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Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel

Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel

By Shalom Auslander

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Tag: Religion

religious American flag
Composite: Wikimedia Commons / Rursus / Oren neu dag

Americans Picking and Choosing From Religious Grab Bag

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, Americans are getting more creative with their choice of religion—or choices, as the case may be. They’re picking and choosing from various world religions and using the Internet to learn about different faiths.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Peace Prize Speech

Accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Thursday, President Barack Obama acknowledged the controversy of his award, as “the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars.” He spoke of one of those wars, Afghanistan, in terms of self-defense and shared his thoughts on the concept of “just war.” (full remarks inside)

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE


Orrin Hatch’s Hanukkah Song

Can someone explain how über-Mormon Sen. Orrin Hatch came to write a Hannukah song? Oh wait, Jeffrey Goldberg just did and took all the fun out of it. Better to not know, and watch the video after the jump.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Gay Animals Edition

Today on the list: the power of same-sex liaisons, poetry in the Bible and more. Update

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 READ MORE


bookcover

Troy Jollimore on Karen Armstrong’s ‘The Case for God’

Have nonbelievers misunderstood, even as they have mocked, the very concept of God—a concept that has more to do with practice than belief?

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: West Point Hangover Edition

A few of the morsels that landed in Larry’s web this post-escalation day: How to protest a homophobic protester, Obama speech aftermath, digitizing Da Vinci and much, much more. Update

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / House Of Sims

Give Kennedy His Cracker

The name Kennedy is just about synonymous with American Catholicism, but (at least) one of the brood is publicly feuding with the church. Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted and U.S. representative of Rhode Island, has been forbidden by his bishop to take communion since 2007.

Posted on Nov 23, 2009 READ MORE


DemocracyNow

Throw the Money Changers Out of the Temple

Wall Street profits are an obscene affront to Scripture, as Robert Scheer details in an interview with Amy Goodman on “Democracy Now!”

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 READ MORE


Three Abortion Coverage Myths

Let’s dispense with three fallacies swirling about the question of abortion coverage in health care reform.

Posted on Nov 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Has Tough Love for China

President Obama’s remarks at a Shanghai town hall meeting Monday were unlikely to please either the power brokers in Beijing or the hawks on the home front. Obama said China and the U.S. were not adversaries, but he also spoke of “universal rights,” which ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 READ MORE



childmigrantstrust.com

Australia Sorry for Abuse of Castoff Kids

In the decades after World War II, some 10,000 British children were separated from their families and exiled to Australia, where many were physically and sexually abused and some were put to work in what were effectively child labor camps. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 15, 2009 READ MORE


Where Does the Caving End?

If pro-choice Democrats turn back reproductive rights, it proves that they can be rolled by intransigent opposition. And once rolled, it’s all downhill.

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / el fedora

And on the Eighth Day, God Created Aliens

The Vatican used to burn people for talking about aliens. Now it holds conferences on the subject. After presiding over such an affair, the director of the Vatican Observatory explained “we cannot put limits on God’s creative freedom.” (continued)

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 READ MORE


Catholic crucifix
orbiscatholicus.com

Crucifixes Barred From Italian Classrooms

An Italian mom’s wish for her kids to have a secular education provided the catalyst for a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to bar crucifixes from being displayed in Italy’s classrooms. Needless to say, the court’s decision didn’t sit well with the Vatican.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP

Racist Judge Inadvertently Makes the Case for Gay Marriage

The marriage equality movement has been severely damaged by the argument that those opposed to same-sex marriage would be forced to perform weddings against their will.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Because

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Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE    


California Marriage Protection Act PSA

A Marriage Protection Act Gays Can Appreciate

Score one for irony: A new movement is in the works, complete with its own Web site, to protect the institution of marriage in the Golden State from the unholy scourge of ... divorce. The drive is on for the 2010 California Marriage Protection Act, and this group—which actually intends to poke fun at the Proposition 8 proponents—is circulating its own PSAs to educate the masses about its mission.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jae C. Hong

The Victims of Pornography

Pornography does not promote sex. It promotes masturbation. It promotes the solitary auto-arousal that precludes intimacy and love. Pornography is about getting yourself off at someone else’s expense.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE


Paris mosque
enjoyfrance.com

Muslims a Fourth of World’s Population

The internationality of Islam is emphasized by a new Pew Research study that found one in four people in the world to be Muslim. With 1.57 billion adherents, Islam ranks second only to 2.25 billion-strong Christianity. The study’s findings counter the disparaging, stereotyping notions that many in the West have of “the Muslim World.”

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / NeoGaboX

There’s No Safe Sex in Saudi Arabia

Bragging about one’s sex life is lame, but is it lame enough to earn 1,000 lashes and five years in prison? A Saudi man has been sentenced to just that punishment for going on TV and talking about his extramarital liaisons.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / midiman

Conservatives Stripping ‘Liberal Bias’ From the Bible

A group of conservatives is working on “a thought-for-thought translation” of the Bible “without corruption by liberal bias.” Yes, that Bible. The organization seeks to create a document that, among other things, is “Not Emasculated,” that “Express[es] Free Market Parables” and that favors “conciseness [over] the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio.” That Jesus was such a wordy socialist.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Mohammed Ballas

The War on Language

Those who seek to dominate our behavior first seek to dominate our speech. They seek to obscure meaning. The English- and Arabic-speaking worlds are each beset with a similar assault on language.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 READ MORE


Aw Jesus!

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Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE    


Irving Kristol
AP / The Weekly Standard

Reflections on the ‘Godfather’ of Neoconservatism

It is puzzling that obituary notices of Irving Kristol obviously intended to be positive designate him the “Godfather” of neoconservatism. Likening this group of thinkers and writers to a gang of Mafiosi may or may not be accurate; it is certainly not flattering.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Could Get Much Worse if Tolerated

God’s specific instruction to the Jewish people to reoccupy Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank stands in the way of peace, but President Obama must get results—and fast—before the situation deteriorates.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Whewes

Forget Religion, Settlers See a Bargain

Roughly 2.4 percent of the Israeli population has managed to hijack the peace process by moving into settlements in Palestinian territory. So what drives these people? It may have less to do with religion and more to do with the low cost of living on occupied land.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE


chimpanzee
Flickr / Rennet Stowe

Godless Darwin Movie Too Sciency for God-Loving America

Let’s get something straight, America. Charles Darwin was right. Only 39 percent of you believe that, but his theory of evolution is the basis of modern biological science. Deal with it. A new film about the man can’t get distribution in the U.S. because—this is embarrassing just to type—150 years after “On the Origin of Species,” he’s too controversial in these parts.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Oded Balilty

Israel’s Holy Warriors

Changes in Israeli policy have military rabbis joining combat troops at the tip of the spear. Ostensibly there to boost morale, critics worry that the rabbis are turning soldiers into Jewish jihadis. One rabbi says he was ordered to blow a ram’s horn like Joshua, because “It makes the war holier.”

Posted on Sep 7, 2009 READ MORE


Prayer Book for Spouses
dailymail.co.uk

A Bedroom Benediction for Married Catholics

Ever wonder what the Roman Catholic Church might have to say about the proper way to prepare for the friskier side of holy matrimony? Well, here it is anyway: A Catholic organization in Britain has come up with a bedroom benediction for officially recognized (read: heterosexual) married couples to consult prior to consummation in its handy “Prayer Book for Spouses.”

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE


Obama's Ramadan greeting

Obama Salutes Muslims Preparing for Ramadan

President Obama released a video greeting Friday to Muslims in America and abroad to commemorate the start on Saturday of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and reflection for members of the Islamic faith.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Lutheran voters
AP / Dawn Villella

Lutheran Organization Votes to Include Monogamous Gay Clergy Members

The largest Lutheran organization in the U.S., the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, voted Friday to bring gay and lesbian clergy members into its fold—provided they are in committed relationships—signaling another seismic shift in the American Protestant scene this year.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE



A Bomb in Every Issue

Peter Richardson’s fascinating new book explores the short, unruly life of Ramparts Magazine and its extraordinary effect on American politics and media.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Saint Sebastian
Follower of Pietro Perugino

The Bible Is Not Safe for Children

If public schools are to teach the “literature and history” of the Bible, as some Texans desire, will they leave out the parts that say it’s OK to kill your slaves and disobedient children?

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Jimmy Carter
cartercenter.org

Carter Breaks With Southern Baptists Over Gender Equality Issue

Former President Jimmy Carter has made human rights an ongoing focus of his life’s work, and his position on the issue recently compelled him to sever his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention after being affiliated with it for six decades. Carter, in a recent piece for The Observer, complains that higher-ups in the denomination haven’t changed their sexist ways.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Jacqueline Larma

The Man in the Mirror

The commercial exploitation of Michael Jackson’s death was orchestrated by the corporate forces that rendered him insane. He was infected by the moral nihilism and personal disintegration that are at the core of our corporate culture. He was a reflection of us in the extreme.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Philippe Wojazer, pool

Does Obama Have a Friend in the Vatican?

When Obama meets with Benedict XVI on Friday, there will be no right-wing Catholic demonstrators upbraiding the pontiff for conferring the church’s legitimacy upon this liberal politician. In fact, when it comes to economics, this conservative pope is to the left of the president.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


Thomas Paine
Portrait by Auguste Millière

The Age of Paine

“That filthy little atheist,” as Thomas Paine was called by Theodore Roosevelt, has few monuments dedicated to his memory. Building a bronze and marble monument to Paine will never revive the republic, but his words still carry an electric current of freedom. His intellectual and political energy is always available for rediscovery.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE


The Battle Over the Burqa

Since President Barack Obama in his recent Cairo speech made a tut-tutting remark about countries that restricted wearing religious garb in school, the controversy over the Muslim burqa has resumed in Europe.

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Troops Leave Iraqi Cities, but Unsettled Issues Remain

Now that American troops are withdrawing from the cities of Iraq, the calculation must begin as to whether the loss of some half-million to million lives and the ruin of the infrastructure and social structure of Baghdad and much of the rest of the Iraqi nation have served some good purpose.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE


Turning Soldiers Into Crusaders

“Fault Lines” has this disturbing look at efforts to transform American soldiers into “government-paid missionaries,” as one Christian fundamentalist group put it. Featuring Truthdig’s Chris Hedges.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009 READ MORE


Sanctity

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Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE    


bookcover

Troy Jollimore on God’s Evolution

Can Robert Wright, the acclaimed author of “The Moral Animal,” square the circle in his new book on the persistent and vexing issue of what role religion plays in how human societies seek to comport themselves? Just how crucial to our modern ethical ideas like universal rights and equality among all persons is the notion of a single, all-powerful god?

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE


The War Between Civilizations That Never Was

The West was wrong about this being a war of civilizations, and so were the Muslims. Islamic civilization is experiencing a double crisis, of modernity and of religion. Nothing could be clearer today in Tehran.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE


WWJD

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Posted on Jun 15, 2009 READ MORE    


Obama and the Politics of Short Memories

Business has been on the ropes since last fall’s financial collapse, but the first glimmerings of recovery are calling forth a capitalist counteroffensive.

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 READ MORE


The Lone Wolves Among Us

The white supremacist who allegedly took a rifle into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and killed a security guard is more than a bitter, demented old man. He is a known figure in the domestic hate industry and a reminder that words have consequences.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Vahid Salemi

Ahmadinejad Blames Hitler and Israelis for Rivals’ Success

Iran’s rowdy presidential campaign shows no signs of boredom heading into Friday’s election. Perhaps feeling the heat from rival Mir Hossein Mousavi, sitting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused his opponents of “a return to Hitler’s methods” and collaborating with “Zionist entities.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ben Curtis

America’s Foreign Policy Phobias Are Overblown

Recent developments in the Middle East and Central Asia, from Iran’s raucous election to Pakistan’s tribal revolt against the Taliban, cast doubt once again on Washington’s basic assumptions and anxieties.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE


Charles Taylor
abcnews.com

Charles Taylor Finds Yahweh

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has found a new religion, reports say. The one-time African dictator, on trial at The Hague accused of crimes against humanity, has decided to convert to Judaism. According to one of his wives, after arriving in the Netherlands “he got to know that he really, really wanted to be a Jew.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE


Naysayers

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Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


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