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HuffPost Religion Round-Up: July 4-10

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It's been a busy week on HuffPost Religion. Big Question: When thousands meet for a peace gathering whether with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar or His Holiness the Dalai Lama - do we really get more peace? Maybe from the inside out. These Two Minutes of Wisdom with Deepak Chopra may help all of us become more peaceful in our lives and in the world.

We haven't had a good Christian, Jewish or Muslim peace rally for a while, but maybe the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq might finally push the Abrahamic traditions to pray for peace while exchanging swords for plowshares - or war drones into health care.

Speaking of the Bible (kind of), blogger John Dominic Crossan wondered if Paul actually wrote all the letters that are in his name, including three mutually exclusive conceptions of slavery. Contradictions in the Bible did not stop the one third of Americans who take the Bible literally. Does that make all of us religulous?

North American Muslims wrapped up their annual conference, but one attendee wondered whether the gathering lacked the self critique that makes religions thrive. Perhaps because there is too much critque coming from the outside. Certainly eyebrows were raised to new levels with news of the role that religious superstition and apocalyptic thought is playing in Iranian politics. Meanwhile, the HuffPost Islam 101 Quiz may have been too easy, or our populous is more knowledgeable about Islam than we imagined. For a few precious hours your very own religion editor had the fastest time with a perfect score until knocked off the top podium. Confound you Ahmed with your perfect score in 56 seconds!

Christianity continues to play a role in American politics - and this week blogger Marie Griffith took a deep look at how feminism and evangelical belief play into the candidacies of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin. Across the Atlantic, a new nation was born and Richard Stearns from World Vision offered his own vision on the role that Christianity has and will play in the South Sudan.

The trend of Christians becoming more accepting of LGBT people continues as the Presbyterians prepare for the new rules allowing gay clergy. Meanwhile, gay Catholics seem to be finding their voice as they urged their church to change while urging their fellow lay people to stay in the pews.

Most importantly (hmmm) we acknowledge that the beginning of the End is upon us - no, it isn't May 21 all over again - it is the final Harry Potter movie. Christian theology and Spiritual life lessons are everywhere as Harry and Voldemort teach the power of love, community, resurrection and repentance. I'm first in line.

Finally, we wish all our Baha'i brothers and sisters a meaningful observance of the Martyrdom of the Bab. May people of all (and no) faiths live together in a world of dignity, peace and mutual respect.

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