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Religion, Lately: Paganism by 2063, Living Happily Without Religion, and  bin Laden Halloween Anxieties

Religion, Lately: Paganism by 2063, Living Happily Without Religion, and bin Laden Halloween Anxieties

By Kenny Smith…..What will Pagan religious traditions (such as Wicca, Druidism, and Asatru, among others) look like in fifty years, in 2063? Full-time Pagan clergy, Pagan celebrities coming out of the broom-closet, and a vast array of Pagan-centric media outlets, one writer predicts. Back here in 2013, new Pagan-themed books for children such as “What is Magic,” and “Who is a Witch?,” hit the shelves, Pagan Pride days continue to be celebrated in various cities nationwide, and Pagan communities prepare for Samhain.

Divided by Faith?

Divided by Faith?

Craig Martin, Religion Bulletin…..I am growing increasingly suspicious of this idea that people come to blows or “clash” over differences in belief or faith. I am of course in full agreement with the many anti-essentialist criticisms of the “clash of civilizations” thesis: there are no monolithic civilizations, and as such there can be no monumental “clash” between them (the last chapter of Chiara Bottici’s A Philosophy of Political Myth contains a particularly good version of this criticism). But this is not what I’m angling at here. What bothers me is the very idea that people fight over “beliefs” at all, monolithic or not.

Ten Years After 9/11: Has Religion Driven Us Apart or Drawn Us Together?

Ten Years After 9/11: Has Religion Driven Us Apart or Drawn Us Together?

By Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Huff Post Religion…..
Two religious responses from the days immediately following the attacks of 9/11 demonstrate how religion has been both a divisive and unifying force in America over the last ten years. The first was from Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who assigned blame for the attacks to God who, they explained, was angry at America because of Gays, Feminists and the ACLU, among others. While fires still smoldered at Ground Zero, Falwell and company were ironically fanning the flames of discord and division by blaming God and liberals instead of religious extremism.

Ding Dong bin Laden's Dead!

Ding Dong bin Laden’s Dead!

By Lady Arsinoe……
America has lost the moral high ground, though. Beginning on September 11, 2001, collectively as a nation, we condemned the celebrations in the streets throughout the Muslim world. We denounced the carnival atmosphere in the Middle East as the World Trade Center collapsed. We cried for the murder of over 3000 innocent people. We said, how barbaric it was to celebrate death and destruction in that manner. Those people aren’t human, we declared.

Pondering The Face Of Ground Zero

Pondering The Face Of Ground Zero

Louis A Ruprecht, Jr., Georgia State University….
God knows it’s understandable, the tumultuous range of sentiments. I felt it too, uncertain how to feel exactly, and unsure what I’d come expecting to find. The havoc created here was beyond describing, and the grief of shattered human lives multiplied by the tens of thousands brings us very close to the sacred place where language fails to capture the essences. Tears have been more eloquent in the past, and now, perhaps, a raised fist or two. As I picked up to leave, one image on the screen suddenly caught the attention: It was the Statue of Liberty, but this goddess was not holding the flame of liberty aloft; she was holding Osama bin Laden’s severed head.

The Inanity of the current "Islam" Debate

The Inanity of the current “Islam” Debate

One of the reasons why the debate is so skewed is that Americans suffer from an intense form of religious illiteracy, and that is dangerous. As Prothero demonstrates in his earlier book Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and Doesn’t , is that most Americans don’t even know the tenets of their own faith. And if we’re going to put an end to the misinformation, it’s going to take those of us who are Christians to step up and say no to it. I think that Prothero’s presentation on CNN is something that needs to be heard.