With 89 percent of the population religious and 62 percent highly so, the U.S. is the most religious nation in the industrialized world, according to the Bertelsmann Foundation's Religion Monitor, an international survey released this week. Religiosity remains high among all adult age groups. And large majorities of Catholics and Protestants say that their religious beliefs affect their political views. Faith plays a far less significant role in developed European countries such as Britain, France, and Germany. The Religion Monitor asked 21,000 people in 21 countries nearly 100 questions about their interest in religious topics...
Buddhist monk eyes opening kung fu world
The sacred temple where kung fu was born some 1,500 years ago to spawn centuries of undefeated masters is at last surrendering to the almighty buck. Critics were kicking and screaming in outrage yesterday over plans to sell stock in the ancient monastery and turn it into a garish tourist attraction to cash in on the sport's popularity. (According to the AP, the local government entity in charge of managing the 1,500-year-old Buddhist temple's tourism-related assets plan to join with China Travel Service in a venture that will seek to raise up to 1 billion yuan or $146.4 million).
Dalai Lama says Obama's Nobel "a little early"
As President Barack Obama prepares to accept the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the Dalai Lama told Sky News he believes the award is "a little early" and cautioned the U.S. president against relying too much on his advisers. The exiled Tibetan leader won the Nobel prize 20 years ago for his peaceful opposition to Chinese rule in his country.
Dalai Lama to teach "Heart Sutra" at IU
Lindsay Lohan to seek spiritual succour in Bihar, India
India's spiritual awakening
Globalization has been good for gods in the Indian subcontinent. As the region has remade itself, it has grown more devout, and its religions are becoming ever more entangled with politics.
I posted a request from YogaforVets.com on my Facebook page the other day. It's a site founded in 2007 by Navy diver and yoga instructor Paul Zipes. He says he had the idea for the site because he wanted to support the troops and their recovery from war-related stress and injury. He says, "as a yoga teacher and a vet myself, listing free yoga classes for war vets was an easy decision."
Tibet's glaciers in danger of disappearing
Tibet's glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, scientists say. Black soot is probably responsible for as much as half of the glacial melt and greenhouse gases responsible for the rest, according to research announced Tuesday by NASA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. "During the last 20 years, the black soot concentration has increased two- to three-fold..." a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said.
With Buddhist blessing, Van Duzer finishes 130-mile Nepal trek
"Out There Guy" reaches 17,769-foot-high Thorung La pass. My high-altitude Colorado lungs are no match for the mighty Himalayas. I never knew I'd miss oxygen so much. I'm panting like a dog with every pathetic step I take. This, coupled with the fact that I haven't eaten due to a stomach bug, is making life difficult. Skip sees that I'm destroyed and offers to take my bag. I should take his offer, but I wave him off: "I'm fine, man, couldn't be better." Confused thinking is one of the symptoms of acute mountain syndrome (AMS).
Climate summit personal for Nepalese delegate
Bhola Prasad Bhattarai traveled from his native Nepal to Denmark to see how the "big people see the little people." At the Copenhagen climate summit, Bhattarai, 33, head of an umbrella organization of 15,000 community forest user groups, has withstood a Scandanavian winter's chill, police charges, an arrest, pricey lunches -- and disappointment that ultimately, the global meeting could end up achieving little.
Maoist child soldiers to be released in Nepal
Under UN accord, almost 3,000 child soldiers who served in the Maoist rebel army during Nepal’s civil war will be released from camps and rehabilitated. The United Nations plan signed in Kathmandu yesterday. The children have spent the past three years in Maoist cantonments since the rebels laid down arms under a UN-backed peace accord in 2006 that ended the decade-long insurgency.
Minnesota Bigfoot photo: Bigfoot or big fake
A purported Bigfoot photo taken by a trail camera in north central Minnesota has researchers and the media buzzing.Tim Kedrowski, a salesman from Rice, MN, admits to being skeptical that his motion-activated camera captured an image of the legendary creature but appears to be convinced the photo is not a hoax.
Some former members of the Irish Republican Army -- "small in number" but "ruthless" -- are trying to undermine the agreement that ended 30 years of deadly violence in Northern Ireland, a former deputy director of the CIA said.
The play teems with hip-hop slang, boasts jokes about gold teeth and Tina Turner wigs, and enhances its dramatic sequences through rap and song. Behind the modern entertainment, though, are old-school messages: Get right with God before it's too late. Don't be a part-time Christian. Spread the word to others.
Looks may buy happiness, but only in the city
For country girls, pretty is as pretty does, study shows. Women’s magazines all spread the same message: Money may not buy you happiness, but beauty certainly will. A new study has actually proven that the women’s magazines were right — so long as you live in the city. But if you’re a country girl, it’s more of a case of “pretty is as pretty does.” Researchers have found that happiness for city women is quite dependent upon physical appearance. But in the country, looks don’t count for much...
Graphic testimony in sex-for-tickets case
"DESPERATE BLONDE NEEDS WS TIX. Diehard Phillies -- gorgeous tall buxom blond -- in desperate need of two World Series Tickets. Price negotiable -- I'm the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!" The World Series is long over, but this afternoon, the legal case against a Phillies fan who allegedly offered sex for Series tickets was just going into its second inning. Susan Finkelstein, 43, of West Philadelphia, was accused in late October of offering an undercover police officer various sex acts in return for World Series tickets.
How Pedophilia Lost Its Cool
Today’s idea: The priest sex scandals and the Roman Polanski case show a shift in American attitudes against pedophilia, an essay says — after a period in which “some enlightened folk took a considerably more relaxed view of the question of sex with youngsters.”
Religion, Culture, and Domestic Violence: Buddhism
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO Public Radio) - Thirteen women were brutally killed over the past year allegedly by the men they once loved. The domestic violence murders have stunned the community and left many asking questions. Among them, why do these women stay in such dangerous relationships? Domestic violence advocates say there are many factors making it hard for victims to break free. In at least two of the murders, there was speculation in the media that religion was a factor. Today, WBFO's Joyce Kryszak continues our series exploring the potential impact of religious traditions on domestic violence victims. She talked with Jeanette Ludwig a long-time member of the Buffalo Zen Dharma Buddhist community. Listen
- Thailand, where Santa is Jesus' Dad (CBS News)
- Foxhole Atheists vs. Christian Proselytizers in the Military (Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair)
- The Parable of the Garden and the Question of God (Anthony Gottlieb, More Intelligent Life)
- Facebook is for your public profile, not your private life (Julia Angwin, The Wall Street Journal)