Archive for: December, 2008

New Religions: A Small Sect Makes it to the Supreme Court

By Monte Sahlin – The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted an appeal from a religion that you probably never heard of until it hit the news yesterday. Summum is rooted in gnostic Christianity (or, at least modern understandings of gnosticism) and ancient Egyptian religion (or, at least contemporary understandings of ancient Egyptian religion). It was founded in 1975 and has its headquarters in (of all places) Utah.

The case before the Supreme Court is based on the fact that the small town in Utah has a large, stone monument in the city park of the Ten Commandments. The believers in Summum petitioned the city council to add another monument with their seven principles of good behavior. The city council refused, thereby establishing the religions of the Ten Commandments (Judaism and Christianity) over the little sect of Summum. The small religion has raised enough funds to hire attorneys and appeal their case all the way to the top court in America.

There are serious constitutional issues about religious liberty in this case even if you have a hard time taking Summum seriously. But, I want to focus on something else: The way new religions are being invented and why so many people are moving away from the large, historic faiths.

 
 

BREAKING – More Cooperation Planned between the United Nations and World Religions

By Jonathan Gallagher, Ph.D. – New York, NY, USA… [December 16, 2008] Representatives from the United Nations and religious leaders met together with non-government organizations in New York Tuesday to promote greater cooperation between the UN and religious groups worldwide. The intent in the words of the organizers is "to explore new ways and means to advance cooperation between the world's religious communities and the United Nations."

 
 

Methodists and Wahhabis (Middle East Online)

Saudi Arabia and the United States are the Odd Couple of the twenty-first century. One a monarchy, the other a democracy. One founded on a restrictive faith, the other a beacon of religious freedom. One blessed by vast petroleum resources, the other cursed by a gargantuan appetite for oil. Their governments bound to each other by ties of money and armament, yet their populations distrustful of each other's political designs, angry about violent deeds attributed to the other, and disdainful of their respective faiths.

 
 

Light rising in the darkness

Isaiah 58:10..If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

 
 

OPINION: Does the World Need a Global Population Control Agency? (Catholic Online)

Overpopulation hysteria has real world consequences. One of these is a United Nations population control agency that goes by the name of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

 
 

VIDEO: 60th Anniversary – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (HRAC)

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

 
 

More Americans Believe in the Devil, Hell and Angels than in Darwin's Theory of Evolution (MarketWatch.com)

Some of the interesting findings in this new Harris Poll include:
— 80% of adult Americans believe in God – unchanged since the last time we asked the question in 2005. Large majorities of the public believe in miracles (75%), heaven (73%), angels (71%), that Jesus is God or the Son of God (71%), the resurrection of Jesus (70%), the survival of the soul after death (68%), hell (62%), the Virgin birth (Jesus born of Mary (61%) and the devil (59%).

 
 

VIDEO: Modesto Priest Urges Obama Supporters To Confess (KOVR-TV)

MODESTO, Calif. — A Roman Catholic priest has told parishioners they should confess if they voted for Barack Obama because the president-elect supports abortion.

 
 

Weekend Inspiration: Bill Hybels Interviews Bono

Bill Hybels of Willowcreek interviews Bono, lead singer of U2, about how churches should respond to the AIDS crisis in Africa.

 
 

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