This Week in Religion: Christian Pagan-envy, Religion and Technology, Jesus v. Obesity

According to recent polls, “46% of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years,” up 2% from 1982. And a new study at U.C. Berkeley suggests that “less religious people perform acts of generosity more from feelings of compassion than do more religious people.”

While Mitt Romney will be the first Mormon to be nominated for President by a major political party, the Southern Baptist Convention (which emerged in 1845 in support of slave-holding) is about to elect its first African American president.

Guess who’s coming to an LGBT dinner? Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council in Washington.

The American Conservative calls on Christians to be more like Pagans. “The Pagans may have had false Gods, but they had real men.”

In an effort to  “grow… the church by pruning,” recent Papal condemnations of American Catholic nuns for fomenting a “radical feminism” have evoked a groundswell of popular resistance.

While some augur that the age of the internet spells the end of religion, The Washington Post sees online connectivity as good for “good religion.” Perhaps so, alongside Justin Bieber, ministers such as Joel Osteen, who daily tweet Bible verses and inspirational passages, are among the most active in the twitter-verse.

According to Christianity Today as well as the CNN Religion Blog, Stephen King‘s tales of horror are also tales “of an explicitly Christian faith.”

“Since 1971,” the American Enterprise Institute tells us, central banks have also had religion, “a religion of constant, never-ending, intentional, worldwide inflation,” ironically known as “price stability.” Whether this kind of implicit religion comes with its own unique “Day of Judgment” is not yet clear.

Speaking of which, if we imagine religion in terms of euphoric brain states, does surfing qualify?

Looking for summer reading? Tom Perrotta’s novel The Leftovers offers a postmodern take on the Rapture. Imagine that thousands instantly vanish, but with no ‘voice from the sky’ explaining why, and some of the Raptured aren’t Christians, and many of the Christians aren’t Raptured.

In Tennessee, courts consider whether Islam “is a religion,” or a conspiratorial plot to overturn the U.S. Constitution. This sort of reaction, it seems, is still rather common across across the U.S. 

In Santa Monica, CA, some Hindu American parents have taken a do-it-yourself approach to Hindu Sunday School.

Elsewhere in American Christendom (yes, even in Tennessee), some look to Jesus in their fight against obesity, while others ask whether Jesus “is making you overeat” in the first place? One “incredibly quirky and yet fascinating study… published in the International Journal of Obesity,” for instance, “investigated the size of the food and plates… depicted in paintings of Jesus’ Last Supper over the last 1000 years.” Guess what they found? Like McDonald’s Happy Meals, the portions get bigger over time!

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One Response to This Week in Religion: Christian Pagan-envy, Religion and Technology, Jesus v. Obesity

  1. Paul Moore says:

    Truly, strange contrasts and combinations. In case of conservative and strict groups, such as many evangelicals–note break or illusion.For more than 120 years held that
    LDS of Utah is non-Christian. Correctly. Now, slide over or bend this way and that speak of common “values.” Inccludes many leaders, many educated went to seminaries. Two points. Where a line is crossed. Goes against base of most denominations. LDS years ago took a Bible–usual OT, NT (never mind other LDS)
    that had been heavily changed, written over by Founder Smith. Not style or
    grammar but the text. In public some LDS including W. M. Romney use name
    “KJV.” Not true. Second, you all know of a Fall/curse for mankind. But in LDS
    there have been t w o such. And the second affects only part of humans who have
    been harrassed and persecuted in USA. Alleged official church changes in 1978 do
    not really overcome this. (And a dozen others, too hard for common people to grasp).

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