Tagged with news

NEWS: Big Week for Religion in Germany

Some significant stories pertaining to religion came out of Germany this week. On Friday, July 16, Bishop Maria Jepsen, the first woman worldwide ever elected – in 1992 – as a Lutheran bishop, resigned from her post in northern Germany after being accused of mishandling abuse complaints. According to the New York Times, hundreds of … Continue reading

NEWS: UCC SW Conference Boycotts Arizona

Leaders of the United Church of Christ are boycotting Arizona in response to the state’s stringent new immigration law. Six ministers have joined the Reverend John Dorhauer, head of the UCC’s Phoenix-based Southwest Conference, in imposing economic sanctions on the Grand Canyon State. According to Religion News Service, Dorhauer emphasized the importance of putting the … Continue reading

NEWS: Immodest Women Cause Earthquakes, Iranian Cleric Warns

Immodest women make the earth move, according to Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi. In a statement to the Iranian media, Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader cautioned that women who wear tight clothing or whose scarves reveal much of their hair “lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes.” Sedighi’s statement … Continue reading

NEWS: Christian Science Update

In response to the recent New York Times article on Christian Science (see my April 2 post, “Christian Science Church Makes Rooms for Modern Medical Care,” below), Mary M. Trammell, chairwoman of the Christian Science board of directors, issued a response in the form of a letter to the editor. In it, she highlights what … Continue reading

NEWS: Tax-Exempt Status for The Family?

The Family, an elite Christian network with strong political ties, is back in the news. Jeff Sharlet’s 2008 bestseller, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, introduced many to this organization, also known as the Fellowship, which is perhaps most recognized for sponsoring the National Prayer Breakfast each February in Washington, … Continue reading

NEWS: $4.4 Million Grant to Study Free Will

The John Templeton Foundation recently awarded Alfred Mele, the William H. and Lucyle Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University (FSU), a $4.4 million grant to “oversee a four-year project to improve understanding of free will in philosophy, religion and science.” Funding for the project, “Free Will: Human and Divine — Empirical and Philosophical … Continue reading

COMMENT: Is environmentalism a religion?

(Cross-posted from The Philosopher’s Eye) Every so often popular debate breaks out about whether belief in anthropogenic global warming is analogous to religious belief. These debates almost always turn into debates about whether environmentalism is a religion. Typically, one side maintains that the distinctive feature of religious belief is that it appeals to the supernatural, … Continue reading

NEWS: US Defense Contractor Stamps Chapter and Verse on Rifle Sights

Trijicon, a Michigan-based defense contractor, has been carving references to Bible verses on its combat rifle sights for nearly 30 years. The United States military has purchased hundreds of thousands of these rifles. This Tuesday, the U.S. Army announced plans to investigate whether Trijicon violated federal procurement statutes regarding proselytization by American troops serving in … Continue reading

NEWS: Religion and the Haiti Earthquake

Haitian and non-Haitian observers alike have been attributing religious explanations to the devastating earthquake that occurred earlier this week. On the one side are those Haitians praying and singing songs with lines such as “Forgive me, Jesus” and “O Lord, keep me close to you.” Pooja Bhatia, a fellow at the Institute of Current World … Continue reading

NEWS: New York Times Links US Evangelicals to Proposed Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill

Three US Evangelical Christians delivered a series of talks in Kampala last March denouncing homosexuality as “an evil institution,” according to this week’s New York Times. These men are now distancing themselves from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, proposed by Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati, which initially threatened homosexuals with hanging. The three evangelical speakers—Scott Lively, … Continue reading