Tuesday, September 2, 2014

More About Religion



When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.
--Desmond Tutu

According to a 2012 Pew Research poll  religion is an the downswing.

The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).

That's interesting, and encouraging.

Perhaps people are beginning to think for themselves.


On a similar note...

In The New York Times Sunday Review there appeared a piece titled Between Godliness and Godlessness. It was one man's quick review of the book, Waking Up, written by Sam Harris.

Here is the opening:

ALMOST midway through Sam Harris’s new book, Waking Up, he paints a scene that will shock many of his fans, who know him as one of the country’s most prominent and articulate atheists. He describes a walk in Jesus’ footsteps, and the way he was touched by it.

This happened on “an afternoon on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, atop the mount where Jesus is believed to have preached his most famous sermon,” Harris writes. “As I gazed at the surrounding hills, a feeling of peace came over me. It soon grew to a blissful stillness that silenced my thoughts. In an instant, the sense of being a separate self -- an ‘I’ or a ‘me’ -- vanished.”

Had Harris at last found God? And is “Waking Up” a stop-the-presses admission -- an epiphany -- that he slumbered and lumbered through the darkness for too long?

The complete review:


Did You Know . . .?

There exists a Canadian dairy magazine called Cowsmopolitan



On this day in 1969, America's first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today there are well over 1 million ATMs around the world, with a new one added approximately every five minutes. It's estimated that more than 170 Americans over the age of 18 had an ATM card in 2005 and used it six to eight times a month.



affiliation [uh-fil-ee-AY-shuh n]
1. the act of becoming formally connected or joined
2. a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties or countries

An affiliation is an official connection to something. To have an affiliation to something is to be affiliated with it. The Tea Party pretty clearly has an affiliation with the Republican Party.



(born September 2, 1951)
Mark Harmon is an American television and movie actor who has appeared in a wide variety of roles since the mid-1970s. Since 2003, Harmon has starred as former Gunnery Sergeant/Marine sniper turned NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the hit CBS series, NCIS, a role that has become Harmon's best-known role to date while also giving him international recognition.

(Sept 2, 1948 - Jan 28, 1986)
Christa McAuliffe was an American teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, and was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

(born September 2, 1964)
Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor. Reeves is known for his roles in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Speed, Point Break, and The Matrix trilogy as Neo.

(born September 2, 1966)
Salma Hayek is a Mexican and American film actress. In 1991 Hayek moved to Hollywood and came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies such as Desperado, Dogma, and Wild Wild West.


Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca



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