Religion christian – Helviti http://helviti.com/ Sun, 15 May 2022 17:27:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://helviti.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-1-1-120x120.png Religion christian – Helviti http://helviti.com/ 32 32 RELIGION: Diploma | Reviews | athensreview.com https://helviti.com/religion-diploma-reviews-athensreview-com/ Sun, 15 May 2022 17:00:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/religion-diploma-reviews-athensreview-com/ For the first time in three years, family and friends can once again fill stadiums, arenas and the auditorium to celebrate high school and college graduations. The masks are off and the smiles are back, youthful faces smiling at each other, seeking family and friends in the crowd. Mothers and fathers anxiously searching for sons […]]]>

For the first time in three years, family and friends can once again fill stadiums, arenas and the auditorium to celebrate high school and college graduations. The masks are off and the smiles are back, youthful faces smiling at each other, seeking family and friends in the crowd. Mothers and fathers anxiously searching for sons and daughters.

Each graduate represents a unique story. Most are young. Some represent the first graduates in their families. Some are focused, with jobs lined up and a clear career path ahead of them. Some are still trying to find their way, not really knowing what they will do with the degree they have obtained. All of them, in one way or another, managed to complete their degree during the difficult days of Covid.

Some are like our son. In 1992, he entered university in the first year. But, like many others, he either wasn’t ready for college or college wasn’t ready for him. He lasted a few semesters, bouncing around at different universities before joining the Marine Corps. Over the years, in addition to serving our nation as a US Marine, he has developed a successful career in information technology. He married and raised our three older grandchildren in a Christian home. He turned out to be a wonderful husband and father and a Christian example in his community. Today he is 48 and this weekend, May 14, he will cross the stage to receive his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming where his daughter is a senior and his youngest is a freshman. He says he crammed his college degree in 30 years! Our whole family will be there to see him “walk” and celebrate, including his sister from Colorado and his brother from Minnesota.

Degrees inspire us because they not only celebrate a significant achievement, they celebrate new beginnings, new possibilities and opportunities. Education offers young people the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that prepare them for the future. For those who are older, it offers the opportunity to retool, to start over, to pursue new dreams.

God loves to lead us to new dreams and new discoveries. In Isaiah he says, “From now on I will tell you new things, hidden things which are unknown to you” (Isaiah 48:6). Nothing is as important for a new beginning in life as a spiritual transformation that connects us to God and places in our hearts the values ​​that give meaning to life. The proverbs say, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7). In Ezekiel, God said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26).

God is always about new beginnings. It offers young people the opportunity to launch their lives on the path that leads to life and, for older people, the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over. Whether or not you hold an official degree from an institution, whether you are nineteen or ninety years old, you can make a fresh start in life.

Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a religious perspective. His books are available at www.tinsleycenter.com. Email bill@tinsleycenter.com.

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mike walsh | Runner’s High: Religion in Running, Getting Lost on a Long Jog | Sports https://helviti.com/mike-walsh-runners-high-religion-in-running-getting-lost-on-a-long-jog-sports/ Fri, 13 May 2022 23:00:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/mike-walsh-runners-high-religion-in-running-getting-lost-on-a-long-jog-sports/ I don’t go to church much anymore. And I guess that’s a bit sad. I grew up going every Sunday with my family, took CCD classes, and was confirmed in high school. There were times when I dreaded it and times when I was excited about it. A lot of it was really interesting, but […]]]>

I don’t go to church much anymore. And I guess that’s a bit sad. I grew up going every Sunday with my family, took CCD classes, and was confirmed in high school. There were times when I dreaded it and times when I was excited about it. A lot of it was really interesting, but a lot of what I now see as the benefits of religion was lost to me in my youth.

For confirmation, we had to seek out and identify a saint with whom we shared something and whose identity we would assume as the confirmation name. Looking back on it, it was a really introspective process, or at least it probably should have been. Anyway, I chose Saint Andrew. Along with Scotland and many other people, places and things, Saint Andrew was known as the patron saint of fishing. As a young teenager, I thought that was a pretty deep choice. Because, more than when I sat next to my siblings and parents on a hardwood bench, under ornate stained glass windows in an old downtown apartment building, I always contemplated weighing good against evil and to have the best conversations with God all alone on a pier or fishing by a lake under the sky.

A few years later, when it came time for another more secular rite of passage, I chose to revisit this theory in my college essay. So, I wrote about fishing. Nobody really knows what exactly that means in terms of whether or not to get into a specific college, but given my current career path, I like to think that I wrote a pretty poetic essay and the person in charge of admissions to Marist College was seduced. enough to grant solid B- student acceptance.

The rest, as they say, is history.







runner stretches at lake onota

Sportswriter Mike Walsh is taking a break from his long run this week to stretch along Onota Lake.




Or, the story until last Monday morning when I went out for a jog aiming to hit six miles and ended up making a 10 par.

Because, here’s the kicker that may or may not confuse 15-year-old Mike Walsh. I don’t fish much either. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever really did.

But, at some point during Monday’s long run, less than two weeks away from the steel rail half marathon on May 22, I kinda got into my head and gave what my current idea of God or the Karmic Universe is a quick download on How Things Are.

It’s so hard to disconnect these days, whether you’re on the toilet Instagram scrollers, typing pop-up ads on the iPad recipe website cooking dinner, or answering to work emails, well after you quote-without quotes.

But, if you choose to spend a few kilometers in commando (without earphones), it can become much easier.

About 2 miles into my long run, the sights and sounds of downtown Pittsfield melted into my subconscious. A crosswalk button to push here, a smiling mum pushing a stroller by Dottie is there. Mostly it was sunshine and heat, rhythmic huffs and puffs, and the quick strides of those brand new cloud-like Brooks Ghost 14s I picked up last week at the Berkshire Running Center.

I thought of good things – I almost finished this book which takes forever, and E has his grandparents helping him all week. He will love this. And I drifted off to not-so-good stuff – I was a jerk to that nerdy kid in Mrs. Naze’s third-grade class, and should I do more in reaction to this whole Supreme Court situation?

As I stretched at the boat launch on Lake Onota, 5 miles from the race, I prayed. Or, at least, what passes for prayer these days with a non-practicing Catholic.

I had this great-great-aunt Mary, I think I mentioned her before. She passed away late last year and I went alone to Cape Cod on a Tuesday night for her funeral on Wednesday. I woke up in a hotel room in Hyannis, put on a few diapers and jogged until I found the harbor so I could look at some water and thank Mary for everything. she had done for me and my family. I got lost on my way back to the Marriot and was actually late going to church for mass. I like to think she would have found it funny.

I thought back to that December day of Monday as I grabbed my toes and tensed my right calf. There is much comfort in faith and belief in a higher power. There is also comfort in communing with nature when you give your body and mind nothing to focus on but itself.

I didn’t have a route mapped out for this long run. I knew I wanted to go down the drain – the part of me that wants to claim “Walden” and “Siddhartha” are my favorite books (when it’s really Stephen King’s “It” or, more currently, “The Pout- Pout Fish”) is still quite strong. But from Onota, I went back to Lakeway Drive and headed south on Onota Street until I felt like turning around downtown. I laughed at my old self, thinking that I was acutely aware of the meaning of life as a teenager who hadn’t yet lived a fraction of life.

So here is this, a de facto redux of my college essay and confirmation reasoning, CTRL-F fish and replace with run.

While covering a track competition on Monday at Great Barrington, I ran into longtime Cookie and Chocolate Bowl Race Director Gary Miller, who joked with me that instead of age categories for prizes at races, there should be categories of living situation. A singles division, a married division, a toddler parents division, etc. A brilliant and humorous idea, I thought.

If only because I’m sure in 10 more years I could look back on this column and this experience and laugh one more time at how immature I am now and how little I still have lived.

I hope so. And I hope I’m still able to go out for a long time and let my spirit melt and laugh with the divinity I attribute to at that time.

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what machine learning can tell us about the Bhagavad Gita https://helviti.com/what-machine-learning-can-tell-us-about-the-bhagavad-gita/ Thu, 12 May 2022 00:47:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/what-machine-learning-can-tell-us-about-the-bhagavad-gita/ Machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) methods have had immense success with scientific and engineering tasks such as predicting the folding of protein molecules and recognizing faces in a crowd. However, the application of these methods to the human sciences is not yet fully explored. What can AI tell us about philosophy and religion, […]]]>

Machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) methods have had immense success with scientific and engineering tasks such as predicting the folding of protein molecules and recognizing faces in a crowd. However, the application of these methods to the human sciences is not yet fully explored.

What can AI tell us about philosophy and religion, for example? As a starting point for such exploration, we used deep learning AI methods to analyze English translations of the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu text originally written in Sanskrit.

Using a deep learning-based language model called BERT, we investigated sentiment (emotions) and semantics (meanings) in translations. Despite huge variations in vocabulary and sentence structure, we found that patterns of emotion and meaning were broadly similar across all three.

This research paves the way for the use of AI-based technologies to compare translations and revise sentiment across a wide range of texts.

An ancient book of wisdom

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the main Hindu sacred and philosophical texts. Written over 2,000 years ago, it has been translated into over 100 languages ​​and has interested Western philosophers since the 18th century.

The 700-verse poem is part of the larger Mahabharata epic, which recounts the events of an ancient war that is said to have taken place at Kurukshetra near present-day Delhi in India.



Read more: Indian philosophy helps us see clearly and act wisely in an interconnected world


The text of the Bhagavad Gita recounts a conversation between the Hindu god Krishna and a prince called Arjuna. They discuss whether a soldier should go to war for ethics and duty (or “dharma”) if he has close friends or family on the opposite side.

The text helped lay the foundations of Hinduism. Among many other things, this is where the philosophy of karma (a spiritual principle of cause and effect) originates.

Scholars have also viewed the Bhagavad Gita as a book of psychology, management, leadership, and conflict resolution.

Countless translations

The first of many English translations of the Bhagavad Gita was published in 1785.
Wikimedia Commons, CC BY

There have been countless English translations of the Bhagavad Gita, but there is not much work that validates their quality. Translations of songs and poems not only break rhythm and rhyme patterns, but can also cause semantic information to be lost.

In our research, we used deep learning linguistic models to analyze three selected translations of the Bhagavad Gita (from Sanskrit to English) with semantic and sentimental analyzes that help in the assessment of translation quality. .

We used a pre-trained language model known as BERT, developed by Google. We further refined the model using a human labeled training dataset based on Twitter posts, which captures 10 different feelings.

These sentiments (optimistic, grateful, empathetic, pessimistic, anxious, sad, bored, denial, surprised, and joking) were adopted from our previous research on social media sentiment at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A schematic diagram showing how AI analytics works.
Chandra, Author provided

Sentiment patterns

The three translations we studied used very different vocabulary and syntax, but the language model recognized similar sentiments in the different chapters of the respective translations. According to our model, optimistic, annoyed and surprised feelings are the most expressed.

Sentiments captured by our linguistic model for different translations of the Bhagavad Gita.
Chandra and Kulkarni, Author provided

Moreover, the model showed how the overall polarity of feelings changes (from negative to positive) during the conversation between Arjuna and Lord Krishna.

Arjuna is pessimistic at first and becomes optimistic when Lord Krisha imparts knowledge of Hindu philosophy to him. The sentiments expressed by Krishna show that with philosophical knowledge of dharma and mentorship, a troubled mind can gain clarity to make the right decisions in times of conflict.

One of the limitations of our model is that it was trained on data from Twitter, so it recognizes “kidding” as a common sentiment. He applies this label inappropriately to certain parts of the Bhagavad Gita. Humor is complicated and heavily culturally constrained, and understanding that is asking too much of our model at this point.

Due to the nature of the Sanskrit language, the fact that the Bhagavad Gita is a song with rhythm and rhyme, and the varying dates of the translations, different translators have used different vocabulary to describe the same concepts.

The table below shows some of the most semantically similar verses from the three translations.

The uses of sentiment analysis

Our research paves the way for the use of AI-based technologies to compare translations and revise sentiment across a wide range of texts.

This technology can also be extended to examine sentiments expressed in entertainment media. Another potential application is to analyze films and songs to provide information to parents and authorities on the suitability of content for children.

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Forbes India – From Metaverse to NFTs, how the world of religion is embracing digital technology https://helviti.com/forbes-india-from-metaverse-to-nfts-how-the-world-of-religion-is-embracing-digital-technology/ Tue, 10 May 2022 09:18:01 +0000 https://helviti.com/forbes-india-from-metaverse-to-nfts-how-the-world-of-religion-is-embracing-digital-technology/ Many religious institutions are turning to new technologies to reach a wider audience. Image: Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash ADue to the pandemic, many religions and faith groups have had to take refuge online to maintain a connection with their followers. Some religious organizations have even been tempted by the metaverse, while the Vatican […]]]>


Many religious institutions are turning to new technologies to reach a wider audience. Image: Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

ADue to the pandemic, many religions and faith groups have had to take refuge online to maintain a connection with their followers. Some religious organizations have even been tempted by the metaverse, while the Vatican has decided to launch its own NFT collection.

Every year, millions of people visit Vatican City to explore its many museums. They can admire the monumental frescoes that Michelangelo painted in the Sistine Chapel, or Raphael’s four rooms. But not every art lover can necessarily take a trip to the world’s smallest state, especially since the start of the pandemic.

The Vatican has therefore decided to create NFTs of certain works of art, manuscripts and other rare objects in its collection. They will be displayed in a virtual gallery, accessible via a computer and in virtual reality (VR). This ambitious project is supported by Sensorium, a company specializing in virtual reality, and Humanity 2.0, a non-profit organization run by the Holy See.

The two organizations hope that this NFT collection will bring the heritage of the Vatican to those who otherwise could not discover it. “We look forward to working with Sensorium to explore ways to democratize art, making it more widely accessible to people around the world, regardless of their socio-economic and geographic limitations,” said Father Philip Larrey, who chairs Humanity 2.0, in a press release.

Although the exact details of this project are not yet clear, the Vatican says it will not be commercial. The NFT collection of the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church is not intended for sale, according to the specialist magazine Artnews. This is all the more surprising since the revenues of the Vatican museums are crucial for the small state. According to unofficial estimates, these institutions bring in some 100 million euros in ticket sales, a significant sum considering that the Papal State has lost 50 million euros due to the pandemic.

Visit Mecca virtually

The Vatican is not the only religious institution to turn to new technologies to reach a wider audience. Saudi authorities have recently developed a program allowing Muslims to virtually visit Mecca. Equipped with their VR headsets, pilgrims can mingle with the avatars of other worshipers as they visit the Kaaba (“cube” in Arabic), the holiest shrine in the Saudi city’s Grand Mosque complex.

However, the Diyanet, the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs, takes a dim view of this virtual visit to Mecca in the metaverse. The organization says believers must still travel “physically” to the Saudi city to perform the hajj – or pilgrimage – one of the five pillars of Islam. Indeed, the professor of theology, Hatice Boynukalin, told the daily Yeni Safak that the existence of this virtual opportunity does not exempt the faithful from their obligation to make the pilgrimage.

If one thing is certain, it is that digital is interfering more and more in certain religious practices. The pandemic has caused many religious people to turn to social media, even the metaverse, to share their faith with other believers. Pastor DJ Soto has been hosting virtual worship services on AltspaceVR, VRChat and Twitch platforms for six years. At first, only a few people attended his weekly sermons. Some 200 worshipers have since joined DJ Soto’s congregation, according to Fortune magazine.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Reverend Jeremy Nickel has experienced a similar craze for the meditation sessions he leads on the EvolVR platform. All you need is a virtual reality headset to participate via an avatar. “One of the reasons we’ve become so popular is that you get the meditation you need, but you also get the community,” Reverend Jeremy Nickel told Fortune. “We have deep relationships, hundreds of people around the world who know each other and are like, ‘Is your dog okay? How’s your wife?'” Just like they would in real life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=/hi2c37yLgKs

Click here to see Forbes India’s full coverage of the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and economy

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After a leak, the religious division on legal abortion appears https://helviti.com/after-a-leak-the-religious-division-on-legal-abortion-appears/ Sun, 08 May 2022 13:20:29 +0000 https://helviti.com/after-a-leak-the-religious-division-on-legal-abortion-appears/ The American faithful are bracing — some with cautious glee and others with impending dread — for the Supreme Court to potentially overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and end the nation’s right to legal abortion. An overturning of the 49-year-old’s decision has never seemed more possible since a draft notice suggesting the […]]]>

The American faithful are bracing — some with cautious glee and others with impending dread — for the Supreme Court to potentially overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and end the nation’s right to legal abortion.

An overturning of the 49-year-old’s decision has never seemed more possible since a draft notice suggesting the judges could do so was leaked this week. While religious believers at the heart of the decades-old fight against abortion are shocked by the breach of High Court protocol, they are still deeply divided and their beliefs on the contentious issue are more entrenched than ever.

National polls show that most Americans support access to abortion. A Public Religion Research Institute survey from March found that a majority of religious groups think it should be legal in most cases – except for white evangelical Protestants, 69% of whom said the procedure should be banned in most or all cases.

In conservative Christian corners, the draft notice has raised hopes. Religious groups that have historically taken a strong anti-abortion stance, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have urged worshipers to pray for Roe’s overthrow.

The Reverend Manuel Rodriguez, pastor of the 17,000-person Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in New York’s Queens borough, said his mostly Latino congregation is heartened by the prospect of Roe’s disappearance at a time when the courts in some Latin American countries such as Colombia and Argentina have decided to legalize abortion.

“You don’t fix a crime by committing another crime,” Rodriguez said.

Bishop Garland R. Hunt Sr., senior pastor of The Father’s House, a predominantly African-American nondenominational church in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, agreed.

“It is the result of continued and necessary prayer since 1973,” Hunt said. “As a Christian, I believe that God is the giver of life – not politicians or judges. I definitely want to see more babies protected in the womb.

No faith is monolithic on the issue of abortion. Yet many adherents of religions that do not ban abortion are dismayed that a view held by a minority of Americans could supersede their individual rights and religious beliefs.

In Judaism, for example, many authorities say that abortion is permitted or even required in cases where the woman’s life is in danger.

“This decision would prohibit abortion where our religion allows us to do so,” said Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Scholar-in-Residence at the National Council of Jewish Women, “and it bases its concepts on when life begins on the someone else’s philosophy or theology.”

In Islam, similarly, there is room for “all aspects of reproductive choice, from family planning to abortion,” said Nadiah Mohajir, co-founder of Heart Women and Girls, a Chicago-based nonprofit that works with Muslim communities on reproductive rights and other gender issues. .

“A particular political program infringes on my religious and personal right and freedom,” she said.

According to new data released Wednesday by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, 56% of American Muslims say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, a figure that roughly matches the beliefs of American Catholics. .

Donna Nicolino, a student at Fire Lotus Temple, a Zen Buddhist center in Brooklyn, said her faith calls followers to be compassionate toward others. Restricting or banning abortion ignores the reasons women have abortions and would hurt the poor and marginalized the most, she said.

“If we really value life as a culture,” Nicolino said, “we would take things like ensuring maternal health care, health care for children, decent housing for pregnant women.”

Sikhism prohibits sex-selective killings — female infanticide — but is more nuanced when it comes to abortion and promotes compassion and personal choice, said Harinder Singh, senior research and policy fellow at Sikhri, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that creates faith-based educational resources.

A 2019 survey he co-led with research associate Jasleen Kaur found that 65% of Sikhs said abortion should be the responsibility of the woman rather than the government or religious leaders, while 77 % said Sikh institutions should support those considering abortion.

“The Sikh community interviewed is very clear that no religious or political authority should decide this issue,” Singh said.

Compassion is a virtue also emphasized by some Christian leaders who are calling on their staunchly anti-abortion colleagues to turn down the heat as they speak out on the issue.

The Reverend Kirk Winslow, pastor of Canvas Presbyterian Church in Irvine, California, said he views abortion through a human and spiritual lens rather than a political issue. Communities should turn to solutions such as counseling centres, parenting classes, health care and education, he said, instead of being “swept up in a culture war”.

He has counseled women who wondered if they should have an abortion and stresses the importance of empathy.

“Amidst the pain, fear and confusion of an unexpected pregnancy, no one ever said, ‘I’m thrilled to have an abortion,'” Winslow said. “And there are times when having an abortion may be the best chance we have of bringing God’s peace to the situation. And I know many would disagree with that position. I would only answer that most have not been in my office for these very real and very difficult conversations.

Similarly, Caitlyn Stenerson, pastor of the Evangelical Alliance Church and campus pastor in the Twin Cities Area of ​​Minnesota, called on church leaders to “use caution,” keeping in mind that women on their pews may have had abortions for various reasons and may be grieving. and dealing with trauma.

“As a pastor, my job is not to heap more shame on people but to bring them to Jesus,” Stenerson said. “We are called to speak the truth, but with love.”

Ahead of a final court ruling expected this summer, religious leaders on both sides are bracing for the possibility that abortion will become illegal in many states.

The Reverend Sarah Halverson-Cano, senior pastor of Irvine United Congregational Church in Irvine, Calif., said her congregation is considering providing sanctuary and other support for women who may travel to the state to terminate their pregnancy. On Tuesday, the day after the draft notice was leaked, she led worshipers and community members at an abortion rights rally in nearby Santa Ana.

“Our faith calls us to meet the needs of those in need,” Halverson-Cano said. “It is time to stand with women and families and reflect on how to respond to this horrific injustice.

Niklas Koehler, president of the Students for Life group at Franciscan University in Steubenville, a private Catholic college in eastern Ohio, said he and others regularly attend a special Mass on Saturday with prayers for the end of abortion. They then cross the state line to nearby Pittsburgh to hold a prayer vigil and distribute leaflets outside an abortion clinic.

Such actions will continue to be necessary even if the draft notice becomes the law of the land, Koehler said, because abortion is likely to remain legal in states like Pennsylvania.

“We will continue to pray outside the clinic,” he said.

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Bharath reported from Los Angeles and Henao from New York. Associated Press writers Giovanna Dell’Orto in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Peter Smith in Pittsburgh contributed.

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Associated Press religious coverage receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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White evangelicals oppose abortion; all other religious groups support him https://helviti.com/white-evangelicals-oppose-abortion-all-other-religious-groups-support-him/ Fri, 06 May 2022 16:56:02 +0000 https://helviti.com/white-evangelicals-oppose-abortion-all-other-religious-groups-support-him/ (RNS) — A number of polls in recent days have shown that a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal; a new survey from Pew Research is no exception. The large survey of 11,044 Americans, released Friday, May 6, shows that 61% of respondents said abortion should be legal in most or all cases […]]]>

(RNS) — A number of polls in recent days have shown that a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal; a new survey from Pew Research is no exception.

The large survey of 11,044 Americans, released Friday, May 6, shows that 61% of respondents said abortion should be legal in most or all cases – little change from 1995, when 60 % said the same thing.

But contrary to what many may assume, abortion opponents are not necessarily all religious. In fact, the country’s many religious groups have widely varying views on the legality of abortion.

The only religious group that overwhelmingly opposes abortion is white evangelicals, 73% of whom say abortion should be illegal. Many white evangelicals celebrated earlier this week when a leaked draft opinion showed a majority of Supreme Court justices willing to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate women’s constitutional right to abortion. (The actual decision is expected in June.)

“White evangelicals are generally opposed to legal abortion, while ‘non-religious’ are broadly supportive, but the majority of groups say it should sometimes be legal, sometimes not” Graphic courtesy Pew Research Center

White evangelicals are also much more likely than other religious groups to say life begins at conception, the survey found. An overwhelming number of white evangelicals – 86% – said the statement that the fetus is a person with rights reflects their “extremely well” or “rather well” beliefs.

But other Christian groups, even those considered very pious, such as black Protestants, are much more supportive of abortion rights. Among black Protestants, only 23% said abortion should be illegal most or all of the time; 66% said they think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

On the issue of early life, black Protestants also differed from white evangelicals. Only 38% of Black Protestants said human life begins at conception.

“They are both highly religious groups,” said Besheer Mohamed, senior fellow at Pew Research, referring to white evangelicals and black Protestants. “But their views on abortion are very different.”

“Majority of adults say abortion should be legal in some cases, illegal in others” Graphic courtesy Pew Research Center

“White evangelicals are more likely than other Christians to say religion is very important in shaping their views on abortion” Graphic courtesy Pew Research Center

“Substantial support for legal abortion if pregnancy threatens woman’s health” Graphic courtesy Pew Research Center


RELATED: For Red State clergy who support abortion rights, losing Roe is a call to action


But perhaps the biggest misconception about religious groups is the widely held view that Catholics universally oppose abortion rights. While the Catholic Church has always opposed all forms of abortion – and American bishops have made it a defining teaching of the Church – the Pew survey shows that 56% of Catholics say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Only 44% of Catholics say they are “extremely” convinced that life begins at conception.

“The bishops tried to convince their own people and failed,” said the Reverend Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and senior analyst for Religion News Service. “Catholics don’t listen to bishops.”

Religious ‘no’s – American adults who describe themselves, religiously, as atheists, agnostics, or “nothing in particular” – were the most supportive of legal abortion. Eight out of 10 say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Atheists, a small subgroup among “nones”, were the only group where a majority said abortion should be legal in all cases, without exception.

The Pew survey did not break down religion for minority faiths, such as Jews and Muslims. But a new study released Thursday by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding finds that 75% of American Jews and 56% of American Muslims think abortion should remain legal.

"A slight majority of Muslims, like Catholics, support legal abortion in most cases" Graphics Courtesy ISPU

“A slight majority of Muslims, like Catholics, favor legal abortion in most cases” Graphic courtesy ISPU

The survey, conducted by market research firm SSRS among 2,159 respondents (807 of whom were Muslim), posed a similar question to Pew: Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?

The survey found that young Muslims were more likely than Muslims aged 50 and over to believe that abortion should be legal in all cases.

“The wider society may think that Muslims are less supportive of legalized abortion, but that’s clearly not the case based on this data,” said Meira Neggaz, executive director of the Institute for Policy. social and understanding.

That said, among all religious groups, as among all Americans, few have taken an absolutist position on the legality of abortion. Even the most anti-abortion people said there are times when abortion should be legal and even the most pro-legal abortion people said there are times when abortion should not be allowed .

“A commonality between these groups is that a significant number of them see the issue of abortion in shades of gray,” the Pew survey found.

For example, a majority of all religious groups, including white evangelicals, said abortion should be legal if the pregnancy threatens the life or health of the woman. And all religious groups, including 56% of white evangelicals, said the length of a woman’s pregnancy should matter in determining when abortion should be legal.

Americans are generally more likely to favor abortion restrictions later in pregnancy than early in pregnancy.

The Pew survey had a margin of error of 1.5 percentage points for the entire study.


RELATED: If Roe leaves, black church leaders expect renewed energy for election


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Donald Trump says he’s done more for ‘Christianity, religion of all types’ than anyone else, ever https://helviti.com/donald-trump-says-hes-done-more-for-christianity-religion-of-all-types-than-anyone-else-ever/ Wed, 04 May 2022 20:07:11 +0000 https://helviti.com/donald-trump-says-hes-done-more-for-christianity-religion-of-all-types-than-anyone-else-ever/ There is nothing Donald Trump does, or has done, better than anyone else in human history, or so he claims. His latest whopper came in an interview on evangelical network CBN News recorded at Mar-a-Lago. “You know, nobody’s done more for Christianity, nobody’s done more for religion of any kind, than me. And they’re really […]]]>

There is nothing Donald Trump does, or has done, better than anyone else in human history, or so he claims. His latest whopper came in an interview on evangelical network CBN News recorded at Mar-a-Lago. “You know, nobody’s done more for Christianity, nobody’s done more for religion of any kind, than me. And they’re really doing things now, for…and I’ve always said, they’re against organized religion, they’re against Christianity. trump said. It’s a savage lie the attention-hungry ex-president has brazenly spouted before. In 2018, he claimed on the same network, “[N]No one has done more for Christians or Evangelicals or frankly religion than me. He came out with the same statement in 2021, on another Christian network, The Victory Channel.

He has also said in the past “No one has ever done for the black community what President Trump has done”, that “no one” has more respect for women than he does, that he knows “more about the courts than any human being on Earth, “knows ‘more about drones than anybody’, knows more about taxes than anybody ‘perhaps in the history of the world’, and that he did more for veterans than the late Senator John McCain, who, unlike Trump, was actually a veteran.

Read it on CBN News

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Cacophony of Religion – The Statesman https://helviti.com/cacophony-of-religion-the-statesman/ Tue, 03 May 2022 05:21:28 +0000 https://helviti.com/cacophony-of-religion-the-statesman/ Let me start with a disclaimer, I am neither an Islamophobe nor a Hindutvawadi, nor do I sympathize with any toxic religious outfit like AIMPLB, Bajrang Dal, Sriram Sena or their ilk, which I strongly advocate disbanding and their exiled leaders in the world. one of the many uninhabited islands in the Andamans where they […]]]>

Let me start with a disclaimer, I am neither an Islamophobe nor a Hindutvawadi, nor do I sympathize with any toxic religious outfit like AIMPLB, Bajrang Dal, Sriram Sena or their ilk, which I strongly advocate disbanding and their exiled leaders in the world. one of the many uninhabited islands in the Andamans where they can practice their version of the region and fight to the death for it if they wish, leaving the rest of the country peaceful.

Being not only an atheist but anti-religion, I strongly believe that religion has no place in a 21st century civilized society and humanity would be much better off without it. I also think that all our places of worship ~ temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras alike ~ should be converted into schools, dispensaries, museums, playgrounds and public places of which there is such a shortage in India ~ where children and adults of all communities can come together to learn something, play together, discuss together and feel happy, while the guardians of religions should equip themselves with other skills to seek another vocation. I know that most readers will strongly disagree with me and I respect their right to do so, but I also hope that some younger people whose worldview has not yet had time to be poisoned by religion will be able to secretly sympathize with my opinions.

The warning is necessary so that the fanatics of the religions which seem to be breeding like grasshoppers in our country now do not have the opportunity to misinterpret what I am about to say on a particular subject which has become a raging controversy.

This is the use of loudspeakers in religious places, with governments and right-wing groups calling for their ban. The most visible users of loudspeakers are of course the mosques which call their worshipers to prayer five times a day.

For unbelievers, the elderly, and the sick, the most irritating thing is morning Azaan when your sleep is interrupted at what many consider a supernatural hour of around 4 a.m.

A young man who often takes me to where I teach is Muslim and devout, although he shares my views on religion. I asked him one day if he had time to say the prayer five times; he told me that he only does morning namaz (fajr) regularly because living next to a mosque, the loudspeaker does not allow him to sleep. If he comes home early, he also does the evening namaz (isha).

As for the others, he said: “Sir, Kam dhandha karenge ya namaz parenge? He admitted that the call for the morning namaz often bothers him, especially when he has to come home late after a grueling day’s work and cannot get enough sleep for the next day.

It has now become fashionable to claim that every practice is an essential part of a religion, but this argument cannot apply to loudspeakers which were apparently invented long after any religion was born.

The driver told me that the purpose of Azaan is to remind devotees to prepare for prayer, adding that true devotees don’t actually need a reminder. He knows the Koran well, keeps his Roza and informed me that his friends who have to work in the fields or on construction sites during the hot month of April often cannot keep him, because they need fluids and of food for energy. He told me that Islam, like any other religion, allows such deviations on reasonable grounds. The mullahs might disagree. Over a decade ago, when I lived in a government district in central Kolkata, a puja pandal in the district was playing loud ~not really devotional~ music long after midnight. It was the night of Kali Puja (Diwali in North India).

Unable to sleep, I walked to the pandal and asked the organizers to stop using the loudspeaker, as they are not supposed to disturb public order by using loudspeakers between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. . They booed me and chased me away saying that since Kali Puja is performed at night, no restrictions apply for that night and no one else was protesting.

Unable to reason with them, I called the police station without expecting any action. To my surprise, a sub-inspector arrived on the scene within minutes and forced the organizers to stop playing music. But no sooner had he left than they started playing again, forcing me to call him again ~ this time he came and confiscated the speakers. At least the law had worked then.

Now, when I wake up every morning before 4 am, I’m afraid to call the police ~ lest I unknowingly precipitate a community outbreak by provoking people from different communities. I’m no Raj Thackeray ~ in the toxic times we live in, losing sleep on a daily basis seems like a better option. But the fact is, why should it be so?

This country is supposed to be governed by the rule of law according to the Constitution, and the courts intervene to clarify conflicting interpretations of the provisions of the law. In 2005, the Supreme Court banned the use of loudspeakers and music systems between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in high public places to prevent the serious adverse effects of noise pollution on people’s health. In 2016, the Bombay High Court ruled that the use of loudspeakers could not be construed as a fundamental right conferred by Section 25 of the Constitution dealing with freedom of religion which is a fundamental right.

In 2018, the Karnataka High Court reiterated the Supreme Court’s order banning the use of loudspeakers after 10 p.m. The court orders were based on the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000, governed by the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

The Karnataka High Court followed up on its order in 2021 by ordering the state government to act against illegal loudspeakers in religious venues and take action against their use in the state, in response to several PIL petitions. Data submitted by the city’s police to the High Court showed police had issued notices to 125 mosques, 83 temples, 22 churches, 59 commercial establishments including pubs and bars and 12 industries for use loudspeakers beyond the allowed limits.
In 2019, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana banned the use of loudspeakers in public places, stating: “The states of Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory, Chandigarh are obliged to guarantee that no loudspeaker or public address system will be used by anyone, including religious in temples, mosques and gurdwaras without written authorization from the authority even during the day, this too, by committing to that the noise level does not exceed 10 decibels of peripheral noise level”. 10 decibels is indeed a low sound level, almost like the sound of rustling leaves, while the usual limit allowed is 60 decibels, which is equivalent to the sound of normal human conversation.

In 2020, the High Court of Allahabad ruled that the azan ~calling the faithful to prayer~ could only be recited by a muezzin from the minarets of mosques in a human voice, without the use of an amplifier or loudspeaker. -speaker. The Court observed: “We are of the view that the Azaan may be an essential and integral part of Islam, but its recitation through loudspeakers or other sound amplifying devices cannot be considered as an integral part of religion justifying the protection of the fundamental right enshrined under Article 25, which is even otherwise subject to public order, good morals or health and the other provisions of Title III of the Constitution.

Despite the proliferation of these stops, the use of loudspeakers continues unabated. Recently on a visit to Kolkata, I faced the threat of local mosque loudspeakers playing at high decibels, not only for morning Azaan, but also on a Friday night, illuminating the entire quarter on the virtues of Islam for more than an hour, distracting a student who was preparing for her exam to the point that she had to close her books while the diatribe continued. I was told that the complaints made had no effect because the police had no knowledge of them.

It may outrage the government of West Bengal to take inspiration from UP on anything, but it may be instructive to see what they have done to eliminate the threat of loudspeakers. After the UP government order ordered all police stations to remove illegally installed loudspeakers from religious establishments, the establishments themselves responded positively. More than 29,000 mosques and temples have reduced the volume of their loudspeakers within the authorized limits, and more than 6,000 illegally installed loudspeakers have been voluntarily removed.

The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple complex in Mathura turned off its loudspeakers used to broadcast the morning mangal arati, along with many other mosques and temples across UP. Can we expect the government, judiciary and police of West Bengal to please act to make the state a little more livable and enjoyable place?

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Gay Rights and Religion: The Black Church’s Position on the Equality Act https://helviti.com/gay-rights-and-religion-the-black-churchs-position-on-the-equality-act/ Sun, 01 May 2022 04:00:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/gay-rights-and-religion-the-black-churchs-position-on-the-equality-act/ In Reverend Cedric Harmon’s religious tradition, prayers offered in church almost always begin the same way. The faithful recognize God and then give thanks for life, health, strength and security, four blessings that every human being needs. “We thank God for these blessings and recognize how essential they are,” he said. Reverend Harmon reminds people […]]]>

In Reverend Cedric Harmon’s religious tradition, prayers offered in church almost always begin the same way. The faithful recognize God and then give thanks for life, health, strength and security, four blessings that every human being needs.

“We thank God for these blessings and recognize how essential they are,” he said.

Reverend Harmon reminds people of these prayers when they wonder why the black church should fight for the protection of LGBTQ civil rights. He tells them to stop feeling like gay and transgender Americans seek special treatment. What they want, he says, are the same basic blessings you ask of the church.

“The legislation we are talking about would ensure access to housing, health care, food and jobs – blessings that everyone should be able to enjoy,” Reverend Harmon said in a webinar on May 27. April titled “The Black Church and LGBTQ Rights.”

Reverend Harmon, founder and executive director of Many Voices, which works with black churches to help the LGBTQ community, was referring to proposals currently before Congress that would add non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and identity. to federal civil rights law. .

The Equality Act, which was passed by the US House of Representatives in February 2021, would do so without creating new safeguards for churches and other religious organizations. The Fairness for All Act, meanwhile, tries to protect LGBTQ people and religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage at the same time.

During the hour-long webinar, Reverend Harmon and other panelists highlighted the value of this latter approach. Protecting everyone’s rights is a way to live out the belief that we are all made in the image of God, said Chantelle Anderson, founder of Confidently His, a women-focused group that organizes Bible studies and other events. .

“The legislation we’re talking about…is meant to love and protect everyone, regardless of your beliefs, lifestyle, doctrine or choices,” she said.

It also aims to show that “winner takes all” is the wrong way to go, said Justin Giboney, chairman of the AND campaign, which helps Christians navigate the political arena. To be the pluralistic country we seek to be, Americans must be willing to work together.

“Democracy work requires working through these difficult issues with people that we don’t agree with,” he said, adding that he and other panelists were engaged in such an effort. “We have people from different sides of sexuality issues on this panel.”

There are also people with a range of views on LGBTQ rights who worship together in black churches, the panelists said. But they’re increasingly willing to have tough conversations, said Sontaia Briggs, board chair of Parity, which works to heal relations between religious conservatives and the LGBTQ community.

“We are in the bridge building phase,” she said.

In the past, many black churches have chosen silence over difficult conversations. Not too long ago, the only time you heard church members talk about LGBTQ issues was in secret, behind closed doors, Anderson said.

“If conversations can only take place behind closed doors, that is a shameful thing. It leads to shame in different people,” she said.

As they engage in current LGBTQ rights debates, black churches must atone for these behaviors, Giboney said. He noted that the AND campaign’s letter to the Senate in support of the Fairness for All Act begins with a complaint about how gay and transgender people were treated in black churches in the past.

“There were brothers who died alone because the church did not intervene. And children who left the church thinking no one loved them,” he said.

Committing to “stepping up” on behalf of the LGBTQ community doesn’t require embracing new teachings about marriage or sexuality, Anderson said. The churches already teach that preserving human dignity is a good thing.

“No matter what we believe doctrinally, we should all agree that people do not need to be discriminated against, harassed, abused or killed because of their sexuality or gender identity,” she said. .

In 2021, nearly 8 in 10 (78%) Black Protestants supported laws that would protect members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination, but only 55% supported same-sex marriage, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.

Despite this strong support for protections against LGBTQ discrimination, the engagement of the black church in modern gay rights debates is still relatively weak. Through their participation on the panel and their regular work, Anderson and the other speakers are working to disrupt the status quo.

“I think the black church can do what the black church does well: organize and bring people together” to stand up for civil rights, Briggs said.

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How race and religion have always played a role in the decision to seek refuge in the United States https://helviti.com/how-race-and-religion-have-always-played-a-role-in-the-decision-to-seek-refuge-in-the-united-states/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 13:10:02 +0000 https://helviti.com/how-race-and-religion-have-always-played-a-role-in-the-decision-to-seek-refuge-in-the-united-states/ In the weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians fled the country as refugees. Hundreds of these refugees have now arrived at the US southern border seeking asylum, having flown to Mexico on tourist visas. At the border, Ukrainians, alongside thousands of other asylum seekers, must navigate two policies designed to keep people […]]]>

In the weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians fled the country as refugees. Hundreds of these refugees have now arrived at the US southern border seeking asylum, having flown to Mexico on tourist visas.

At the border, Ukrainians, alongside thousands of other asylum seekers, must navigate two policies designed to keep people out. The first is the “Migrant Protection Protocol”, a US government action initiated by the Trump administration in December 2018 and known informally as “Remain in Mexico”. The second is Title 42, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directive developed in 2020, ostensibly to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The directive deports all irregular immigrants (those without permanent residency or visas in hand) and asylum seekers who attempt to enter the United States by land.

On March 11, 2022, however, the Biden administration provided guidelines allowing Customs and Border Protection officials to exempt Ukrainians from Title 42 on a case-by-case basis, allowing many families to enter. . However, this exception has not been granted to other asylum seekers, regardless of the danger they face. It’s possible the administration will lift Title 42 at the end of May 2022, but that plan has met with fierce debate.

The differential treatment of Ukrainian and Central American, African, Haitian and other asylum seekers has drawn criticism that the administration is applying immigration policies in a racist manner, favoring white, European, mostly Christian refugees over others groups.

This problem is not new. As scholars of religion, race, immigration, and racial and religious politics in the United States, we study both historical and current immigration policy. We argue that US refugee and asylum policy has long been racially and religiously discriminatory in practice.

Chinese asylum seekers

Race played a major role in defining who counted as a refugee during the early years of the Cold War. The displacement of millions of people fleeing communist regimes in Eastern Europe and East Asia has created humanitarian crises in both places.

Under significant international pressure, Congress passed the Refugee Relief Act of 1953. According to historian Carl Bon Tempo, in the minds of President Dwight Eisenhower and most legislators, “refugee” meant “anti-Communist European”. The text and implementation of the law testify to this. Of the 214,000 visas reserved for refugees, the law only designated a quota of 5,000 places for Asians (2,000 for Chinese and 3,000 for “Far Eastern” refugees). Ultimately, about 9,000 Chinese (including 6,862 Chinese wives of US citizens who came as over-quota migrants) were admitted under the 1953 Refugee Act, compared to nearly 200,000 Southern Europeans and East over the next three years.

Racial prejudices have also impacted the international response to refugees. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, United Nations officials declared the displaced population in Europe a humanitarian crisis and called on the international community to relieve these pressures by accepting refugees. Over the next decade, Western nations including the United States, France and Britain took in millions of displaced Europeans as part of a broader Cold War public relations strategy aimed at to contain the Soviet Union and to demonstrate the superiority of Western capitalist societies over life behind the Iron Curtain.

Millions of ethnic Chinese displaced by the communist revolution of 1949 were not so kindly received. In the early 1950s, Hong Kong’s population tripled due to mainland Chinese fleeing civil war and communist rule, triggering a crisis. Most Western countries, however, continued to exclude Chinese and other Asians from immigration and made some exceptions for refugees.

In the United States, the exclusion provisions that prohibited Asians from immigrating as “aliens ineligible for citizenship” would not be removed from immigration law until the 1965 Immigration Act.

Haitian asylum seekers

The first Haitian asylum seekers, mostly black, tried to reach the United States by boat in 1963 under the dictatorship of François Duvalier. It was a period of great economic inequality and severe violent repression of political opposition in Haiti.

Between 1973 and 1991, more than 80,000 Haitians attempted to seek asylum in the United States. The United States, however, has consistently attempted to intercept and turn away boats carrying Haitian asylum seekers to avoid having to hear their cases.

In the 1980s and 1990s, nearly all Haitians who attempted to seek asylum were either refused or turned away. Some disparities in asylum rates could be explained by political factors, including the US government’s interest in prioritizing refugees from communist countries.

However, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the 11th Circuit Court have both found, respectively in Haitian Refugee Center v. Civiletti and Jean c. Nelson, that racial discrimination could be the sole reason for such startlingly different outcomes for Haitians. In John v. Nelson, the 11th Circuit heard testimony from plaintiffs that there was less than two billion chances that Haitians would be denied parole so consistently if immigration policies were applied in a racially neutral manner . Both tribunals also noted differences in asylum claim outcomes between Cuban refugees, who were predominantly white, and Haitian refugees.

During the same period, even as black Haitian asylum seekers were turned away, European immigrants, who were predominantly white, were given preference in the diversity visa system created by the Immigration Act of 1990. Northern Ireland, for example, was designated as a separate country from the UK, and 40% of ‘diversity transition’ visas issued between 1992 and 1994 were reserved for Irish immigrants.

Similar accusations of racism and discriminatory treatment have surfaced in recent months as Haitian asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border were forced onto flights to Haiti and faced degrading treatment.

Syrian refugees and the Muslim ban

Beginning in January 2017, President Donald Trump issued a series of executive orders described by many refugee advocates as the “Muslim ban”. The ban suspended the entry of people from Muslim-majority countries, including Syrians, and limited the number of admissions of refugees from several Muslim-majority countries.

Syrian refugees, most of whom fled the Syrian civil war that began in 2011 and Islamic State violence, have been specifically targeted by the Muslim ban.

A February 2017 version of the Muslim ban claimed that Syrian refugees were “prejudicial to the interests of the United States and therefore suspended[ed]” upon admission, with a few exceptions. This contributed to a significant decrease in the number of Syrian refugees – from 12,587 to 76 between fiscal years 2016 to 2018.

Research shows that religion, particularly Islam, is used to create symbolic boundaries of racial distinction to further immigration law enforcement goals. Specifically, the government has attempted to justify a policy of refugee exclusion based on race and religion by implicating Muslims and refugees in terrorism, as Trump has done in speeches, even calling Syrians ” Trojan horse” of terrorism.

International agreements for refugees and asylum seekers clearly state that admissions should be based on need. In principle, American law also says so. But these key moments in US history show how race, religion and other factors play a role in determining who is and who is absent.

While refugees from the war in Ukraine deserve support from the United States and other countries, the contrast between the treatment of different groups of refugees shows that the process of obtaining refuge in the United States is still a long way off. to be fair.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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