Tag Archives | Religion

Leaving Your Religion Can Damage Your Health

WARNING: Leaving your religion can damage your health (courtesy of The Atlantic):

…Americans are less religious than ever. A third of American adults under 30, and a fifth of all Americans don’t identify with any religion, according to a 2012 study by Pew Research (an increase from 15 percent in 2007). But though scientists have studied people who leave cults, research on the health effects of leaving religion is slim.

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The most mainstream research on this is a 2010 study out of Pennsylvania State University, which examined data from 1972 to 2006. The study showed that 20 percent of people who have left religion report being in excellent health, versus 40 percent of people currently part of strict religious groups (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter-Day Saints) and 25 percent of people who switched from a strict religion to a more lenient religion. “Strict” in this study was defined as “high-cost sectarian groups that are theologically and culturally exclusive.”

There are some studies comparing the health of religious and nonreligious people.

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The Myth of Religious Violence

323px-Siege_of_NándorfehérvárKaren Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, says in a lengthy essay in The Guardian that “the popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple”:

…[P]erhaps we should ask, instead, how it came about that we in the west developed our view of religion as a purely private pursuit, essentially separate from all other human activities, and especially distinct from politics. After all, warfare and violence have always been a feature of political life, and yet we alone drew the conclusion that separating the church from the state was a prerequisite for peace. Secularism has become so natural to us that we assume it emerged organically, as a necessary condition of any society’s progress into modernity.

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Scientists Turn to Pope Francis and World’s Religions to Save the Planet

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John Bingham writes at the Telegraph:

It has been one of the most fraught relationships of recent centuries, at least in the popular imagination.

But a group of scientists are pinning their hopes for the salvation of the planet, in the face of climate change and habitat destruction – on religion.

Their case, set out in an essay in the journal Science, is being described a “watershed moment” for scientists and faith leaders alike.

It argues that engaging religious leaders, rather than relying on politicians, could hold the key to mobilising billions of people around the world to change aspects of their lifestyles to help prevent catastrophic climate change.

The article singles out Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion-strong network of followers, as the key but calls for religious leaders of every stripe to be recruited.

It argues that religion can provide a unique combination of “moral leadership” and global organisational structures required to bring about practical changes which could have an immediate effect, such as providing millions of the world’s poorest people with cleaner forms of fuel.

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No Sympathy for the Devil: Why People Fear Satanism

Domestic Satanism by Thawt Hawthje via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

Domestic Satanism by Thawt Hawthje via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

Benjamin Radford writes at Live Science:

A public ceremony of Satanists planned in Oklahoma City this month has prompted protests, a lawsuit from the Catholic Church, talk of a “black mass,” and even the airing of laws against bloodletting.  Such public images of fear are not uncommon when it comes to Satanist groups, though they may not be justified.

The ceremony for the Oklahoma City Satanists is slated for Sept. 21 in the city’s civic center and requires a ticket for admission. Officials from the city could not legally bar the group, as doing so would violate their First Amendment rights.

Officials did warn, however, that all laws must be followed, including fire codes and those involving public nudity; a spokeswoman for the parks and recreation department noted: “No bloodletting of any kind will be allowed.” (Though bloodletting and animal sacrifice are popularly associated with Satanism, they have historically been part of many religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.) [Tales of the Top 10 Craziest Cults]

The event has been described in the news media as a “black mass,” which, as James Lewis notes in his book “Satanism Today: An Encyclopedia of Religion, Folklore, and Popular Culture” (ABC-CLIO, 2001), “refers to a blasphemous parody of a conventional [Catholic] Mass that was traditionally thought to be the central rite of Satanism.” This ritual was typically said to involve perverse orgies, a torrent of various bodily fluids, obscene gestures and even “a black candle made from the fat of unbaptized babies,” Lewis wrote.

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Pope Pius II Wrote an Erotic Book

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You are in luck, Disinfonauts! I was looking around in our storage room and I came across 5 extra editions of 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know Vol. 1 by Russ Kick. It had previously been sold out of our store. SRP price is $9.95, but we’re selling them for $7.98. Get ‘em while you can.

In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from the book itself.

Before he was Pope Pius II, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini was a poet, scholar, diplomat, and rakehell. And an author. In fact, he wrote a bestseller. People in fifteenth-century Europe couldn’t get enough of his Latin novella Historia de duobus amantibus. An article in a scholarly publication on literature claims that Historia “was undoubtedly one of the most read stories of the whole Renaissance.” The Oxford edition gives a Cliff Notes version of the storyline: “The Goodli History tells of the illicit love of Euralius, a high official in the retinue of the [German] Emperor Sigismund, and Lucres, a married lady from Siena [Italy].”

cover1It was probably written in 1444, but the earliest known printing is from Antwerp in 1488.… Read the rest

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Negativland Takes On Religion

Negativland, a longtime favorite band of many a disinfonaut, is back. Their new album (out in October, advance orders through negativland.com), IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD, finds the group tackling their biggest subject ever: why humans believe in God. Millennia-in-development, this ambitious and densely-crafted double CD is packaged inside an actual Holy Bible which has been appropriately repurposed into a “found” art object.

IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD intends to entertain, inform, and provoke. On the CDs, Negativland mixes found music, found sound, found dialogue, guest personalities and original electronic noises into a compelling and thoughtful musical essay that looks at monotheism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, neuroscience, suicide bombers, 9/11, colas, war, shaved chimps, and the all-important role played by the human brain in our beliefs. Reading the attached Bible is optional. Here’s the album trailer

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Freemason, Scholar and Master Builder, Randall Carlson (Part 2)

Via Midwest Real 

(This is part 2, click here for part 1).

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I love conversations like this because they remind us that there are truly massive, un-fuckwithable forces at play in the universe that could crush us in an instant. Why would I like such a thing? It helps me remember to be humble, not take my own personal nonsense too seriously, and to enjoy the shit out of life.

So, until the asteroids hit, (real, or metaphorical) do awesome things, and for God’s sake, remember to check your ego every now and then. 

Anyway, there’s an esoteric library’s worth of information over at Sacred Geometry International. Literally hundreds of hours. Go there!

They also have tremendous Twitter and Facebook accounts.

We truly love your participation and support. Get involved by checking out our new sitefollowing us on Twitter, and Facebook and please subscribe and review on iTunes!Read the rest

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Randall Carlson on Rewriting History, Bridging the Gap Between Science and Religion and Avoiding Catastrophe

Via Midwest Real
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Every night we go to bed taking it for granted that tomorrow will come. Sure, from time to time we have an unpleasant thought along the lines of “worst case scenario, my heart will give out and I won’t wake up.”

But, what if that wasn’t the worst case scenario?IMG_1109

As we speak, massive chunks of instant extinction are flying by the vessel we inhabit at preposterous speeds. If one of them crosses Earth’s path, it could easily be game over for the human race.

As long as we’ve been aware of that inconvenient fact, it’s been good for precisely one thing- apathy. That’s because the ability to do anything about it was completely absent from the equation. Well, that’s not the case anymore. We actually do have the technology and intelligence to do something about it. However, thus far, we’ve shown a complete and total lack of will to seriously discuss it.… Read the rest

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Set Your Good Vibe Blasters on High! Liam Wilson of Dillinger Escape Plan Talks Yoga, Meditation, Psychedelics and More on Midwest Real.

Via Midwest Real

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Yoga, meditation, float tanks, psychedelics, philosophy, creativity, freedom nuggets and shit on the water slide of life.

Liam Wilson Liam Wilson is best known for playing bass in the spastic, technical, incredible progressive metal mainstay, Dillinger Escape Plan. If you’re a fan of heavy music and you somehow haven’t heard of them over the course of the last 15 or so years, I don’t even know what to say.

For those in the “not so much into metal” camp, fear not! This man is likely the opposite of what comes to mind when you imagine a guy with millions of head bangs under his belt. He’s a voracious reader, a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, a yogi, a psychonaut, a student of many philosophies, and a bunch of other things I can guarantee he’d never be comfortable calling himself.

We spent very little time hovering around the surface in this conversation. In fact, I think Liam might have been a little bit excited to be on a show that welcomes fare beyond the discussion of his bass rig (which is glorious, by the way).… Read the rest

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Punching Stagnant Ideology In The Face With Daniele Bolelli

I’m happy to announce the Gabriel D. Roberts podcast’s second edition features Daniele Bolelli!  We cover an awful lot of ground in this fantastic and thoughtful conversation.  You can download or stream this baddy, so do it!

 

Also check out my book, The Quest For Gnosis, where I speak with Daniele and 19 other luminaries about Gnosis in the modern context.  You’ll love it.

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