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Dan Wasserman | We Don't Ordain Women / Slate.com

Masses find religion a bit less soothing

It's less a crisis of faith and more a crisis of confidence in the organizations.

Leonard Pitts, Jr., Miami Herald | FL

"Today, I quit being a Christian."

With those words last week (Jul 25-31) on Facebook, Anne Rice delivered a wake-up call for organized religion. The question is whether it will be recognized as such.

"I remain committed to Christ as always," she wrote, "but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For 10 years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."

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A gathering storm for hope

  • Bishop Zavala's presence felt like a breath of fresh air to those of us in New Mexico who've been speaking out for disarmament for years. Not every day does one hear a Catholic bishop speaking clearly and eloquently about this crucial matter -- especially here, where nuclear weapons were first built and a new generation of them is in the works, thanks to Obama. Bishop Zavala's presence heightened our hope.
  • Living by the Sword, Dying by the Sword

John Dear SJ, National Catholic Reporter

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Steve Clemens

"Tonight's theme is the momentum from a gathering storm for hope which I believe will one day bear fruit in abolishing all nuclear weapons." That's how Bishop Gabino Zavala, President of Pax Christi USA, launched our two-day observance last weekend (July 31 - August 1) of the 65th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

He went on and offered us his clear-eyed view. "April of 2009 represented a sea change from the former administration," he said, referring to Obama's speech in Prague. "It clearly laid out our president's vision and commitment to nuclear disarmament," toward "a nuclear free world."
But then Obama's glaring contradiction. The bishop took him to task for allocating more national treasure for nukes than his predecessor. In many documents over the past decades, the bishop reminded us, nuclear weapons have inspired official condemnation from the Catholic Church. And he urged us to take it seriously, to keep building our grassroots movement. Make your hopes for peace come true, he concluded.

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Living by the Sword, Dying by the Sword, Gary G. Kohls, MD, Evergreene Digest

  • For the past 17 centuries most Christians, contrary to the way of Jesus, have been disobediently and faithlessly trying to live by the sword, and it hasn’t worked out so well. Jesus showed us the way to live. Let us follow that way. Amen.
  • Repenting of the Annihilation of Nagasaki Christianity by American Christians on August 9th, 1945

Mayor Bloomberg Delivers Teary-Eyed Defense Of Ground Zero Islamic Center

  • "We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life and it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11," he said.
  • Zero Tolerance
  • Ground Zero Mosque Appeal: Conservative Law Firm Will Fight Go-Ahead Vote

Sara Yin, Huffington Post

Speaking on Governor's Island, misty-eyed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised a decision to allow an Islamic center to be built near Ground Zero.

Bloomberg choked up during his delivery, which highlighted the spirit of religious tolerance and freedoms once sought by New York's earliest settlers.

"We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life and it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11," he said.

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Zero Tolerance, Progress Report, in Newsvine.com

  • Debate Over Ground Zero Mosque Is About American Values
  • Right-wing Freak Out
  • Mainstreaming Bigotry

Religion News Service

Ground Zero Mosque Appeal: Conservative Religious Law Firm Will Fight Go-Ahead Vote, Alfredo Garcia, Religion News Service, in Huffington Post

A conservative religious law firm plans to appeal a decision that grants a green light for the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero.

Zero Tolerance

  • Debate Over Ground Zero Mosque Is About American Values
  • Right-wing Freak Out
  • Mainstreaming Bigotry
  • Mayor Bloomberg Delivers Teary-Eyed Defense Of Ground Zero Islamic Center

Progress Report, in Newsvine.com

In December (2009), the New York Times reported that "for months," hundreds of Muslims had been gathering every Friday at an abandoned building two blocks north of the World Trade Center for prayer and readings from the Qur'an in Arabic. A group of Muslims purchased the building -- which had been damaged from debris resulting from the 9/11 attacks  -- and now, led by the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) and the Cordoba Initiative, plan to build a 15-story Islamic community center there that will include a mosque, an arts center, a workout facility, and other public spaces.

ASMA founder Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said the project "sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11." "We want to push back against the extremists," he added. Other faith leaders offered support for the project. "[Abdul Rauf] subscribes to my credo: 'Live and let live,'" said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a spiritual leader at a nearby synagogue. "Building so close is owning the tragedy. It's a way of saying: 'This is something done by people who call themselves Muslims. We want to be here to repair the breach, as the Bible says,'" said Joan Brown Campbell, a Christian leader in New York. Despite interfaith support for the project, the idea of having a Muslim center anywhere near Ground Zero has set off right-wing outrage based in bigotry, paranoia, bias, racism, and intolerance.

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Related:

Debate Over Ground Zero Mosque Is About American Values, Think Progress
In 1790, President George Washington wrote a letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, affirming the values of tolerance and religious freedom that he saw as the bedrock of the country that he had had helped found and done so much to secure. “The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy,” Washington wrote. It was “a policy worthy of imitation.”

Mayor Bloomberg Delivers Teary-Eyed Defense Of Ground Zero Islamic Center, Sara Yin, Huffington Post

  • "We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life and it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11," he said.
  • Zero Tolerance
  • Ground Zero Mosque Appeal: Conservative Law Firm Will Fight Go-Ahead Vote


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