January 31, 2014
According to a study by the Public Religion Research Institute, "football fans are more likely than other sports fans to report praying to God (33% vs. 21%). They also are more apt to believe their team has been cursed (31% vs. 18%), and to perform rituals before or during games (25% vs. 18%). " Q: With the Seattle Seahawks battling the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl this weekend and fans on both sides sending up prayers, do you think God will have a say in the outcome? It's ridiculous to think that the religious actions of the fans would affect the outcome of a football game.
January 13, 2014
When Daniel Roebuck was cast in a Glendale holiday production, it set off a chain reaction of changes for a Burbank theater company. Roebuck had committed to playing Scrooge at Glendale Centre Theatre, so he had to find another director for the Saint Francis Stage Company's annual play, which he has co-directed since its inception seven years ago. But things have fallen into place and the show will go on, continuing at the company through Jan....
December 28, 2013
Earlier this month a controversy arose after a tongue-in-cheek column written by Aisha Harris, a woman of color, was published online at Slate.com , suggesting maybe it's time that Santa Claus is no longer depicted as a white man. A Fox news host, Megyn Kelly, commenting on air about the Harris column, caused a firestorm by saying Santa is most certainly white and that Jesus is too. After many expressed outrage at Kelly's comments, she later said...
December 5, 2013
A New York Times columnist is wondering: Where is the love? Nicholas D. Kristoff says there's a “profound lack of empathy” these days, after columns he wrote about food stamp recipients, prison inmates and those without health insurance drew scornful responses from readers. After acknowledging that some people end up in jail or poverty because of their own bad decisions, he asks: “Do we really think that kids should go hungry if they have criminal parents? Should a little boy not get a curved spine treated properly because his dad is a deadbeat?
October 25, 2013
The argument between believers and atheists has found a new and very public forum in recent years - billboards. Pro- and anti-religion advertisements and messages have been appearing on the sides of buses in places as diverse as London and Dallas, on billboards in Australia and California, and now in New York's Times Square. Paid for by the evangelical group Answers In Genesis, an electronic billboard there displays what the New York Times describes as “a friendly jab” at atheists: “To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong.” The battle of the billboards has also been used provocatively, as when an atheist group paid to have the message, “You Know it's a Myth: This Season Celebrate Reason,” about Christmas, put above the Lincoln Tunnel in New York.
September 27, 2013
A pair of scientific reports released in recent weeks are related to life on Earth: One raises the possibility that the planet was jump-started by a comet, and the other calculates that Earth will end in 1.75 billion to 3.25 billion years. Q: How do these reports fit in with your teachings or beliefs? There's a joke about some scientists who tell God that he's no longer needed because they believe they have the knowledge to make a man just as God reportedly did in the Bible.
September 5, 2013
The birthrate in America has fallen to an all-time low, with one in five women not having children in 2010, compared to one in 10 in the 1970s. In Orange County, the rate has dropped from 50,000 a year in the '90s to about 38,000 in 2011. Many couples defend their childless lives, pointing out that it's their choice, it means more time to do what they want, and the world's population is rising too fast. They also point to the cost of raising a child to adulthood, estimates of which range from $200,000 to $300,000.
August 30, 2013
Aug. 28 marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous “I have a dream” speech, which some say was so peppered with scriptural allusions that it was more sermon than speech. Clarence Jones, a civil rights activist who stood on the dais with Dr. King that day, is said to have turned to the person beside them and muttered, at the start of the speech, “These people don't know it, but they're about to go to church.” Q: If you were to give your own “I have a dream” speech today, how would your faith inform your dreams for a transformed nation and world?
July 26, 2013
A post has been making the rounds recently on social media sites such as Facebook in which a man asks God a series of questions and God answers. The man starts off by asking, "Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?" He goes on to list several grievances that may seem trivial - his car not starting, his sandwich being made wrongly and his phone going dead. God answers each question with an explanation of why these things happened. For example, he tells the man that he prevented his car from starting because if it had, the man would have been hit by a drunk driver.
July 11, 2013
Religion may be good for the soul, but there's now evidence it's good for a healthy mind, too. A study by researchers in Canada has discovered that regular attendance at religious services can provide "significant protection against depression" - with the incidence of clinical depression dropping by 22% among those who regularly attend church. Marilyn Baetz, head of the department of psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan and a co-author of the study, which tracked 12,000 Canadians over 14 years, said she's a little puzzled as to why regular religious attendance helps so much.