Catholic synod declines to put out welcome mat for gays and divorcees

The Catholic church is like an aircraft carrier. When it turns around, it happens so slowly as to be almost imperceptible. We see this once again with its latest ‘Synod on the Family’ of bishops convened by pope Francis to discuss the church’s attitude towards homosexuality and divorced people. Their current intolerant attitude has long been recognized as a source of alienation, especially for young people, and cannot last and this meeting started the process of change.
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Symbolic versus literal interpretations of biblical stories

When I was an undergraduate in Sri Lanka, I was also president of the Student Christian Movement, a national body of Christian students on all the university campuses. We used to organize annual residential conferences lasting for about five days and they were great fun. We had mostly secular activities with some talks on social issues as well as outdoor activities and games. It was more like a summer camp with lectures than a serious conference.
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Another evangelical preacher caught in sexual shenanigans

Ernest Angley is one of the TV evangelists who seem to have been around forever, raking in the money from the gullible while preaching against homosexuality and other ‘sins’. Now the Akron Beacon Journal has come out with an explosive series of stories about what he has been up to. He has been accused of touching other men ‘inappropriately’ and having them undress in front of him so that he could explain to them about the vasectomies that he strongly encourages them to have. He also apparently urged women in his congregations to have abortions.
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E. O. Wilson’s strange attitude to religion

The renowned biologist and environmentalist E. O. Wilson wrote a book Consilience in which he argued for the unity of all knowledge. There is a chapter towards the end where he compares the transcendental view of morals and ethics and compares it with his own view, that of an empiricist. In describing his own view, he says (p. 246-247)
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Freshwater loses final appeal

John Freshwater was a public school teacher in Ohio who was teaching creationist ideas in his science classes, keeping Bibles on his desk, and had the 10 Commandments posted on the wall. In one case, parents charged that he had used a Tesla coil to make the sign of a cross on a student’s arm. He was dismissed in 2011 after he refused to obey a district demand that he refrain from such actions.
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The First Amendment does not mean what these people think it means

Ok folks, let’s get one thing clear. The First Amendment guarantee of free speech does not mean that you can say anything to anyone at any time in any place in any capacity. That this need to be clarified at all is astounding but clearly some people just do not get it, as when a state trooper Brian Hamilton started questioning Ellen Bogan after he pulled her over.
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A common journey to unbelief

I was interested in this story about Bart Campolo, the son of Tony Campolo. The father is described as an “influential evangelical leader and author who is famous for having been a spiritual adviser to former President Bill Clinton” but the son now says that he is an agnostic humanist. I suspect that Bart’s deconversion story is mirrored in many people who were once believers, even devout ones, but then lost the faith.
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Stunning animals does not affect blood loss

Many countries adopt the policy of stunning cattle before killing them as it is supposedly more humane. But Muslims and Jews have religious prohibitions against consuming the blood of animals and so they oppose stunning and instead require that in order for the food to be certified as kosher or halal, that the animals must not be stunned and their blood must run freely when killed, presumable to drain the meat of all blood.
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