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A Wiccan Perspective on Satan, Evil, and all that Biblical Stuff

A Wiccan Perspective on Satan, Evil, and all that Biblical Stuff

By Lady Arsinoe…..
The Wiccan idea of evil is vastly different from that of the Abrahamic religions. Wicca is a nature-oriented spiritual path that tends to focus inside ourselves and then outward to our relationship with the Universe. We do not see evil as being something outside or “other”. As a result, Wiccans have no convenient excuse for ill behavior; there is no “the Devil made me do it!” in Wicca. Evil exists only because mankind has evil tendencies. Wiccans understand that we, as human beings, are responsible for our own actions. No outside Deity of Good or Evil makes us do anything. We see humans acting out of Good or Evil because humans want to, and we reap the benefits or consequences of our actions accordingly. We see everything we do as coming back to us according to the Threefold Law: whatever energies we put out into the world comes back to us threefold, be it for good or ill.

Palin’s Persecution Complex Culminates With “Blood Libel” Accusation

Palin’s Persecution Complex Culminates With “Blood Libel” Accusation

By Anthea Butler, Religion Dispatches….
Palin’s typical pattern is that she takes a phrase from somebody (in this case, possibly Glenn Reynolds, writing in the Wall Street Journal), picks it up, and uses it for her own. In today’s debacle, referring to criticism of her “crosshairs” map as a “blood libel,” Palin shows that even if six people are killed, it’s still all about her. The strategic release of this video, before President Obama travels to Arizona today for a memorial service, shows her self-serving political ends. In addition to misuing the term blood libel — which historically refers to the accusation that Jews murder Christian babies — her additional reference to dueling shows that she will not retreat from any violence-laden speech.

Abortion and the Stories Clergy Tell

Abortion and the Stories Clergy Tell

By Dennis S. Ross, Religion Dispatches….
In one of the greatest overstatements of 2010, Lord Nicholas Windsor of England argued recently that abortion is a bigger threat to Europe than al-Qaeda. The reality is that when a woman believes she needs an abortion, not being able to get one poses a significant threat to her health and safety. And any member of the clergy can tell the tale. Clergy tell stories. It’s a tradition as old as the Bible. And it’s a common practice when someone dies.

With an Honest Heart

With an Honest Heart

By Samantha Kirby, Tikkun Magazine….
My grandmother was many things: a piano teacher, a Chicagoan, a coffee aficionada — and a pioneer.
I added that last part after she passed away, when I learned that she had graduated from Northwestern University in 1944, about twenty years before NU removed its quota for Jewish admissions. By the time I was an undergraduate shivering through my years in Evanston, it was hard to believe that the campus, with its thriving Jewish community, had ever tried to restrict its number of Jewish students. I couldn’t imagine my grandmother walking the same streets as I had but feeling like a second-class student.

This Muslim says, give me that ol' time Judaism

This Muslim says, give me that ol’ time Judaism

By Hesham A. Hassaballa….
These reflections should come as a surprise to no one: As a Muslim, I worship the God of Abraham, the very same God who was worshiped and honored in the Temple in Jerusalem. As a Muslim, I honor and revere the prophet Moses, Aaron, and all the other Hebrew prophets.

Also, my holy scripture speaks with honor and reverence about King David and Solomon. The Quran says: “We believe in God, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed to Moses and Jesus; and that which has been vouchsafed to all the [other] prophets by their Sustainer: we make no distinction between any of them. And it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.” (2:136

The Presbyterian-Jewish Divide that Need Never Be

The Presbyterian-Jewish Divide that Need Never Be

By Joshua Stanton, Huffington Post….
I still profoundly admire Wiesenthal and the Wiesenthal Center. But I worry that a recent op-ed written by two of its leaders, Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, goes against the very pursuit of justice that the center so firmly embraces. Entitled “Presbyterians Against Israel: Liberal Protestants are engaging in historical revisionism concerning Jews and the Holy Land,” its strong suit is certainly not understatement. But by labeling an entire Christian denomination “anti-Israel,” it may prove far more damaging.

Seeing the Lord’s Prayer in a New Light

Seeing the Lord’s Prayer in a New Light

By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
Crossan calls the Lord’s Prayer “a prayer from the heart of Judaism on the lips of Christianity for the conscience of the world.” To understand it, he said, it is necessary to comprehend the culture in which it was written, that of 1st century Judaism. The prayer appears in the New Testament twice, in slightly different forms: In Matthew 6:9-13, and in Luke, 11:2-4. In both cases, it is delivered by Jesus, which helps explain the revered status it holds.

A Yarmulke Grows in Jordan and the Hypocrisy of Moderation

A Yarmulke Grows in Jordan and the Hypocrisy of Moderation

By Nehemia Stern
We find ourselves in a political era where liberal well intentioned moderates are apologizing, and offering excuses for Islamic extremism. There are a plethora of excuses, from capitalism and imperialism, to Israeli settlements and the Jewish Lobby. In fact for Queen Rania the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one excuse that fuels extremism in the entire region (the entire region!).

The Anti-Muslim Machine

The Anti-Muslim Machine

By Kiera Feldman, Killing the Buddha
Nowadays, we don’t lynch, and we riot rarely. The occasional individual will stab a Muslim cabbie in Manhattan, beat a Mexican on Staten Island, or kill an Ecuadorian on Long Island. Mostly, we blog. An angry, fearful mob, posting and commenting, commenting and posting, in a town square cobbled with pornography and hate speech: the internet.

Three Faiths, Yes, But Out of How Many?

Three Faiths, Yes, But Out of How Many?

The show, which has been assembled entirely out of gorgeous manuscripts from the Library’s own vast holdings, is intended to offset the more regrettable interreligious energies unleashed by this so-called (and somewhat poorly named) Mosque Controversy. The exhibit is designed to remind its visitors that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share a great deal, and it manages to do so while avoiding seeming preachy, or by cheating to making things seem rosier and more peaceable than in fact they are. Instead, the show offers the visitor a remarkable walking tour through sacred geography, religious history, and even the history of the technologies of the written word.

I Ate a Bowl of Soup, and Now I'm a Muslim

I Ate a Bowl of Soup, and Now I’m a Muslim

By Hussein Rashid, Religion Dispatches
According to them, the fact that Campbell’s Soup Canada is a introducing a series of halal soups is a sign that Muslims are taking over the U.S. and imposing shari’ah to make everyone Muslim. The Revealer has a great series on the (mis)uses of the term shari’ah that points out that there is no one thing called shari’ah, and it does not mean what its popular critics think it means.

Jesus and the Sukkah

Jesus and the Sukkah

By Rob Goodman, Killing the Buddha
As his final earthly act at the end of the Gospel of John, Jesus hosts a cookout. He’s seen at first from a fishing boat, waving from the shore in the gathering dawn, alive after all, yelling for Peter and his crewmates to haul in their nets and come ashore. Once on land—Peter dripping wet after swimming all the way, and the rest dragging the boat—they see that Jesus has already started a little charcoal fire on the ground, grilling fish with bread. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”