Tag Archives | Faith

Unbelief Is Now The World’s Third-Largest Religious Affiliation

There are more than a billion (non)adherents to what has been insultingly dubbed “unbelief.” The Washington Post writes:

A new report on global religious identity shows that while Christians and Muslims make up the two largest groups, those with no religious affiliation — including atheists and agnostics — are now the third-largest “religious” group in the world.

The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, found that Christians make up the largest group, with 2.2 billion adherents, or 32 percent worldwide, followed by Muslims, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent. Close behind are the “nones” — those who say they have no religious affiliation or do not believe in God — at 1.1 billion, or 16 percent.

The majority of the world’s religiously unaffiliated live in the Asia-Pacific region, with 700 million in China alone, where religion was stifled during the Cultural Revolution.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Results Of An Atheist Prayer Experiment

What happens when nonbelievers pray to God for 40 straight days in the hope that the Almighty will reveal Himself? The U.K.-based Premier Christian Radio organized just such an experiment, and, amazingly, two participants had religious awakenings, although nothing special happened to anyone else. Premier Christian Media writes:

Seventy one atheists and agnostics signed up to take part in the Atheist Prayer Experiment. Each person was asked to pray for a few minutes per day for forty days during September and October 2012. They were praying for God to reveal himself to them.

Of the 71 who signed up:

• 2 have reported that they now believe in God (Kendra and Kelly).

• 2 failed to take part in the experiment.

• 52 have said they did not receive any revelation of God’s existence through prayer. Some of these stopped praying at an early or later point in the experiment, or failed to pray on some days, and some prayed for the entire duration.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

One-Third Of American Young Adults Have No Religious Affiliation

More from the latest Pew survey on faith — religiously devout Americans are dying off in droves, the New York Times writes:

Nearly one in five Americans say they are atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” This is a significant jump from only five years ago, when adults who claimed “no religion” made up about 15 percent of the population [and] a seismic shift from 40 years ago, when about 7 percent of American adults said they had no religious affiliation.

Now, more than one-third of those ages 18 to 22 are religiously unaffiliated. These “younger millennials” are replacing older generations who remained far more involved with religion throughout their lives. “We really haven’t seen anything like this before,” said Gregory A. Smith, a senior researcher with the Pew Forum.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Poll Reveals Americans Blending New Age, Eastern, Traditional Religions

What happens when you combine Christian fervor with a steadfast belief in astrology and reincarnation? 21st century America seems to be generating hybrid faiths, ABC News reports:

A new poll finds Americans are doing a tremendous amount of personalizing – picking and choosing from a diverse variety of religious traditions. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, nearly six in 10 Americans from all religions blend their faith with New Age and Eastern beliefs, like astrology, reincarnation, and the spiritual – not just physical – benefits of yoga.

The poll further found that nearly half of the public, 49 percent, report having a “Religious or mystical experience… a spiritual awakening.” That’s up from 22 percent in 1962. And 29 percent of Americans say they’ve felt in touch with someone who died — that’s up from 18 percent in 1996.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Eleven Scary Evil Monsters from World Religions

Picture: J.A.S. Collin de Plancy (PD)

Via Mental Floss:

Terrifying monsters have lumbered, lurched, stalked and devoured their way through many world religions for untold millennia.

They were sometimes devised to frighten for purposes of cultural control – or as mythologic personifications of harsh, inexplicable forces. In the case of the Book of Revelation, monsters often symbolized the oppressive political tactics of the Roman empire.

Today’s religious monsters might well include: a ghoulish pedophile Priest with scaly-gropy fingers; or a polyester-swaddled fire-breathing Baptist Preacher; or maybe a grinning Televangelist that spews fundamentalist bile from its jack-o-lantern head; or a shape-shifting Republican p

olitician that can somehow take the form of & draw hateful power from every pitchfork wielding mob it encounters, no matter the religion.

Now if only Sam & Dean from “Supernatural” would hunt THEM!

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Doubt and Denial in Pursuit of Reality

“Does God exist?” Of the near-limitless variety of questions that can be posed by human beings, few are as profound, as important (or to certain fanatical Nietzsche lovers, as inane and tiresome) as this one. Few other questions have such a powerful effect over daily life, politics, and human interactions as this one simple query, and any given individual’s reply to it speaks volumes about his or her worldview.

For billions of people on planet Earth, its answer is a resounding “Yes!” – a declaration of faith so central to their lives that even a moment’s hesitation or doubt can induce feelings of severe guilt and internal conflict.  For a large and growing multitude however, the answer to this question is instead a confident but qualified “No.” And yet, for many others still, the only sensible reply is “Maybe,” “I don’t know,” or even “It’s impossible to say.”

Although plenty of people simply don’t care one way or the other, rolling their eyes and far preferring not to talk about it or even think about it, that’s just dodging its repercussions.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Believe It Or Not: 7 Facts You’re Not Supposed To Know About Religion

Disinfo Halo[Site editor’s note: the Huffington Post recently published some excerpts from the new Disinformation title 50 Things You’re Not Supposed To Know: Religion, authored by Daniele Bolelli.]

Religion is one of those big taboo topics that many people are terrified to touch: too afraid that others will question their religious loyalties and just as afraid to step on the minefield that is the overhyped sensitivity of some believers.

And this is precisely why it is so much fun to talk about it.

People, after all, live and die in the names of religious values, so the stakes of what we are playing with couldn’t be any higher. And yet, few fields can make many human beings as unwilling to face the evidence as religion. It is exactly because these ideas are so central to their lives that they don’t want anyone to plant doubts in their minds.

If this is you—if you are afraid of tackling contradictions, if you believe that without blind faith you would be prey to senselessness and desperation, if dealing with complexity sends you running for the reassuring arms of dogma—then do not read any further.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Jesus’ Face Appears In British Woman’s Laundry Sock

jesusIt’s common knowledge that Christ manifests himself by appearing in everyday items — here’s his first visitation of 2012. Via the Daily Mail:

This image of Jesus’ face was found on a sock among items of laundry in Kent. Sarah Crane, from Orpington, was stunned when she hung her laundry out to dry and discovered the face of Jesus staring back at her.

I’d left the washing out to dry overnight – and it had probably been sitting there a bit too long when I noticed the face in the sock,’ she said. ‘I called my boyfriend over straight away – we could both clearly see the face of Jesus in the sock.

Miss Crane said she began making a shrine to the sock, but when she moved it, some of its delicate creases fell away and the image is now not as clear.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

God’s Hit Man

Inquisition[Site editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the new Disinformation title 50 Things You’re Not Supposed To Know: Religion, authored by Daniele Bolelli.]

Since the dawn of time, God’s faithful followers have been locked in a war without mercy against the forces of evil. Christian theology (and Muslim too, for that matter) is clear on this matter. This is a fight that can’t stop until the final showdown at the end of times, when God’s partisans will drown their enemies once and for all in rivers of blood. Until then, the battle rages on, and the entire earth is divided in opposing armies. Neutrality is just not an option. Much like rust, Evil never sleeps, and its agents are constantly busy trying to hurt the followers of the one true faith. Given this outlook, it then logically follows that it is wise for God’s people to strike down the devil’s minions wherever they are found: heretics, witches, pagans and other fans of the devil simply have to be stopped.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Christian Faith Requires Accepting Evolution

Darwin FishJonathan Dudley writes on Huffington Post:

As someone raised evangelical, I realize anti-evolutionists believe they are defending the Christian tradition. But as a seminary graduate now training to be a medical scientist, I can say that, in reality, they’ve abandoned it.

In theory, if not always in practice, past Christian theologians valued science out of the belief that God created the world scientists study. Augustine castigated those who made the Bible teach bad science, John Calvin argued that Genesis reflects a commoner’s view of the physical world, and the Belgic confession likened scripture and nature to two books written by the same author.

These beliefs encouraged past Christians to accept the best science of their day, and these beliefs persisted even into the evangelical tradition. As Princeton Seminary’s Charles Hodge, widely considered the father of modern evangelical theology, put it in 1859: “Nature is as truly a revelation of God as the Bible; and we only interpret the Word of God by the Word of God when we interpret the Bible by science.”

In this analysis, Christians must accept sound science, not because they don’t believe God created the world, but precisely because they do …

Read more here.… Read the rest

Continue Reading