In a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 3,217 Americans were asked to rate religious groups on a 0-100 "feeling thermometer," with 0 representing the coldest and 100 the warmest. Hindus received a lukewarm rating of 50.
A new government has taken office in India a couple of months ago, a government that was voted in to majority on the backs of a coalescence of Hindu support, the first ever instance in the country's history.
Based on my conversations with folks at IAMCR and even back in the United States, progress is being made to help "de-politicize" Hinduism. It will eventually mean Hindus - no matter how they self-define or self-identify - can start to more boldly be part of the public sphere without politicized or attacked for doing so.
India's sexual violence is unique in some ways, but in others, it reflects the global crisis of violence against women, particularly girls.
None of this is to say that open defecation is either a good idea in this day and age, or even defensible. But making sweeping claims, using them to justify near-bigotry, and papering over obvious challenges hardly advances the conversation.
All religious traditions are different in important and often disturbing ways. And yet, when diligently pursued to their innermost depths, they meet, like rivers in an ocean, in oneness and universal love.
The highly politicized pro-choice/anti-choice dispute is usually fought on the battleground of religion, though not religions agree on it. It involves complex moral and personal questions that are framed by some religions as theological.
History can also be highly politicized, as we continue to see in states such as Texas, where small but vocal groups envisage instructional materials and curriculum shaped solely by their own worldviews.
For the most part, Schachter-Shalomi's success was based in his liberal acceptance of people exploring alternate paths of spiritual awakening (from LSD to Yoga), and his legitimizing of alternate possibilities within Judaism.
While every American has a right to free exercise, I believe two initiatives of the U.S. government, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the G.W. Bush administration's expansion of the Faith-Based Initiative, have perpetuated a very asymmetrical view of religious freedom.
One of the great things about The Huffington Post is its willingness to provide a forum for open discourse about the role religion can play in social ...
Father's Day, much like its counterpart for mothers, has become an annual advertising barrage on what to buy for our dads. But I think in my father's case, no amount of gifts can ever substitute genuine appreciation.
Most textbooks on Hinduism are woefully outdated and inaccurate, meaning that teachers are unable to give their students the best resources when it comes to learning about Hinduism. HAF's teacher training has helped to fill the void, but here are some age-appropriate resources that might also help educators.
Though most Americans identify as Christian (more than three quarters, according to the survey), there are at least 236 discernable faith groups in the U.S., according to an earlier study by the ASARB.
The challenge for our millennial generation is to continue translating America's religious diversity into social action.
The quest for religious freedom and equal rights is ongoing, but for years, Hindus have largely been left out of the conversation as victims of religious discrimination and violence.