636 posts tagged with Religion.
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All it takes is two close friends and you'll never, ever leave.

I heard a speaker say that if members of a religious congregation have at least two friends in the group--close enough that they feel comfortable socializing within each other's homes--the odds of them leaving the congregation are really small. I can't locate this research and am not sure about which key terms to use. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Nov 24, 2015 - 1 answer

Are atheists, in fact, responsible for more mass murder than theists?

I'm an atheist trying to take the question of secular morality in society seriously. In debates about whether a secular society is better than a religious one, theists often allude to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc -- the mass murders of the 20th century who were motivated by secular beliefs. Are theists right that atheists killed more people in the 20th century than religious leaders did? What notable examples of this exist, besides the three mentioned above? [more inside]
posted by everythingyoudoisaballoon on Sep 21, 2015 - 27 answers

Help me not be a patronizing liberal

Please help me understand how to better engage with those who are close to me having an irrational fear of Muslims (especially with Syrian refugees who she believes are full of ISIS operatives) . I want to engage because I can't not say anything anymore. [more inside]
posted by sio42 on Sep 17, 2015 - 31 answers

I don't know what or how to teach my 5-year-old about god...

My daughter is starting kindergarten at Catholic school. We are atheists (although raised Catholic). She will be learning about god in school, learning prayers, etc. and I basically just realized that I have NO CLUE how to navigate this. Do I let her believe, or do I tell her it's all just pretend? Is there an in between? Please help. [more inside]
posted by kitcat on Sep 14, 2015 - 43 answers

What is the best scholarly edition of the Koran?

What is the best scholarly, annotated, edition of the Koran? I am trying to find something in English similar to the Oxford Annotated Bible. I am not a Muslim, and I have little background to date, so an edition that assumes very little in terms of prior knowledge would be ideal for me.
posted by mortaddams on Aug 28, 2015 - 5 answers

I am married and have left our shared religion. Can I make this work?

When my husband and I got married we were both practicing Muslims. We've been married almost 3 years and now I don't think I believe anymore. Can I make this work despite the religious differences? [more inside]
posted by deeba on Aug 22, 2015 - 17 answers

Thoughts about religion from former cult leaders?

A pretty thorough Google search doesn't turn up anything about former cult leaders who put out thoughts about religion of any kind in any way shape or form after they stopped being cult leaders. I am looking for some. [more inside]
posted by curuinor on Aug 11, 2015 - 7 answers

Appropriate response to religious greeting

I am currently living in Austria, where it is typical for people entering a semi-public space (e.g. doctor's office, barber shop) to greet the entire room and receive a greeting back. What is the appropriate response when greeted with "salaam alaikum" (selamün aleyküm)? [more inside]
posted by frimble on Jun 30, 2015 - 9 answers

How does one engage respectfully with a combative, dogmatic atheist?

How does one engage respectfully with a combative atheist who tries to convince you that most major religions are inherently anti-humanist / anti- enlightenment? I am an atheist myself, but I respect people who are religious. [more inside]
posted by jacobnayar on Jun 29, 2015 - 35 answers

Theosophy/like groups in Auckland NZ?

I've been interested in Theosophy and similar philosophies for a long time and have on several occasions considered joining up here in Auckland, New Zealand. However, I'm not entirely sure whether their activities will be of overall interest to me. [more inside]
posted by New England Cultist on Jun 8, 2015 - 2 answers

Cross-cultural relationship, family problems

We are planning a future together... If only my family would accept him in spite of his race and religion. Snowflakes entail. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 17, 2015 - 20 answers

Examples of taboos on holy or religiously influential people?

Maori chiefs were taboo'd from eating inside their houses, the Jewish Kohen (priests) couldn't handle dead bodies, and clerical classes across religious traditions have required celibacy -- does anyone know of any other examples of taboos on holy or religiously influential people? The cultures can range from contemporary big religions (e.g. Abrahamic) to the animism of small-scale societies - all examples are welcome!! THANKS!
posted by mrmanvir on Mar 1, 2015 - 9 answers

Religious Syncretism for Beginners.

Turns out – there is a word for what I’ve been fascinated by for some time! It even seems that it has been studied in some detail. Please suggest some readings for me so I explore this phenomenon in more depth. [more inside]
posted by Dotty on Feb 23, 2015 - 9 answers

Demographic Changes in the Eastern Orthodox Church in the USA?

When I was growing up, in the seventies and eighties, Eastern Orthodoxy was pretty much an ethno-faith. That is, to be Orthodox was to be Greek, or Ukrainian or Russian or any of the historically orthodox nationalities who had immigrated to this country, along with a few outsiders who had married into the faith. Nowadays, however, things have changed . . . [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Feb 18, 2015 - 13 answers

What do we know about ancient religious faith?

Having studied Christian theology in college, I am aware that much of what we have reflecting ancient Greek and Roman religious belief survives because Christian apologists were refuting source materials drawn from that culture. But what else do we actually know? [more inside]
posted by jefficator on Feb 17, 2015 - 18 answers

Is it legal for a college to "lead us all in prayer" before a meeting?

I attended an adjunct faculty meeting at a public two-year college in Texas. Before the meeting, the campus vice president asked an instructor to lead us all in prayer. So we prayed. I was under the impression that public colleges weren't permitted anything more than a "moment of silence." Or does that apply only to elementary and secondary schools?
posted by jackypaper on Jan 28, 2015 - 7 answers

Religious figures thoughts on life as a process

Can you give me quotes from historical or mythical religious figures on the thought that life is process, that one is never "finished"?
posted by falsedmitri on Jan 23, 2015 - 7 answers

Wearing The Rosary As Jewelry

Years ago, I had a male coworker who wore a plastic rosary as a necklace. Just recently, I met another man who does the same thing. Is this part of some kind of movement or subculture? Fashion trend? Fringe religious group? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jan 21, 2015 - 37 answers

Perfect storm of familial dysfunctionality--need solutions for sanity

Family dynamics are slowly driving me up the wall, but I can't bear to let things wind destructively. How can I cope without being caught in the storm? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 2, 2015 - 13 answers

No Dogs Go To Heaven Under Any Circumstances

There are widespread reports that the Pope now claims that animals go to heaven, based on this article from the illustrious Daily Express newspaper, and in particular this line: “One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ’, Francis quoted Paul as saying. Is this a real quote attributed to Paul, or is the Express making shit up, or is Francis making shit up, or what is happening
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 12, 2014 - 18 answers

World religion for kids

What are some good books of mythology/stories from world religion for kids? [more inside]
posted by lieberschnitzel on Nov 29, 2014 - 12 answers

The Case For Or Against "The Case For God"

Two points in the early chapters of Karen Armstrong's "The Case for God" are really bothering me, almost to the point of putting the book down in frustration; can the hivemind put my doubts to rest by answering two questions about religious history: First about the validity of Armstrong's "logos/mythos" distinction, and second, about the current thinking on the documentary hypothesis? [more inside]
posted by mittens on Nov 26, 2014 - 4 answers

Hephaistos - historical study

Hi! I'm interested in finding some information about the way that Hephaistos is guessed to have come to be worshipped in ancient Greece. Please note that I am not looking for psychological theories (for example: "he represents the creative drive, and functions as a symbol of social exclusion and early technology"), but historical ones (for example: "he is found on an Athenian vase in 500 BCE, but no earlier, so that may have been when they began worshipping him" or, for example: "the philosopher Anaxamagazine tells us that the Thracians worshipped Hephaistos above all other gods, so it is possible Thrace was the initial origin of his cult"). Book recommendations or well-sourced websites would both be welcome! If you're dropping by the thread to merely mention a fact you know regarding Mister Hammer's origin point, that's great, but please link to a primary source. Thank you!
posted by Greg Nog on Nov 18, 2014 - 11 answers

Converting from atheism to religion

I've been basically a lifelong atheist, but a small part of me is extremely tempted by some of the more comforting aspects of various religions (such as the idea of an afterlife). But the logical part of me just can't bring myself to seriously believe in things for which there is no evidence. I am interested in hearing stories of people who have gone from being firmly atheist to accepting religion later in life, and how they were able to do so without cognitive dissonance. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt on Nov 13, 2014 - 34 answers

Peasants and the Eucharist

Did English peasants in the Late Middle Ages--say, 14th c.--take Communion? If so, how often? How about the other sacraments?
posted by jwhite1979 on Oct 18, 2014 - 16 answers

Historical Examples of "Giving a Child to God"

In the bible we have the example of the Prophet Samuel, whose mother is so grateful for him that she gives him to God to be raised by the priest Eli. Has this ever been a common practice – children being given over to an organized religious organization? Can anyone give me examples? More specifically, has the Vatican ever done this? [I'm not interested in the Philomena type of stories, with young girls getting pregnant, just because I'm already aware of them.]
posted by visual mechanic on Oct 8, 2014 - 17 answers

One nation [BRIEF PAUSE] with liberty and justice for all.

My kindergartener's class has started learning the Pledge of Allegiance. I told him he could stay silent during the "under God" part. Am I being too strident? Would there have been a better way to handle this? [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on Sep 25, 2014 - 50 answers

Non-synagogue ideas for observing the Jewish holidays?

I want to observe the Jewish holidays without going to synagogue this year. Ideas for non-traditional ways I can commemorate the holy days? [more inside]
posted by JoannaC on Sep 17, 2014 - 15 answers

How can I get an overview of the major religions asap?

Hi, I'm an almost lifelong athiest. I have a job interview in 3 days (was given very little notice) for a job in a church. The job is pretty community-development-ish, but they are looking for someone with some understanding of different faiths. This is the one thing they want that I'm pretty thin on. I think it would also me good to know the main commonalities of them too. Any straightforward resources would be welcome. Thanks
posted by tanktop on Sep 7, 2014 - 11 answers

Well, that is a mighty big book you have there--

I have a new doctor. He has many copies of this book in his office (waiting room, examination rooms): The Urantia Book. I really did not think much of it, the doctor has a pretty good reputation (where I live that means jack). Should I be concerned? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 1, 2014 - 19 answers

Looking for cultures out of place in America

So I'm trying to find examples of cultures/peoples/ethnicities/religions that are significantly dissimilar to the main city/culture/groups that surround them. Like finding a group of Amish people in Detroit. Or the one someone gave me of the significant Hasidic population in the scantily clad nightlife world of South Beach. What other current examples are there in the USA and Canada of unexpected groups in unexpected places?
posted by rileyray3000 on Aug 25, 2014 - 45 answers

As an agnostic, how can I successfully work with a religious client?

I'm the only copywriter at a mid-sized advertising agency. We just landed a huge job that's going to require a lot of work on my end. Here's the problem: I'm agnostic, and religion (namely Christianity) makes me really cranky and frothy. The client is a faith-based company that makes things (I don't want to say what) for churches. How can I make it through unscathed? [more inside]
posted by shiggins on Aug 20, 2014 - 47 answers

Seeking faith as an atheist.

I've been an atheist for most of my life. I've never been to a formal church service outside of a wedding or a funeral. Recently I've realized that I politically agree with the leftist interpretation of the teachings of Christ. I still don't believe in the supernatural aspects of the Christian faith. Would it be wrong for me to seek out a left leaning sect like Unitarians? I'm worried that this is, at the very least, intellectually dishonest to my own beliefs, and more likely, selfish for the church I'd pursue. I'm looking for guidance on how to proceed. I apologize if I've offended the faithful with a misunderstanding of their beliefs. Part of my desire for this is that of community and connection with fellow left leaning folks.
posted by anonymous on Jul 2, 2014 - 41 answers

Progressive religiousish communities in NYC?

Someone I know who is about to graduate from college would like to participate in a religious community in some way and is interested in exploring hyper-progressive religious institutions in New York City (if any exist). [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on Jun 29, 2014 - 12 answers

How do you deal with family-in-law that's in a cult?

Short version: my fiancé's family is involved in a cult. He left the cult while in college, but they don't know. Most people don't know, except me and a few other friends. He hasn't told his family that he left, and he says he never will. My question is, what do we do when/if they want us to be more involved in their lives, without either getting involved in the cult or letting it slip that we're not part of it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 15, 2014 - 43 answers

Being Inclusive of All Religions in Girl Scout Troop

How to deal with a member of my daughter's girl scout troop whose religious beliefs make it difficult to engage in regular group activities? [more inside]
posted by Creamroller on May 29, 2014 - 48 answers

Where to speak about new philosophies?

Suppose you had new philosophical and/or religious ideas meant to be taken seriously. Suppose they were relatively unaffiliated with any particular religious community or conventional academic conversation. Suppose you were not a celebrity. Where, particularly in New York City, would be places open to new speakers with these kinds of ideas? Where might sophisticated, sympathetic, open-minded audiences be found?
posted by shivohum on May 8, 2014 - 7 answers

Tokens left on a fictional pilgrimage?

I'm drawing a short comic in which two characters visit a site that has significance to many different kinds of people, for both religious and secular reasons. I want for there to be a cluster of items that previous visitors have left behind, but I'm having trouble thinking of anything outside of my own (northeastern urban American) experience. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on May 1, 2014 - 22 answers

Home for unwed mothers in Indianapolis, 1960s-1970s?

Coincidence or something real? Two "relatives" have contacted me with a similar story: born to teenage mothers in Indianapolis in the 1960s or 1970s. Was there a home for unwed mothers there? [more inside]
posted by metarkest on Apr 26, 2014 - 11 answers

Now he's just some weirdo that I used to know.

A religious wingnut--who is also a former coworker--sent me a mildly scary email. I don't know how to respond or if I should ignore it. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Gee, June! on Apr 18, 2014 - 30 answers

Historical Religious Books

I just finished reading Zealot, by Reza Aslan, and I found it to be a fascinating book. I'm looking for similar books! [more inside]
posted by graventy on Mar 17, 2014 - 12 answers

identify this religion?

I saw about ten people in NYC on the A train this weekend who claimed to be the "true Jews." One of them told me that their beliefs include: (1) no conversion is accepted and (2) the people I'm used to thinking of as Jews are actually a Turkic tribe that tried to convert in the 8th century A.D. (but see (1) of course). Notably, all of them were extremely large black men (one of them had to duck to get off the train) wearing dark robes, headbands and head cloths, and carrying shoulder-height wooden sticks wrapped in black tape. Their shirts and headbands had hexagonal stars on them, and one of them had a few letters of Hebrew written on his head cloth. They were having this free-wheeling discussion from which I recognized several references to events in the Old Testament. Weirdly enough, the guy sitting next to me told me they were actually some kind of Muslim, although I don't know how much I trust that guy's opinion. Does anyone know what religion these people were from?
posted by d. z. wang on Mar 16, 2014 - 14 answers

Alternative Bar Mitzvah?

Kid BlahLaLa's getting to be around bar mitzvah age and I want to know what alternative, newfangled options there are out there. Is there any kind of modern bar mitzvah movement happening? Alternative bar mitzvahs? Hipster bar mitzvahs? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Mar 11, 2014 - 22 answers

How to discourage an ill-advised marriage without alienating the person?

My partner's 18 year old sister wants to marry her boyfriend of one year. They both live at home with their respective parents, are not planning to pursue post-secondary school, and are financially insecure (she does not work, he works part time). They have recently converted to a fundamentalist version of a new faith, and their plan is to rely on her disabled mother who would lose her benefits by caring for them - the mother is against this but of course loves her daughter. Their religious community is encouraging them (but not offering financial aid). What can we do to support her but not her decision? [more inside]
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose on Mar 9, 2014 - 27 answers

Mechanism of the Arizona "anti-gay bill"?

How does Arizona's SB 1062 work to protect those seeking to discriminate against others based on religious grounds? [more inside]
posted by rocketpup on Feb 24, 2014 - 4 answers

A Bit Nietzche but I'm Hoping for an Answer, Locke, Stock and Barrel.

So, I've been trying to hash out my philosophic and intangible beliefs and I realized that the only thing I really, truly connect with in a belief sense is Nothing, the dark. To be clear, I don't mean this melodramatically, I simply mean this in the sense that I find the fact that when I close my eyes at night that the idea that, as Roger Ebert put it, "I was perfectly content before I was born" comes to mind. That there is more that does not exist in this world than does. From John Locke (blank slate ideas) to Nietzche and religion, can you good people point me very broadly in the direction of thoughts on the nothing that surrounds us? Thanks!
posted by sendai sleep master on Feb 17, 2014 - 15 answers

When do I reveal my agnosticism to my eight-year old?

My eight-year old was talking about god the other day, and she said something that my first impulse was to correct, but instead I ignored it. She said, "like you, I believe in god." Problem is, I kinda don't. But I'm pretty much the only one in the family with doubts, and I'm not sure when it makes sense to reveal it, specifically to this child. The reason I have doubts about talking to her specifically about it is because she's on the spectrum, and I think that makes it harder for her, especially so young, to sustain her own beliefs. I envy people of faith, but I do not share their faith. Have you dealt with this issue? How do you handle it when you're kid's a believer, but you're not. Special snowflake details inside [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 17, 2014 - 37 answers

Joining a bible study group for the friends, not the faith - is it okay?

I graduated from college about 8 months ago and have since moved back to my home town to work. In those 8 months, I haven't really spent any time with folks my own age (outside of a little online dating), and to be frank, I've been lonely. By a crazy coincidence, I ran into a girl I knew in high school at a coffee shop recently, we caught up over lunch, and she invited me to her "20 somethings" bible group. Not being a religious guy, I was expecting to leave with a bad taste in my mouth and a funny story but... [more inside]
posted by johnpoe50 on Jan 7, 2014 - 42 answers

What is this story about religious differences?

I’m trying to find a short story I read a long time ago, but google is coming up short. The story is about two strangers who meet on the road and begin talking. Through a series of questions and answers, they discover that they are both Christians, both Protestants, both from the same denomination, both from the same branch of that particular denomination, etc etc. It keeps going on this way, with the strangers discovering that they belong to the same increasingly obscure religious sect. With each new discovery, they become more friendly and excited. At the end of the story, they realize there is one small difference between them (something like one belongs to the parish across the street from the other), at which point the strangers hate each other and nearly come to blows. What is this story, and where does it come from?
posted by helloimjohnnycash on Dec 1, 2013 - 10 answers

Do corporation dream of paper sheep?

How does a corporation show that it "sincerely holds a belief"? [more inside]
posted by PMdixon on Nov 26, 2013 - 15 answers

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