April 11, 2014
A recent poll conducted Pew Research Center revealed that many people worldwide, particularly those who live in poorer countries, are of the opinion that one must believe in God to be a moral person. According to the Pew report that was issued in late March, more people in North America and Europe agree that one can be an upright person whether or not they are religious. Q: What is your take on the various views across the globe linking morality to a belief in God? What is "moral"?
April 3, 2014
Having recently made legal claims to historical gas and mineral rights under vast tracts of British land, the Church of England has taken a position against those who oppose hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - the process of breaking up rock formations underground in order to extract natural gas. A spokesman for the church says the issue is an economic one and compares opponents of the process to anti-vaccine activists, claiming that the poor “suffer...
March 27, 2014
Fred Phelps, the founder the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. who was known for his fire-and-brimstone anti-gay public protests - as many as 53,000 of them since 1991, according to church officials - died March 19 at the age of 84. Q: What do you think will be his legacy, or impact on religion in 21st century America? Fred Phelps was a man who had zero positive impact to the history of Christendom. His unpalatable brand of Christianity was valid fodder for critics of any organized religion.
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.