Religion Lately: Rain-god license plate disputes, Happy Yom Kippur and Ganesh Chaturthi, & the Flying Spaghetti Monster Comes the NFL

By Kenny Smith

A Methodist minister is suing the state of Oklahoma on the grounds that “Native American imagery on license plates forces him to License plate native american protested by christiansbecome a ‘mobile billboard’ for pagan religion.” Oklahoma plates apparently depict a Native American ritual in which a deity associated with rain is invoked, which apparently Oklahoma could really use right now.

A growing number of Africa American spiritual seekers, despite being raised as Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, or Jehovah’s Witness, are said to be turning to indigenous African religious cultures such as Yoruba for religious and spiritual resources.

Determined to find a suitable match for Scientologist, Tom Cruise, the Church of Scientology has (allegedly) created a dating service whose sole task is vetting would-be mates for Cruise. Hollywood celebrity, Leah Remini, of “King of Queens,” talks publicly about leaving the faith.

In what actually seemed like a legitimate news story, Fox News reports that significant numbers of Latinos are turning (re-turning) to historical Jewish roots. Meanwhile, Jewish communities the world over observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. What does G-d want you to do on this holy day? One rabbi breaks it down.

A recent study ranks college majors from the best-to the worst-paying. Shockingly, engineering and computer science majors make considerably more than “theology” majors.


Hindu religious cultures around the world recently celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival honoring Ganesh, a beloved deity eager to “remove the obstacles from one’s life,” wherever they may reside. Want to know more about “Hinduism”? Check out the forthcoming Hinduism Encyclopedia, some three decades in the making.

In Buddhist religious worlds, 1980s pop star Boy George credits his renewed practice of Buddhism with his sustained efforts at sobriety, and Tibetan monasteries receive props for protecting snow leopards from poachers.

Huston Texans running-back, Darion Foster, plans to introduce his daughter to the teachings of the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Is someone coming out of the noodle-closet?

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