Atheists are Americans Too, Vuvuzelas, Etc.

This week Neo-Pagans celebrated the summer solstice at Stonehenge.  In South Carolina, Nikki Haley is celebrating her win in the GOP primary for governor and her triumph over questions of whether she is “really a Christian.”  However, there are still those who don’t buy her conversion to Methodism.

Are social media changing religion? Maybe. But could religion be changing our media, as well?  Again, maybe. Apple’s Steve Jobs, a guru for techies, has become a favorite among conservative Christians for his crusade against pornography in the world of Apple.  At least one Indonesian celebrity might agree with Jobs.  Nazril Irham faces 12 years in jail for an alleged sex tape of his that has circulated Indonesia via the web and gotten him into trouble with Muslim authorities.  Instead of porn, many are turning to their iPads for religion.  Need to work on scripture memory?  There’s an app for that.  You can even use your iPhone to tweet the latest execution news, like the Utah Attorney General.  But for others the internet is a place for anti-religious rage.

Over at the Huffington Post, they have debuted a new discussion between religion and science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science continues to seek dialogue between science and religion. University of Colorado psychologist Tor D. Wager grew up in the Church of Christ, Scientist and is now a scientist trying to explain the placebo effect — including religious healing.  In July, Boston’s World Future 2010 conference will offer predictions for the future of religion through demographic data.

While one writer argues for a paradox in Muslim feminism, the Senate in Spain has voted to ban the burqa.  Supporters of the bill see it as a necessary step to curb fundamentalism, while opponents argue that the answer should be education not legislation.  In Mexico, Time reports, La Familia Michoacana mixes fundamentalism with drugs, violence, and political corruption.  The cartel’s leader, Nazaria Moreno—AKA El Mas Loco—has written his own Bible and leads prayer meetings.  A conservative pastor in Minnesota, who was outed by Lavender Magazine, will likely keep his job.  Rev. Tom Brock had been publicly critical of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s liberalization of its policies toward homosexuals but the magazine discovered he had been attending “a support group for men struggling with same-sex attraction.”

Billboards in North Carolina claim that atheists are Americans too.  In Ohio, PETA is offering to rebuild the burnt “King of Kings” statue.  However, the new “King of Kings” would feature Jesus holding a lamb and asking folks to go vegan.  The Vatican has opened up its secret archive revealing a medieval weather station and more information surrounding World War II.

The World Cup continued its sacred hold upon the news.  First, a religious defense of the vuvuzela argues it is a biblical instrument.  Don’t tell the English FA that football is religious.  They are making sure English star Wayne Rooney keeps his religion to himself.  Mostly because that religion is Catholic.  In American football, though, NFL star Ricky Williams is spreading his own brand of contemplative religiosity.  The running back is teaching mediation classes in Florida.