Religious Diversity News

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Atheist Gives U. of Texas $1 Million Endowment to Study Non-Religious Americans

An 80-year-old retired professor has given the University of Texas a $1 million endowment to study Secular Americans.

Brian Bolton gave the money to UT — a school he has no formal connection to — in the hopes that a professor would study the ever-growing segment of non-religious people in the country.

Source: Atheist Gives U. of Texas $1 Million Endowment to Study Non-Religious Americans | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos

Sikh American Ravi Singh’s ‘Share A Meal’ truck feeds LA’s homeless

Anyone familiar with the American street food culture, would know that food trucks across the US are a wonderful reflection of the culinary diversity and immigrant culture of the country.

But here is a food truck that seems to beautifully reflect the immigrant culture of sharing and loving through food. Los Angeles based Ravi Singh and his wife Jacquie Singh run a unique food service called Share A meal to feed the city’s homeless.

Source: Sikh American Ravi Singh’s ‘Share A Meal’ truck feeds LA’s homeless

President Nixon and the sacred lake: Bill preserves history

It was 1970, the U.S. president was Richard Nixon and members of a small Native American community in Northern New Mexico traveled to Washington to press their case for reclaiming a sacred alpine lake from federal control.

The story of the return of Blue Lake and 75 square miles of surrounding national forest land to the people of Taos Pueblo — finalized with Nixon’s signature in December 1970 — is being retold 50 years later, as tribal leaders and state legislators look for ways to preserve documentation and memories of the landmark victory for indigenous rights.

Source: President Nixon and the sacred lake: Bill preserves history | Ap | santafenewmexican.com

The Satanic Temple-Arizona’s Religious Claims Valid, Scottsdale Snub was “Administrative Decision” Court Finds

After four long years, The Satanic Temple (TST)-Arizona’s day in court over being disinvited to give an invocation by the City of Scottsdale has come to an end. While the judge found that Scottsdale’s action was not provably discriminatory, the court did reaffirm TST’s legitimate standing as a religion.

Source: The Satanic Temple-Arizona’s Religious Claims Valid, Scottsdale Snub was “Administrative Decision” Court Finds | Jack Matirko

Moving faith: Mexican town’s saint feast lives in Minnesota

In Midwestern boots or bare feet in sandals, the faithful walked in procession down a snow-covered street here, keeping the rhythm of festive music and carrying paintings of St. Paul, the patron saint of their hometown of Axochipan, Mexico.

For the thousands of migrants from the south Mexico town 2,200 miles away who have built new lives in Minnesota over the last two decades, throwing a wild, two-day bash for St. Paul’s Catholic feast day in January is a crucial way to celebrate their roots and feel a bit more at home, closer to the families they left behind.

Source: Moving faith: Mexican town’s saint feast lives in Minnesota – The Washington Post

West Orange Monastery Open House Attracts Visitors From Accross Tri-State Area

People from all over the tri-state area braved Saturday’s rainy weather to descend upon the grounds of the newly purchased monastery at 29 Ridgeway Avenue in West Orange.

Many said they were curious and wanted to learn about the religion and meet the Buddhist monks who currently reside there: Bhante Suddhāso, who grew up in the United States and has been a monk for 10 years; Ayya Soma, who grew up in Italy and has been a monk for two years; and Ayya Sucitta, a visiting monk, who is originally from Korea and has been a monk for 25 years.

Source: West Orange Monastery Open House Attracts Visitors From Accross Tri-State Area | TAPinto

Sumo Coming — Well Almost — to Tokyo Olympics

Sumo is coming — well, almost coming — to the Tokyo Olympics.

Knowing it may have the world’s attention, the Japan Sumo Association and local Olympic organizers are planning a sumo tournament on Aug. 12-13, just days after the Olympics end.

The event was announced on Tuesday and is designed to bring more attention to the Japanese sport. It will be part of a local cultural festival and will take place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena, sumo’s spiritual home in east Tokyo.

Source: Sumo Coming — Well Almost — to Tokyo Olympics – The New York Times

Jerusalem of the South? The very Jewish history of this very Texan town

With its colorful Victorian houses, wide streets and palm trees, downtown Galveston, Texas is almost like Main Street at Disneyland.

Home to around 50,000 people, this barrier island off the Gulf Coast isn’t only a coveted vacation spot – and an occasional hurricane victim – but also a place where diversity thrives. The town once had a flourishing Jewish community too; almost every store was Jewish-owned, and the synagogues were full to capacity on the High Holy Days.

Source: Jerusalem of the South? The very Jewish history of this very Texan town – U.S. News – Haaretz.com

Google Tops New Religious Inclusion Rankings; Most Fortune 100 Companies Neglect Faith-Friendly Workplace Initiatives

A new annual ranking of Fortune 100 companies shows many fail to include faith and religion as part of corporate diversity initiatives. The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation‘s new Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Index, released today, gives high marks to major companies like Google/Alphabet, Tyson Foods, and Intel for taking steps to recognize the importance of faith in the lives of employees.

The REDI Index establishes a new benchmark for annual assessment of the state of corporate America’s inclusion of religion as an integral part of its diversity initiatives. Despite a positive faith-friendly trend emerging in a number of major corporations, the REDI Index also exposed striking shortfalls among Fortune 100 companies. Most companies on the list continue to overlook religious inclusion in favor of prioritizing other important diversity classifications such as race, sexual orientation, disability, and others.

Source: Google Tops New Religious Inclusion Rankings; Most Fortune 100 Companies Neglect Faith-Friendly Workplace Initiatives

U.S. churchgoers satisfied with sermons, though content varies by religious tradition

Sermons are a major part of many churchgoers’ religious experiences. But there are differences by religious tradition in how satisfied churchgoers are with what they hear from the pulpit – as well as in the length and content of those sermons, according to two recent Pew Research Center studies.

An opinion survey of 6,364 U.S. adults conducted in 2019 found that 90% of Christians who attend worship services at least a few times a year are satisfied with the sermons they hear, though Protestants are somewhat more satisfied than Catholics.

Source: U.S. churchgoers satisfied with sermons, though content varies by religious tradition | Pew Research Center