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WikiLeaks and the Sacrality of American National Security

WikiLeaks and the Sacrality of American National Security

By Michael J. Altman….
National Security is a religious cult in the United States. It’s a cult in the anthropological sense—a combination of rituals and beliefs that a society holds sacred. It encompasses everything from war to legislation to surveillance to rhetoric. It relates to matters of life and death. It is sacred because it is a cult shared across our society and a cult that reflects America back to Americans. It is a force that binds American society together. We maintain National Security because we are American and we are American because we maintain National Security. It is woven into our national and social identity. Like religious cults from other cultures, National Security relies on secrecy, violence, mythology and morality for its sacred power. Through its online revelations, WikiLeaks poses a risk to all four of these sacred characteristics.

For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived

For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived

By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
Exorcism is as old as Christianity itself. The New Testament has accounts of Jesus casting out demons, and it is cited in the Catholic Church’s catechism. But it is now far more popular in Europe, Africa and Latin America than in the United States. Most exorcisms are not as dramatic as the bloody scenes in films. The ritual is based on a prayer in which the priest invokes the name of Jesus. The priest also uses holy water and a cross, and can alter the prayer depending on the reaction he gets from the possessed person, said Matt Baglio, a journalist in Rome who wrote the book “The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist” (Doubleday, 2009).

Female Genital Mutilation: Cultural or Religious Practice?

Female Genital Mutilation: Cultural or Religious Practice?

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision, is most commonly practiced in various African nations, the Middle East, and Asia and is an unusual issue to encounter in a small southern American town. We need to explore the phenomena of FGM and the motivations behind this brutal cultural practice.

Cannabis Cafes of Amsterdam

Cannabis Cafes of Amsterdam

By Heather Abraham In an intriguing Religion Nerd article entitled Cannabis: The American Sacrament Kenny Smith examined America’s passion for cannabis and suggests that cannabis, if legalized in the United States, may come to function in ways comparable to other culturally sacred substances ritually consumed each day in the workaday world or with family and […]