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Religion, Lately: Interview with a Jedi, Biblical Neuroscience, Mormon Women Bare.com

Religion, Lately: Interview with a Jedi, Biblical Neuroscience, Mormon Women Bare.com

By Kenny Smith…While notions of “religion” are deployed in a rather simplistic manner, Fox News offers an otherwise thoughtful interview with a Jedi teacher and a journalist who “spent a weekend” with them. Is it a religion, a philosophy, a way of life? You decide.
In a more typical manner, Fox hosted an angry debate concerning recent atheist billboards and whether religion or non-religion are “irrational.” Elsewhere in atheisdom, free Bible apps (such as YouVersion) are used to disprove the Bible’s legitimacy: “Reading the full story with all its contradictions and violence and sexism, it should make you think, ‘Is this really what I believe in?’”

Religion, Lately: Doing Halloween Biblically, Ghosts v. Religion,  and Cannabis for Shiva

Religion, Lately: Doing Halloween Biblically, Ghosts v. Religion, and Cannabis for Shiva

By Kenny Smith…This year’s Halloween’s top-ten Biblically themed costumes? Pharaoh, Naughty Nun, Priest with Enormous Erection (cleverly packaged as “Keeping Up The Faith”), and of course Zombie Nuns (said to be marked down 20%!). What do practicing witches actually think about Halloween? Some hate it. Some love it. In Mumbai, Wiccans used the holiday Samhain (also on October 31) as an occasion for casting protective spells for the benefit of women in India. And while many continue to lump Wiccans. Pagans, and Satanists together, Real Housewives of Beverley Hills’ Carlton Gebbia stakes out a religious identity not reducible to any of these exactly: “I’m Celtic, which is my ancestry. And I practice witchcraft. My grandmother was a Pagan… There’s no one defined answer.”

S.A.D. Lights and Advent Candles: What is the purpose of religion?

S.A.D. Lights and Advent Candles: What is the purpose of religion?

By Kari Aanestad, State of Formation….
One might say that religion has been prescribing this treatment plan for centuries. The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah (the Festival of Lights), the Hindu celebration of Diwali (the Festival of Lights), the Scandinavian, Australian, and New Zealand celebration of Yuletide, the Christian celebration of Advent and Christmas, and many more are examples of ways in which religion has sought to not only name the power of evil and darkness in life but also celebrate that light still shines. In other words, there seems to be a fascinating diversity of tradition around the celebration of light in the midst of seemingly impenetrable darkness.