February 16, 2012 |
IF YOU were a friend of Gloria Mozil Simmons' and shared her curiosity about esoteric subjects like philosophy and religion, you might have been lucky enough to spend hours - often deep into the night - discussing such subjects. Her search for life's meaning eventually led her to the Jehovah's Witnesses, which offered her the truths she had always sought. And she wasn't just a member of the denomination. She pitched in with her customary energy and dedication, going door-to-door to spread the word and traveling extensively with the ministry.
January 22, 2012
By Robert Wuthnow Princeton University Press. 488 pp. $35.00 Reviewed by Alexander Heffner In the 2008 election, to the surprise of many political analysts, Barack Obama made remarkable inroads in deeply entrenched Republican majorities, winning in North Carolina and closing the gap to five points in Georgia. But not in Kansas, where the Obama campaign took a 15-point defeat. Indeed, Kansas is possibly the most conservative-blooded state in the union. It also has voted Republican more consistently than any other state.
January 13, 2012
IN SOME QUARTERS of sports-crazed America, tomorrow night's playoff game between the Believing Broncos and the Philistine Patriots has taken on a larger meaning, maybe even a divine meaning. That's wrong. It is a football game, not a sacrament. With that said, the intersection of faith and football has become as bitter as the GOP primary, pitting devout Christians against atheists, secularists, "pure" sports fans and tiresome Christian bashers. To use a cross metaphor, the crux of the controversy is Denver quarterback Tim Tebow's open (some say grating)
January 13, 2012 |
Christian Hernandez's legal problems began with an argument over religion. They ended Friday in prayer, with his mother on her knees in court, imploring God and a Philadelphia judge to spare her son from life in prison. "Dios mio, Dios mio!" cried Rosaria Fontanez, dropping to her knees at the bar of the court and raising her palms toward the ceiling. "Mi hijo, mi hijo!" But, as Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart explained, there was nothing he could do for her son. In Pennsylvania, a first-degree murder conviction mandates life in prison with no chance of parole.
January 12, 2012
In some quarters of sports-crazed America, Saturday night's playoff game between the Believing Broncos and the Philistine Patriots has taken on a larger meaning, maybe even a Devine meaning. That's wrong. It is a football game, not a sacrament. With that said, the intersection of faith and football has become as bitter as the GOP primary, pitting devout Christians against atheists, secularists, "pure" sports fans and tiresome Christian bashers. To use a cross metaphor, the crux of the controversy is Denver quarterback Tim Tebow's open (some say grating)
January 10, 2012 |
Besides sports, I can't think of anything as universally polarizing as religion. Yes, I'm making this observation as a believer. Just look at history. Wars waged because of it. Slavery condoned in its name. Lunatics carrying out unspeakable acts for the glory of God - or so they claim. Even now, religion plays a part in our political and cultural consciousness like never before. Heck, Republicans - and religious conservatives - would have anointed Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate a long time ago if he wasn't so, so Mormon.
January 7, 2012 |
There is a moment in the first episode of Oprah's Next Chapter , the new celebrity and spiritual travelogue starring Oprah Winfrey and also her interview subjects, that feels more like something out of This Is Spinal Tap than a star debriefing on a cable network ostensibly for women. At the end of two television hours (!) together on last Sunday's premiere, Winfrey and Steven Tyler, the flamboyant Aerosmith front man and, more recently, American Idol judge, were in a forest in Tyler's native Sunapee, N.H. They had hiked there to find a bed of moss where Tyler says he discovered his spirituality as a young man. They sat down on the moss, these two superstars in their respective realms, and each sniffed the moss.
January 6, 2012 |
STOCKHOLM - A file-sharing group that considers itself a spiritual organization said yesterday that Sweden has recognized it as a religious community. According to documents provided by spiritual leader Isak Gerson, 20, his Church of Kopimism received that approval in late December. The public authority responsible for such decisions was closed for the day and couldn't be reached to confirm the approval, which comes amid a global crackdown on file-sharing websites often used to illegally download movies, TV shows and music.
December 18, 2011
Jonathan Turley is a professor of public interest law at George Washington University Last week in Washington, the United States hosted an international conference obliquely titled "Expert Meeting on Implementing the U.N. Human Rights Resolution 16/18. " The impenetrable title conceals the disturbing agenda: to establish international standards for, among other things, criminalizing "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of . . . religion and belief. " The unstated enemy of religion in this conference is free speech, and the Obama administration is facilitating efforts by Muslim countries to "deter" some speech in the name of human rights.
November 8, 2011 |
A prepared foods clerk at Whole Foods Market, the natural food supermarket chain that made its reputation on taking the high road in diversity, employment engagement, and high-quality food, said managers at an area Whole Foods store fired him because he is Muslim. "I guess they thought I was some kind of extreme guy, but everybody loved me," said Glenn Mack, 24, of Philadelphia's Overbrook section, who was fired in February. " "While we don't give out details about current or former team members, we can say that we deny such allegations, we value and celebrate diversity, and we have a zero-tolerance discrimination policy," said Whole Foods spokeswoman Robin W. Rehfield.