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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Osho, whose real name is Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, is credited for bridging certain gaps in faiths to the modern times. 

Here he says that god is a dead word, which recalls Nietzsche’sGod is dead,” interpreted by Joseph Campbell as “Symbols are dead.”  The old symbols no longer hold the same magic for the new generations, and “god” has been charged with so much political meanings that it no longer serves the purpose of bridging them to their best selves, or the best part of the human being.  

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This is a raid of the papal closet.  I’m checking what’s inside.  If there’s anything infallible about the pope, really, it is that he will not sacrifice good taste.  Well, I’m impressed. 

(more…)

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Kedrosky today on risk-aversion between Catholics and Protestants:

We examine the relations between mutual fund risk-taking behaviors and local religious beliefs. We find that funds located in regions with lower Protestant population or higher Catholic population tend to have higher volatilities of fund returns, consistent with Protestants (Catholics) being more (less) risk-averse compared to general population.

More here.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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Those who were curious about the gospels and texts explored by Peter Owen Jones in the documentary featured today, can refer to the Nag Hammadi Library resource online:

An Overview of the Nag Hammadi Texts

When analyzed according to subject matter, there are six separate major categories of writings collected in the Nag Hammadi codices:

Writings of creative and redemptive mythology, including Gnostic alternative versions of creation and salvation: The Apocryphon of John; The Hypostasis of the Archons; On the Origin of the World; The Apocalypse of Adam; The Paraphrase of Shem.  (For an in-depth discussion of these, see the Archive commentary on Genesis and Gnosis.)

Observations and commentaries on diverse Gnostic themes, such as the nature of reality, the nature of the soul, the relationship of the soul to the world: The Gospel of Truth; The Treatise on the Resurrection; The Tripartite Tractate; Eugnostos the Blessed; The Second Treatise of the Great Seth; The Teachings of Silvanus; The Testimony of Truth.

Liturgical and initiatory texts: The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth; The Prayer of Thanksgiving; A Valentinian Exposition; The Three Steles of Seth; The Prayer of the Apostle Paul. (The Gospel of Philip, listed under the sixth category below, has great relevance here also, for it is in effect a treatise on Gnostic sacramental theology).

Writings dealing primarily with the feminine deific and spiritual principle, particularly with the Divine Sophia: The Thunder, Perfect Mind; The Thought of Norea; The Sophia of Jesus Christ; The Exegesis on the Soul.

Writings pertaining to the lives and experiences of some of the apostles: The Apocalypse of Peter; The Letter of Peter to Philip; The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles; The (First) Apocalypse of James; The (Second) Apocalypse of James, The Apocalypse of Paul.

Scriptures which contain sayings of Jesus as well as descriptions of incidents in His life: The Dialogue of the Saviour; The Book of Thomas the Contender; The Apocryphon of James; The Gospel of Philip; The Gospel of Thomas.

Interesting research material for those looking at historical context of Christianity.

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Even after centuries of new research available, few Christians have gone about finding out the origins of the most popular faith on Earth and among the many things Christians take for granted is the origin of the modern Bible.

The New Testament in particular–is the foundational text of the Christian faiths–however the text did not begin as it appears today.

In an interesting documentary, Peter Owen Jones examines the early evolution of the New Testament, and particularly the various gospels that were not included in the modern Bible.

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Friends from Mogwai hosted us today to show the classic Peter Joseph film: Zeitgeist.

The crowd was a mix of students and various non-profit groups. We lacked time to have a more in-depth discussion but it was a good start.

For those who want to review the now cult classic film, here it is with subs:

Thanks to Mogwai for having us.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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These have come up since the Health Department started the campaign in February this year. First, The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines reacts to it, calling for a ban on advertisements and the whole campaign in general.

 

“The condom cannot really put a stop to Aids. Moreover, by creating a false sense of security, it condones and encourages promiscuity outside of marriage, and hence contributes to the further spread of Aids,” the statement added.

The Health department started initiating the free condom drive last Valentine’s Day in Metro Manila due to the increasing cases of HIV-Aids in the country.

DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral earlier said the drive was made as the dreaded disease continues its “silent” onslaught on the Filipinos.

In Western Visayas alone, there are already several cases of HIV-Aids and more victims of the disease are coming out in the open to seek help and understanding from the public, said DOH Center for Health Development-Western Visayas Regional Director Ariel Valencia.

He also said that the advertisements are a timely reminder to the public on the importance of responsible sexual behavior, and not meant to promote artificial contraception.

The CBCP, however, sees the condom drive as immoral.

 

Source: please click here for the full article(1).

 

I don’t think these are grounds enough for the ban of the condom. The church may ban it in its own territories, but not as a whole, as some government officials have expressed. Ban its flock from watching television, staring at ads and buying a condom. But why deny the rest of the Filipino population the choice? Does the church realize that it does not ban more debilitating products in the market that are not only useless but are part and parcel of the pains and joys of having more to choose from? It doesn’t ban violent acts to be shown on television, or a boxing match with Manny Pacquaio to be shown nationwide. Because it really has no right to do that. So if the church were confident in its own, why worry about the condom?

 

In line with the May 2010 elections, reproductive health issues have been the consideration of some voters. Moreover, in the following article by Kara Santos of the Inter Press Fund, the church has not yet realized the pro-life values of the condom nor the reproductive health bill.  The political issues:

 

The election guidelines for Catholics state that contraception is “morally wrong… endangers the spiritual health of the marriage” and “impedes the process or possible fruit of conception”, which the Church says should be the point of conjugal union. Voters who elect pro-reproductive health candidates in the May poll would become willing accomplices to “evil”, they added.

But advocates say that the failure to pass the reproductive health bill has been detrimental to women’s health.

“Eleven women die every day due to pregnancy and childbirth-related causes, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended and one-third of unintended pregnancies end in abortion,” says lawyer Clara Rita Padilla, executive director of EngendeRights Inc, a non-government organisation promoting women’s rights through legal advocacy.

Asks Padilla: “Will the next president turn a blind eye and not provide for the proper budget for wide access to reproductive health
information, supplies and services simply because such a stance would take the ire of the CBCP?”

Already, PLCPD’s San Pascual notes, candidates for the 2010 polls have been careful not to make their statements on reproductive health issues too strong because of the perceived weight of the Church’s position among many voters. But he says, “By trying to balance their agenda so that they will not face the ire of their bishop or parish, they end up not helping their constituents or giving justice to their job as a public servant.”

 

Source: please click here for the full article (2).

 

I would like to thank Ms. Irina Otmakhova, Membership and Networking officer of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights , for providing the second article.

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