This Week in Religion 2017-09-24

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

While I am sure that there are many people working in scientific fields who would claim to be religious, it always seems to me that there really is a basic conflict here, rather than a “misunderstanding” (“Would you Adam and Eve it? Why creation story is at heart of major misunderstanding”, News).

How can any ultimately “supernatural” explanation (whatever that means) for a phenomenon ever be a “scientific” answer? At what point can any dedicated scientist investigating a difficult problem decide that there is no scientific answer to it and that it can be explained only as an act of God? How would such results be presented for scientific peer review and in what terms would they be couched?

Exactly what “specific steps in the universe’s history must be the direct result of divine intervention” (quote: Rowan Williams – my emphasis)? Isn’t this supernatural view just a resort to mystery? And isn’t it the job of science to defy, examine and explain mystery?”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/sep/24/big-issue-no-mystery-science-and-religion-cannot-be-reconciled.

“The demand of independent religion status for Lingayatism gathered new momentum on Sunday with another massive community rally in Kalaburagi.

It was the fourth rally in the last two months after BidarBelagavi and Latur (Maharashtra).

Lakhs of community members arrived from different parts of Hyderabad Karnataka region as well as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana marched from Gunj through Supermarket and Jagat Circle to Nutan Vidyalay Grounds where a public meeting was conducted.”

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/massive-turn-out-in-kalaburagi-for-independent-lingayat-religion/article19746720.ece.

IF you don’t like being told what to do, how to think, or how you should vote, Australia is a pretty excruciating place to be right now.

This postal ballot process is being rendered unbearable by the two warring camps in the battle over same-sex marriage.

Let’s deal with the churches first, for whom the SSM debate is their equivalent of what the 2007 WorkChoices battle was for the labour movement.

Australia’s spiritual life is at a crossroads. The most recent Census showed the fastest-growing category of religion over the past 50 years has been “No religion”, up from just 0.8 per cent in the 1960s to a whopping 30 per cent last year.”

Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/rendezview/religions-are-in-no-place-to-lecture-us-on-ssm/news-story/b3af5b170565fde4cf6c7b0cff70beee.

“The Reverend Sister said this on her arrival at Murtala Muhammed International Airport after a ten-day exchange program in Lebanon where she had the privilege to tour the country and learn about its culture and traditions.

Sister Aboekwe suggested the teaching of Islamic religion in Christian schools and vice versa, arguing that such will engender better understanding between Muslims and Christians alike. She said both Christians and Muslims worship the same god, and therefore the constant religious conflicts and misunderstandings are needless.

“After seeing what happened in Lebanon, I came to conclude that religion needs to be downplayed in Nigeria,” she said. “When we come out to discuss the unity of this nation, let us put religion aside, because it will not unite us. We will never be united when we talk of religion. Instead let us all believe that we are all children of God, created by one God.”

Source: http://saharareporters.com/2017/09/24/reverend-sister-says-religion-will-not-unite-nigerians.

“In the words of the late rock musician, David Bowie: “This is not America.”

On August 12. white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, and neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.

They said they were there to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

But, they were really there to march against blacks and Jews. Three people were killed: Heather Heuer, the victim of a car driven into the crowd; and two policemen who were killed in a helicopter crash – as well as a black man who was seriously beaten.

The thugs were dressed in army fatigues. They carried semi-automatic weapons. They yelled: “There’s the synagogue!” Nazi websites had called for the burning of the building. The worshippers were so terrified, that the synagogue leaders removed the Torah scrolls, and told the congregants to leave by the back door.”

Source: http://religionnews.com/2017/09/24/charlottesville-jews-rosh-ha-shanah/.

“Paul Nelson reviews the recent book The Big Picture, by physicist Sean Carroll, in Dr. Nelson’s characteristically charming and insightful way. Nelson writes in the Christian Research Journal. You’ll need to subscribe (and you should) to read the whole thing.

This we did not know: Dr. Carroll’s “poetic naturalism” is avowedly a religious stance, albeit an atheistic one.”

Source: https://evolutionnews.org/2017/09/poetic-naturalism-as-a-religion/.

“A man, on a visit visa, has been charged in the Court of First Instance with blasphemy and trying to commit suicide while in police custody.

According to public prosecution records, the 28-year-old Jordanian man was brought to the police station at around 9.30pm on July 3. He smelled like he had been drinking alcohol and was behaving aggressively, the records show.

He was then placed in detention pending the legal procedures. Then it was reported he took a blade out of his wallet and self-inflicted cuts all over his body in a bid to end his life. A medical team was called to the scene but he refused to cooperate. He would not let the paramedics take him to hospital but rather treated them aggressively.

After he was calmed down and given first aid for his injuries he became wild again and would not want to be taken to hospital. He allegedly insulted religion.”

Source: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/dubai/man-insults-religion-tries-to-commit-suicide-in-dubai-police-custody.

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