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Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

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HuffPost Religion Round-Up: September 18-24

Posted: 09/24/11 11:19 AM ET

It has been a busy week on HuffPost Religion. Many of us prayed, watched with horor and mourned the execution of Troy Davis, wondering how the death penalty could be construed as pro-life. A new HuffPost Religion blogger, Rev. J.C. Austin, challenged and reminded us that another man, accused of a horrible hate crime was also executed. Are we also Lawrence Brewer?

We had a couple interesting reports this week starting with a survey that revealed that your view of God affects how you understand the unemployment crisis in the United Sates. In short, if you believe that God is directly involved in your every day life you are a less likely to want the government to intervene. There are others, however, who believe that the Bible is pretty clear about caring for the vulnerable and who lobbied for higher taxes on the wealthy, apparently inspired by Greg Carey's ON Scripture reflection on Ezekiel's vision for a just economic future .

And they say theology doesn't matter...

In another surprising report we learned that the majority of serious scientists believe that science and religion are not in conflict, which certainly was reinforced by Hindu blogger, Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, who sees the spiritual truths in his own tradition in harmony with science. But are evangelicals willing to hang with this? Another poll found them increasingly out of step with the rest of the country when it came to global climate change and evolution, which made blogger Karl Giberson wonder why evangelicals were more likely to accept "pseudoscience."

We had a somewhat scathing critic of western Buddhism by blogger Owen Flanagan, who questioned bourgeois Buddhists. Yet the same week we had a piece by Zesho Susan O'Connell about the difficulty and danger of practicing Zen, and an excerpt from Jack Kornfield's new book "A Lamp In The Darkness" that focused on the activism that must accompany spiritual discipline.

In any tradition, authentic religion depends on what you bring to it.

Speaking of what you bring to it -- we have a new philosophical segment called "Is That All There Is?" curated by a young sophist named Dimitri Hamlin. His opening piece on nihilism earns Dimitri the enormous honor of Post Of The Week. Deep meaning, existential questioning, all presented by an "ontological anarchist." It's going to be fun! And speaking of fun: Here is your sacred sounds video of the week compliments of The Bhakti Beat -- yeah, its the same old harmonica-playing swami you have seen a hundred times before.

May you have a great week and be blessed as you bless others.
Peace, Peace, Peace,
Paul

 
 
 

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