Mary, Bishops, Peace, Animals, and “Faitheism”: Religion Rundown

Posted on November 26, 2012 by

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In religious news this past week, we find examples of hope, despair, conflict, and peace.

We begin with an image from Breezy Point, Queens, NY posted in the New York Times on November 16th.  In a barren block, littered with the remains of homes, stands a statue of the Virgin Mary. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the statue, property of Breezy Point resident, Mary Mcnulty, is the only part of her home left standing. In a place of complete devastation, the statue remains as a symbol of faith for displaced residents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving on to November 20th, we receive news via the New York Times that the Church of England has voted against the appointment of women as bishops. This topic is one of intense debate within the Church of England and the decision came after an extremely close margin determined the vote: six lay people short of a 2/3 majority. Disagreement over the outcome of the synod decision has sparked further discussion and with time, women can hope for equality within the Church.

 

On a more positive note, also posted on November 20th, via Huffington Post, we hear word of a viral image, this time, an image of peace. In the middle of Manhattan, two men pose together holding an a sign that reads, “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” The kicker? One man is Jewish and from Israel, the other Muslim and from Palestine. The picture, posted on Facebook by the non-profit Do Something, is receiving an outpouring of support from Facebook users globally. The image is a call for peace and a reminder that amidst our differences, we are all human.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Huffington Post on November 21st, the Pope has released his third book on the life of Jesus, focusing on his birth and childhood. Controversy over the book stems from the Pope’s claims that there were, in fact, no animals present at the birth of Christ and that Mary’s virginity at the time of Jesus’ birth is a “historical fact” rather than a myth or story. In his quest to clarify the facts, Pope Benedict shatters many commonly held beliefs about the story of Christmas itself.

 

From Religion News Service, on November 21st, we receive the words of Chris Stedman, a self-described “fatheist”, a person who does not believe in God but believes in the role of faith in one’s life. In his own blog and now in his book, “Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious” he explains his own experience and his thoughts on faith. His blog and book have received both support and criticism from many religions. His take on faith is unique and provides a more open definition for religion in our world today.

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