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August 21, 2004 | Larry B. Stammer, Times Staff Writer
Ever since Walt Disney began turning out feature-length animated films, scholars, theologians and journalists have plumbed the depths of the simple morality tales for deeper religious meanings and messages. Was Snow White's eating of the poison apple an allusion to the Fall in the Garden of Eden? When the puppet maker Geppetto was swallowed by a whale, was that a veiled reference to Jonah in Hebrew Scriptures? Were Jiminy Cricket's initials in "Pinocchio" a hidden reference to Jesus Christ?
March 26, 2014
Re “Religious rights case at high court could have a ripple effect,” March 24 The religious right wants to take us back to the good old days when women were denied access to birth control and contraception. The fundamentalists in all religions have this in common: They discriminate against women, and they want to control them. The Supreme Court must decide whether for-profit companies, because of the religious objections of the owners, can deny employees the health coverage to which they are entitled by law. Hobby Lobby has 13,000 employees from all walks of life and religious persuasions.
December 12, 2012 | By Houston Mitchell
Fans of Manny Pacquiao have been searching for explanations since he was knocked out in the sixth round of his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday. Is he slowing down? Not the fighter he used to be? Got caught by a lucky punch? Well, Pacquiao's mother, Dionisia, has an explanation. "That's what he gets for changing his religion," she told Yahoo Sports Philippines . "Since the Protestant pastors came into his life, he has not focused on his boxing. Manny Pacquiao, who was previously Catholic, used to carry a rosary when entering the ring before becoming a Protestant in January.
March 23, 2014
Re "These claims shouldn't have a prayer," Opinion, March 18, and "Religious rights in a for-profit world," Opinion, March 19 Both these compelling Op-Ed articles allude to conundrums that inevitably arise from allowing religious beliefs to trump common sense. It's regrettable that the Obama administration exempted churches and some religious organizations from providing employee health insurance that covers contraception. But had that legal bone not been thrown to Christian legislators, the Affordable Car Act - enacted by the narrowest of margins - probably would not have survived.
October 24, 1986 | Associated Press
The Seattle Mariners, the only team in professional baseball that has never had a winning season, have started a campaign to get religion out of the clubhouse. "We have too many (players) who think that if we lose, that's the way the Lord meant it to be," said team General Manager Dick Balderson, who was interviewed while in Boston for the World Series. "Changes have to be made, with the idea that when they come to the park they will be thinking baseball." Reliever Matt Young agrees.
September 12, 2001
War has just been declared by the enemies of our country. We must exterminate them immediately. We know who they are and where they are. It is time to unleash our terrible might and destroy the enemies of peace, wherever they are, on this Earth. I am, of course, referring to all the terrorist organizations whose insanity continues to plague us all. I'm sure our secret government organizations know where most of these people are. We take them out. Now. Jim Pappas Torrance I watched the World Trade Center towers fall down Tuesday morning while I got ready for school.
October 29, 2005 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
As a college student in Mexico, Marta Khadija Ramirez was so influenced by Marxist and existentialist writers that she stopped believing in God. That changed during a semester at a British school, where she was a visiting student and three Muslim classmates introduced her to Islam. She decided to convert. But imagine the difficulty of a Latina steeped in Roman Catholic tradition trying to explain Islam to her family in 1983. And imagine that one of her sisters is a Catholic nun.
December 21, 2011
Beyond Religion Ethics for a Whole World His Holiness the Dalai Lama Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 188 pp., $24
July 16, 2013
Re "Miracle or coincidence?," Postscript, July 13 Lawrence R. Krauss says that a major problem with miracles is that they condition you to believe in faith over science. I couldn't agree more. Moreover, I can speak to the hostility of religion toward science. I teach a philosophy course at a local community college. We discuss metaphysics, free will, the arguments for the existence of God, the scientific method, evolution, epistemology and various ethical theories. Many of my students are downright hostile toward evolution.
May 15, 1993
Religion is a cop-out for prejudice. KATHLEEN MITCHELL MAYNARD San Jacinto
March 21, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian, This post has been corrected. Please see below for details.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear 90 minutes of oral arguments in a case that will determine whether bosses who have religious objections to birth control can deny their female employees the contraceptive coverage to which they are entitled under federal law. We're not talking about bosses who are nuns. Or bosses who run parochial schools, or Catholic-affiliated hospitals, or other explicitly religious organizations. We're talking about bosses who own secular, for-profit businesses -- crafts stores, in the case of Hobby Lobby, and kitchen cabinet makers, in the case of Conestoga Woods.
March 18, 2014 | By Michael A. Helfand
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate - the requirement that employers provide employee health insurance that covers contraception - impermissibly infringes on the religious liberty of religiously motivated corporations. The legal battles over the mandate have been legion; more than 300 plaintiffs have filed more than 90 cases across the country, all contending that providing health coverage for contraception would require them to violate their faith.
February 27, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali
MUMBAI, India - The Hindu epic "Ramayana" features a 10-headed villain, a magical golden deer and the flying monkey god Hanuman. But when an American religion scholar described the canonical poem as fictional, some religious conservatives were shocked. Angered by what they called an insulting, inaccurate and sexualized depiction of India's predominant faith by University of Chicago divinity professor Wendy Doniger, Hindu activists waged a four-year court battle against her book "The Hindus: An Alternative History.
February 27, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
There were a lot of very good reasons for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto that obnoxiously discriminatory law that would have allowed businesses to not serve gays -- or anyone else -- if the owner believed something about the person -- sexual orientation, race -- offended his or her religion. We've detailed many of those good arguments against the bill in blog posts and on the editorial page . Of course, the cynical read of the situation is that Brewer's decision was based on political pragmatism rather than a principled stand against discrimination.
February 26, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Delta Air Lines has denounced legislation that would permit businesses to cite religion in refusing to serve gays, saying  proposals in Georgia and Arizona would cause “significant harm” and “result in job losses.” The company, which is Atlanta's largest employer and one of the biggest private companies in Georgia, joins the likes of Apple, American Airlines and Marriott in opposing such measures. Arizonans  are awaiting  Gov. Jan Brewer's decision on whether to sign or veto legislation that would bolster business owners' rights to cite their religion as a defense in discrimination lawsuits.
February 22, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
It's either a small fix to protect the free exercise of religion or a "no cake for gays" bill that would invite businesses to discriminate, depending on whom you talk to. The legislation,  SB 1062, would bolster a business owner's right to defend refusing service to someone when the owner believes doing so would violate their the practice and observance of religion. Supporters call it a "religious freedom" bill. As Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer weighs whether to sign the measure into law, here's a look at what the proposal is all about.  Why was SB 1062 proposed?
November 6, 2012
Re "Rev. Schuller says church owes him," Nov. 2 Regarding the bankruptcy court fight over the millions left over in the Crystal Cathedral sale and bankruptcy, I would like to volunteer to testify on behalf of the taxpayers who have been forced to subsidize these mega-corporations masquerading as churches. This is an absolute scam. The whole Schuller mob has been living high on the hog for years while enjoying an outdated tax system that shielded their church from paying taxes.
February 22, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
SAN DIEGO - With an assured and intimate voice, playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar's stories cleverly slide across religion, tradition, sexuality and the dangerous if sometimes comical predicaments endured by Muslims in a post-Sept. 11 world hardened by incendiary politics and "us" versus "them" prejudices. His work is intricately American, revealing the strains and joys of Muslims, many of them immigrants, trying to hold on to their ancestry while assimilating into a nation that celebrates diversity yet takes intense pride - and a degree of security - in counting the ways in which we're the same.
February 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 says, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. " But, like other rights enshrined in that declaration, religious freedom is widely violated around the world. Is that any of the business of the United States? President Obama thinks so, and he's right. Before the most receptive audience imaginable - a National Prayer Breakfast - Obama recently insisted that "promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.
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