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Showing posts with the label religion

The World is at War, but it is not a religious one: Pope Francis ( Spanish)El Mundo está en Guerra pero no de Religión: Papa Francisco

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En su visita a Polonia de este año, el Papa Francisco, ante la sombra de actos terroristas y el asesinato de un sacerdote francés en Europa en los últimos meses, contestó a los periodistas las preguntas que al respecto le hicieron en el avión rumbo a Cracovia.
Su contestación fue clara y directa: 
«El mundo está en guerra»
«Nosotros, no tenemos miedo de decir estas verdades, el mundo está en guerra, porque ha perdido la paz».
«No hablo de guerra de religión. Las religiones, todas las religiones, quieren la paz. ¡La guerra la quieren otros! ¡¿Entendido?!». (1)
Las religiones no se están enfrentando unas contra otras, pero ¿serán realmente las religiones las causantes de la violencia que se ha vivido a lo largo de la historia humana como aseguran muchos medios académicos, sociales y de comunicación?

Politics and Religion Intersect!

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Politics and Religion It’s that time again folks, where politics and religion collide! Today marks the beginning of the 2016 Presidential electoral process. The great state of Iowa, the first in the nation, conducts their Iowa caucuses today, to determine who will get Iowa’s electoral votes for the Democratic and Republican parties. Now the race is really on!

Have you been watching the political news? The Republican candidates are cutting each other’s throats with trash-talking and degrading language. One candidate is famous for spouting racial, cultural and gender bias against the citizenry. The Democratic candidates are no holy saints either. They try to set themselves apart from each other with negative “policy” commentary that somehow spills over into personal insult.

What’s the kicker? Read more...

Big Eyes, Bonobo Squeaks

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Neanderthals apparently had bigger eyes than folks living today. One scientist says that means they didn't play well with others.

Bonobos, chimps living south of the Congo River, squeak. The squeaks are the same, whether they're happy, sad, or angry — and may tell us something about how language developed....

...I think accepting God's universe 'as is' makes sense, so I'll ramble on about hubris, movies, and St. Thomas Aquinas, before discussing Neanderthals and squeaking bonobos....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Hate People? Not an Option

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I ran into a familiar sentiment on Twitter:
"Sometimes I wish I was religious so I could have an excuse for hating people." Instead of seething with anger, I did a quick Google search.

The phrase, with exactly those words, showed up about 60 times. The earliest example I found was posted by a bot on reddit.com, December 28, 2011.

Without the quotes, I got roughly 35,200,000 matches.

That's a lot of folks talking about religion and hate. Some agreed with the "excuse for hating people" quote, some didn't, and some were talking about something completely different.

The "excuse for hating" quote hadn't been directed at me, and came from an account that Tweets a lot of platitudes and quotations. Instead of firing back a response, I started writing this post. That was on Monday of this week....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Killing Bloggers in Bangladesh

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I was getting ready to talk about 1 Kings 4-8 and John 6:41-51, two of today's Bible readings, when I read about Niloy Neel:


(From Facebook, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("Niloy Neel was an atheist from a Hindu background"
(BBC News))...

Niloy Neel's killers probably thought they were committing an execution, not a murder. Either way, Niloy Neel is dead: and quite a few other folks in Bangladesh are in serious danger.

At first glance, this looks like something that doesn't matter to me. I'm not an atheist; my life hasn't been threatened; and I live in central North America: a long way from Bangladesh.

But "atheist" bloggers in Bangladesh are human, I'm Catholic: so I must care about them, and everyone else....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Pluto, Earth 2.0, and Life in the Universe

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Pluto may have nitrogen glaciers, and the planet's air pressure is much lower than scientists expected.

Kepler 452b, "Earth 2.0," isn't the first roughly Earth-size planet found in a star's habitable zone: but the star, Kepler 452, is remarkably similar to our sun.

Another planet, HIP 11915b, is the first we've found that's around Jupiter's size: and orbiting its star at about the same distance as Jupiter. This is the first other planetary system that 'looks like' our Solar system.

Scientists still haven't found life elsewhere in the universe: but the odds seem to be getting better that we will, eventually....

...A 'science threatens faith' op-ed got my attention this week, so I wrote about beliefs, reasonable and otherwise, before getting around to the interesting stuff. Feel free to skip ahead to Pluto's Probable Glaciers, take a walk, or whatever suits your fancy....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Kathmandu, Barpak, Pokhara: Neighbors in Need

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The odds are that you hadn't heard of Barpak, between Kathmandu and Pokhara. It's the April 25, 2015, earthquake's epicenter. Fewer than 10 of 1,200 homes there came through intact.

Survivors in Nepal are getting help from many outfits, including Catholic Relief Services. I'll get back to that.


(From Reuters, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("Residents of Bhaktapur carry their belongs through the rubble of destroyed houses"
(BBC News))

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Death at Garissa University, Sin, and Consequences

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About 150 people stopped living on April 2, 2015, in Kenya: Thursday of last week. They were killed at Garissa University College.

Quite a few folks are upset about this.That's reasonable.

(From AP, via Al Jazeera, used w/o permission)
("Several ceremonies to mourn the victims have been held in Nairobi"
Al Jazeera)...
...The body count would have been higher, but the killers were very careful about choosing their victims. After collecting about 700 students, they only killed those who said they are Christians.

Don't expect a rant about those [hated group] who always commit [atrocity of the day]. I think that's as foolish as making excuses for members of [approved group] who behave badly....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Dinosaur Arms, and Ust'-Ishim Man's DNA

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Paleontologists uncovered a huge pair of arms, plus assorted ribs and vertebrae, in the Gobi Desert 49 years back. Discoveries since 2006 supplied the missing pieces of Deinocheirus, the largest known theropod dinosaur.

Other scientists are filling in more of humanity's family history, with 45,000-year-old DNA.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Scientific Discoveries: an Invitation to "Even Greater Admiration"

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This universe has been around for about 13,798,000,000 years, give or take 37,000,000. That's the current best estimate, from 2013.

It's big, too. The photo shows part of the Hercules Cluster of galaxies. Light from that bunch of galaxies traveled for about 500,000,000 years before reaching us.

What we see is the Hercules Cluster as it was around the middle of the Cambrian here, roughly when the first trilobite showed up.

Taking the universe 'as is' makes sense: for me, anyway. I would much rather learn more about this wonder-filled creation, than insist that the Almighty is limited to what folks knew a few centuries back.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"All are Equal Before God" — Rights of Humanity and a Right of the Aggressor

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James Foley is dead: the photojournalist, not the movie director. If someone had paid the $132,000,000 USD that ISIS apparently wanted, he might be alive. Or maybe not: there's a reason for United States policy about not paying ransom.

Folks who engage in kidnapping or terrorism have to have flexible ethics: I'll get back to that.

I learned that James Foley was Catholic from post by Rebecca Hamilton, on Google Plus — indirectly. For a while, I thought I'd be writing about the Rosary, prayer, and family. Then I ran into this...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Lukewarm Dinosaurs, the Earliest Known Fish, and Durable Faces

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Instead of wring about the World Cup, I decided to take a look at lukewarm dinosaurs; the earliest fish that we've found so far; and a pretty good explanation for why men's faces don't, on average, look like women's.

God, Clay, and Me
Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," a best-seller in 1859, brought evolution to the attention of a great many folks, and still upsets some.

I can understand why dedicated secularists use tightly-wound Christians who insist that much of what we've learned over the last few centuries is a lie as proof that religion is 'unscientific.'

What's less understandable is why some Christians insist that science threatens faith.

I'm not shocked and horrified at the idea that humanity comes from something that's not human. As a Christian, I pretty much have to believe that God made us from the stuff of this world. All that's changed is how much we know about the "clay" God used. (Genesis 2:7; Catechi…

Praying to Saint Anthony when something is lost

Praying to Saint Anthony when something is lost is a Catholic tradition: Tony, Tony,
look around.
Something's lost
and must be found! That prayer and the more "polite" version (Dear St. Anthony please come around something is lost and it cannot be found.) was repeated over and over at our Girls Night Out.
After a long time apart, my friends and I were finally able to gather together to celebrate not only our friendship, but life in general.  To commemorate the occasion, I purchased each member of our group a leather bracelet with the Girls Night Out charm from Ohm Beads.
To read more about our night out with St. Anthony, please click here.

Facing my greatest challenge: taking care of my mother

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Facing my greatest challenge, as a person of faith, was when I took care of my mother after my father died. My mother and I had a tumulus relationship my whole life and I left home at the age of nineteen. I only spoke to her on the phone to ask for my dad and I never went to see her.
When my husband and I decided to get married, he encouraged me to reconnect with her. I did, but the woman was hell bent on trying to make me, my husband, and later, our children, as miserable as she was.
Is there a happy ending to this story?  To find out you can read the rest here.

Yes I'm Catholic ... Really

Since I'm new to the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, I thought I would introduce myself.

I started blogging at ChicagoNow three years ago.  This was my very first post:  Yes I'm Catholic ... Really.

I hope you'll stop by and take the time to read that and some of my other posts.  You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Come join the conversation and the fun!

Why Religious People Are Healthier Than the "Spiritual, Not Religious"

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Almost everyone I know these days is "spiritual, not religious." I spent over forty years of my life that way. I thought it was the only "sane" way to be. Yet, I just read about a recent study that showed those who identify as "spiritual, not religious" are more prone to mental illness and drug abuse.
For most of my life, I've heard about how religion is bad for our mental health. I believed nearly everything I heard, too.
Here are just a few of the reasons why people say that religion is not good for psychological health:

(1) Religion is "fear-based."

 Rebuttal: The reasoning behind the accusation that religion is "fear based" is that people do not want to be "bullied" into believing things. People want to make up their own minds and not be threatened with hellfire for questioning religion. Well, that is certainly fair and surely God understands and wants us to think through things for ourselves. After all, He g…

The Face Of God

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It is quite easy to see the Face of God in a Newborn...in a Toddler.

It gets much more difficult as we grow...

Thus, many find it easy to criticize, berate and many times belittle the work, the journey, the discovery and the challenges of a Tween and especially of a Teen.

I am just as guilty as the rest for saying that Teens are God's punishment for having sex!

For the record, that still and always WILL make me laugh!  Hate to say it, but I know I was to my Mom and my kids can be for me as well.

Thank God for Humour! It helps to make the yoke lighter.

But in all seriousness, we many times fail to see God in the works or our Youth.
We fail to give them the Credit that they deserve.

I have read too many articles that go on and on as to how the Church is losing numbers in droves.  How the Youth are apathetic and that there is little hope for Our Future...

Well, they are WRONG!  Dead and Thank-God Wrong!

Our Youth are Filled with the Holy Spirit!  Our Youth are set Ablaze with the Fi…