Salon: Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1 percent is hijacking mindfulness.
It’s been a litmus test among some social groups in Santa Fe for a while now.
Mother Jones: Matthew McConaughey Is Right - Science Does Prove the Value of Gratitude.
“A decade of research has defined gratitude as a social emotion that, while related to empathy, is nonetheless distinct from it. Feeling gratitude helps bind us to our groups and communities and enhances social relationships.” An unexpected messenger.
The Art Newspaper: Turkey plans to rebuild religious school next to Hagia Sophia.
Torn on this one. You know the Hagia Sophia was, once upon a time, the great basilica of Constantinople. New construction might give archaeologists access to the grounds around the structure, and reveal new info.
Gawker: Ex-U.S. General: Jesus Is Returning to Earth With an AR-15. Really.
Yep, safe to say cat butts are going to be the highlight of the news day ...
LiveScience: The Most Religious US State Is ...
The Dish: Uh-Oh.
“A Public Policy Polling survey conducted Jan. 23-26 showed that the former governor of Alaska has a 70 percent favorability rating among GOP primary voters, topping six other potential candidates in the poll …” Oh, please no ...
CNN Opinion: Huckabee’s ‘libido’ comment chilling.
Idiot. Excuse my French.
Guardian.UK: Texas hospital acknowledges brain-dead status of pregnant woman.
Terrible tragedy, made exponentially worse by bad laws.
Giz: Lightning struck Rio’s Jesus Christ statue and broke off his fingers.
Zeus has had enough … ?
Philosophy Now: Does God Exist?
The Economist: Mary and feminism - Sexing divinity.
“That still leaves a hard question for today’s thinkers (including Christian ones): whether it’s in any way possible to reconcile contemporary ideas about gender with the ideal of a woman who is chiefly venerated because of the son she bore.” Parsing myth. Good subject for an academic anthropological paper. Not for The Economist.
The New Yorker: Pope Francis and the Naked Christ.
Hrmmmm. I hate involuntary psychoanalysis. Did all painters and renderers have these deep and meaningful thoughts in mind? Or was there a Codex Genitalia for how to render Christ’s privates?
Daily Beast: When Creationists Collide with Stephen Colbert.
RationalWiki: List of scientists who became creationists after studying the evidence.
Science + Religion Today: Atheists Get Sweaty When Daring God.
“When you get anxious or emotionally aroused, you sweat. Not a lot, but enough to be detected using electrodes on the finger tips. And it turns out that if you take a bunch of atheists, and get them to dare God to do horrible things, they get sweaty.”
Time: Awe Makes You Religious - Even if You’re Not.
“Awe makes people want to see events as the result of design.” It’s been used for centuries. This is exactly why the early churches gilt their soaring structures. To a poor peasant, the awe was emotionally debilitating.
BBC: Earliest ‘shrine’ uncovered at Buddha’s birthplace.
NY Times: Don’t Mess With My ‘Sacred Values’.
Pacific Standard: Who Wants a Christian America?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” If I were a high school teacher today, I’d have kids reflect upon the life of Savonarola.
Guardian.UK: George W Bush’s new ‘crusade’ - converting Jews to Christianity.
“Some people think George W Bush did as much as he could to bring about Armageddon with his earlier interventions in the Middle East. But not the man himself, apparently. He has signed up for a fundraising event for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, an organisation which aims to promote the second coming by converting Jews to Christianity, and will speak today at their fundraiser in Irving, Texas.” If you can force the hand of a deity, is that truly a deity?
CNet: God exists, say Apple fanboy scientists.
Our great deity seems to continue to get punk’d by illicitly-used Apples …
Salon: Study—Religious more likely to lie for financial gain.
Read the whole article before taking that title at face value. Sensationalist, as per usual.
The Economist: Why are Muslims finding it harder to complete the haj?
“This year Saudi Arabia, which gives a quota of haj visas to each country on the basis of the size of its Muslim population, has slashed the number of visas for foreign pilgrims by 20%, as it carries out renovation works to expand the capacity of the Grand Mosque. Thanks to an outbreak of the coronavirus in the Kingdom, many countries have asked elderly and sick Muslims not to travel. First-time pilgrims have been given priority.” More followers, limited space.
OpenCulture: Discover Thomas Jefferson’s Cut-and-Paste Version of the Bible.
Looking at the online scan, I’m pleased to see Ol’ Thom hand-correcting printed typos in books. I do that too. Drives me crazy. You should see what I do to a Kindle book with typos ...
NPR: Can Faith Ever Be Rational?
“In brief, faith requires a willingness to act as if something is true while also refraining from gathering evidence for the purpose of checking whether it’s true. But is it ever rational to agree to such terms? Isn’t it always better to have more evidence rather than less; to make one’s decisions after examining the largest and most reliable body of evidence possible? Working from decision theory, rational choice theory, and her own novel mathematical results, Buchak draws a surprising conclusion: faith can sometimes be rational.” Within a framework of faith, it can be very rational. Taken out of the framework of faith, contextual … even random. IMHO. That is not to say that there is not time-worn wisdom nestled within faith; it’s just that some of their interpretations, cast against reality, can be quite tortured.