it, maybe it’s time to stop worrying.