religious beliefs – Helviti http://helviti.com/ Fri, 25 Mar 2022 21:09:47 +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 religious beliefs – Helviti http://helviti.com/ 32 32 Rabbi ‘queering’ religion at San Francisco Jesuit Catholic University https://helviti.com/rabbi-queering-religion-at-san-francisco-jesuit-catholic-university/ Sat, 05 Mar 2022 13:16:44 +0000 https://helviti.com/rabbi-queering-religion-at-san-francisco-jesuit-catholic-university/ J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA — Since becoming rabbi-in-residence at the University of San Francisco in 2019, Rabbi Camille Angel has been busy creating inclusive spaces on campus, giving classes, organizes Jewish life cycle events or conducts Passover Seder. All this in a day’s work for a campus rabbi, perhaps, but […]]]>

J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA — Since becoming rabbi-in-residence at the University of San Francisco in 2019, Rabbi Camille Angel has been busy creating inclusive spaces on campus, giving classes, organizes Jewish life cycle events or conducts Passover Seder.

All this in a day’s work for a campus rabbi, perhaps, but its impact is felt far beyond the university’s Jewish community.

When Angel’s hiring was announced, it made headlines. A Jesuit Catholic University appointing a rabbi in residence was unprecedented, especially when that rabbi is a lifelong lesbian and LGBTQ activist.

“I was trained and am a rabbi to serve Jews, and I do — I led a shiva two nights ago, so I’m still serving Jews,” Angel told J. ” But there is something remarkable to me and totally unexpected about my rabbinate being primarily among non-Jews at this point and my teaching being primarily with non-Jews.

According to Angel, there is only one Jewish student in his class of 40 “Queering Religion”. The other students represent a mix of religious affiliations, but gravitate to Angel’s courses and programs because of the inclusive queer community she has cultivated on campus.

“I actually didn’t know much about Judaism and what a rabbi was or what he did,” said Jade Peñafort, a sociology student from Redwood City. “But honestly, I love it. I learned from her that in Judaism some of the core values ​​are just about working with other people and for other people and as a community. not just acting on your own.

Angel said it was important to her to be a visibly Jewish and queer presence on campus, inside and outside the classroom. She regularly wears an embroidered yarmulke and keeps a rainbow pride flag displayed in her office window. She underscores how important real representation and inclusion is, especially when many students have never interacted with Judaism or Jewish thought or even met a rabbi.

Illustrative: A person talks on the phone during an annual Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, June 3, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

“Students often ask me, ‘What should I call you? Professor? Doctor? The Rabbi?’ said Angel. “I tell them to call me a rabbi, because everyone needs a rabbi, and if you didn’t have one before, now you have one.”

Before joining the University Ministry staff of seven as an on-campus rabbi, Angel taught at USF for several years in the Swig Jewish Studies and Social Justice program, which she largely credits. party to his presence on campus.

Ordained as a rabbi at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Angel places a strong emphasis on being a positive, identity-affirming spiritual advisor, regardless of student backgrounds or belief systems. Angel finds that many of her students’ relationships with religion are often complicated by negative experiences due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. But they are also curious and find out for themselves if they want to explore spirituality.

“When I was teaching my first [theology] class, I met so many people who had been really damaged and hurt by religion, or who had chosen not to be associated with religion, because they could see that it hurt the people they loved,” Angel said. According to USF, the majority of undergraduate students are not affiliated with any religion, while others identify as Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, or Protestant. Less than half are Catholic.

I met so many people who had been really damaged and hurt by religion

According to a 2020 study by The Trevor Project, young LGBTQ adults whose parents held negative religious beliefs about homosexuality were twice as likely to attempt suicide.

In her Queering Religion course, Angel teaches from a Jewish perspective how to navigate religious contexts, especially religions that have often attempted to deny queer people. Many students credit Angel and this class with helping them reevaluate and reconnect with their respective spiritual traditions.

This was the case of Luis Anaya, a sociology student, for whom growing up Mexican-American and Catholic went hand in hand, but being queer and Catholic, not so much.

“I had a lot of reservations about religion because growing up and being queer, I naturally had a different experience and a different perspective on Catholic teachings,” said Anaya, who was born in Mexico City but grew up in Stockholm.

When he took Angel’s course, he said, he was also progressing in exploring and navigating his queer identity, so the intersection of queer narratives and spirituality was particularly meaningful to him. him. He also said exposure to Jewish thought helped mend his strained relationship with Catholicism.

“Rabbi Angel talks a lot about pluralism, how different identities can co-exist at the same time, and the idea of ​​not reading the text literally, but rather interpreting it to get a better perspective of what these people were trying writing and the messages they were trying to convey,” Anaya said. “Questioning things and approaching them almost with a grain of salt.”

Illustrative: An in-person mass at Christ the King Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, May 19, 2020. (AP/Eric Gay)

Peñafort had a similar experience. Raised Catholic, she stopped going to church as a teenager. She says she struggled with Catholicism for several reasons, but especially when her older sister came out as queer. She says the tools she learned in Angel’s course helped her understand how to deal with her conflicting beliefs around religion. Peñafort says Angel’s class also helped her feel comfortable exploring her own sexuality and identity as a Filipina woman and sister.

“Even though I felt like I didn’t fit Catholicism and its values, I was still able to take little bits and apply them to myself or just reframe them in a way that applied to me. , to my life and my identity,” Peñafort said.

With Angel as the facilitator, Anaya and several other students have created a peer-led LGBTQ group on campus called “Qmmunity,” which Anaya describes as a sort of extension of Angel’s class and the Jewish values ​​she holds. teaches. On Thursdays, the group hosts a lunch program called “Breaking Bread and the Binary,” in which students come together to share a meal, thoughts, and reflections on current events.

The first session of this semester was held on January 27, Holocaust Remembrance Day and shortly after the January 15 hostage crisis in Colleyville, Texas. Angel expressed how important the gathering was and how it reminded him of the importance of creating inclusive spaces not just for Jewish students, but for all marginalized people.

“To be in this group out and proud, here and queer, on the lawn in front of the church, it is the greatest satisfaction that Hitler and the Nazis, fascism and fundamentalism do not rule our lives,” said Angel the next day, reflecting on the session. “We are here, together, and we won’t be afraid to go back to our respective closets.”

A law enforcement vehicle stands outside the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue, January 16, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images/AFP)

Next month, Angel will host the first Alvin H. Baum Jr. Memorial Lecture, honoring the San Francisco philanthropist known as a community pillar in the Jewish, civil rights and gay communities who died last year. In April, she leads a social justice-centered interfaith Passover Seder that focuses on the themes of climate justice, interfaith solidarity, peace, health, and freedom. She also plans to expand community outreach to address the problem of food insecurity among college students, which affects LGBTQ people twice as much as others, according to the US Census Bureau.

Throughout, his main focus is the intersection of religion and homosexuality.

“I think it’s so refreshing to hear a different point of view,” Peñafort said, “and even though it’s based on a religious point of view, it’s not necessarily so. the impression that she is a very wise woman, a mentor and a friend.

This article originally appeared in J. The Jewish News of Northern California, and is reprinted with permission.

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The role of religion in the Ottawa protest https://helviti.com/the-role-of-religion-in-the-ottawa-protest/ Tue, 01 Mar 2022 19:10:18 +0000 https://helviti.com/the-role-of-religion-in-the-ottawa-protest/ The end of the “freedom convoy” in Ottawa has already sparked a lot of soul-searching – how could this have happened? One of the topics that will certainly be discussed is the role that the Christian faith has played in the manifestation. There were a lot of Christians in Ottawa — you could see it […]]]>

The end of the “freedom convoy” in Ottawa has already sparked a lot of soul-searching – how could this have happened?

One of the topics that will certainly be discussed is the role that the Christian faith has played in the manifestation.

There were a lot of Christians in Ottawa — you could see it on protest signs and hear it in media interviews. There were many stories of prayer services and Christian preachers addressing the crowds and an American Christian crowdfunding website helped funnel money to the cause.

As a CBC report concluded: “The Christian faith – with an overtly evangelical twist – flows like an undercurrent through Ottawa’s freedom convoy.

The situation puts me in a bind. Although I watched the protests with horror, I also write, teach and speak regularly about the positive contribution that faith, especially my Christian faith, can make to public discourse.

So, in response, allow me to offer several observations.

First, I can’t criticize someone for having strong religious beliefs. As a person of faith, I recognize that this is part of their identity. People are frustrated and scared, and these are often the circumstances in which you most often turn to God.

The situation is also far from black and white. Governments have made their share of mistakes in handling the pandemic and are not above criticism. I have tried to think of the protesters with compassion and take their views seriously.

However, I have also held the protesters accountable for their actions – especially those who use Christianity as justification for what they have done.

I think it is legitimate to wonder how Christians can be associated with something that has gone far beyond a peaceful protest and has changed the lives of many Ottawa residents. How could they ally themselves with individuals who had ties to white supremacist groups? How can they explain the hatred that was everywhere – symbolized by the blasphemous placards condemning the Prime Minister?

The protest was apparently about personal freedom and while that is certainly something Christianity recognizes, it is not its most important message. In my view, the central message of Christianity is summed up in the call to love God and to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – even the stranger and those we dislike.

Although I suspect many of the Christians at the protest were anti-abortion, there were plenty of signs reading “My body, my choice” – an obvious take-off on a pro-choice slogan. The anti-abortion people I have met recognize that a woman has rights over her body. They argue, however, that these rights must be balanced against one’s responsibility to others, namely the unborn child.

Isn’t the principle the same here? We certainly all have rights when it comes to vaccines or wearing masks, but shouldn’t those rights be balanced against our responsibilities to our fellow citizens, especially the elderly and those with health problems?

Some will say that religious faith is too divisive to be welcome in our public debates.

On the contrary. Much of the Christian message is about building bridges to others – even your enemies. There is a constant call for humility and recognition of the dignity of others.

Perhaps the fundamental problem is that these days Christians on all sides in public policy discussions too often fail to demonstrate this aspect of their faith.

John Milloy, a former Liberal MP and cabinet minister, is the director of the Center for Public Ethics at Martin Luther University College.

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Children’s hospital fires uninfected staff after questioning religious beliefs https://helviti.com/childrens-hospital-fires-uninfected-staff-after-questioning-religious-beliefs/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 13:06:11 +0000 https://helviti.com/childrens-hospital-fires-uninfected-staff-after-questioning-religious-beliefs/ “I love it. I love my job. I love what I do, and it’s been very difficult. Sorry.” The pediatric nurse, who had worked at Children’s Wisconsin for 12 years, fought back tears as she emphasized her passion for treating sick children to the chaplain and human resources representative who questioned whether her religious beliefs […]]]>

“I love it. I love my job. I love what I do, and it’s been very difficult. Sorry.”

The pediatric nurse, who had worked at Children’s Wisconsin for 12 years, fought back tears as she emphasized her passion for treating sick children to the chaplain and human resources representative who questioned whether her religious beliefs were sincere enough to earning him an exemption from the Milwaukee Hospital’s vaccination mandate, which went into effect in November.

This nurse, whose religious exemption appeal interview was shared with The Federalist on condition of anonymity, was eventually granted an exemption after being first denied, then on appeal, then questioned by the two representatives of the hospital on his religious beliefs. Some of his colleagues weren’t so lucky.

Of the five call-in interview tapes reviewed by The Federalist, only two of the employees were granted religious exemptions despite the same general questions posed to each of the child workers and similar themes in each of their responses. The other three were refused.

Staff were informed in July of the vaccine mandate, which required them to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in mid-November. Employees had until Sept. 1 to apply for a religious exemption, according to a vaccine brief that Children’s WI President and CEO Peggy Troy emailed to all employees at the facility. hospital, and they were informed of the decisions later.

Some of those who were turned down have started looking for new jobs, Alyssa Pollow, a nurse practitioner and former Children’s Wisconsin provider, told The Federalist. However, others wanted to stay and appealed, especially if they had seniority.

To appeal a denial, employees had to email Employee Health and Wellness and Human Resources, who would set up Zoom interviews to grill applicants on their religious beliefs and point out apparent contradictions.

These interviews were conducted by Chaplain Ian Butts and someone from HR, such as Sharyl Niebler or Staci Benz, but Butts conducted most of the questioning. The questions included details of employees’ personal religious beliefs and their vaccination records, with Butts pressing what he saw as contradictions.

Two particularly important questions concerned the details of how employees would keep their patients safe without being vaccinated, involving the moral implication of refusing a vaccine, as well as how they could work for a hospital that demanded something. something as contrary to their personal beliefs as a condition of employment.

“In my opinion, he’s so above the way he asks these questions,” Pollow told The Federalist. “And for him to be their religious arbiter whose religious beliefs are more virtuous than someone else is such an invasion of privacy.”

“It seems so intrusive,” she added, even calling it an “assault on religion.”

Butts and the HR representative would then forward the information they gathered to an overarching committee called the COVID Religious Waiver Committee, whose members were hidden, shielding the adjudicators from liability.

The committee also offered no transparency regarding why employees were denied exemptions. “Because Children’s must preserve the integrity of its process for reviewing waiver requests, the specific reasons for denials are not shared,” the Covid-19 Employee Health and Wellbeing team wrote in response to an employee’s question regarding this person’s denial of religious derogation.

Children’s Wisconsin did not respond to questions from The Federalist about who was on the waiver committee. He also wouldn’t say how many people have applied for religious exemptions, how many have been approved, and how the current number of vacancies compares to pre-pandemic levels.

“All staff at Children’s Wisconsin are currently complying with our vaccine requirements,” children’s spokesperson Andy Brodzeller responded to The Federalist’s inquiry. “Over 98% of our team members met our November 15 deadline to get vaccinated or have an exemption approved. … We were sad to see the less than 100 people leave our organization when the requirement came into effect, but respect their decision to do so.

Children’s response, however, leaves many questions unanswered, such as how many people were not included in the denominator of that 98% because they quit after learning about the terms of reference, well before the deadline. of November 15, without even trying to acquire an exemption. And the language about “100 people leave[ing]involves a voluntary decision, so how many others have been fired? It is eerily reminiscent of public relations words conducted by Gundersen Health Systems, another hospital system in Wisconsin, to cover up the staffing crisis of its vaccine mandate.

[READ: In Wisconsin, Hospital Shortages Aren’t From Covid, They’re From Vaccine Mandates]

Judging by the disparity in results for the five aforementioned employees who appealed despite the similarities in their responses, it appears that Children’s does not have a strong or consistent rationale for its waiver decisions.

Pollow said that when a manager received a list of a dozen employees she was going to lose, she demanded a meeting with decision makers, where she “raised the hell up” about the need for all those members. staff to stay on their team. The following week, Pollow said, the majority of those staff members had their appeals approved, leading her to believe the COVID Religious Waiver Committee was making its decisions in an effort to appease officials in certain departments. who were willing to stick their necks out for their employees. Or maybe more likely they were trying to “spread their losses across the departments”.

This is because we have seen the catastrophic effects of these vaccination mandates and other poor management and working conditions, which have left other hospitals severely understaffed.

Gundersen Health Systems in La Crosse, Wisconsin suffered a severe staff haemorrhage due to the vaccine mandate, contrary to its misleading self-reporting about it. These layoffs coupled with workers leaving for low wages have led to underserved patients.

“Within the hospital, nursing shortages have led to dangerous staffing situations where nurses and CNAs are forced to take on more patients than is safe due to the lack of nursing staff present. Patients are forgotten on bedpans or fall because there are simply not enough staff to care for them safely,” a former Gundersen nurse wrote in an impact statement. community. Although she obtained a religious exemption from this hospital, she was so disgusted by the language of the letter that she resigned anyway.

Following the departure of low-wage staff, she said nurses should use the bare minimum of sheets, even going so far as to make makeshift pillowcases from hospital gowns. One weekend in October, Gundersen had to close a dozen beds due to a shortage of nurses, she said, adding that she also canceled heart valve replacement surgeries because she couldn’t. did not have enough postoperative staff.

Like Gundersen, Children’s Wisconsin appears to be struggling to fill staffing gaps. Even in September, the hospital wings made desperate pleas for help, captured in the screenshots below. After refusing religious exemptions and therefore losing more staff, Children’s had to get creative.

Senior management launched “Helping Hands” where employees could sign up for 2-4 hour shifts to complete necessary tasks left undone by understaffing, such as replenishing laundry, folding laundry , cleaning the floors or working in the cafeteria. This email from late January states that “only 92 out of 234 shifts are currently filled”.

Like other hospitals in Wisconsin, Children’s also tries to recruit travel nurses to fill vacancies, although many travel nurses can evade vaccination requirements by being employed not directly by hospitals but by travel agencies. trips. (Below is an example of a Gundersen nurse who said she was fired in November for not being vaccinated and has now agreed to a 13-week travel RN contract with the same hospital when she was still not vaccinated.)

Not to mention that travel nurses don’t specialize in any particular institution, especially pediatrics, which means that when hospitals outsource this care, it can cause patients to suffer unnecessarily.

“I think they’re so desperate and they know they’ve created a staff shortage crisis,” Pollow said.

Pollow no longer works at the Children’s, but that’s not because she was denied an exemption or refused to get vaccinated. In fact, she has been vaccinated since January 2021. In December, once the mandate was established, however, she stepped down.

His resignation is noteworthy because it suggests that employees in his situation likely weren’t included in Children’s self-declaration “less than 100 people are leaving.”[ing] when the requirement came into effect. Their departures are scattered and do not coincide with the entry into force of the mandate.

“For vaxxed people, we’re just sick of the BS,” she said. “It really opened our eyes to the toxic environment our senior leaders have created and blindly imposing things and disregarding the true quality of care that is being affected.”

For this reason, Children’s is probably not done losing staff. Pollow said more people are still employed but have one foot outside. Some of them have been lucky enough to have their religious waivers approved, but are wrestling with how long they will stay because the hospital mandates weekly testing for the unvaccinated only – a serious double standard since the vaccinated can still catch and spread Covid.

“We’re definitely still seeing the effects of that,” Pollow said. “And we will continue to see it for a very long time.”


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Americans support religious freedom – as long as it suits everyone https://helviti.com/americans-support-religious-freedom-as-long-as-it-suits-everyone/ Tue, 15 Feb 2022 23:27:10 +0000 https://helviti.com/americans-support-religious-freedom-as-long-as-it-suits-everyone/ (RNS) – Perhaps one of the most important legal terms of the 21st century is “religious freedom.” As my fellow University of Cincinnati political scientist, Andrew Lewis, explains in his most recent book, “The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics”, religious conservatives began to center their legal strategy on the rights of individuals to practice […]]]>

(RNS) – Perhaps one of the most important legal terms of the 21st century is “religious freedom.” As my fellow University of Cincinnati political scientist, Andrew Lewis, explains in his most recent book, “The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics”, religious conservatives began to center their legal strategy on the rights of individuals to practice their faith without fear of government repercussions.

The most notable example of this strategy was Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which two men sued a Colorado bakery owner who refused to create a cake for their wedding. The store’s defense rested on the fact that the baker held deep religious beliefs about marriage and that being asked to violate those beliefs by serving two people of the same sex would infringe on the baker’s religious freedom.

But liberal Christians do not hesitate to use the arguments of religious liberty themselves. Just weeks ago, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Brookings, Oregon, filed a lawsuit because the city passed an ordinance limiting the number of free meals each week that area organizations residential facilities could offer homeless people. The law was passed after neighbors complained about disruptions caused by St. Timothy’s Meals Ministry.


RELATED: How religious is your 22-year-old? A new golden age of survey data opens a door


The basis of the church’s lawsuit is that the city ordinance prohibits worshipers from practicing their religious beliefs. Like Masterpiece Cakeshop, the church argues that its actions are protected by the “free exercise” clause of the First Amendment.

It turns out that support for religious freedom is popular with all Americans — as long as it doesn’t limit the other freedoms we all share.

In late 2020, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty surveyed a thousand Americans, asking a number of nuanced questions about religious liberty. The results seem to indicate that while Americans see the value of religious freedom, they believe it has limits.

Generally speaking, a majority of Americans support religious freedom, whether or not they call themselves a “person of faith.” But while nearly 40% of people of faith believe that religious freedom is too poorly protected in the United States, this opinion is shared by only 18% of people who call themselves non-religious.

At the other end of the spectrum, 20% of Americans who say they are not religious think religious freedom is overprotected. Only 7% of religious people agree with this.

As the pollsters’ questions became more nuanced, it was clear that the average American is more likely to give religious practices more leeway when they have the least impact, but more hesitant to protect beliefs. and behaviors that bother others in the community or workplace.

For example, more than 85% of Americans think it is “somewhat important” or “absolutely essential” that an American has the right to choose the religion of their choice. The same percentage believe that the right to practice one’s religion without fear of persecution is a key element of religious freedom.

But nearly 37% of people say practices that bother others are “definitely not” or “not a very important part” of religious freedom.

Painting by Ryan Burge

This disadvantage seems to include religious views on politics, especially in places of worship. Nearly 35% of respondents said religious freedom should not extend to the right of religious leaders to endorse political candidates.

It should be noted that in these cases, a majority of Americans believe that religious freedom should apply in these circumstances. There is broad support for the idea that religious organizations and individuals should have a large place in society. But those are high percentages of dissent when a religious practice gets in the way of another American.

There were also many contradictions. In a part of the survey in which Americans were asked to respond to a variety of statements about religious freedom, 3 in 5 adults agreed that religion is a fundamental part of some Americans’ identity and should be protected. . However, 42% of this same group agreed that religious beliefs are often used as an excuse for bigotry.


RELATED: Is God Good For America? Depends who you ask.


Painting by Ryan Burge

Elsewhere, 56% of Americans agreed that “cutting down religious freedoms is a first step toward losing broader freedoms,” but 44% agreed that it was appropriate for the government to prevent religious groups from meeting for a period of time. pandemic or other public emergency.

Anyone who studies the opinions of Americans knows that they are often in direct contradiction to each other. They often say they want to reduce taxes and the federal deficit, for example, but also express strong support for expensive government programs and others. But the message from Becket’s poll for preachers and politicians is clear: Talking generally about religious freedom will win admirers. Just avoid telling anyone what to think of specific cases.

(Ryan Burge is assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, pastor of the American Baptist Church, and author of “The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going”. He can be contacted on Twitter at @ryanburge. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

Ahead of the Trend is a collaborative effort between Religion News Service and the Association of Religion Data Archives made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. See other Ahead of the Trend articles here.

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Butler Delivers Annual Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice | News https://helviti.com/butler-delivers-annual-greeley-lecture-for-peace-and-social-justice-news/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 05:42:06 +0000 https://helviti.com/butler-delivers-annual-greeley-lecture-for-peace-and-social-justice-news/ Anthea D. Butler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered the Harvard Divinity School’s Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice last Thursday. The Greeley Lecture, an annual event hosted by the Divinity School, examined the relationship between race, religion and nationalism around the world over the past five years. Butler, chairman of Penn’s […]]]>

Anthea D. Butler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered the Harvard Divinity School’s Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice last Thursday.

The Greeley Lecture, an annual event hosted by the Divinity School, examined the relationship between race, religion and nationalism around the world over the past five years.

Butler, chairman of Penn’s Department of Religious Studies, focused on transforming evangelicalism in the United States into a movement associated with politics and nationalism.

The discussion was moderated by Charles M. Stang ’97, director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at the Divinity School.

Butler described C. Peter Wagner, an influential author and religious leader, as a key figure in the evolution of evangelicalism. Wagner founded the New Apostolic Reformation, a movement that began in the 1990s and quickly grew to attract politicians including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

“That kind of belief system started to infuse the kind of things that we see in people involved in the white Christian nationalist movement and also in people who were there during the 1/6 insurrection,” Butler said. .

This movement, Butler argued, also gave rise to para-church political groups such as the organization that prayed at Houston’s Reliant Stadium for Rick Perry in 2011. However, members of these groups began to be linked by more than just religion, she said.

“These kinds of meetings bring together a disparate group of people who are not only Christian believers, but also political actors,” Butler said.

In recent years, the share of Americans who identify as evangelical has grown, Butler said — a phenomenon she attributed in part to the growth of “NASCAR Christians,” a term she coined for people who have Christian beliefs but do not attend church regularly.

“My feeling is that these are the people who are identified as evangelical Protestants now, because they see something that embraces both their religious beliefs and their political beliefs, and your nationalist beliefs that Donald Trump identified with,” she said.

With complex factors such as the interweaving of religion and politics, the redefinition of evangelicalism, and the interplay between nationalism and race, Butler said there is a need to re-examine evangelicalism with a sociological definition. and cultural.

“If you talk about evangelism as just a theological movement, you miss the point,” she said. “It’s not that anymore.”

—Writer Kenneth Gu can be reached at kenneth.gu@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @kennygu8.

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Actress Shweta Tiwari convicted of insulting religion as remark sparks controversy | Latest India News https://helviti.com/actress-shweta-tiwari-convicted-of-insulting-religion-as-remark-sparks-controversy-latest-india-news/ Fri, 28 Jan 2022 10:48:02 +0000 https://helviti.com/actress-shweta-tiwari-convicted-of-insulting-religion-as-remark-sparks-controversy-latest-india-news/ Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra earlier asked the Bhopal Police Commissioner to investigate the matter and take action. BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh police on Thursday night charged actress Shweta Tiwari with insulting religion and hurting religious feelings following a controversial comment she made at a press conference in Bhopal on Wednesday in the promotion of […]]]>

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra earlier asked the Bhopal Police Commissioner to investigate the matter and take action.

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh police on Thursday night charged actress Shweta Tiwari with insulting religion and hurting religious feelings following a controversial comment she made at a press conference in Bhopal on Wednesday in the promotion of a web series.

The actress had made a remark referencing her loungewear and God.

State Home Minister Narottam Mishra had previously asked the Bhopal Police Commissioner to investigate the matter and take action. On Friday, he said Tiwari was convicted under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code (willful and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting religion or religious beliefs).

A video of Tiwari’s comment went viral on social media and Sanskriti Bachao Manch members staged a protest in Bhopal and demanded action against her on Thursday. Later, Bhopal resident Sonu Prajapati filed a complaint against her.

Deputy Police Commissioner Riyaz Iqbal said he filed a complaint against Tiwari over Prajapati’s complaint. “Now we have asked the manager of the hotel, where the press conference was held, to share the video footage so that we can investigate the matter. Further action will be taken after the investigation.


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A Religious Matter – Lewiston Sun Journal https://helviti.com/a-religious-matter-lewiston-sun-journal/ Thu, 20 Jan 2022 09:00:04 +0000 https://helviti.com/a-religious-matter-lewiston-sun-journal/ For the editor: From the time the “Founding Fathers” of this country drafted the “Declaration of Independence” and the Constitution of the United States of America, belief in God and Christian principles have been the foundation of our national laws and our principles of just government of the people. , by the people and for […]]]>

For the editor:

From the time the “Founding Fathers” of this country drafted the “Declaration of Independence” and the Constitution of the United States of America, belief in God and Christian principles have been the foundation of our national laws and our principles of just government of the people. , by the people and for the people of this wonderful nation.

General George Washington followed these principles in building America’s first army. At the same time, he installed chaplains in the army to provide religious advice and moral support to the troops. These practices have continued in the US military since then.

That is, until Barack Obama becomes president. At that time, President Obama repeatedly stated that “America is not a Christian nation”. The Obama/Biden administration then initiated a policy of prohibiting “religious proselytism” and/or “religious coercion” in the American military services.

This practice is being reinstated by Obama bureaucrats who are trying to make sharing “faith” in the military a criminal act.

A few examples: (1) The Air Force Academy, under pressure, removed the words “so help me God” from the sacred oath taken by Academy recruits.

(2) A DoD training directive places Christians in the same category as the Islamist terrorist group that attacked the United States on “9/11” (September 11, 2001).*

(3) military commanders were prohibited from informing their units of the programs and services offered by chaplains.

In my 22 years of experience in the USAF, including 100 combat missions, I have met many veterans from all of our military services; many of them, including my F-105 fighter pilot, expressed a number of religious beliefs.

My opinion is that a belief in a religion, especially Christianity, can have a very beneficial and calming effect on someone who is in a stressful state, such as being in combat.

Richard Grover

Township of Mason

EDITOR’S NOTE: *DoD Directive 1300.17, dated 09/01/20, states: Establishes DoD policy under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, recognizing that members of the Service have the right to observe the principles of their religion or to observe no religion at all. This allows all religions and beliefs and Implements the requirements of Section 2000bb-1 of Title 42, United States Code (USC), also known as “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA), and other applicable lodging laws Religious Practices for the DoD to provide, consistent with RFRA, that DoD components will normally accommodate a Service member’s practices based on honest religious belief.

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Readers write: Holidays, religion in schools, “It’s a wonderful life” https://helviti.com/readers-write-holidays-religion-in-schools-its-a-wonderful-life/ Sat, 25 Dec 2021 00:00:54 +0000 https://helviti.com/readers-write-holidays-religion-in-schools-its-a-wonderful-life/ The beauty and depth of thoughtfulness of David Brooks, “A Message to Those Who Are Deeply Desperate” (Opinion Exchange, December 11), made me cry. As a retired healthcare chaplain (who is still fully engaged in life), I thought of the countless patients who, upon leaving their rooms, commented, “Chaplain, thank you for listening to me. […]]]>


The beauty and depth of thoughtfulness of David Brooks, “A Message to Those Who Are Deeply Desperate” (Opinion Exchange, December 11), made me cry. As a retired healthcare chaplain (who is still fully engaged in life), I thought of the countless patients who, upon leaving their rooms, commented, “Chaplain, thank you for listening to me.

In this hectic and troubled holiday season, I invite all of us to put down our electronics and really listen – listen to others, to the nature and calm of our hearts that beckons us to hope, kindness and compassion. .

Jerry C. Vandrovec, Plymouth

•••

Today I have decided to speak as a therapist as well as a grieving person. I hear so many sad stories during the holidays. Many of them are sadder because of unfulfilled expectations, photos of happy families on social media, Christmas cards showing everyone posing together, the assumption that we’re happy – and together. I ask that we consider how many vacations have been perfect or even close. How many were OK, average, or just not that good? And how many were “I couldn’t wait to go” bad?

Holidays are an event where the sense of perspective is seldom used, adding to the intensity of feelings producing good and bad results. All the planning and preparation makes the event potentially more stressful – if you’ve done all that work to make it special, it better be good!

We should, I suppose, expect everyone to behave well; kind, caring, cheerful. Although we haven’t seen each other since the last vacation when Cousin George had a fight with Cousin Susan over politics, and they both sulked the rest of the time. In fact, consider how putting a group of people who only see each other a few times a year in a house for, say, eight hours could go wrong.

Here is my therapeutic solution: Lower your expectations. And find something you can do to feel good about yourself. Like talking to cousin George, who is a funny guy who you never talk to. Think maybe of a holiday regret from last year. This year you will give your mom a hug. Or say a toast to your mom in heaven. Or to all those who are gone.

Yes, there is a place for loss during the holidays. I believe when it’s not said it’s worse – lonely, isolating and ashamed. And my last thought, times being what they are, is to close the vacation door knowing that you, personally, did your best: you told people you love them. At least let the holidays be a chance to love and feel loved.

Margot Storti-Marron, Sugar bush

•••

As a longtime resident of Loring Park, it was great Saturday night to see the Holidazzle lights, people lining up for the merry-go-round and sliding down the high slide, and the kids posing with Santa Claus. Best of all was the magnificent fireworks display that lit up the park and the pond. The food and gift vendors were top notch. Lights on trees and buildings made families feel safe, as did the park police.

The Downtown Council has shown the neighborhood that it values ​​our downtown park. The board, its funders and staff deserve a lot of thanks for reminding everyone of how much of a gem Loring Park is.

Pat Davies, Minneapolis

RELIGION IN SCHOOLS

I strongly support Tom Duke’s comments on the Minnesota Social Studies Standards Revision Project on Religious Education (“Religious Education is Better in New Standards,” Opinion Exchange, December 20) . In particular, I agree that instruction must include not only the history, but also the understanding of “how individuals interact with religious identity here and now”. Part of the opposition to religion in the school curriculum stems from parents’ fear that education will be used in defense of religion. Every effort should be made to ensure that the training will be completely neutral.

In his discussion of “religious identity in the here and now,” Duke overlooks the dramatic rise of the non-religious. According to a report released this month by the Pew Research Center, 29% of Americans now describe their religious identity as “atheist, agnostic, or” nothing in particular. ” 10 points more than ten years ago.

The teaching of the religious identity of Americans cannot ignore this trend. It should cover the causes, including the intellectual rationale for rejecting belief in the supernatural, ethics based on humanistic values, and support for secular government, which ensures that private religious beliefs are protected from government influence.

Advocating for inclusive norms for religion in social science education, Duke points out that one in four students are bullied, some because of their religion. I would like to remind everyone that atheist children are also bullied.

George Francis Kane, Saint-Paul

•••

I grew up in a strong Catholic family 70 years ago, and we were taught that we are part of the one true religion, to the point of not even attending a wedding in a non-Catholic church. Times have certainly changed with the ecumenical movement and religious freedoms in America offering everyone the opportunity to learn about all the options being practiced. I had a fascinating year in weekly faith training classes that studied the history to the present day of all religions in the world, and this was perhaps the best educational opportunity since my college days. .

I was delighted to read Duke’s comment. After decades of ignorance of religion due to the separation of church and state, educators plan to add a broad religious curriculum to social studies in our public schools in Minnesota. Real progress on accepting diversity can be made much better with a comprehensive understanding of all different religions, races and cultures and how they affect each person around us. We can finally understand that we are not that different and face similar challenges in finding our way through this life embracing a faith in the hope of more.

Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis

‘IT’S A MAGNIFICENT LIFE’

I enjoyed Chris Hewitt’s December 20 post on the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but as a copyright professor, I have a small gripe (“It’s a “wonderful” birthday ”). The article is correct that Republic Pictures’ non-renewal of copyright (a formality that US law eventually abandoned) meant that the film appeared to fall into the public domain in 1974. This in turn allowed to TV channels to stream it for free, and over time. helped develop the grateful audience the film lacked when it debuted in 1946.

However, a 1990 Supreme Court ruling – regarding another Jimmy Stewart film, “Rear Window” – prompted Republic, who still owned the copyright to the short story “It’s a Wonderful Life” was based on, to assert that any unauthorized distribution of the film would infringe the rights of the story. Republic made a deal with NBC, and as a result, the film doesn’t air as often as it did in the 1970s. (For a more in-depth discussion, see the article by Samantha Kosarzycki to which Hewitt’s article refers.) In contrast, the bad-it’s-good “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” lost its copyright when it debuted in 1964, for failing to comply with another formality that the United States has taken. later dropped, and as far as I know it still remains in the public domain.

Thomas Cotter, Hopkins

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Religious exemptions from vaccination warrants: new survey explores support https://helviti.com/religious-exemptions-from-vaccination-warrants-new-survey-explores-support/ Mon, 13 Dec 2021 05:00:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/religious-exemptions-from-vaccination-warrants-new-survey-explores-support/ About half of Americans say COVID-19 vaccine mandates should include religious exemptions. But some of these same adults view vaccine refusals with suspicion. This is one of the main lessons of a new survey on faith and immunization released last week by the Public Religion Research Institute and Interfaith Youth Core. Researchers have found that […]]]>


About half of Americans say COVID-19 vaccine mandates should include religious exemptions. But some of these same adults view vaccine refusals with suspicion.

This is one of the main lessons of a new survey on faith and immunization released last week by the Public Religion Research Institute and Interfaith Youth Core. Researchers have found that many people have complex – and sometimes conflicting – beliefs about the role of religion in the COVID-19 crisis.

Overall, very few American adults see a tension between supporting the vaccination and living their faith. In fact, nearly 6 in 10 people say getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a way of obeying the religious call to love your neighbors, the survey found.

However, many Americans seem to recognize that some people do not share these views. Fifty-one percent think vaccination warrants should allow religious exemptions.

“The share of Americans in favor of granting exemptions (today) is similar to the share recorded in June (52%) and slightly lower than the share recorded in March, when 56% of Americans favored them,” the researchers noted.

Members of some faith groups and political parties are more in favor of religious exemptions than others. For example, nearly three-quarters of Republicans (73%) support granting exemptions to religious objectors, compared with just one-third of Democrats (33%).

Among religious groups, White Evangelical Protestants (76%) and Latter-day Saints (66%) stand out for their support for religious exemptions. Adults not affiliated with the religion, Jews and other non-Christians were most likely to oppose it.

Researchers also asked what people thought of using religious exemptions and were surprised at what they found: 6 in 10 Americans say there is no valid religious reason for refusing vaccines COVID-19 and almost the same proportion (59%) say religious exemption policies are being abused.

In other words, the survey showed that the number of Americans who are skeptical of religious objectors is greater than the number who favor offering religious exemptions to immunization warrants. These findings help explain why the conflict over vaccine mandates is so complicated, the researchers noted.

Despite concerns about how religious exemptions are being used, many Americans believe religious objectors shouldn’t have to work too hard to prove their concerns are legitimate.

Almost 40% of American adults agree that “anyone who says vaccines go against their religious beliefs should be granted an exemption.” Slightly higher shares (around 50%) were in favor of employers requesting a letter from a religious leader or proof of refusal of previous vaccines.

A handful of states have passed laws in recent weeks aimed at making it easier to obtain religious exemption to COVID-19 vaccine warrants, as the Deseret News recently reported.

The new survey found that just under half of Americans (44%) are currently covered by workplace vaccination requirements. About a third of unvaccinated adults say they are considering seeking a religious exemption or have already requested one.


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PM to Introduce Faith Discrimination Bill | Narooma News https://helviti.com/pm-to-introduce-faith-discrimination-bill-narooma-news/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 21:56:56 +0000 https://helviti.com/pm-to-introduce-faith-discrimination-bill-narooma-news/ Discrimination on the basis of religious belief or activity will be made illegal in the areas of employment, education and the provision of goods and services, under a bill to be submitted to the federal parliament this week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will personally present on Thursday the government’s long-promised religious discrimination laws. Details of […]]]>


Discrimination on the basis of religious belief or activity will be made illegal in the areas of employment, education and the provision of goods and services, under a bill to be submitted to the federal parliament this week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will personally present on Thursday the government’s long-promised religious discrimination laws.

Details of the bill were released on Tuesday evening after the coalition common room backed it.

The laws will state that making a statement of belief, in good faith, would not constitute discrimination under Australian anti-discrimination law.

However, this would not apply to statements that are malicious or that a reasonable person would consider threatening, intimidating, harassing or vilifying any person or group of persons.

The bill will restrict the ability of organizations to impose standards of behavior on members of that profession, trade or occupation that would prevent a person from making a private statement of belief.

And it will allow religious organizations such as schools to give preference to people of the same religion as the religious body in employment decisions.

The government says the bill will not allow discrimination based on age, disability, race or sex.

The laws are not expected to be passed by the end of this year, as they will be the subject of a Senate inquiry.

Mr Morrison told his party hall that the bill is about tolerance and the balance between freedom and responsibility.

“This is a bill on religious discrimination, not a bill on religious freedom,” he told members of the coalition.

The Prime Minister also described it as a shield and not a sword.

Some village hall concerns have been raised about the bill, including a contentious clause designed to protect people who have made statements about their religious beliefs.

Others stressed the need to keep the 2019 election promise and pass the legislation.

Separately, crossbencher Pauline Hanson has indicated that she will not be supporting the bill in its current form, while Rex Patrick and Rebekha Sharkie do not see the need for it.

Earlier Tuesday, Equality Australia, which advocates for the rights of LGBTIQ + people, feared that some of the “worst parts” of the bill might remain.

The main objection of the group was the clause allowing people to make statements about their beliefs.

“This will allow someone to defend themselves against a discrimination claim if they say offensive, insulting, inappropriate and unacceptable things,” CEO Anna Brown told ABC Radio.

“In general terms, it reverses existing protections for vulnerable groups, it compromises access to non-judgmental health care and inclusive workplaces.”

Ms Brown was concerned that a nurse, for example, could be protected if she told someone with HIV that the disease was a punishment from God.

“That person at the reception (would, under the bill) be barred from filing a complaint against the person who made that statement because their statement of belief is protected,” she said.

Associated Australian Press


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