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NEWS
September 14, 2012
Another reminder of barbarism The savage murders of the U.S. embassy staff in Libya, on the anniversary of 9/11, are yet one more reminder of the barbarism inherent in Islamic fundamentalism ("Outrage, questions follow Libya attack," Thursday). Only months after Americans supported the Libyan people in deposing their despotic dictator, this is their response. We are often reminded that Islamophobia is irrational. But if we must fear for our lives when this religion is criticized, those concerns are not only rational, but necessary.
NEWS
August 21, 2012 | By Jay Lindsay, Associated Press
BOSTON - A new study on the generosity of Americans suggests that states with the least religious residents are also the stingiest about giving money to charity. The study, released Monday by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, found that residents in states where religious participation is higher than the rest of the nation, particularly in the South, gave the greatest percentage of their discretionary income to charity. The Northeast, with lower religious participation, was the least generous to charities, with the six New England states filling the last six slots among the 50 states.
NEWS
August 21, 2012
COMEDIAN W. Kamau Bell says that a presidential race featuring "a Mormon vs. a black guy" is to most Americans "like Alien vs. Predator. " It's a funny line. And Bell, who hosts his own TV comedy show, FX's "Totally Biased," is a funny guy. But the line got me thinking about religion and race in the current election. And as the campaign continues to wallow in small-minded (often surrogate) sludge, the prospect of religion and race becoming overt increases. Better for all if that doesn't happen; at the moment, there's good news and bad news.
NEWS
April 20, 2012 | By Robert H. Nelson
Earth Day, the environmentalist holy day, is approaching again, reminding us that environmentalism has become a kind of religion. Which raises a question: Why is it OK to teach environmental religion in public schools, while the teaching of Judaism, Christianity, and other traditional religions is not constitutionally permitted? As Joel Garreau, a former Washington Post editor, wrote in 2010, "faith-based environmentalism increasingly sports saints, sins, prophets, predictions, heretics, sacraments and rituals.
NEWS
April 15, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
Bible-believing evangelical voters kept Rick Santorum in the hunt for the Republican presidential nomination. But their fervor didn't translate into the dollars he needed to withstand the ad blitz of the deeper-pocketed Mitt Romney. Does Santorum's suspension of his campaign mean religion won't play a role in the fall campaign? No, with a Mormon and a Protestant who still gets wrongly accused of being a Muslim in the race, you can expect religion to remain a factor in the election.
NEWS
April 15, 2012 | By Ed White, Associated Press
DETROIT - Some Detroit-area Muslims have been held at gunpoint, handcuffed, and repeatedly harassed about their religion when returning to the United States from Canada, according to a lawsuit that seeks to bar government agents from asking questions about religion. The Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said border agents and the FBI were violating the First Amendment and a 1993 federal law that guarantees freedom to practice religion. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Detroit.
NEWS
April 6, 2012 | By E.J. Dionne Jr
The Easter season is a celebration of deliverance, and the liturgical calendar sets up Easter Week as a kind of catharsis. Holy Thursday and the Last Supper have an ominous feel because they are preparation for Good Friday and the dolorous story of Jesus' crucifixion. Yet two days later, the tale ends in triumph and resurrection. Whatever questions Christians may have about the meaning of that empty tomb, most of us have experienced a sense of joy when the words "He is risen, alleluia!"
NEWS
March 11, 2012 | By Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press
NEW YORK - The New York Police Department collected information on businesses owned by second- and third-generation Americans because they were Muslims, according to newly obtained secret documents. They show in the clearest terms yet that police were monitoring people based on religion, despite claims from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the contrary. The NYPD has faced intense criticism from Muslims, lawmakers - even the FBI - for spying operations that put entire neighborhoods under surveillance.
NEWS
March 11, 2012 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Alain de Botton isn't exactly what you'd call religious. The Swiss-born philosopher and novelist has never been shy about proclaiming himself an unbeliever - a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool atheist. But as he argues in his new book, Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion (Pantheon; 320 pages; $26.95), de Botton does believe, passionately, in religion. Paradox? Folly? Madness? De Botton, who has been accused by critics of trading in the first and suffering from the other two, will speak about the book at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia Sunday at 2 p.m. Born in Zurich, but living in Britain since his early teens, de Botton, 42, made a splash at 23 when his debut book, Essays in Love (published in America as On Love: A Novel )
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