Religious Diversity News

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Pulpits vs. pews: Thinking about choices that mainline Protestants make on Election Day

Anyone listing turning points in American politics would have to include that day in 1980 when candidate Ronald Reagan went to Dallas and faced a crowd of 15,000 evangelical, Pentecostal and fundamentalist Christian leaders. Reagan told them, “I know you can’t endorse me. But … I want you to kn

Source: Pulpits vs. pews: Thinking about choices that mainline Protestants make on Election Day — GetReligion

What all college students need to know about religion, according to the AAR

The American Academy of Religion has published a broad set of guidelines outlining what every undergraduate student should know about religion.

The three-year effort by members of the AAR, the century-old association of scholars, is an attempt to provide a baseline for religious literacy in hopes of challenging undergraduates at two- and four-year colleges to better understand belief systems and worldviews different from their own.

The AAR identified the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, as well as the increasing number of people with no formal religious affiliation, as reasons for undertaking the project.

Source: What all college students need to know about religion, according to the AAR – Religion News Service

Interfaith group seeks ways to find unity after graffiti

In response to the Nazi graffiti sprayed on Temple Jacob in September, Keweenaw residents from a variety of religions met Wednesday night to discuss ways to foster communities to work together in the current climate,

The discussion group of about 20 discussed their feelings regarding the incident, as well as ways of finding common ground with area residents.

Source: Interfaith group seeks ways to find unity after graffiti | News, Sports, Jobs – The Mining Gazette

Indiana RFRA: Attorney says law’s ‘fix’ infringes on rights

Arguments were heard Thursday in an ongoing lawsuit filed by three Christian conservative organizations that seek to invalidate ordinances in Indianapolis, Carmel, Bloomington and Columbus that protect members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination.

The lawsuit, filed in Hamilton County, argues that changes made to the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act that allow for those local ordinances are unconstitutional.

Source: Indiana RFRA: Attorney says law’s ‘fix’ infringes on rights

For a Lot of American Teens, Religion Is a Regular Part of the Public School Day

Religion in public schools has long been a controversial issue. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1962 that teachers and administrators cannot lead prayers in public schools, and a decision in 2000 barred school districts from sponsoring student-led prayers at football games. At the same time, the court has held that students retain a First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion and may voluntarily pray before, during and after school. Where exactly to draw the line between constitutionally protected religious activity and impermissible state-sponsored religious indoctrination remains under dispute. This year, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a high school coach who was fired for leading prayer after games, just one of several recent controversies in this area of law.

Source: For a Lot of American Teens, Religion Is a Regular Part of the Public School Day | Pew Research Center

Ancestral remains, objects from Mesa Verde to be returned to tribes

The Navajo Nation and Hopi tribes may soon see the return of Native American ancestral remains and funerary objects taken from the Mesa Verde site more than a century ago.

President Donald Trump and President Sauli Niinistӧ of the Republic of Finland announced an agreement on Wednesday to return the ancestral remains and objects from Finland to 26 tribes traditionally associated with the Mesa Verde National Park located in Colorado, according to a White House press release.

Source: Ancestral remains, objects from Mesa Verde to be returned to tribes

Gaining my religion: Kanye, Dylan and the pop stars who find God

Religion has always been a popular option for celebrities in urgent need of a fresh start because God, unlike Twitter, has a reputation for forgiveness. Kanye West launched his weekly Sunday Service in January after a whirlwind few months during which he swooned over Donald Trump, suggested that slavery was a choice and released the first forgettable album of his career. West has had an inconsistent relationship with his faith. His 2004 single Jesus Walks earned him multiple nominations for Stellar awards (the gospel Grammys) but I Am a God, from the album Yeezus, did not. On the verge of releasing his long-delayed ninth album, Jesus Is King, he seems to be going all in. At a recent listening party, he reportedly declared that he was done with secular music and would be recording only gospel from now on.

Source: Gaining my religion: Kanye, Dylan and the pop stars who find God | Music | The Guardian

As he walks neighborhoods, candidate documents his city’s Virgin Mary shrines

Manny Escamilla nearly missed it.

As he canvassed his neighborhood to talk to residents about his campaign for City Council this summer, the Santa Ana historian and archivist stumbled upon a Virgin of Guadalupe shrine tucked inside a hollow portion of a tree. Flowers and rocks surrounded the small statue.

“I almost didn’t see it,” said Escamilla, 33. “To me, it’s one of the most beautiful shrines because it uses its natural alcove.”

Source: As he walks neighborhoods, candidate documents his city’s Virgin Mary shrines – Religion News Service

Sikh community in Houston prepares for the funeral of Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal

The Sikh community in Houston and around the world is mourning the loss of Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, the trailblazing sheriff’s deputy in Harris County, Texas, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop Friday.

At the Sikh National Center in Houston, the gurdwara Dhaliwal attended, preparations are underway for the funeral.

“It’s a huge loss to our community and the younger generations that we hoped he would inspire,” Hardam Singh Azad, the chairman of the board at Sikh National Center, told CNN.

Source: Sikh community in Houston prepares for the funeral of Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal – CNN

OSU faculty revive religious studies program

Since 1995, OSU has been without a complete interdisciplinary religious studies program.

This year, that is dramatically changing. The religious studies program, after 24 years, is experiencing a bold rebirth.

Program director Lawrence Pasternack, Matthew Pereira and Jin Young Kim are the key people reviving this program to meet student interests. It hasn’t been easy.

“I’ve been racing to create everything needed,” Pasternack said. “Basically starting from scratch because there was nothing.

Source: OSU faculty revive religious studies program