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cleanhippie

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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 19,705

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Christians Bilking Christians

Just a few years ago, during the height of the recession, his organization froze wages, stopped contributing to employees' 401(k) retirement accounts, and turned down the thermostat at its new headquarters during the winter, all in attempts to save money. However, at the same time all this belt tightening was going on he was breaking ground on a new 4 million-dollar home on lakefront property in South Carolina, and raking in a record amount of contributions to his ministry.

Welcome to the world of the "prosperity gospel," where the only people that we know for sure are prospering are the ministers running the show.

Unlike the morally compromised televangelist Jimmy Swaggart who favored prostitute, and Ted Haggard, the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals and founder and pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who resigned those posts after revelations of his sex and drugs scandal came to light, David Cerullo has not been enveloped by such scandals.

David Cerullo, the son of evangelist Morris Cerullo and the CEO of Inspiration Networks (INSP) -- a prominent Christian evangelical organization - is, however, under fire over revelations that he is being grossly overpaid; pocketing a multimillion-dollar salary.

http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/13383

Atheism is a religion?

Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by the Dalai Lama



Perhaps the title is a give-away – the book acknowledges that religion cannot solve the problems of the modern world. We must go beyond religion.

Personally I find the author’s justification for this position rather weak. He argues that in today’s global world no one religion can speak for everyone. Hence we must go beyond – especially as religions themselves cannot provide a common ground. However, even in non-pluralist societies where specific religions had overwhelming dominance they were still incapable of offering real solutions to people’s problems. That is because of the epistemological problem inherent in religion - its inability to understand the real world.

So the Dalai Lama argues for a secular approach. Here I find his writing valuable. He dismisses the arguments of religious militants who see secularism as the enemy of religion. Who actually fight against secularism. The Dalai Lama presents the correct understanding of secularism as an inclusive social arrangement, and not an atheist ideology. Because it is inclusive it provides a guarantee of human rights to all, irrespective of religion and belief. It provides the only real platform enabling us to solve today’s problems.

The beauty of this book is the simplicity and clearness of the author’s language. There’s none of the theological mental gymnastics and pretzel twisting we have come to expect from religious leaders. I found myself, as an unrepentant atheist, nodding my head at his clear description of secularism. I am sure that we would disagree over specific minor details, but I would be happy to use this text as a description of, and argument for, secularism in today’s pluralist world. And I think that many religious people would too.

http://www.secularnewsdaily.com/2012/03/15/review-beyond-religion/


I really think this part deserves repeating:
"The Dalai Lama presents the correct understanding of secularism as an inclusive social arrangement, and not an atheist ideology. Because it is inclusive it provides a guarantee of human rights to all, irrespective of religion and belief. It provides the only real platform enabling us to solve today’s problems."



Review: Beyond Religion by The Dalai Lama

I usually don’t recommend books written by religious leaders – but this is an exception: Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by the Dalai Lama.

Perhaps the title is a give-away – the book acknowledges that religion cannot solve the problems of the modern world. We must go beyond religion.

Personally I find the author’s justification for this position rather weak. He argues that in today’s global world no one religion can speak for everyone. Hence we must go beyond – especially as religions themselves cannot provide a common ground. However, even in non-pluralist societies where specific religions had overwhelming dominance they were still incapable of offering real solutions to people’s problems. That is because of the epistemological problem inherent in religion - its inability to understand the real world.

So the Dalai Lama argues for a secular approach. Here I find his writing valuable. He dismisses the arguments of religious militants who see secularism as the enemy of religion. Who actually fight against secularism. The Dalai Lama presents the correct understanding of secularism as an inclusive social arrangement, and not an atheist ideology. Because it is inclusive it provides a guarantee of human rights to all, irrespective of religion and belief. It provides the only real platform enabling us to solve today’s problems.

The beauty of this book is the simplicity and clearness of the author’s language. There’s none of the theological mental gymnastics and pretzel twisting we have come to expect from religious leaders. I found myself, as an unrepentant atheist, nodding my head at his clear description of secularism. I am sure that we would disagree over specific minor details, but I would be happy to use this text as a description of, and argument for, secularism in today’s pluralist world. And I think that many religious people would too.

http://www.secularnewsdaily.com/2012/03/15/review-beyond-religion/


I really think this part deserves repeating:
"The Dalai Lama presents the correct understanding of secularism as an inclusive social arrangement, and not an atheist ideology. Because it is inclusive it provides a guarantee of human rights to all, irrespective of religion and belief. It provides the only real platform enabling us to solve today’s problems."



My copy should arrive in the mail in a couple of days.

The Power Of Prayer

Was missing soldier killed because he did not believe in god?

Body found in North Texas identified as soldier

PETROLIA, Texas (AP) — Authorities said human remains found in a shallow grave in rural North Texas are those of a missing U.S. Army soldier, five years after they think he was killed.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday said Spc. Jose Ramirez of El Centro, Calif., was found early last month outside a home near Petrolia, just south of the Texas-Oklahoma border. Authorities were called to the home after an anonymous tipster contacted them about an unsolved murder.

According to a criminal complaint, authorities found bullet holes in a bedroom wall and blood stains in a hallway. A day later, they searched the area around the home and found a human skull with bullet marks as well as a pair of shorts with the word "Army," the complaint said.

Authorities charged 30-year-old Justin Green with first-degree murder in February. Green, who once lived in the home where the bullet holes were found, remains in jail on $1 million bond and will appear in court Monday. His attorney did not return a phone message.

Ramirez was 22 when he was reported missing from Fort Sill, Okla., in December 2005, a military spokesman said. Ramirez's family in California could not be reached.

--snip--

Brittany Green allegedly told authorities that her brother said he had shot Ramirez twice because he "did not believe in God and alleged that Ramirez reached for a gun," the complaint said. Terri Green helped her son move Ramirez's body from the home's garage to the shallow grave, the complaint said.

http://www.chron.com/news/article/Body-found-in-North-Texas-identified-as-soldier-3403078.php

Human fossils hint at new species

The remains of what may be a previously unknown human species have been identified in southern China.

The bones, which represent at least five individuals, have been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago.

But scientists are calling them simply the Red Deer Cave people, after one of the sites where they were unearthed.

The team has told the PLoS One journal that far more detailed analysis of the fossils is required before they can be ascribed to a new human lineage.

"We're trying to be very careful at this stage about definitely classifying them," said study co-leader Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17370170

Chaplain Demands Atheist Festival Be Canceled At Fort Bragg

FORT BRAGG, NC – Chaplain (Captain) Chuck Williams wrote an open letter on Fort Bragg's Facebook page calling for the cancellation of on-post secular festival Rock Beyond Belief. Cpt. Williams claims, "It has now been made blatantly public by [event] organizers that part of this event will be... glorifying violence against people who possess a faith in God through the burning of churches. This is appalling!"

Fort Bragg estimates that 5,000 people will attend the all-day event. It was partially inspired by a controversial evangelical Christian event that targeted non-Christians for conversions. Rock Beyond Belief, to be held March 31, has no such conversion or "de-conversion" agenda. The festival aims to be a family-friendly affair including secular children’s activities grounded in science.

An organizer of the event, Justin Griffith said,

"It is possible that Cpt. Williams thinks that arson is a common hobby of atheists from misinformation he obtained from FOX News. Popular rock band Aiden’s lyrics were purposely taken out of context, making it look like a performer was encouraging the destruction of holy texts and buildings."


Aiden lead-singer, William Control, has repeatedly explained that the song ‘Hysteria’ was actually a condemnation of faith-on-faith violence and hatred. Though some of Aiden’s songs contain foul language, but ‘Hysteria’ does not. Festival organizers insist that all performers had already agreed to only play radio friendly songs.

Chaplain Williams attacked the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Mikey Weinstein and festival headliner Richard Dawkins as being

“known publicly for their caustic treatment of people of faith.”


Ironically, Mr. Weinstein is Jewish and litigates mainly for Christians.


http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-national/chaplain-demands-atheist-festival-canceled-at-fort-bragg#ixzz1p6ySxpF8

Christian college warns student for ‘coming out’ on Facebook

A college student who announced on Facebook that she was a lesbian could be kicked out of on-campus dorms if she doesn’t remove the posting from the Internet, according to Fox 2 News.

Kiah Zabel, a 19-year-old student at Rochester College in Michigan, posted an image on the social networking site that read: “Out…Proud…Lesbian.”

Shortly afterward, the Dean of Students sent Zabel a letter asking her to take down the image or face expulsion from campus living.

“I appreciate your move towards honesty and being the real you, but I’m going to have to insist that you change your Facebook banner picture,” Brian Cole wrote in the letter obtained by FOX 2 “‘Out…Proud…Lesbian’ is not really consistent with the heritage of Rochester College and has proven to already be disruptive among fellow students who are really bothered by it.”

School officials have told her that she must keep her sexual orientation a secret.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/03/12/christian-college-threatens-to-kick-out-student-for-coming-out-on-facebook/

Interesting thought on the relationship between religion and the internet

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