Pastor to N.J. church leaders: Thou shalt not Facebook
NEPTUNE, N.J. — Thou shalt not commit adultery. And thou also shalt not use Facebook.
That’s the edict from a New Jersey pastor who feels the two often go together.
The Rev. Cedric Miller said 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church have run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame over Facebook. Read full story from lansingstatejournal.com
Fairy DogParents? A Magic Wand for Hard-Luck Families
Jenney Hemboldt was distraught. She had lost her job, had a young child at home and her 11-year-old dog Sable (below, right) wasn’t eating and was very ill. Unemployed, broke and teary, she feared her only choice was to surrender the family’s German Shepherd mix to a dog shelter through the Massachusetts Society for the Prevent of Cruelty to Animals, so that Sable could get the surgery he needed.
Instead, in a stroke of serendipity, she learned of Fairy DogParents, a nonprofit that could intervene, providing the near-fairytale help that would keep Sable with the family that adored her. And just when she needed a little magic, Marlo Manning, the organization’s founder, stepped in with a vet that would do the surgery at a reduced cost and and an offer of dog food so that Sable could remain with the Hemboldts. Read full story from tonic.com
Britain’s Spiritual Inversion
Last month, the Charity Commission recognized druidism as an official religion. Druids in Britain, of which there are about 10,000, can now claim tax exemptions and have access to other valuable “rights.” For instance, druids in prison may now take twigs, or magic wands, into their cells, and can request time off work to worship the sun.
Many are concerned that this decision will crack the door open for Britain’s growing number of witches, warlocks and wizards to seek legitimacy from the Charity Commission.
According to the Pagan Federation, which defends and promotes the interests of witches, druids and other “followers of polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshiping” groups, there are now 300,000 pagans in Britain. Pagans are in every strata of society too, as one pagan recently admitted: We are “civil servants, teachers, housewives, accountants, university lecturers, farmers, bakers, child-minders, historians … sailors, gardeners, call-center workers, office cleaners and dancers and shop workers.” Read full story from thetrumpet.com
First American in Europe ‘was native woman kidnapped by Vikings and hauled back to Iceland 1,000 years ago’
A native woman kidnapped by the Vikings may have been the first American to arrive in Europe around 1,000 years ago, according to a startling new study.
The discovery of a gene found in just 80 Icelanders links them with early Americans who may have been brought back to Iceland by Viking raiders.
The discovery means that the female slave was in Europe five centuries before Christopher Columbus first paraded American Indians through the streets in Spain after his epic voyage of discovery in 1492.
The genes that the woman left behind have now been discovered in the DNA of just our distinct family lines. Read full story from dailymail.co.uk
Most Americans say Obama’s religious beliefs different than their own
A majority of Americans say that President Barack Obama’s religious beliefs are either somewhat different or very different than their own, a poll on religion and the recent elections found.
The poll report, by the Public Religion Research Institute, identified Obama’s religion “dilemma,” as the institute called it, as one of three significant emerging religious issues to watch toward the 2012 election cycle. Read full story from cnn.com
Consulate works to restore Dia de los Muertos
n many small towns in Mexico, the main export isn’t the local chocolate, coffee or peppers, but labor.
An event Wednesday evening in Yuba City marked a concept to change that trade deficit, while celebrating both small business and a traditional Mexican observance.
Marta Sol, of the Chiapas state in Mexico, beamed as she used a modern coffeemaker to incorporate Chiapas coffee beans and chocolate to make hot beverages — leavened with spirits — to toast deceased loved ones. Read full story from orland-press-register.com
U.S. religious freedom report faults China, among others
Religious freedom remains under threat in China, especially for followers of the Dalai Lama and Muslims in the west of the country, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday in a major report.
China harassed members of religions Beijing does not recognize, and disbarred, harassed and imprisoned lawyers who tried to defend them, the State Department said. Read full story from cnn.com
At 92, Dallas woman is the Johnny Appleseed of herbs
Lane Furneaux doesn’t waste time. “I’m 92 ½ years old, you know.”
It was decades ago that she earned the unofficial title of Dallas’ pioneering herb advocate, and she has not let her cause lapse. She’s adamant that the knowledge she has accumulated must live on after her. Furneaux (pronounced fur-NO) feels the need urgently now to educate the public about herbs: their fragrance, their flavor, their symbolism; how they grow, where and why; to pass the language of herbs on to the next generation. Read full story from dallasnews.com