Stories I’ve Found, 6/28/2013

Interesting stories I’ve found lately:

Superman: Jesus Figure or Anti-Christ is a post by David Gibson summarizing several opinions from religion writers.  Glad to know I’m not alone in my thoughts about the movie, although I would say Superman is neither.

Does God Disappointed with Us? Jonathan Merritt provides some good reflections that reach a healthy and balanced conclusion.

Is there a change of policy in the Chinese attitude toward the Dalai Lama?  Time will tell if this is a trend or a stratagem.

Bill Tammeus reports on a recent study by Baylor University of young people who categorize themselves as “spiritual, but not religious”.  Although the report is eye-opening and makes some sense, I’m a little bit skeptical of its conclusion. Would need to see some independent follow up that reports the same conclusions “spiritual, not religious” people are more prone to petty theft and other misdeeds before I’ll hop on this bandwagon.  How we live what we believe matters to me, and I can respect any genuine belief.

Dr. Peggy Drexler explores the problems with PG-13 rated films in this post. She uncovered a lot of misconceptions of how parents misinterpret the rating and how little the self-policing MPAA does to dispel them.

Richard Haynes talks about what it is to be a Newer Atheist from the inside. I found this article very helpful in understanding this point of view.

A Zen reflection on an event in Thomas Merton’s life, based on an encounter with a historical marker. There’s something to learn about universal love here.

A new museum in Gettysburg explores the faith of the men who fought there.  I’ll have to go back to Gettysburg sometime and see it; reflecting on how both sides through God was with them is an education in faith.

The CNN Belief blog gives us a survey of reactions from religious leaders on both sides to the Supreme Court overturning DOMA and Prop 8.  David Gibson of Religion News Service surveys where conservatives on this issue will go now.

Christian Piatt rattles a few cages in Christianity for Non Christians.  I don’t agree with everything he says, but that’s all right, at least he’s bringing up a topic with talking about and he has some good insights.

“Buyer Beware” extends into religion.  Many restaurants and stores that describe themselves as halal do so fraudulently.

John Allen said in his NCR column today: “Perhaps it’s the curmudgeon in me, but I’m always drawn to news stories that seem to upend conventional wisdom, and I award bonus points if the story challenges both liberal and conservative biases at the same time.”  Mission accomplished in this week’s entry.

In the “What The Heck Is Going On Here?” category, the Church of England is setting up a Pagan church.  We can learn a lot from each other, however this boundary movement strikes me as incomprehensible. If someone wants to be a Pagan who has Jesus as a hero fine, but I think that plant belongs in a different garden than any Christian denomination that existing today (maybe Unitarian Universalist, but I’ll let them make that choice). Getting numbers up is a bad reason for redefining what a Church is and believes (although Church should be redefined): surely content of belief is more important than numbers.

Vatican Kremlinology? A Papal absence at a concert fuels at least one strange news story about the larger agenda in play.  Even I don’t watch his every move and contemplate what it means; as Sigmund Freud once said: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

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