The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe deserve serious consideration, says the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observation.
Fox Mulder couldn’t have said it better. Has Father Funes been watching “The X Files”? The Vatican is calling in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implications for the Catholic Church.
At the end of Ramadan last week, Muslims wanted to pray at Rome's Piazza Vittoria. The Italian government said no, they had to pray in mosques. Despite the ban, thousands left their shoes by the side of the road and laid down their prayer rugs to participate in the Eid al-Fitr ceremonies.
A church, mosque, temple or synagogue is a container. Praying in a public piazza marks — territorializes — the common territory. But what were the Italians going to do, arrest people for praying?
It was all too easy, after hearing the initial stories about Rifqa Bary, to determine that some crazy fanatical Islamic extremists were going to try to kill their own daughter because of her conversion.
We’ve almost been taught to believe that Muslims’ understanding of God is naturally warped; that they’re just aching for a chance to kill what they term infidels, even those in their own family. Fortunately, being human allows for constant re-examination of our beliefs about other faiths, and it is time to recognize that this girl, whether due to confusion or malicious intent, has slandered and sullied her parents’ good name.
They were hearing stories of troops coming in and heard helicopters were flying over, he said — they even heard that the president was flying over. But no one was there on the ground with them except the Mormons in their yellow T-shirts to help them clean up.
— John 10:34
John Lennon was gunned down and killed in New York City 28 years ago next Monday. This event goes largely unnoticed in the press today, but in 1969, at the peak of the war in Vietnam, John Lennon was the most important man in the world.
The high point of his art and work had come a couple years before, when he used the expression "I am he" at the beginning of one of his most important and entertaining songs at the height of the hippie days. Lennon was, in his time, a generational shaman. He awakened his own generation between childhood and adulthood. But today he resonates in the world as a pure force all his own.
Before going further, it's worth noting that few expressions are more offensive to Muslims than “Islamofascism,” since it associates their religion with something that is patently evil. You have only to pair fascism with your preferred religious system to see why: “Christian fascism,” “Jewish fascism,” “Buddhist fascism” — we'd like to think all of these are contradictions in terms.
So I'm going to generalize the term and use “religious fascism” instead.
My own belief systems fall somewhere between the Bodhisattva and Brett Hull, so I shouldn’t claim that much insight into this.