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from Tales from the Trail:

Poll shows Americans are confused on Obama’s religion

USA-POLITICS/OBAMAA year and a half  into his presidency, Americans appear to be growing more uncertain about Barack Obama's religion.

A Pew Research Center survey shows that nearly one in five Americans -- 18 percent -- believe Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009.  Meanwhile only about one third of Americans surveyed correctly describe Obama as a Christian, a sharp decrease from the 48 percent who said he was a Christian in 2009.

The survey was completed in early August, before Obama backed the controversial construction of a proposed mosque and Muslim cultural center near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

Obama said last week he believed Muslims had the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in the country and supported their right to build the center in lower Manhattan -- comments that could add more confusion about his religion.

from Good, Bad, and Ugly:

Last rites?

Zsa Zsa Gabor asks for last rites

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 15 (Reuters Life!) - Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, a fixture in Hollywood for six decades, asked that a priest read her the last rites on Sunday, following hospitalization two days earlier due to complications from hip surgery.

PEOPLE-GABOR/You are a little out of date - there is no longer a sacrament of the 'last rites.'

from Good, Bad, and Ugly:

Backing the mosque?

Obama backs controversial New York mosque project USA-NEWYORK/MOSQUEWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday backed construction of a proposed mosque and Muslim cultural center near the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York -- a project opposed by conservatives and many New Yorkers.

"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country," Obama said to applause at an event attended by diplomats from Islamic countries and members of the U.S. Muslim community.

It is flat-out dishonest to have a title that says "Obama backs controversial New York mosque project" but it is drawn directly from the dishonest story itself.

from FaithWorld:

Christian-themed TV shows spark complaints in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon

saudi tv 1Television shows with Christian themes have sparked complaints in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon in recent days, but from different groups and for different reasons.

In Saudi Arabia, a popular sitcom has drawn the ire of conservative clerics over an episode portraying Arab Christians in a positive light after the kingdom sought to sell itself as a leader of dialogue between faiths.

from FaithWorld:

Saudi royal order says only appointed clerics can issue public fatwas

saudi fatwasSaudi King Abdullah has ordered that public religious edicts, or public fatwas, be issued only by clerics he appoints, in the boldest measure the ageing monarch has taken to organise the religious field.

Timid efforts by the absolute monarchy to modernise the deeply conservative country have led to a profusion in fatwas from scholars and mosque imams in the country, who use the Internet to publicise them as they fight what they perceive as the westernisation of the country.

from FaithWorld:

Israel Museum takes a new look at the history of the Holy Land

jerusalem museumA new Jerusalem exhibit displaying a million years of history in the Holy Land offers Bible buffs and skeptics alike a chance to say: "I told you so!"  The Israel Museum, fresh-faced after a three-year, $100 million upgrade, offers an unparalleled look into the development of monotheistic religions, while leaving plenty of room for both science and faith. (Photo: A statue of the Emperor Hadrian at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem July 20, 2010/Baz Ratner)

The museum's more devout visitors may feel vindicated by a collection of three-thousand-year-old weapons used by ancient warriors in the Battle of Lachish, verifying the fighting as depicted in the Bible.  The scientifically minded can point to a set of 1.5 million year old bull horns on display around the corner, by far predating Earth's creation as described by the book of Genesis.

from FaithWorld:

Young Americans more loyal to religion than Baby Boomers

religion survey Younger Americans, between the ages of 36 to 50, are more likely to be loyal to religion than Baby Boomers, according to new research.

In a study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Philip Schwadel, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said this was true even though they were less likely than previous generations to have been brought up with a religion.

from Global News Journal:

Religious leaders and the EU take tentative first steps

religion

Top European Union officials held talks this week with religious leaders, part of a policy of holding consultations with religious groups that was enshrined in the EU's Lisbon reform treaty, which came into force last December. But not everyone supports the move.
 
More than two dozen Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders -- joined by a representative each from the Hindu and Sikh communities -- met  the presidents of the European Parliament, European Commission and European Council on Monday to discuss how to fight poverty and social exclusion.

It was the the sixth such consultation since 2005, but the first to take place in the context of the Lisbon treaty, the EU’s latest collective agreement.  Article 17 of the treaty commits the EU to maintaining "an open, transparent and regular dialogue with ... churches and (non-confessional and philosophical) organisations".

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary…

queen mary 240It turns out the folks who regulate ads over in Britain have banned one showing Queen Mary I as a flesh-eating zombie, after complaints that it frightened children.

Now, I'm all for not giving nightmares to our children any sooner than we have to, like for example when I had to explain truthfully to my son who Richard Nixon was.

from The Great Debate UK:

Interfaith centre at New York 9/11 site sparks controversy

- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is the author of several books, including ‘Who Moved my Job?’ and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’.  The opinions expressed are his own. -

Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but every terrorist who attacked the U.S. on 9/11 was a Muslim.

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