Religious Gurus – Sekt Info http://sektinfo.org/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 23:34:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://sektinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/sekt-info-icon-150x150.png Religious Gurus – Sekt Info http://sektinfo.org/ 32 32 Reviews | Obscene anti-Mormon chant marks dark irony in church history https://sektinfo.org/reviews-obscene-anti-mormon-chant-marks-dark-irony-in-church-history/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 22:44:45 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/reviews-obscene-anti-mormon-chant-marks-dark-irony-in-church-history/

Matthew Bowman is Associate Professor of History and Religion and Howard W. Hunter Professor of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.

How did we get to the point where fans seated in the student section of Autzen Stadium at the University of Oregon in Eugene sung “F— Mormons” as their football team beat Brigham Young University on Saturday?

Specifically, how did we get to the point where the BYU graduate who captured the singing on video was able to tell a reporter that she was disappointed, but not necessarily surprised because “you don’t make fun of a lot of religions, but Mormons are free play”?

The following day, University of Oregon officials issued an apology, calling the chant “offensive and shameful”. But the fact that these students don’t seem to feel the same struck me, both as a historian of religion in the United States and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The arc of the church’s history, from an object of fear and confusion in the 19th century, to hard-earned respectability in the mid-20th century, to “free play” today, tells us a lot about the church itself, but also on the place of religion in the United States.

Joseph Smith began telling his family that he was receiving revelations in the 1820s. After publishing the Book of Mormon in 1829, he claimed the mantle of a prophet and founded the church in 1830. Until his murdered at the hands of a mob in 1844, he led the church across the country and into ever more countercultural practices. and beliefs. The practice of polygamy is the best known of these, but the Church has also experimented economic communalism for decades.

After Smith’s death, thousands of LDS church members fled west under the leadership of Brigham Young, eventually finding relative safety in the Utah Territory in 1847. For decades thereafter, the territory was casually theocratic, as Church leaders selected candidates in virtually every election.

But from the 1880s through the 1910s, through a combination of sustained lawsuits, asset forfeiture, and bad publicity, Congress drove out much of the church’s countercultural impulse. LDS leaders made a concerted effort, usually successful, to drive polygamists out of their church. They asked members to embrace conventional American politics. LDS businessmen reached out across the country, and LDS students enrolled in universities nationwide.

By the 1950s, the LDS church had achieved such respectability that Ezra Taft Benson, one of the church’s most senior leaders, could be appointed secretary of agriculture in the Eisenhower administration and be Featured, with his wife and children, on Edward R. Murrow’s popular news program as an exemplary American family. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (as it was then called) regularly toured the country. Everything seemed fine.

But by the 1980s, however, that assimilation and acceptance had begun to fade.

American evangelical Christians were making a strong comeback in politics, and alongside campaigns against abortion and no-fault divorce, some conservative religious leaders engaged in “anti-cult” efforts that targeted relatively small religious movements, including the LDS Church. Baptist pastor Ed Deckera former Mormon, came to attention in the 1980s with a book and film called the “God Makers”, presenting LDS history and beliefs in the most sinister light possible.

In the 1990s, this parody version of the church entered mainstream American culture in the work of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the TV show “South Park” and the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon”. who both ridicule LDS church members as ostensibly nice, but also stupid and terminally ridiculous.

So what seemed in the 1950s to be the epitome of wholesome Americanness had by the turn of the 21st century become both naive and clumsy. Many Democrats scoffed at Mitt Romney’s nomination as the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 for precisely these reasons — he was a “Ken dollof a candidate, his hair too perfect, his family too healthy, his life deeply disconnected from harsh American reality.

At the start of the 21st century, the ideals the church had embraced to gain acceptance in the United States made the church seem foreign again, and especially to many progressives. And that might help explain the chanting at the Oregon football game. (BYU fans reportedly heard the same chant last fall during a game against the University of Southern California.)

In the early 1980s, the LDS Church joined the successful conservative fight against the Equal Rights Amendment. Later, the church became perhaps the most prominent opponent of the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage. More recently, Brigham Young University’s master’s program in speech-language pathology has undergone a accreditation review due to the university’s determination that the treatment of transgender students in the program’s clinic was contrary to the university’s religious mission.

And, of course, although a BYU investigation said it found no evidence to support the story, a Duke volleyball player’s claim that students had shouted racial slurs during a recent game at BYU shone a light on the church’s troubled history with race.

Frankly speaking, the LDS Church has found itself, willingly or not, on the side of cultural issues decidedly not favored by most young people in the United States.

It’s a dark irony that a church that tried so hard to gain respectability saw the award go away almost as soon as it was won.

]]> Pentagon likely rushed denials of religious exemption requests for COVID-19 vaccine, watchdog says https://sektinfo.org/pentagon-likely-rushed-denials-of-religious-exemption-requests-for-covid-19-vaccine-watchdog-says/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 20:08:39 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/pentagon-likely-rushed-denials-of-religious-exemption-requests-for-covid-19-vaccine-watchdog-says/

The army may have moved too quickly in refusing religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccination. The Pentagon’s inspector general has warned that mass denials of religious exemption requests are “worrying,” according to an internal memo obtained by Military.com.

“We have seen a trend toward generalized assessments rather than the individualized assessment required by federal law and DoD and military service policies,” Pentagon Inspector General Sean O’Donnell said in the memo. of June 2 addressed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. “Some of the appeal decisions included material that demonstrated greater consideration of the facts and circumstances involved in a claim.”

The watchdog said military officials likely spent only a few minutes reviewing exemption requests, providing potential grounds for legal challenges to denial decisions.

Read more : Air Force pay cuts reversed

“The volume and pace at which decisions have been made to deny requests is concerning,” the memo said. “Assuming a 10-hour working day with no breaks or attention to other matters, the average review period was approximately 12 minutes for each package. Such a review period seems insufficient to process each request in a individualized while performing the required duties of their position.”

Most services are still waging legal battles over enforcement of the vaccination mandate for troops, issued by Austin in August 2021. The Navy and Marine Corps are effectively on standby to remove service members who have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Army National Guard has about 40,000 unvaccinated soldiers whose service component has not found what to do. And some 1,200 coast guards are trying to qualify for a class action lawsuit over the denial of their religious exemptions. The review process is an important factor in many of these cases.

The Army, by far the largest service, had approved 1,602 requests for religious exemption out of 8,514 in the active duty and reserve components as of August 12. Overall, the Inspector General found approximately 50 denials per day over a 90-day period across the services.

In the military, servicemen must be vaccinated against at least a dozen diseases, ranging from influenza to smallpox. The only way to be excused is through a religious waiver or an even rarer medical exemption – reserved for extreme and rare cases, such as if a service member is known to be at risk for myocarditis, an effect rare cardiac inflammation secondary to COVID vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccines were politicized almost immediately by conservative pundits and some Republican lawmakers after they were made available. Critics have argued, without evidence, that vaccines don’t work or are grossly dangerous themselves, points that have been refuted by seemingly every medical study.

Most of the religious objections are due to the use of fetal tissue in COVID-19 vaccine research. Although the researchers used cell lines derived from elective abortion tissues originally created decades ago, these tissues were used to produce test proteins and were not introduced directly into the vaccine.

Additionally, a vaccine that didn’t use fetal tissue in any part of its development, Novavax, was approved by the FDA, then the Pentagon, in August. Navy and Marine Corps spokespersons have confirmed to Military.com that the vaccine is available to their service members.

Demands for exemption among the military have been a matter of controversy and debate since the introduction of the vaccination mandate, and have sometimes pitted religious leaders against those of their flock.

Gab.com CEO Andrew Torba — a far-right social network who gained notoriety for being actively used by the man who was accused of killing 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018 – wrote in a 2021 newsletter that he “is came across a set of religious exemption documents that the creator calls an ‘air request for strict religious exemption for the COVID vaccine if it is required for you at work, school, or the military.’

The military model Torba proposed was a 21-page document that claimed the Eastern Orthodox Church was against the vaccine. However, the leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church in America says the opposite – there was no necessary exemption from them on the vaccine.

Pope Francis has likewise encouraged vaccination and therefore the leaders of Islam. A research paper even concluded that getting vaccinated was “in effect a form of Shariah compliance”.

Other service members have told Military.com that they obtained their exemption documents from secret, hidden Facebook groups, sometimes citing arguments from people like Lt. Col. Theresa Long. Long, an Alabama-based army surgeon, has won supporters in vaccine denial circles despite the fact that many of her claims made in court were filled with errors and inaccuracies.

Meanwhile, legal challenges that vaccine refuseers have filed in federal courts have had an impact. In late March, the Navy was forced to suspend the removal of sailors with pending exemption requests after a Texas judge ruled that a case involving Navy SEALs refusing vaccines would apply to the entire Navy. service – just days after his earlier order to halt all Navy action against the SEALs was restricted by the Supreme Court.

Last week, in response to an injunction issued by Judge Steven Merryday in federal court in Florida, the Marine Corps posted a message to say it too was to stop the separations. The decision will impact about 1,150 Marines, according to a statement from the service.

Merryday was the same judge who in March barred the Navy from reassigning a destroyer commander despite testimony that the man had flouted the service’s rules for COVID-19 mitigation while seeking an exemption religious of the vaccine. Merryday called the officer “triumphantly fit, lean and strong, who is healthy, who is young.” It was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

Mark Zaid, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who fought and prevailed on the Army’s last major anthrax vaccination warrant, previously told Military.com that it’s no coincidence that many of the same judges have appeared in cases of vaccines.

“It’s clearly forum shopping. … I don’t think it’s surprising that stays have been secured in very conservative neighborhoods on religious issues,” he said.

Service members were among the first populations of Americans eligible for vaccines, almost immediately when they hit the market. However, the Ministry of Defense never issued a requirement for boosters. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine effectiveness declines over time, making it unclear whether troops inoculated immediately are technically still vaccinated if they never received a booster.

The news also comes as President Joe Biden has declared the COVID-19 pandemic over, echoing the sentiment across the entire military as commanders have eliminated virtually all protective measures and units have resumed their activities as usual. The worst impacts of coronavirus variants typically hit the elderly or people with other health conditions including obesity and diabetes, not the generally younger and relatively fit military population. A total of 95 service members have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

“We still have a problem with COVID”, the president said Sunday on “60 Minutes”. “We’re still working on it a lot. … If you notice, no one is wearing a mask. … Everyone seems to be in pretty good shape.”

— Steve Beynon can be contacted at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

— Konstantin Toropin can be contacted at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.

Related: What does the guard do with 40,000 unvaccinated soldiers? Nobody knows

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Festival of the Faiths designed to open dialogue for a stronger community – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast https://sektinfo.org/festival-of-the-faiths-designed-to-open-dialogue-for-a-stronger-community-wish-tv-indianapolis-news-indiana-weather-forecast/ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 03:11:24 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/festival-of-the-faiths-designed-to-open-dialogue-for-a-stronger-community-wish-tv-indianapolis-news-indiana-weather-forecast/

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 10th annual “Festival of Religions” is scheduled for Sunday and faith leaders have said these events are key opportunities to create open dialogue between diverse groups and a stronger community as a result.

Charlie Wiles, executive director of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, said, “Our individual faith journeys really inspire us to work hard to bring more cooperation into our community to help solve some of the difficult issues we are witnessing.”

The festival will have an “Interfaith Dialogue Session” hosted by Mayor Joe Hogsett. This event will allow young people from the Baha’i, Hindu and Muslim faiths to discuss issues important to them and learn about the traditions of their peers.

Wiles said, “It helps us become friends and be more willing to work together to help resolve issues and hopefully eliminate some of the misunderstandings that exist.”

After the arrests made in connection with the Filanwaa killing, Imam Ahmed Alamine said the beginning of the end to the violence in this town was more about communication between the different groups.

“We need to start talking to each other, regardless of our faith. We need to have an open and honest conversation about structural issues,” Alamine said. “Most of the time we talk about the symptoms, we don’t talk about the root cause, and honestly the root cause can be addressed through honest and open conversation within the community.”

Wiles said so much can be solved when people come together instead of looking at what sets them apart.

“We really want to create empathy. We want to build this human bond. It humanizes the other when we sit down and have a conversation with intention and with people of different faiths,” Wiles said. “We believe that religion is about loving each other and the more we get to know each other, the more chance we have of making that love a reality and solving many of the problems we face in the community together. “

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Latino NJ clergy leader promotes ‘social justice’ in new book https://sektinfo.org/latino-nj-clergy-leader-promotes-social-justice-in-new-book/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:03:38 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/latino-nj-clergy-leader-promotes-social-justice-in-new-book/

NEWARK, NJ — Reverend Bolivar Flores, vice president of the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers, recently hosted a signing event in Newark for his latest book, “Hispanic Religious Leaders and Civic Engagement.”

Flores – a vocal immigration advocate who has been among New Jersey advocates speaking out against “unfair busing of migrants to East Coast cities” – appeared at the Newark Museum of Art to discuss his book and the best practices for facilitating engagement and partnerships between Latino faith-based organizations and public officials.

Flores also spoke about “how Latino faith leaders and organizations need to engage more with the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice causes.”

The clergyman is also chief of staff for the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people returning from incarceration, and chief of chaplains for the city of West New York.

Send local news tips and correction requests to eric.kiefer@patch.com. Learn more about advertising on Patch here. Learn how to post announcements or events to your local Patch site. Don’t forget to visit Patch Newark’s Facebook page.

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How teaching tolerance can promote peace https://sektinfo.org/how-teaching-tolerance-can-promote-peace/ Tue, 13 Sep 2022 21:36:00 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/how-teaching-tolerance-can-promote-peace/

The top concept note recognizes that education is “a foundation for peace, tolerance, other human rights and sustainable development”. However, the summit agenda does not focus on how to harness the power of education to promote these important values. Prioritizing tolerance education can help promote peace, stability and human rights. The summit represents an opportunity to draw international attention to this missing aspect of global education strategies.

What is “tolerance” education?

“Teaching Tolerance” is shorthand for a set of concepts about the value of multi-faith understanding, the benefits of pluralism, and the importance of human rights and freedom of religion or belief. Due to our increasingly diverse societies, tolerance should be a central part of any effort to support basic education – as well as part of the summit agenda. However, very few international organizations or donors prioritize teaching students how to live with diversity through intercultural learning.

Our work at USIP has engaged a variety of practitioners, educators, and diplomats around the world on best practices. We held roundtables with people working on programs to promote religious tolerance through education from Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, United Kingdom and the United States, among others, as well as the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Irina Bokova, former Director General of UNESCO from 2009 to 2017, provided insightful advice based on her experience at the UN. “Education should be about values, the values ​​of human rights, of mutual respect, of respect for nature and humanity, of living together,” she said. “We need to move beyond literacy and numeracy, to focus on learning environments, on new forms of learning.”

While immense challenges exist in meeting reading, writing and math needs, choosing not to support tolerance education is also a decision. Inaction will ensure that children are exposed to ideas of fear or hatred of ‘the other’ without the tools to see through misinformation, thus leading to continued human rights abuses and instability. Children can learn to count and read, but will be ill-prepared to live in an increasingly diverse world.

Embedding tolerance in the classroom

Practitioners stressed the need to prioritize textbook reform that promotes positive views on multi-faith tolerance, pluralism and human rights. Textbooks are the keystone of any education plan. Often used for years, they provide a foundation for student learning and teacher programming.

And in many contexts, there is an urgent need to update them. The international community should empower local actors to develop culturally appropriate materials that promote multi-faith tolerance, the benefits of pluralism, human rights and religious freedom.

Teacher training should go hand in hand with textbook reform, empowering teachers to embrace pluralism and create a positive classroom environment. It is essential that textbook reform and teacher training are supported simultaneously. Otherwise, improved textbooks will be underutilized by ill-equipped teachers, or properly trained teachers will lack materials to integrate. A “two-track” approach of simultaneously improving textbook “hardware” and teacher training “software” will bring the most lasting results.

Tolerance education is a community effort

Driving change will require a mix of public and private engagement with government officials, elected leaders, parents, community and religious leaders and faith-based actors. A healthy ecosystem for multi-faith understanding requires engagement with all of these groups, because what children are taught is sensitive in all societies.

For example, USIP has partnered with the Alliance of Iraqi Minorities (AIM) on curriculum reform. AIM “focused on including more examples of multiculturalism and togetherness in the curriculum, a balanced compromise between the need for integration and minority concerns about assimilation”.

Their commitment is working. Based on AIM’s recommendation, Baghdad’s Ministry of Education “will modify the second-degree Islamic religious curriculum to highlight Armah, the seventh-century Christian king of Abyssinia and Axum.” The king was known for offering generosity and refuge to Muslim pilgrims in what is modern Ethiopia, serving as an example of religious coexistence. Additions like this are small but important steps.

Religious leaders also have a vital role to play. Religious leaders can establish a positive framework for education in pluralism and human rights. Initiatives such as the Human Fraternity Document, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, provide leadership for the other clerics. And in the most egregious situations, the international community should prioritize pressing government partners whose educational materials promote violence against “the other,” especially if governments disseminate them outside of their country of origin.

A long-term commitment

However, none of this will happen without a decades-long commitment to funding tolerance education. We need consistent, specific and, above all, additional funding for tolerance education from the international community.

Textbook reforms and teacher training will require additional resources, not the diversion of already insufficient funds. Dedicated annual funding from the international donor community would equip educators, practitioners and communities to teach children how to live with diversity and inoculate them against narratives of hate and violence. Funding for this work has the potential to have positive effects in ways that have yet to be fully explored or tested.

In conclusion, in an age of growing diversity—and growing intolerance—emphasizing tolerance through education is crucial. Irina Bokova summed up our findings and challenges when she said, “Teaching tolerance, respect for cultural diversity and human rights is an essential part of bringing peace. She also underlined: “There is the need to put education at the forefront of public policies, the need for a global Marshall Plan for education. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a decrease in national budgets and development aid for education in general, not to mention education for peace and tolerance.

Teaching tolerance requires a long-term commitment. And, with sustained support, such efforts can foster greater respect for human rights and positively equip students to succeed in an increasingly diverse world. The Transforming Education Summit offers a unique opportunity to recognize the importance of tolerance education in global strategies and to mobilize the necessary resources. Let’s hope that education for tolerance will be part of the solutions emerging from the summit.

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Faith leaders speak about peace at a 9/11 memorial service https://sektinfo.org/faith-leaders-speak-about-peace-at-a-9-11-memorial-service/ Sun, 11 Sep 2022 20:06:24 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/faith-leaders-speak-about-peace-at-a-9-11-memorial-service/

People sing along

People sing during “An Interfaith Service of Remembrance, Hope and Peace” on the 21st anniversary of 9/11 at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ in Coral Gables, Florida on September 11, 2022.

swalsh@miamiherald.com

When Yasir Billoo took the pulpit during a church service in Coral Gables, he turned to the congregants before him.

“Salam Alikum,” he said. Peace be upon you.

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Yasir Billoo speaks during an “Interfaith Service of Remembrance, Hope and Peace” on the 21st anniversary of 9/11 at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ in Coral Gables, Florida on 9/11 2022. Sydney Walsh swalsh@miamiherald.com

A greeting recited earlier in the church service reminded him of the Islamic greeting: When we say peace be with you, we also say: justice be with you, mercy be with you, compassion be with you, love be with you and the Holy be with you..

“Spread peace among you,” Billoo said. “This is the example that Muslims are supposed to follow. This is the tradition that Muslims are supposed to carry.

Peace is at the heart of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions. And the concept has more in common than most realize.

Faith leaders shared their interpretations of peace during an interfaith service on Sunday morning at the Coral Gables Congregational United Church. The service included hymns and sayings from different faith traditions, even a Sioux prayer, and focused on remembrance, hope and harmony for the 21st anniversary of 9/11.

The terrorist attacks, the deadliest in US history, claimed the lives of 2,977 people and forever changed the fabric of American society.

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The choir sings during “An Interfaith Service of Remembrance, Hope and Peace” on the 21st anniversary of 9/11 at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ in Coral Gables, Florida on September 11, 2022. Sydney Walsh swalsh@miamiherald.com

Shalom, or peace in Hebrew, is central to every prayer and life event, including weddings and births, said Rabbi Robyn Fisher of Beth Or. And Jews are mandated to seek peace all the time, unlike other commandments which should only be obeyed when possible.

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Rabbi Robyn Fisher of Beth Or speaks during an “Interfaith Service of Remembrance, Hope and Peace” on the 21st anniversary of 9/11 at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ in Coral Gables, NL Florida, September 11, 2022. Sydney Walsh swalsh@miamiherald.com

“Peace in Judaism refers to a sense of perfection that will not be fully achieved until a messianic era,” she said. “We are commanded to strive constantly to achieve peace each day.”

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People hug during “An Interfaith Service of Remembrance, Hope and Peace” on the 21st anniversary of 9/11 at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ in Coral Gables, Florida on September 11, 2022 Sydney Walsh swalsh@miamiherald.com

Christians greet each other with the peace of Christ: Peace be with you, said Reverend Aaron Lauer of Coral Gables Church.

“In the midst of the despair and violence of the crucifixion, Christ stood among his people and offered them peace,” Lauer said. “Peace was the last word he said to his followers before his betrayal.”

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Reverend Aaron Lauer speaks during an “Interfaith Service of Remembrance, Hope and Peace” on the 21st anniversary of 9/11 at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ in Coral Gables, Florida on September 11, 2022. Sydney Walsh swalsh@miamiherald.com

In biblical Greek, the word peace means to gather, he said. And Christians know peace when they are reunited with God.

“We will only know peace when we are united with each other,” Lauer said. “When we serve each other, we understand each other, we heal each other, we forgive each other, we do each other justice.”

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People sing “How Beautiful, Our Comfortable Skies” during “An Interfaith Service of Remembrance, Hope, and Peace” on the 21st anniversary of 9/11 at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ in Coral Gables, Florida, September 11th. 2022. Sydney Walsh swalsh@miamiherald.com

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Reviews | Gerson was right on the Christian right https://sektinfo.org/reviews-gerson-was-right-on-the-christian-right/ Fri, 09 Sep 2022 22:00:32 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/reviews-gerson-was-right-on-the-christian-right/

How I wish every Christian would read Michael Gerson’s powerful and eloquent September 4 opinion piece, “Trump should fill Christians with rage. How come he doesn’t?

As Mr. Gerson wrote, many Christians learn to accept Jesus as their personal savior rather than follow Jesus’ teaching. Why can’t they do both? Jesus taught us to live with kindness and generosity – to help the poor, the blind and the oppressed. How has his message been twisted to elevate those who preach hatred, brutality and lawlessness?

Instead of integrity and love for others, we see selfishness and fear of anyone who is different. Hopefully more and more Americans will see the danger of professing their faith to politicians who claim to defend the message of Jesus.

Joanne Doyle, Salisbury, MD.

An ordained minister had the pleasure of showing me the essay by Michael Gerson. We both found the argument interesting.

Rage is not a Christian virtue. “Love your enemies” is one of Jesus’ most poignant sayings. But how to love those who hate us?

I would cite a rule of Stoicism in this regard: life is too short to be wasted in rage. Stoicism does not imply contempt, however. When possible, a Stoic will constructively engage opponents and help them grow.

One cannot, in a few words, provide a manual for how to do this. If you’re looking for one, I like Mónica Guzmán’s book “I Never Thought of It That Way”. She is part of an organization called Braver Angels that sponsors decent debates between red and blue supporters.

The current polarization of American politics is a major threat to our freedoms. Both extremes inspire hatred in their efforts to gain support. There is little appeal for those repelled by extremism.

In this regard, I have high hopes for the new Forward Party. His program seems progressive in the best sense of the word and should appeal to Christians and liberals alike.

John M. Rathbun, Asheville, North Carolina

Michael Gerson’s September 4 Opinions in-depth essay on why evangelicals support former President Donald Trump helped clarify this puzzling behavior. Recently, a friend and I had discussed this very topic over lunch. After reading, I immediately passed on this “history lesson” to him and cut the pages to save them in my library.

Bonnie Boyle Cote, Washington

I have read Michael Gerson’s September 4 opinion piece and was impressed with how brilliantly he characterized Christ and his teachings and their relationship to the Christian political movement today. His scholarship and ideas were impressive – to put it mildly. If only his message could be internalized by Christian leaders and their flocks, our society and our politics would be in a much healthier state. Kudos for brilliant writing!

Joel Sherman, Chevy-Chase

Magnum by Michael Gerson September 4 Opinions Essay, “Trump should fill Christians with rage. How come he doesn’t? was the most eloquent and powerful statement I can remember seeing in The Post. It was not one-sided. He articulated the issues with miraculous sophistication, relying on exceptional verbal skills and extraordinary scholarship: for example, “Some religious leaders have fueled the urgency of this agenda with apocalyptic rhetoric, in which the Christian church is under Neronian persecution by elites displaying caligulian values”. Then, about the radical right, he wrote: “If it is not moral ruin, then there are no moral rules.

The Post is to be commended for highlighting this moving statement.

Frank T. Manheim, Fairfax

]]> Societies cannot survive without the social glue that binds people together: President Halimah https://sektinfo.org/societies-cannot-survive-without-the-social-glue-that-binds-people-together-president-halimah/ Tue, 06 Sep 2022 04:48:00 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/societies-cannot-survive-without-the-social-glue-that-binds-people-together-president-halimah/

SINGAPORE: Societies cannot survive, let alone thrive, without the social glue that binds people together, President Halimah Yacob said Tuesday (September 6) at the International Conference on Cohesive Societies (ICCS).

In her keynote address to the second edition of the global interfaith event, she noted that the pandemic – and how it has deepened fault lines around the world – is a reminder that social cohesion is a necessary condition for collective security.

“National resilience and stability are the result of people working together for a common cause, united in the face of challenges and threats facing a country,” she added.

“Cohesive societies do not exist spontaneously. They are born of choice and conviction. The pandemic has reinforced this.”

It was Mdm Halimah who came up with the idea for a gathering to discuss faith, identity and cohesion in 2018.

The inaugural ICCS, organized by the think tank S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), took place in June 2019.

This year’s conference will be held at the Raffles City Convention Center from Tuesday to Thursday and will bring together more than 800 participants from nearly 40 countries, including religious leaders, policy makers and civil society practitioners.

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong is expected to speak on the final day.

ICCS 2022 will examine the same questions as before, but through the prism of lessons learned from the pandemic.

The pandemic was a public health crisis with serious social implications, Mdm Halimah said on Tuesday.

“In a period of heightened social anxiety, tensions have risen and in some cases sparked hatred, bigotry and xenophobia. This has escalated into violence in some places, with reports of hate crimes against people of Asian descent blamed for the spread of the virus,” she said.

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Sex scandal casts shadow over centuries-old legacy of Murugha math https://sektinfo.org/sex-scandal-casts-shadow-over-centuries-old-legacy-of-murugha-math/ Sun, 04 Sep 2022 12:30:56 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/sex-scandal-casts-shadow-over-centuries-old-legacy-of-murugha-math/

By MK Ashoka

Bangalore, September 4 (IANS): The alleged sex scandal involving Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru of Chitradurga Murugha Math is going to be a stain in its history, along with the reverence from people and rulers that it had received from the pre-independence era.

Thousands of worshipers following the reckoning are shocked by the arrest of Murugha Sharanaru, the main defendant in the case of the alleged sexual assault of two underage girls.

The math premises, still buzzing with worshipers and activity, has turned into a police fortress now.

Many devotees are now saddened by the turn of events, with Murugha Sharanaru now left to fend for himself.

Parashu, one of the founders of Odanadi, the NGO which exposed the alleged sex scandal, said the accused seer was still hiding behind the ‘khaavi’ (spiritual attire).

BJP MP and former minister KS Eshwarappa, however, said he still overthrew the accused seer. He maintained that he comes from a culture that respects the heritage of spiritual gurus and he cannot think of seeing the seer accused of rape.

“Gurus are like gods to me,” he said.

Basavaraj Sulibhavi, a social activist and political analyst, claimed that the scandal is an attempt to destroy the heritage of the Lingayats, the community to which the seer belongs.

“The Veerashaiva-Lingayat and Linagayat-Hindu religion debate should be watched carefully at this stage. There will be a full effort to use this episode against the Lingayat movement and its structure as an independent religion,” he said. declared.

“The case doesn’t just remain a case now. It’s now part of politics,” he said.

“The Lingayat philosophy sees no difference between male and female. Breaking the chains imposed on women by orthodox Hindu principles, the Lingayat tradition has empowered women to express themselves for the first time in the country”, Sulibhavi said.

“The concept of mathematics directed by a person who practices celibacy is not the Linagayat tradition. The Lingayat tradition is close to nature; it will not suggest anything unnatural like the practice of celibacy. There are several Lingayat mathematics that are directed by married religious pontiffs. It is the religion that propagates the union and integration of man and woman. Going against this natural principle has created problems,” he added. .

“This scandal took place at the level of an individual against the backdrop of personal weakness. This act should not be equated with the whole Lingayat heritage or the legacy of mathematics,” Sulibhavi said.

Historically, Murugha mathematics is a prominent Lingayat mathematics located in Chitradurga. Mathematics was created in 1703 and has contributed to the cultural, religious and academic fields for three centuries. Currently, more than 150 spiritual and academic institutions are led by mathematics. It has 3,000 branches nationwide.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, during his recent visit to this mathematics, said he loved the tradition and legacy of mathematics to empower the oppressed classes.

He also recalled how close mathematics was to his father, the late Rajiv Gandhi, and his grandmother, the late Indira Gandhi.

Interestingly, while most Lingayat mathematicians and seers identify with the ruling BJP, Murugha Sharanaru chose to identify with the Congress.

Attempts to transfer him to Bengaluru, with the local court ordering him to attend from ICU, denying his requests to have math ‘satvik’ food and the authorities refusing to allow him to do poops inside the prison turned out to be a nightmare, not only for the seer accused of rape, but also for his thousands of followers.

]]> Vatican Defends Pope After Ukraine War Comments https://sektinfo.org/vatican-defends-pope-after-ukraine-war-comments/ Wed, 31 Aug 2022 13:40:35 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/vatican-defends-pope-after-ukraine-war-comments/

Pope Francis during his August 24 general audience, where he condemned “the madness on both sides” of the war in Ukraine.

CNS/Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters

The Vatican has hit back at criticism of Pope Francis’ recent comments on the war in Ukraine, which led the Ukrainian government to file a formal protest with the Apostolic Nuncio in the country.

The Holy See issued a statement Tuesday stressing that the pope’s remarks “must be interpreted as a raised voice in defense of human life and the values ​​associated with it, and not as a political position”.

She pointed to “numerous interventions by the Holy Father Francis and his collaborators” which “aim to invite pastors and the faithful to prayer, and all people of good will to solidarity and efforts to rebuild peace”.

During his audience this week, on August 31, Francis marked the impending anniversary of the outbreak of World War II and described the war in Ukraine as part of a piecemeal “World War III”.

The Holy See’s statement followed what Vatican News called a “controversy” in response to the Pope’s comments during his August 24 general audience, in which he specified the death of Darya Dugina as an example of “the madness of the war”. Ms Dugina, a Russian journalist and daughter of nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin, was killed in an alleged car bomb attack in Moscow on August 20.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash, said the remarks were “disappointing”.

“We cannot talk about the aggressor and the victim, the rapist and the raped in the same categories,” he wrote on Twitter. “How can you call one of the ideologues of Russian imperialism an innocent victim?” He claimed that Ms Dugina had been killed by the Russian authorities.

The Vatican statement noted these “public discussions [which] questioned the political significance to be attributed to such interventions”.

“As for the large-scale war, initiated by the Russian Federation,” he continued, “the interventions of the Holy Father are clear and unequivocal in condemning it as morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant and sacrilege”.

Commentators have observed that the specific accusation of “sacrilege” follows the announcement that Francis will not meet Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in September. The meeting was supposed to take place at a congress of religious leaders in Kazakhstan from September 13-15, but last week the Moscow Patriarchate announced that Kirill would not attend, as Reuters reported.

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, the Patriarchate’s director of external relations, said no meeting should be held on the sidelines of another gathering. “It has to be an independent event, because of its importance,” he said.

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