POSTS WITH TAG: religion

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    All murders are senseless, but it's pretty much impossible to understand why a person would fatally shoot complete strangers -- including an innocent young teen -- who are just going about their day and living life. A 73-year-old Missouri man named Frazier Glenn Miller has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder for reportedly gunning down three people -- including 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood -- at a Jewish community center and a nearby Jewish assisted living facility just one day before Passover.

    As stupid and senseless as it is, we have a good idea what probably motivated the killer and nothing could be sadder: he was reportedly a "raging anti-Semite" who founded a Ku Klux Klan organization and shouted, "Heil Hitler!" as he sat in the back of a police car after his arrest.

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    Have you heard about the Florida 5-year-old who says a teacher told her not to pray right before she was about to eat lunch in the school cafeteria? The story is all over the place this morning, as the YouTube video her parents made of her telling her story is gaining quite a bit of attention.

    The little girl claims that when she went to bow her head before eating her meal, a "lunch teacher" stopped her and told her she was not allowed to do so and that praying is "bad."

    And that's when her father, Marcos Perez, made this video of her giving her account of the incident.

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    Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of the infamous, vehemently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, has died at 84 years old. Nathan Phelps broke the news on his Facebook page on March 16 that his estranged father was "on the edge of death," and later, his daughter Margie Phelps informed The Associated Press that Phelps died around midnight on Wednesday, but didn't provide the cause of death or the condition that recently put him in hospice care.

    While losing a loved one is never easy, the country's reaction to Phelps' passing is overwhelmingly dry-eyed. After all, this is a man who led a small Kansas congregation (made up almost entirely of his extended family) in some of the most hate-filled protests this country has seen in recent years, aimed at everything and everyone -- from AIDS victims to gay people to soldiers.

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    When the new National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum opens this May in New York City, it will display 1,000 artifacts related to the tragic event -- but a 17-foot cross-shaped beam found in the wreckage will not be one of them, if the group American Atheists have anything to say about it.

    The cross was discovered by a construction worker at the World Trade Center site, who said it provided him with great "comfort." But a representative for the atheist group argues that the "Miracle Cross," as it is being called, doesn't belong anywhere within a museum that is being financed by taxpayers and that it violates the Constitutition's separation of church and state. The group claims it is fighting to include an object of its own to be put up in the museum -- a plaque that says "atheists died here, too."

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    Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church has definitely made it clear that he plans on modernizing the church. This leaves us wondering if the F-bomb he delivered at the Vatican the other day was just another example of the dude keeping it real, trying to be like the people. You know, just another gangsta and former nightclub bouncer. Next week in the tabloids: "Pope Francis -- He's Just Like You!" This text would be followed by a picture of him giving someone (in my mind it's Bono) the finger.

    Don't worry, while Francis might be a revolutionary kind of new leader for the church, he won't be buying motorcycles or having "Bad to the Bone" sung in St. Peter's anytime soon. When he cursed in a speech in the Vatican on Sunday, it wasn't exactly intentional. If anything it was a totally understandable flub in a language that isn't his native tongue.

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    I know Joel Olsteen is all about the (wildly unbiblical) prosperity gospel, but isn’t the Catholic Church all about the vows of poverty? Or is that just for the monks and nuns? Because clearly it’s not one taken by Newark Archbishop John Myers.

    Parishioners are so upset by Myers’ lack of regard in expanding his weekend home to the tune of half a million dollars that they’ve stopped donating to the church in protest.

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    For years, Pentecostal Pastor Jamie Coots, who is the star of a reality show on National Geographic called Snake Salvation, preached to his followers that those who were true believers of God wouldn't be harmed by poisonous snakebites -- an idea that he interpreted from a passage in the Bible. Over the years, Coots -- whose father and grandfather also handled snakes -- fearlessly handled all types of serpents, including copperheads and rattlesnakes. He lost part of his finger to a snakebite and witnessed the death of several churchgoers, yet continued to spread his message. He died this weekend from a snakebite, after refusing to receive treatment from doctors.

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    I know I'm a little bit late to the party considering he's in second grade, but a couple months ago, I finally enrolled my son in CCD classes at our church. I won't go into the full reasoning behind why I waited so long and/or why I decided now was the right time for him to have religious education in his life -- but I'm more than happy I finally took the plunge. And so is he.

    He loves going to class each week. He loves doing his homework and learning about the Catholic faith. And he was absolutely beaming when he took part in the nativity play at Christmas mass this year.

    My little guy loves to be right in the center of things, which is why I'm totally anticipating him wanting to be an altar boy when the opportunity arises.

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    Are you a Buddhist? If you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, or anything in between, you're probably thinking, "Nope! Don't even know what that is! Wait, is that that weird religion where people shave their heads and dress up in orange robes and dance around the airport banging tambourines?" Yes and no. For one, it's Hare Krishnas who dance around the airport -- though I haven't seen them in awhile. And while Buddhist monks do shave their heads and wear orange robes, laypeople do not.

    But you might be more Buddhist than you know. In fact, if you've posted something to Facebook like, "In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you," then you're already being a bit Buddhist. (Although Buddha didn't say that, I don't think he'd disagree with it either.) Here are 7 ways you're already totally Buddhist.

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    Wanna know the two topics that should most definitely be brought up at every dinner conversation no matter with whom you're eating? Why, religion and evolution, of course. No topic, perhaps besides abortion, is more divisive, and the great creationism vs. evolution conundrum is making headlines today thanks to a recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. Bill, best known as "Bill Nye the Science Guy," is an American science educator, while Ken, an Australian native, is the founder of the Creation Museum. And last night at 7 p.m. ET, the two went at it.

    There's no doubt about it: Regardless of who "won" the debate, there's very little chance that your mind will be changed about the subject.

    But we might as well go over five quotes from each guy so you can see some highlights from the debate for yourself. Enjoy!

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