April 7, 2013 |
According to a survey conducted by the Bertelsmann Religion Foundation Monitor, the United States is the most religious nation in the industrialized world. The Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey found that 88% of the Americans it surveyed are fairly or absolutely certain that God exists, and that more than half of them say religion is "very important" in their lives. Personally, I've always had a tenuous relationship with organized religion, especially Christianity. As it was for most African Americans of my generation, the church was a powerful force in my childhood.
March 31, 2013 |
CAIRO - He arrived with a prankster's aplomb. Bassem Youssef, a popular Egyptian TV satirist often compared to Jon Stewart, appeared before a prosecutor Sunday on charges of defaming President Mohamed Morsi. The mercurial comedian milled around outside the courthouse wearing a barrel-sized hat that mocked a cap Morsi donned recently when accepting an honorary doctorate in Pakistan. Youssef tweeted and grinned, turning the state arrayed against him into an unwitting straight man in the latest act of political theater between Morsi and a growing opposition that includes artists, activists, comedians and bloggers.
March 30, 2013
Re "Lancaster's prayer problem," Editorial, March 28 What a logical editorial on the prayers at Lancaster City Council meetings. People don't seem to understand why we separate church and state until there is mention of a religion other than their own. There is no reason whatsoever to pray before meetings, other than to foist your religious beliefs on others. Pat Hall Hacienda Heights Wow, imagine that, a woman who will travel from Arcadia to Lancaster to be offended, to feel like an outsider, and then sue the city.
March 26, 2013 |
Reader views on same-sex marriage have evolved along with broader public opinion. Over the years, the mix of opinions sent to email@example.com has tilted more heavily in favor of granting gay couples the right to wed. Where there's some gray between the black-and-white arguments for or against Proposition 8 -- California's 2008 ballot initiative banning gay marriage -- is in how society should go about establishing equal marriage rights. Some readers who oppose Proposition 8 have questioned whether overturning it through the courts and not the ballot box is the best course of action.
March 21, 2013
Re "Time for an overhaul, GOP says," March 19 The late Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater said in 1994, "If they [the religious right] succeed in establishing religion as a basic Republican Party tenet, they could do us in. " Aside from the GOP's immigration policies and obsession with lowering tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, the religious right's influence over the Republican Party is another reason its agenda failed to resonate in...
March 21, 2013
Re "Remodeling the world's moral map," Opinion, March 17 Shame on Richard Rodriguez. Drug addiction is not immoral, and neither is what he terms "depleted biological energy. " He writes that "as religious belief declines, so does the biological dynamism of a nation. " With increased education comes more enlightened and intentional decision making. Rodriguez's caricatured white European isn't so much choosing "between a Volvo and a Saab" as much as choosing between a single college-educated child enjoying the same standard of living in the middle class of his parents and three ill-prepared children struggling in the lower class.
March 20, 2013 |
Jeff Lubell, who founded the upscale jeans company True Religion Apparel Inc. more than a decade ago, said this week that he is stepping down from his post as the company's chief executive, chairman and creative director. The decision came two weeks after the Vernon company said it would not renew Lubell's contract. Back in October, the apparel retailer said it was evaluating strategic alternatives “with the objective of maximizing shareholder value.” True Religion President Lynne Koplin will take over as interim chief executive.
March 17, 2013 |
We Americans have long told ourselves that we are a God-favored people, a churchgoing, moral people. But last week when the old cardinals of Roman Catholicism looked for the future of their church, they looked south. And what we Americans heard, as if for the first time, is that the spiritual center of Christianity is in the Southern Hemisphere, not with us in the north. How could that be? Despite the drug addiction of Americans - an addiction second to none that has destabilized Latin America from Bolivia to Colombia to Mexico - we assume the moral high ground in the Americas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2013 |
Announcements of a well-funded research project at a major university often elicit, welcome or not, professional and amateur advice. But those messages usually don't recount a dead cat's spirit flitting into the afterlife. UC Riverside philosophy professor John Martin Fischer has been besieged with hundreds of such unusual missives for the last few months as word spread that he had won a $5-million grant to study something that, in the end, is probably unknowable: immortality. Under his direction, scientists and theologians will be digging into such mysteries as whether humans should even aspire to eternal life in this world or another - and whether everlasting might just prove to be ever-boring.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2013 |
Pressed to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars to settle clergy sex abuse lawsuits, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony turned to one group of Catholics whose faith could not be shaken: the dead. Under his leadership in 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles quietly appropriated $115 million from a cemetery maintenance fund and used it to help pay a landmark settlement with molestation victims. The church did not inform relatives of the deceased that it had taken the money, which amounted to 88% of the fund.