As long as the grass grows and the poverty shows
During the election cycle we tend to ask: What does America mean; where are we going? And then someone decides to check on the Indians to find out the answer, as though Indians represent America’s soul hidden in the attic. And of course politicians have long stood next to their “souls” and posed for pictures on the campaign trail.
Within the last year, Diane Sawyer and “20/20″ did a special on the sorry conditions at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and the New Yorker featured a grim photo essay on Pine Ridge too. The New York Times published a piece on brutal crime at the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and another on the deep financial problems at Foxwoods, the Pequot-owned “world’s largest” casino in Connecticut. Indians make the news, but the news isn’t really news, it’s just a way for the country take its temperature. Read full story from latimes.com
Indian Benefits: Misnomer and Propaganda
Contrary to popular belief, especially among non-Natives, American Indians did not simply relinquish their rights to lands, waters, and other natural resources. Indeed, as a result of historic negotiations and treaties between the U.S. government and tribal nations, federal agencies are obligated to provide specific rights, services, and protections as payment for the basic wholesale exchange of the land mass of the United States.
Misnomer—the use of a wrong or unsuitable term to describe something.
The United States contractually owes tribal nations. “Indian benefits” is a misnomer for the debt owed to Native peoples. The federal government pledged through laws and treaties to compensate for land exchanges accomplished through the forced removal of tribal nations from their original homelands. Unfortunately, payment is commonly expressed as “benefits.” This term—benefits—implies giving assistance, subsidy, or even charity, rather than deserved reimbursement. The Department of Interior even describes the obligated recompense for American Indians as benefits on its webpage. Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
Catholic groups sue over federal contraception mandate
(CNN) – The University of Notre Dame and “a diverse group of plaintiffs” filed lawsuits Monday challenging the federal mandate that religious employers offer health insurance that includes coverage of contraceptives and birth control services, Notre Dame spokeswoman Shannon Chapla said.
The Notre Dame suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern Indiana, is one of a dozen filed Monday by 43 separate Catholic institutions in different federal courts around the United States, Chapla said.
The lawsuits are efforts to “vindicate the country’s constitutional and traditional commitments to religious freedom and pluralism,” Notre Dame law professor Richard W. Garnett said in a university statement. Read full story from cnn.com
Truce between Obama and Romney on faith?
Washington (CNN)– A political truce may be brewing between the Obama and Romney campaigns on the issue of the candidates’ faith and religious practice. An all-out war over such issues nearly erupted last week, but neither campaign would take up arms. Read full story from cnn.com
Three covens, with up to 13 witches in each one, regularly meet either behind closed doors or outside at night.
Witch and Doyle’s Psychic Emporium owner Robert Doyle, 35, dabbles in what were once considered the dark arts. He said: “I have taken part in different rituals. In one, we welcome the four elements – earth, air, fire and water. Sometimes we meet in people’s homes and sometimes on the beach.”
Robert explained that witchcraft is deeply rooted in paganism. He added: “One ritual is called the rites of cake and ale where we say goodbye to winter and hello to summer. We pass cake and ale in a clockwise direction saying, ‘May you never hunger or thirst.’”
Witch Wendy Starr, 54, who co-owns a psychic shop called Magik in Ramsgate with Serena Lowman, 58, has started her own gathering of pagans called Magik Cafe. She said: “We had our first night last week and we had 30 people come along. I started it because I wanted to bring together the pagan community and give them somewhere to go when they meet up.” Read full story from thisiskent.co.uk
The Origins of Monothiesm in Hindu Dharma
The dialogue which Raja Ram Mohun Roy had started in the third decade of the nineteenth century stopped abruptly with the passing away of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948. The Hindu leadership or what passed for it in post-independence India was neither equipped for nor interested in the battle for men’s minds. It believed in ‘organising’ the Hindus without bothering about what they carried inside their heads. It neither knew nor cared to know what Hinduism stood for. Its history of India began with the advent of the Islamic invaders. The spiritual traditions, ways of worship, scriptures and thought systems of pre-Islamic India were beyond its mental horizon.
The Christian missions, as we have seen, had never had it so good. Unchallenged ideologically, they broke out of the tight corner in which Mahatma Gandhi had put them and resumed the monologue which had characterised them in the pre-dialogue period. A number of mission strategies were dressed up as ‘theologies in the Indian context’. The core of the Christian dogma remained intact, namely, that Jesus Christ was the only saviour. The language of presenting the dogma, however, underwent what looked like a radical change to the unwary Hindus, particularly those in search of a ‘synthesis of all faiths’.
In the days of old, the missions had denounced Hinduism as devil-worship and made it their business to save the Hindus from the everlasting fire of hell. Now they abandoned that straight-forward stance. In the new language that was adopted, Hinduism was made a beneficiary of the Cosmic Revelation that had preceded Jehovah’s Covenant with Moses. Hinduism was also credited with an unceasing quest for the ‘True One God’. The business of the missions was to direct that quest towards Christ who was ‘hidden in Hinduism’ and thereby make them co-sharers in the final Covenant which Jesus had scaled with his blood. That was the Theology of Fulfilment. A number of learned treatises were turned out on the subject. The labour invested was perhaps praise-worthy. The purpose, however, was deliberately dishonest. Read full story from chakranews.com
You can map those sparks in the growth of grassroots events, such as the Million Women Rise march, launched three years ago, and the Feminism in London conference, whose thousand cheering delegates surprised me with their numbers and energy last year.
You can also map them in the increasing readiness of influential organisations and individuals, from the UN to Judi Dench, to be associated with what might once have been seen as stridently feminist rhetoric. To see the grassroots and the establishment coming together is to witness a movement with a great legacy taking on new energy.
International Women’s Day has not, historically, been a huge deal in the UK. It kicked off in 1911 in more idealistic and embattled times, when women all over the western world were seeking basic political and employment rights. With its roots in the international socialist movement, it is perhaps unsurprising that we hear it has more of a profile in China and Russia than in Britain. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk
International Women’s Day: how rapidly things change
A century ago International Women’s Day was associated with peace, and women’s and girls’ sweated labour – which votes for women were to deal with. Not a celebration, but a mobilisation. And because it was born among factory workers, it had class, real class. Later it came to celebrate women’s autonomy, but changed its class base and lost its edge. This centenary must mark a new beginning.
We live in revolutionary times. We don’t need to be in North Africa or the Middle East to be infected by the hope of change. Enough to witness on TV the woman who, veiled in black from head to foot, led chants in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, routing sexism and Islamophobia in one unexpected blow. She and the millions moving together have shaken us from our provincialism, and shown us how rapidly things can change. Women in Egypt have called for a million women to occupy Tahrir Square today. Who would have predicted that a month ago?
Feminism has tended to narrow its concerns to what is unquestionably about women: abortion, childcare, rape, prostitution, pay equity. But that can separate us from a wider and deeper women’s movement. In Bahrain, for example, women lead the struggle for “jobs, housing, clean water, peace and justice” – as well as every demand we share. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk
Museum of Natural History Lecture Explores Ancient Animal Remains Burial Cave In Israel The Connecticut State Museum of Natural History presents “Feasting with the Dead on the Eve of Agriculture: Ancient Animal Remains from a Burial Cave in Israel,” a lecture by Dr. Natalie Munro from the Department of Anthropology at UConn. The lecture will be held in the Biology/Physics Building, Room 130, UConn Storrs Campus, on Sunday, March 20, 3 p.m.
Zooarchaeological evidence from a small burial cave in Israel reveals evidence that prehistoric funerary feasts and shamanism were practiced as early as 12,000 years ago, at the very beginning of human transition from hunter-gatherer to agriculturalist. The site of Hilazon Tachtit in Israel, where Dr. Munro has conducted her research for several years, contains a variety of unusual deposits of animal associated with funeral practices. Read full story from courant.com
Stone Age walkers cause a stir
WALKERS clad in Stone Age costumes attracted plenty of modern-day interest as they made their way from Avebury to the Ancient Technology Centre in Dorset.
The fur-wearing wanderers were recreating a Walk of the Ancients which took them via Stonehenge, Old Sarum and the city centre.
On the way they visited St Michael’s School in Figheldean and met children and parents at Larkhill to answer questions about Stone Age life. Read full story from salsburyjournal.co.uk
The convention’s dates are Feb 18-21 and will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel. As usual for PantheaCon, they will be taking up the entirety of the hotel’s function space.
The theme for this year’s gathering is “Walking the Talk.” People who submitted presentations for the event were encouraged to focus on the meaning of that phrase for pagans in modern times. Read full story from examiner.com
Malawi’s jailed witches get a lease of life
A human rights group in Malawi is causing a stir as it embarks on a mission to gather 10,000 signatures from locals to force President Bingu wa Mutharika free several jailed witches.Association of Secular Humanism (ASH) says most of the convicts are women jailed for teaching witchcraft to children. Reports say some are doing jail time of up to six years.
“I’m asking you to sign this petition to help us reach our goal of 10,000 signatures. I care deeply about this cause, and I hope you will support our efforts,” a senior official of the association, Harold Williams is quoted saying.
The petition reads: “Belief in witchcraft is widely held in Malawi by people of all levels of education and stature in society. Whereas the law does not accept the reality of witchcraft, the Police and judicial authorities, many of whom share the belief, distort the law to punish those who are accused of witchcraft”
“It is mainly the elderly, men and women, who are accused of witchcraft and there are many very elderly and infirm imprisoned throughout Malawi – sentenced for up to 6 years without anything that would pass as substantive evidence in courts which do not accept superstition and suspicion as adequate.”
“The Association of Secular Humanism in Malawi has made several attempts to persuade the authorities to release these unfortunates and has visited many in our prisons. We need your help!” Read full story from afrik-news.com
Witchcraft Legal Aid in Africa
NEW YORK — Accusations of witchcraft in Africa have gained increasing attention because of the severe impact they can have on the lives of those accused, including imprisonment, deprivation of property, banishment from villages and in some cases physical violence.The human-rights law program I direct recently partnered with an N.G.O. in Malawi to run a mobile legal-aid clinic focusing on witchcraft cases in two rural communities.
Men, women and children flocked to our clinic seeking legal assistance. The cases were challenging and engaged the question of how to confront accusations of witchcraft, particularly when children and elderly women disproportionately bear the brunt of such accusations.
The persecution of accused witches has not historically been confined to Africa. Witch-hunts have occurred in Europe, America, ancient Rome, Aztec Mexico, Russia, China and India. But the practice persists in poor settings in part because witchcraft can be used in communities without routine access to modern medicine and science to explain seemingly inexplicable instances of death and misfortune. Read full story from nytimes.com
So when the crew from the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” (tonight at 9) wanted to up the ante in season four, they pointed their Electronic Voice Phenomena recorders to the North Shore.
“I actually have been dying to come back to anywhere near my hometown for a couple years now,” “Ghost Adventures” investigator Nick Groff, a former Pelham, N.H., resident said. “Everybody knows about Salem, the witch trials, the movies — everything that’s been done here.” Read full story from bostonherald.com
New York City’s Official Apocalypse Manual Should New York City face a “very grim” situation, the government has the right to “establish curfews, quarantine wide areas, close businesses, restrict public assemblies and, under certain circumstances, suspend local ordinances,” the New York Times explains in a feature this morning about the legal rulebook that governs potentially apocalyptic times. It’s terrifying in theory, but also very boring because it’s written by lawyers. The “New York State Public Health Legal Manual,” a/k/a The Oh My God We’re All Goin’ to Die book, “provides a catalog of potential terrorism nightmares, like smallpox, anthrax or botulism episodes.” But don’t worry, they have a plan. Read full story from villagevoice.com
New Bigfoot sighting near Pittsburgh It was early Tuesday morning February 8th 2011, Sam was just exiting route 60 at about 7:45AM and about to turn into the PA turnpike when something odd caught his attention.The intersection was in the middle of a rolling landscape with hills on every side. The tenacious winter weather of the season had coated the hills with much snow, and every hill was glistening white in the early morning sun. But to his left a large dark brown figure stood out in stark contrast to the colorless background. It was a massive dark brown humanoid figure, trudging its way effortlessly through the deep snow that covered the hillside to his left. Sam was shocked and amazed. The figure was familiar to him, he had seen it so many times before on documentaries and cable television specials. He was watching a Bigfoot creature first hand from about 100 yards away. Read full story from examiner.com
Headed by millionaire property owner Daniel Landy-Ariel, the Jesus People preach an orthodox Christian lifestyle in which adherents speak ancient Aramaic and some forms of violence against women and children are allegedly encouraged.
Guided by their spiritual father, the cult’s 150 followers are crammed into urban properties in Sydney and Cairns, as well as three massive kibbutzes in remote areas of Queensland and NSW.
Police are now investigating the extent to which cult members may have sheltered convicted murderer Luke Andrew Hunter, 42, and whether or not they helped him obtain work with Queensland Health. Read full story from theaustralian.com
Cast Your Love Spell with a Love Potion
A love spell has been described as a positive love-thought that you send out to the universe as an affirmation in the way of an incantation, or simply in the form of a prayer, and then you visualize with intense feeling what you desire to attract to your life.
Put these ingredients of manifestation together with the power of a ritual and you have a love spell that is simply spell-binding! During my years of studying metaphysics I am honored to have close friends and soul sisters from my home land in Australia, Deborah Gray and my late friend Athena Starwoman, both self-confessed and practicing white witches who lived in a coven and follow a spiritual way of life.
Having kept such company, over the years a little of their white magic rubbed off, and for this Valentine’s Day, I have created a concoction suitable for your star sign so you can cast your very own love spell. Read full story from nydailynews.com
Demand for uranium threatens Grand Canyon biodiversity
The natural beauty and unique species of the Grand Canyon are “in the crosshairs” because of renewed interest in the region’s uranium reserves. That is the warning from critics of the mines, ahead of the release of a government report on Friday on the potential impact of fresh mining.
Mining has been banned within the Grand Canyon national park since President Roosevelt declared it a national monument in 1908. But since 2003, foreign companies have submitted 2,215 claims to prospect on the edge of the canyon.
Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, temporarily withdrew 1m acres of land from exploration in 2009 to allow time for an environmental assessment. Salazar must decide by July whether to ban “mineral entry” for two-thirds of the claims for the next 20 years.
Uranium deposits mineralise in 2,000-feet deep “breccia” pipes, a geological feature common to the world-famous golden brown sedimentary rock in the canyon. When left alone, the uranium is not harmful. But once dissolved in water, it can leach into springs and aquifers that then feed into the Colorado river, which ultimately supplies 18 million people in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The water can remain contaminated for decades after a mine shuts. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
How a ‘teen witch’ found the Church
My parents bought me a cauldron for my 16th birthday. Providing no explanation, I had asked for that and a chalice. At a loss, mum suggested it would look nice outside with the geraniums.My interest in Wicca began as I entered my teens. Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Danger, the booklet I wrote recently as part of the Catholic Truth Society’s Explanations series, condenses – after some factual basics about the philosophy and practice of “white” witchcraft – the conversations I had with a Catholic friend and her family that eventually led to my conversion to the Catholic faith. The booklet has caused controversy on the blogosphere: it sold out on Amazon.com and cropped up on the websites of the Telegraph and Daily Mail. What began as a small document to inform Catholics about the realities of Wicca – eg that it isn’t Satanism – appears to have re-ignited the persecution complex among Wiccans that I was hoping to diffuse.
I am concerned that as a culture, perhaps as a Church, we can too easily dismiss the spiritual needs of young people. In my family, religion was something to explore and debate. Both my parents are Oxford graduates and historians, my father a Doctor of Maths and Philosophy. His atheism prevailed over my mother’s Anglicanism, and neither I nor my sister were baptised. Read full story from catholicherald.com
It’s also known as a “mysterious school of the ancient Celts, one that has been successfully revived by modern practitioners,” say organizers of a Druid workshop and ceremony series happening this weekend.
Its connection with nature is part of what drew Annie Caskey of Grand Junction to study the ancient tradition for the past three years.
She and her husband are “ovates” the second level of study, between a bard and a druid. Read full story from gjfreepress.com
The museum’s world-renowned collection was burgled and several artifacts went missing last month, including statues of King Tutankhamun and Pharaoh Akhenaton — and many of the looted antiquities have been returned or discovered, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said.
In addition to the Akhentaon statute, the missing Heart Scarab of Yuya was recovered near the museum gardens, where wooden fragments belonging to a damaged coffin were also found. A search team found one of the eleven missing shabtis of Yuya and Thuya underneath a showcase. Fragments belonging to the statue of Tutankhamun being carried by the goddess Menkaret have been found; all the located fragments belong to the figure of Menkaret. Read full story from foxnews.com
What caused the revolution in Egypt? When interpreting something like the Egyptian upheaval, people tend to project their own passions on to the screen. The twitterati see a social media revolution, the foodies see food price hikes at its core, others see a hunger for democratisation, human rights groups see a backlash against routine torture and abuse. So I thought I’d try to pull together and categorise the full range of different “drivers of change” involved in bringing about a revolution.
First, consider the demographics: an explosive mix of high population growth, leading to a “youth bulge”, combined with urbanisation, jobless growth partly linked to structural adjustment, and the rapid expansion of university education has produced what the BBC’s Paul Mason calls “a new sociological type, the graduate with no future”. Two-thirds of Egyptians are under 30, and each year 700,000 new graduates chase 200,000 new jobs. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
These “coronal mass ejections” will slam into the Earth’s magnetic shield.
The waves of charged solar particles are the result of three solar flares directed at Earth in recent days, including the most powerful since 2006.
The biggest flares can disrupt technology, including power grids, communications systems and satellites.
The northern lights (Aurora Borealis) may also be visible further south than is normally the case – including from northern parts of the UK.
“Our current view is that the effect of the solar flare is likely to reach Earth later today (Thursday GMT), possibly tomorrow morning,” said Alan Thomson, head of geomagnetism at the British Geological Survey (BGS). Read full story from bbc.co.uk
In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the two-term Democrat cited his authority as governor to uphold citizens’ rights “to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana’s cherished wildlife heritage and traditions.”
Schweitzer said he was driven to act out of an urgent need to assist ranchers and sportsmen left unable to control wolves posing a serious threat to livestock and elk herds.
“If there is a dang wolf in your corral attacking your pregnant cow, shoot that wolf. And if its pals are in the corral, shoot them, too,” Schweitzer told Reuters in a telephone interview. Read full story from reuters.com
Delivered in a Daydream: 7 Great Achievements That Arose from a Wandering Mind
The ability to concentrate on a task is a prized skill—the secret to success, many claim. But recent research suggests that intense focus on a problem does not always usher the fastest progress or, at least, such focus is not always sufficient for the necessary brainstorm. Insights often occur subconsciously while the mind wanders, reports Josie Glausiusz in the March/April Scientific American MIND. Albert Einstein, for example, came up with his theory of relativity only after letting his thoughts stray from the mathematics itself. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
MPM brings mummies to life: Better than zombies?
The Milwaukee Public Museum is hosting what is considered the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled.The purpose of the exhibition is to show viewers the various processes of mummification, and how and why today’s researchers study mummies. Throughout the exhibit, several scientific techniques are described, such as the use of MRIs, radiocarbon dating, and rapid prototyping, a process that allows three-dimensional replicated models of the specimens to be created. These tools help researcher study the dead without disturbing their natural state.
Representatives of U.S. religious, university, and medical organizations assisted in developing the exhibition. The mummies and artifacts on display are from 20 museum and university collections around the world, according to information provided in the exhibit. Read full story from thedigitalnp.com
There are benefits, personally and for our religious community as a whole, as more Pagans come out. Some of these benefits include the reduction of anxiety caused by living a double life and creating a climate of greater acceptance for all Pagans. Read full story from pagancomingoutday.com
Truman Oler, whose brother James leads one of two divided factions within Bountiful, left the fundamentalist Mormon community in southeastern B.C. several years ago and has rarely seen his family since.
Oler, now 29, testified Tuesday at a B.C. court case examining Canada’s anti-polygamy law, describing a community where children are taught from an early age that anything less than complete obedience — including entering into polygamous marriages– would mean an eternity in hell.
“My thinking about Bountiful and the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has evolved the longer I have been away from the community,” Truman said in a written affidavit filed in advance of his testimony.
“I now think that the FLDS is like a cult and that it is damaging for children to grow up in that environment. The FLDS does not permit anyone free choice. You are told what to do.” Read full story from ctvbc.ctv.ca
Producers want to film an episode of “Fact or Faked,” which would examine a tourist’s 2008 claim that he filmed a ghostly image of a boy running through the cemetery.
Acting City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney and Jerry Flemming, director of cemeteries, say they’re following city policy on the use of cemeteries.
“The municipal cemeteries are not for sensational or entertainment purposes. Any tours or events marketed as haunted, paranormal, or involving ghosts, spiritualists or mediums are strictly prohibited from any of the municipal cemeteries,” the policy states.
Aldermen Tony Thomas, Mary Ellen Sprague, Clifton Jones and Larry Stuber agreed the sanctity of the cemetery and the respect owed to the deceased and their families has to be considered. Read full story from ajc.com
As part of the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County’s “Living Library” program last Sunday, representatives from various religions and faiths shared their experiences and answered questions while maintaining the feel of a traditional library.
“My first patron asked about my life, the success and failures in my own practice of Christian Science,” said Jackson, representing the First Church of Christ, Scientists.
Each representative was given a call number and patrons were allowed a 20-minute checkout.
“It’s nice for me to hear the variety of paths people have taken,” said Mark Salzer of Ann Arbor Township.
Salzer, who attends a Mennonite church, was conflicted as to whether he wanted to look into the Pagan or Universalist faiths next after having heard about Science of the Mind. Read full story from annarbor.com
There, seated with his palms together and facing west, was their friend. Flames leapt around the peaceful man, engulfing him. It was just as he’d intended.
The year was 527.
This story of Daodu, a Buddhist monk, is told in James Benn’s “Burning for the Buddha: Self-Immolation in Chinese Buddhism.” Benn, an associate professor of religion at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, writes that the act of setting one’s self on fire dates back in Chinese Buddhist tradition to the late fourth century.
But no matter how old, self-immolation still leaves people horrified, riveted and moved. Read full story from cnn.com
This may seem like a curious task given that we all know or should know the story of our lives. We’ve been imagining the movie to be made from that story forever, right?
Well, that may be true of some us, but a surprising number of people actually don’t have a coherent story: something that hangs together, makes sense, and has some internal consistency. The story may have large, important chunks missing. Or the narrative is fragmented and chaotic. Sometimes the story is there but it is self-condemnatory and unfair.
A woman who was raped at the age of 16 was telling herself that she consented to sex with a man much older than she was, someone she barely knew. She thought of herself as a slut. All the adults in her family would agree (if they knew the story): a 16-year-old is a grown-up and responsible for her actions. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
India must face up to Hindu terrorism
For far too long, the enduring response of the Indian establishment to Hindu nationalists has rarely surpassed mild scorn. Their organised violent eruptions across the country – slaughtering Muslims and Christians, destroying their places of worship, cutting open pregnant wombs – never seemed sufficient enough to the state to cast them as a meaningful threat to India’s national security.
But the recently leaked confession of a repentant Hindu priest, Swami Aseemanand, confirms what India’s security establishment should have uncovered: a series of blasts between 2006 and 2008 were carried out by Hindu outfits. The attacks targeted a predominantly Muslim town and places of Muslim worship elsewhere. Their victims were primarily Muslim. Yet the reflexive reaction of the police was to round up young Muslim men, torture them, extract confessions and declare the cases solved. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
In a ritual vividly described in 19th century literature and still alive today, Russians tell fortunes in the evenings between Russian Orthodox Christmas (January 6-7) and the festival of Epiphany on January 19.
While fortune-telling is practised between Christian holidays, it is frowned upon by the Russian Orthodox Church, which sees it as a remnant of paganism. Read full story from google.com
Abuse survivors will question the cardinal leading a special papal delegation to Ireland about the letter, they said.
“We are disgusted by details revealed in the letter. Many of our members just can’t take this in and have been deeply affected by the revelations,” Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse spokeswoman Margaret McGuckin told CNN. Read full story from cnn.com
Haiti one year on: “living in a tent is not really a life”
The angelical voices of a choir dressed in pristine white singing hallelujahs do not match the hellish scenery that surrounds them: piles of debris, an acid stingy smell of rotten rubbish, women crying while waving their hands at the skeleton of what used to be the country’s main Catholic church, Cathédrale Notre Dame de L’Assomption, thanking God for still being alive, but some also blaming him for plunging the Caribbean country into an abyss.
Exactly a year ago the earth grumbled violently, killing 230,000 people and flattening the cities along the centre of an impoverished country that is now no more than a mass of rubble and twisted iron. Today, broken Haitians are commemorating their losses following their hearts and their faiths. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Weinert, who serves as the board president for the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ), explains, “I saw the hatred, the animosity and the violence, and I thought, ‘This isn’t how we should be treating members of our community.’” So ICPJ began working with local faith leaders, the Ann Arbor City Council and others to respond to the anti-Muslim activities and promote a community that welcomes and respects all. Read full story from annarbor.com
Phelps won’t picket girl’s funeral
Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church won’t picket the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed in Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., in exchange for getting airtime on two radio stations, a church spokeswoman said Wednesday morning.
Church members earlier had announced plans to picket the funeral of the girl, Christina Taylor Green, who was one of six people killed during Saturday’s shooting spree that also wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
However, Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokeswoman for the Westboro church, said KXXT-AM, a 50,000-watt radio station in the Phoenix suburb of Tolleson, Ariz., and Canadian station CFNY-FM, 102.1 “The Edge” in Toronto, offered to give the Topeka church airtime to discuss its views in exchange for its members not picketing the girl’s funeral. Read full story from cjonline.com
Interview with P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, Founder of Ekklesía Antínoou
I was fortunate enough to spend some time this past week with Pagan author P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, a scholar, devotee of Antinous, and author of the book The Phillupic Hymns through Bibliotheca Alexandrina and The Syncretisms of Antinous through The Red Lotus Library. He’s been doing some fascinating work in reviving the cultus of the God Antinous within contemporary Reconstructionist Paganisms, so I was very happy when he agreed to answer a few questions.
This interview took place on November 7, 2010. Read full story from patheos.com
So here’s their chance to do something about VAT and all those hidden taxes.
Simply consult their Romanian sisters like Bratara Buzea, who, although she sounds like a Mafia hitman, is actually the Queen Witch of that country. For years Romanian witches have gone about their eerie business untaxed. Read full story from walesonline.co.uk
I asked my nine-year-old son, who attends an ordinary – though high-achieving – primary school in Clapham, what the “collective worship” mandated by English law in his school assemblies consists of. He reports that his assemblies feature a hodgepodge of broad brush-stroke outlines of a variety of religious festivals – Diwali, Eid, harvest festival – mixed in with basic moral messages about things like bullying (bad), being kind (good) and the dangers of Facebook (many). God, he was pretty sure, has never been mentioned and nothing he would describe (within his admittedly limited experience) as “worship” has ever taken place. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Why people abandon religion
The question of why some people lose their faith and what to do about it has long vexed those who don’t – check the Old Testament for some heated discourse on the topic. Recent polling indicates that the trend toward secularism has increased – even in the United States, one of the most religious countries in the world. The results of the latest American Religious Identification Survey (Aris) reveal that the “nones” – people whose stated religious affiliation is “none” – have grown from 8.1% in 1990, the first year the study was conducted, to 15% in 2008.
A November 2010 article in Christianity Today sought to discover why, and cited “moral compromise” as the first reason, meaning that people leave religion because they want to do things religion forbids, such as have premarital sex. Other reasons include intellectual doubts and being hurt in some way by a church.
Recognising the necessity of understanding specific reasons for specific departures, I propose an overarching reason for why people abandon religion: they leave when the tension becomes too great between what they want and need, and what religion tells them they should want and need. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
But it became an unwelcome place for a new user, who joined the site in early 2009 and called himself “Erad3.” Now – based on the language in his postings, and information about where he logged on – the site’s operators believe Erad3 was accused Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner, 22.
“I’d go with 99 percent,” said Bill Irvine, chief executive of the site’s parent company, when asked how certain he was that Erad3 and Loughner were the same person.
Skull pulled from box renews Bradenton mystery
BRADENTON – Police here are trying to solve a mystery over how an unidentified human skull sat in a box in their property room for more than 35 years until it was discovered last week.
And they have virtually no records to indicate to whom it belongs or what happened to the person.
In late 1974, someone found a human skull submerged in 4 inches of water in an area vaguely described as “near Bradenton.”
The skull was apparently sent by the Bradenton Police Department to the FBI and back again to the local agency’s evidence room, where it was wrapped in newspaper, put in a box, marked with the word “SKULL” and forgotten.
Until last week. Detectives, sifting through old evidence to see if any of it could be used to crack cold cases, found the box, and the skull, and are now trying to figure out to whom it belongs. Read full story from heraldtribune.com
Authorities handling fallout of breaking up polygamist cult One year after police raided the Tel Aviv headquarters of a suspected polygamist cult that involved some 40 children and 20 women, welfare authorities say they are still dealing intensely with the fallout and rehabilitation process of the cult members as they return to live a normative life.
According to information published Tuesday by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, the 20 wives and 40 children of the yet-to-be convicted cult leader Goel Ratzon continue to receive a wide range of welfare services, including constant psychological monitoring.
“The Goel Ratzon affair is a clear sign that we have a policy of zero tolerance to cults and other groups that prey on vulnerable women and children,” Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog said in a statement Tuesday. Read full story from jpost.com
Strategic shamanism and the new world order
Many will know of the dream behind the First Earth Battalion through The Men Who Stare at Goats. But, as part of Jon Ronson’s takeover, Jim Channon explains that it’s the government and large corporations who really need to hear the message Read full story from guardian.co.uk