Monday, February 1, 2016

Via JMG: World Net Daily Has The Godless City Sadz


Last week the American Family Association published a ranking of US cities based on the percentage of residents who claim to read the bible at least once a week. Today World Net Daily warns us against cities that have the largest percentage of religious “nones” – people who claim no formal affiliation with any denomination. They write:
If you’re an atheist, then the Pacific Northwest is the place for you. Three of the most godless cities in America are on the West coast, with the Rose City – Portland, Oregon – coming in as the least faithful. According to a survey of 50,000 people conducted by the nonpartisan and nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas, 42 percent of Portland’s residents are “religiously unaffiliated.” Seattle and San Francisco tied at second place (33 percent), with Denver and Phoenix (32 percent and 26 percent) in third and fourth place.
Compared to more devout cities such as Nashville and Charlotte, Portland bills itself as “quirky and different” (the city’s unofficial motto is “Keep Portland Weird”). Daniel Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, credits this atmosphere as “very attractive to people who may not feel comfortable in other social environments, particularly with a stigma against those who are atheists.”
Studies show one-fifth (22 percent) of the U.S. population has no religious affiliation whatsoever. Numbers are rising. Last year atheists were 15 percent of the population; 10 years ago, numbers stood at 10 percent. In the 1950s, it was 1 percent. In late 2012, it was reported that atheism was the third-largest “faith” in the world after Christianity and Islam.

Make the jump here to read the original at JMG

Via DailyKos: One of Greece's respected religious leaders says homosexuals are created by God and deserve respect

About a month ago, Greece passed a law recognizing same-sex unions. It is the first step towards the inevitable downfall of civilization—or so we have been told for the past 3000 years (give or take a few hundred years). Predictably, there has been a bit of push back, specifically from the more religious elements in Greek society. More specifically from high ranking Greek Orthodox bishops publicly saying that gay people should be spit on and beaten. 

However, a few days ago Chrysostomos, the Metropolitan of Messinia was quoted in a interview with news site Pappas Post saying that homosexuals are like all humans and should be accorded the same respect.
“Homosexuals, like all humans, are a creation of God and they deserve the same respect and honor, and not violence and rejection. We shouldn’t forget the way Christ responded to the sinful woman, according to the Gospels, which became his word. ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’”
“That canon should be our guiding principle for the way in which we should handle every person and fellow human, regardless of their otherness or differences. The church doesn’t reject people.”
Bishop Chrysostomos diocese covers most of southern Greece and is one of twelve in the country. Now, Chrysostomos didn’t go so far as to say that homosexuality was an acceptable spiritual way of living but, after the very harsh and dangerous rhetoric being thrown around by other church officials, it is nice to see some dissent in opinion. Even if that dissent shows more a degree of difference than actual ideological progress. Considering that the Greek Orthodox church is the oldest Christian sect in the world, there is something to be said about how similar they are to more modern religious sects like fundamentalism, and how they must swim or sink with the changing times. 

Make the jump here to read the full article

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do dia / Flor del día / Flower of the day 1/02/2016

“Quero te convidar a olhar a vida objetivamente. Que você possa olhar para as dificuldades que surgem na vida não como um problema, mas como oportunidades de autoconhecimento e crescimento, sejam elas quais forem. Vá em frente e pergunte: o que é que a vida quer me ensinar? O que eu estou me recusando a compreender?”

“Te quiero invitar a mirar la vida objetivamente. Que puedas mirar a las dificultades que surgen en la vida no como un problema, sino como oportunidades de autoconocimiento y crecimiento, sean cuales fueran. Ve al frente y pregunta: ¿Qué es lo que la vida quiere enseñarme? ¿Qué es lo que me estoy rehusando a comprender?”

"I invite you to look at life objectively. May you be able to look at whatever difficulties arise in life, not as problems, but as opportunities for self-awareness and growth. Go ahead and ask yourself: ‘What is life wanting to teach me? What am I refusing to understand?’ "

Via Daily Dharma: Strong Determination

When you admit to yourself, “I must make this change to be more happy”—not because the Buddha said so, but because your heart recognized a deep truth—you must devote all your energy to making the change. You need strong determination to overcome harmful habits.

—Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Getting Started"