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Saipov Wasn’t a “Member” of ISIS, But That Misses the Point

…in the animated chats of the online social networks and as readers of the online ISIS literature. This online network constituted a separate movement. In the Twitter chats they often would call themselves baqiyah, a term that means something that survives or endures, and in this case refers to the enduring online ISIS community. In one of a series of tweets from a teenager in Canada, he said that his parents found some of his messages and were tr…

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Will God-Gaming Alter the Bible?

…, if competition is a core feature of games, who is competing in The Bible Online, and in what way? How are points amassed, and do these “points” have any religious significance beyond the game? What of the “RTS” (real-time strategy) component of The Bible Online and its communal play feature? Will everyone play as Abraham at the same time? Or will one player get to take on this role while others follow him? And what performative act, faithful or…

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Pornography’s Dirty Little Secret: What We Say vs. What We Do

…bjection to porn doesn’t stop people from watching. Given the high rate of online porn use documented in highly religious, conservative states, moral pressure may mean that people are watching porn yet feeling guilty for doing so. With easy online porn access, and concerns about its impact on sexuality and interpersonal relations, the issue has taken center stage in national and global public debates. In the United States, the question about wheth…

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“Dark” Skin No Longer a Curse in Online Book of Mormon

…receive a skin of blackness, and become a scourge to the Nephites.” * New online version: “Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites are cut off from the presence of the Lord, are cursed, and become a scourge unto the Nephites.” A second changed chapter heading appears in Mormon, chapter 5: * Old version: “The Lamanites shall be a dark, filthy, and loathsome people. . .” * New online version: “Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites will be scatt…

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Turn Off, Slow Down, Drop In: The Digital Generation Reinvents the Sabbath

…s described the spiritual significance of participating in prayer services online or via Skype for Muslims who are separated from active religious communities by geography, physical limitations, or other circumstances. Sun Dial: A Mobile Call to Prayer application available for the iPhone assists Muslims around the world in participating in daily prayer by tracking “the sun’s gentle movement through the sky.” According to the designers of the app,…

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LGBT Editor In Bangladesh Murdered by Islamists—and More, In this Week’s Global LGBT Recap

…izations. Europe: European Parliament calls from stronger measures against online harassment The European Parliament adopted a report on Thursday that calls for measures to counter homophobic and transphobic hate speech online. Malin Björk MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, who was involved in the writing of the report, continued: “Many women and LGBTI people face online harassment, hate speech or blackmail. However, it is often unclear…

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Christian Founder of Online Dating Site Wants to Ease Gay Pain

…w with Yahoo! Finance, the 78-year-old Christian co-founder and CEO of the online dating site eHarmony, said being gay or lesbian “has been a painful way for a lot of people to have to live.” But, he’s ready to pony up $10 million “and ask other companies to put up money and do a really first-class job of figuring out homosexuality.” I’m so glad that Warren is so concerned with my “pain” and is ready to start “figuring out” homosexuality. Never mi…

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Churchgoers, Stay Home—It’s The American Way

…re practically speaking, many people lack the technology they need to join online services, and even when they do have access, the experience can be awkward. Brian Weiser, a Modern Orthodox Jew from Denver, tried an online minyan but Zoom conferencing made the ritual feel disjointed. He missed “the communal aspect” of the prayers and has continued that part of his practice alone. The Zoom interface can be both a blessing and a curse. Tracey Deutsc…

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Catholic Archbishop Takes On Jesuit Magazine’s Slam on “Ecumenism of Hate”; and More in Global LGBT Recap

…ed them marital housing. China: Activists angered over ban on LGBT content online A government ban on online content featuring same-sex relationships has angered many activists, reports the BBC: There are 84 categories of material that were banned from online video programmes by Chinese censors, including prostitution, drug addiction, extra-marital affairs and what authorities deem to be “unhealthy” views of the family, relationships and money. A…

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Sharing Many of the Same Flaws as its Subject ‘The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill’ Podcast Puts Blame Anywhere But Where It Belongs

…evidence that I’ve shared here suggests, Driscoll’s “verbal articulation” online should have been alarming to many. Yet those who promoted and capitalized from the controversy Driscoll catalyzed through the digital medium not only agreed in principle with what he said, but they could exploit Driscoll’s self-proclaimed “riot evangelism” while maintaining a safe enough distance from the scandals and harm to remain clear of criticism themselves. No…

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