Religion, Lately: The Downside of Marketing Hindu Deities, Love Jesus and Hate Religion, Hate Religion and Love Church


By Kenny Smith…An Australian brewery’s new logo, featuring the head of the god Ganesh and the body of the goddess Lakshmi, turns out to be both “less pleasing” and “more irritating” to a number of Hindu communities in India and elsewhere. While the level of annoyance has not yet reached that of 2011, when the goddess Lakshmi appeared in the ass-crack of swimsuits, there’s still time.

Speaking of Asian religious cultures, Sikhs worldwide are celebrating the 544th anniversary of the birthday of the tradition’s founder, Shri Guru Nanak, and one writer argues that being a Sikh is compatible with being a Gay Sikh.

American evangelicals are clearly divided in their views on immigration, but what divides them is not theology, but identity politics: “White evangelicals and Hispanic Christians, for example, differ greatly from one another on immigration policy, not because of different theologies but different social positions.” Indeed, one suspects that the theologies follow, rather than precede, the identity politics.

Along similar lines, some researchers suggest that we think of stubbornness and intransigence (political, religious, etc.) in terms of “sacred values” which when “in play, studies show, any proposal of [pragmatic] incentives to make a deal is liable to backfire.”

In his new book, Jesus > Religion, and in an interview for the Washington Post, Jefferson Bethke explains how we can “love Jesus but hate religion,” and a friendly atheist explains why we can’t. But if you can’t love Jesus and hate religion, can you hate religion and love church? Apparently you can. On Sunday mornings across the U.S. the emergence of Atheist Mega-churches rolls on, and atheistic “billboard evangelism” is said to display the same passion as the Christian variety. So, how are all these things different?

If you’re interested in studying “spirituality and sports,” the University of Southern California has an entire academic program devoted to it, so to speak.

A couple in Gloucestershire, England, has been cleared of charges on religious grounds. While they admitted to growing cannabis“to sacrifice to the Hindu god Shiva because the world was about to end last December [on 12/21/12]”–the jury acquitted them of growing with intent to distribute.

At TIME magazine, one writer spent Halloween summoning spirits of the dead with New York city Wiccans, “and lived to tell the tale.” Huffington Post surveys the religious diversity of American armed forces: Wiccans, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, and Sikhs, oh my!

What do you get when Judaism is infused with Buddhism: BuJu or JuBu? You decide. 

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