Tag Archives | Religion

A Viable, Contemporary Neopaganism

“So if I want Mexicans to learn the name of Quetzalcoatl, it is because I want them to speak with the tongues of their own blood. I wish the Teutonic world would once more think in terms of Thor and Wotan, and the tree Igdrasil. And I wish the Druidic world would see, honestly, that in the mistletoe is their mystery, and that they themselves are the Tuatha De Danaan, alive, but submerged. And a new Hermes should come back to the Mediterranean, and a new Ashtarot to Tunis; and Mithras again to Persia, and Brahama unbroken to India, and the oldest of dragons to China.”
—D.H. Lawrence, The Plumed Serpent
Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. Photo: Jiuguang Wang (CC)

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. Photo: Jiuguang Wang (CC)

 

As early as in 1968, Alain de Benoist founded in France the Groupement de recherche et d’études pour la civilisation européenne, a ethnonationalist think-tank that rejected Christianity and advocated a return to Paganism.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

New York’s Satanic Temple Launches Campaign Promoting Freedom Of Prayer To Satan In School

schoolCould offerings to the devil in the classroom help close the test score gap between the United States and other developed nations? From the Satanic Temple’s press release:

The Satanic Temple, a religious organization based in New York City, has declared May 15th as “Protect Children Day” with the mission of putting an end to corporal punishment and the use of isolation rooms in schools for Temple followers as well as for others who share their beliefs.

In addition to making a letter available to students, The Satanic Temple is also providing fact sheets on corporal punishment and solitary confinement, a Satanic-themed activity book, and FAQs so that students can understand their religious rights in school. “We want children to know that they are permitted to pray to Satan in school and that they can even share their religious beliefs with others in accordance with certain guidelines,” Greaves said.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Priest Charged with Raping and Torturing Schoolteachers During ‘Exorcisms’

Pic: Seal of the SSPX (PD)

Pic: Seal of the SSPX (PD)

An unnamed priest affiliated with the breakaway Catholic sect The Society of St. Pius X has been charged with the 2010 rape and torture of three French schoolteachers during an “exorcism”. Authorities will not name the priest’s name for fear that doing so may identify the victims.

The Society of St. Pius X is a radical traditionalist Catholic splinter group and is not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Its members, in turn, reject the authority of the Pope. The Society has faced much criticism over the years from people who consider its teachings anti-Semitic and reactionary: Founder Marcel Lefebvre was vocal in his praise of France’s Vichy government and advocacy for the return of absolute monarchy.

Via RT:

Police say the priest raped three women in the autumn of 2010 after he met them at the private religious school Ecole Notre-Dame-de-la Sablonniere in Goussonville, west of Paris, which he was running at the time, according to French media reports.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Researchers Claim They Have Located The Holy Grail At A Church In Spain

holy grailThe Irish Times reports:

Spanish historians now claim to have tracked down the Holy Chalice, the cup from which Christ was supposed to have drunk during his last supper, in a church in León, in northern Spain.

Margarita Torres and José Ortega del Río have spent three years researching the history of the chalice and, on Wednesday, presented in León a co-written book containing their findings.

The onyx chalice itself, they explain, is contained within another, antique cup known as the Chalice of Doña Urruca, which sits in León’s basilica of Saint Isidore. The historians say it has been there since the 11th century.

The duo had initially been researching the history of some Islamic remains in the Saint Isidore basilica. However, their discovery of two medieval Egyptian documents which mentioned the chalice of Christ caused them to change course.

Those parchments told of how Muslims took the sacred cup from the Christian community in Jerusalem to Cairo.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Nun Tells Catholic High School Students That Masturbating Makes You Gay

Sorry, fellas: Looks like we’re all gay – unless you’ve a man who has never masturbated. If you’re a gay man and you masturbate, I think that makes you Super Gay. It might that might be like when Mario gets a Power Up mushroom in Super Mario Bros., but you’d have to ask the nun who shared this theory with a bunch of teenagers at a North Carolina high school. Who better to provide an educated opinion on matters of sexuality than a nun?

Via Mother Jones:

A Catholic nun has caused a firestorm after she allegedly told teens at Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina last month that masturbation can turn boys gay, and gay men have up to 1,000 sexual partners. Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, an assistant professor of theology at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, reportedly has a history of anti-gay rhetoric. In one of her online lectures, she called oral sex an abnormal act that’s “imported from the homosexual culture,” according to the Charlotte-based LGBT publication, QNotes.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Christopher Hitchens, Religious in Spite of Himself?

PIC: Ensceptico (CC)

PIC: Ensceptico (CC)

Eric Reitan writes at Religion Dispatches’ (A)theologies:

Not long ago, Christopher Hitchens—pugilistic author of God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything—sat down for an interview with retired Unitarian minister (and self-professed “liberal Christian”) Marilyn Sewell. It wasn’t the usual sort of conversation that Hitchens has with “believers,” since his preferred sparring partners tend to be religious conservatives and apologists for fundamentalism (such as Douglas Wilson).

Not surprisingly, early in the interview Hitchens was quick to announce who was a real Christian and who wasn’t, and to insinuate that Sewell fell into the latter camp; a comment that has inspired more than a few raised eyebrows among religious progressives.

But it’s easy to let Hitchens’ arrogance on this matter obscure some broader themes—and some surprising concessions on Hitchens’ part—that emerged in the course of the interview.

One of these themes has to do with just how much Hitchens and Sewell have in common.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Cross Miraculously Appears Inside Sliced Potato In Albuquerque

New Mexico’s KOAT has your daily dose of irrefutable evidence of the divine hand at work on Earth:

An anonymous Action 7 News viewer sent in a photo of a sliced potato divided by what he calls Lenten crosses. The viewer wishes to remain anonymous. The potato sighting is far from the first time viewers have claimed to see the divine in everyday objects and things.

potato

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Dead Indian Guru Cryogenically Frozen By Followers

guruIf only modern refrigeration technology had existed in the biblical era. Via the BBC:

Devotees of a dead guru in India have told the BBC they put his body in a freezer to preserve him as they believe he will return to life to lead them.

Thought to have been in his seventies, Ashutosh Maharaj was declared dead by authorities in Punjab on January 29. But, confident that he was merely in a state of deep meditation, his followers froze his corpse.

He led the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (Divine Light Awakening Mission) which claims more than 30 million followers.

His spokesman Swami Vishalanand told the BBC that although doctors had declared Maharaj “clinically dead”, he was actually alive and in a state of samadhi, which is the highest plane of meditation.

The website of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan says it was established in 1983 and aims to “achieve world peace”.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Dying Fred Phelps Excommunicated from Westboro Baptist Church

Fred Phelps 10-29-2002Fred Phelps, notable homophobe (catchphrase, “God Hates Fags”) was the face and voice of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church. Now his estranged son has revealed not only that Phelps is dying, but that he was excommunicated from his own church. What could have happened? Did he have a change of heart about gay culture? From Nathan Phelps’ Facebook page:

I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the “church” back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.

I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Is Religion Good for Your Brain?

Eastman Johnson, Child at Prayer, circa 1873A scientific justification for otherwise inexplicable belief systems? From Discovery News:

If you live in Georgia, you’re more likely to have a healthy brain than if you live in Minnesota. That’s according to an annual state-by-state ranking released this week by a national health education campaign called Beautiful Minds.

While Georgians could use more “mental stimulation through reading and game playing,” their high level of religious activity elevated them to a No. 10 ranking. And while Minnesotans read more and are active in their communities, their low level of religious activities contributed to their No. 31 ranking.

Why the emphasis on religion? Research has linked religious activity with everything from reduced stress to better memory retention.

One recent study, published in December of 2013 in JAMA Psychiatry, found that people at risk of depression were much less vulnerable if they identified as religious: Brain MRIs revealed that religious participants had thicker brain cortices than those who weren’t as religious (those with a family history of depression often have a thinning of the cortices).

Read the rest
Continue Reading