Creation in 8-bit.
A community of Catholic hermit monks face opposition to their plans for a new monastery in rural Oklahoma. As the man selling the ranch put it: “What’s puzzling to me is if people complain about these guys as neighbors, what kind of neighbors would they want?” In Houston, a mosque and a Unitarian Universalist church have become great neighbors.
In Russia, witches, wizards, and faith healers face a ban on advertising their healing expertise. Authorities also want to require licenses to practice alternative medicine and would not license witches or wizards. Christian Scientists in the U.S., meanwhile, are asking for health insurance that would cover spiritual health care.
The Pope’s astronomer said he’d baptize an alien—but only if it asked. Awesome.
If you’re curious about life in a polygamous community you can skip putting Sister Wives or Big Love in your NetFlix queue and instead take the “Polygamy Experience” bus tour through Colorado City, Arizona.
Not only is President Obama a Christian, but, according to his wife, he always carries a picture of Mary Help of Christians in his wallet. Elsewhere in Washington, the National Cathedral is getting a new cathedral cat. Catherine of Tarragon will spend her retirement in North Carolina and Carmina will take up residence at the church.
Christian Surfers, USA unites Christianity with the waves.
The small town of Sidney, NY wants a Sufi graveyard gone. The city claims the bodies were buried illegally and wants them removed. In Washington, two Muslim inmates are suing the Pierce county jail for religious discrimination; among other things, they complain that Christian inmates receive special treatment such as a special living unit nicknamed “the God pod.” Opponents of a proposed Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee argued that Islam is not a religion in court this week. They are suing the country for breaking open-meeting laws when they approved the building proposal. And in North Carolina, congressional candidate Renee Ellmers released possibly the most anti-Muslim political ad of the year. The ad calls the Park51 project a “victory mosque” and compares it to mosques in Jerusalem and Constantinople.
Disneyland designed its own headscarf for a Muslim employee.
Religious groups have entered both sides of the debate over whether the state of Virginia should privatize its alcohol sales and dissolve the ABC. Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, is for it but the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists and the Virgina Interfaith Center are against it.
Church-state separation watchdogs are calling for Fort Bragg authorities to cancel a Christian concert scheduled for Saturday. “Rock the Fort” is an evangelical concert staged by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and critics say it has no business on a government run base. Last Sunday, a group of pastors around the country decided to bait the IRS by endorsing political candidates from the pulpit during morning services. The IRS prohibits tax exempt religious institutions from engaging in partisan political activity. Now, Americans United is asking the IRS to investigate. I’m not sure why anyone would toy with the IRS.
A group of disabled Syrians and Americans have come up with a new comic book hero; a disabled Muslim boy in a wheel chair who transforms into the Silver Scorpion.
Senators Arlen Specter and Brad Sherman have introduced a bill that would amend Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and prohibit schools and any other program receiving federal funding from discriminating based upon religion. The bill aims to protect groups with religious and ethnic characteristics such as Jews, Sikhs and Muslims. A Sikh convert is suing AutoZone for religious discrimination after the company allegedly fired him for wearing a turban and did nothing to stop co-workers from calling him a “terrorist” and “Bin-Laden.”