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Category archives for: Religion & Beliefs

Pope Francis’s Challenge to America

| September 24, 2015

Pope Francis is challenging conservative Americans–and presidential candidates–to rethink their belligerence to Cuba, Palestinians and action on global warming, writes Chris Patten.

“God’s Authority” Has No Place In Civil Government

| September 7, 2015

Kim Davis is not the problem. She’s a symptom of a dangerous movement that seeks to carve out religious objections all over the law books, making civil government a vassal of religious edicts.

Nearly Condemned, Old Courthouse in Bunnell Gavels Back to Life as Christian School

| August 21, 2015

First Baptist Christian Academy opened its doors today before throngs of celebrants marking the rejuvenation of the old county courthouse, now as a viable business in the heart of Bunnell.

Genesis Was Wrong: Man’s Dominion Over Animals Is Stewardship, Not Ownership

| July 28, 2015

Pope Francis has now rejected mainstream Christian view, insisting that being created in God’s image doesn’t mean dominion over the earth or absolute domination over other creatures.

Barack Obama Stands Up to the Warmongers

| July 26, 2015

The US is not a partisan in the Shia-Sunni struggle. If anything, the US confronts mainly Sunni terrorism, funded from Saudi Arabia, not Shia terrorism backed by Iran.

Florida’s Impending “Pastor Protection Act” Weds Spurious Scenarios With Homophobia

| July 16, 2015

The proposal is aimed at safeguarding clergy members from being forced to perform gay-marriage ceremonies even though they’re categorically protected from doing so by the First Amendment.

Reclaiming Islam’s Enlightenment From Its Fundamentalist Hijackers

| July 15, 2015

Granting that more than a few Muslims back the hijackers’ extremism, what is needed is cultural exchanges instead of armed, panicky overreactions,

Jews Then, Muslims Now: How Imprudent Judgments Desecrate Western Values

| July 9, 2015

To assume that all Muslims think alike because of their religious background, that they have “a mind” rather than individual thoughts, is as big a mistake as to assume to know the minds of Jews, Christians, or anyone else.

As Cremation Outpaces Burial Rates,
Jewelry Glitters the Afterlife

| July 6, 2015

Florida is well ahead of the nation in cremation rates, but for the first time this year cremations nationally will outpace burials. A jewelry industry is marking the shift.

At Bunnell’s Methodist Church, Rev. Terry Wines Begins Filling Beth Gardner’s Big Void

| July 1, 2015

It’s pat of an annual and anxious ritual in the sprawling world of the United Methodist Church when “elders” typically move from church to church around this time of year.

Don’t Tell Rick Scott: Pope Francis Wants Action on Global Warming, Steaming Conservatives

| May 7, 2015

Pope Francis’s call for action against global warming has many conservatives in the US up in arms, but his message is a matter of morality, argues Jeffrey Sachs.

Florida Prisons Must Provide Halal or Kosher Meals to Muslim and Jewish Inmates, Court Rules

| May 2, 2015

The federal lawsuit challenged corrections officials’ claim that they were not required to provide kosher meals, as well as the rules the agency used to determine who was eligible to receive the meals.

Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross

| April 5, 2015

Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross, 14 panels of abstract art retelling Christ’s Passion, are as sublime and austere as they are evocative.

Lest We Get On Our High Horse: Obama’s Caution to Self-Righteous Christians

| February 8, 2015

President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast cautioned Christians against shutting their eyes to their own brutal past, but was rebuked by Evangelicals and the conservative press, often with flurries of historical inaccuracies.

Florida Prison Ban on Beards Violates Muslim Inmates’ Religious Rights, Supreme Court Rules

| January 20, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Florida and six other states could not ban inmates from growing beards for religious reasons. The case originated in Arkansas.

When Bigots Hide Behind Religious Freedom

| January 16, 2015

Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief, and his supporters, are using the veil of religious freedom to justify homophobic and bigoted views that have no place in the workplace.

Woman In “Catholic Warrior” Shirt Vandalizes Satanic Temple Display at Florida Capitol

| December 24, 2014

Susan Hemeryck, 54, of Tallahassee, entered the Capitol at 11:23 a.m. and told an on-duty police officer that “she was sorry and had to take the Satanic display,” according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement charging affidavit.

Joan Rivers Enters Heaven, Runs Into God, Jesus and Robin Williams: A Live Report

| September 18, 2014

Joan Rivers makes it into heaven and has a few choice words with God before discovering that Robin Williams got in despite Catholic prohibitions of heaven for suicides: God made an exception.

Obama’s Mistake in Iraq: Getting Sucked Back Into a Religious War Already Lost

| June 22, 2014

The United States had no business invading and occupying Iraq in 2003, it has no business now arbitrating a religious war between Sunnis and Shiites. The mayhem unleashed by the Bush administration is being made worse by further American meddling.

Bunnell Planning Board Approves Ordinance Targeting Bible Half-Way House For Addicts

| June 18, 2014

The Bunnell board’s unanimous decision, if ratified by the Bunnell City Commission, would likely prevent the half-way house from opening its doors, but the city and the targeted ministry are locked in a federal legal battle which the proposed ordinance could exacerbate.

Florida Prisons Want To Slash Kosher Offerings; Justice Department Says It Would Be Illegal

| May 22, 2014

In a brief filed Monday, lawyers for the Department of Corrections argued that the law allows Florida to scrap the kosher meals because of the financial burden placed on the “cash-strapped agency.” The state has spent more than $200,000 on the lawsuit so far.

South Florida Appeals Court Rules Cremation Ashes Are Not “Property,” and May Not Be Divided

| May 22, 2014

In what could be a first-of-its-kind case in Florida, a state appeals court Wednesday weighed into a burial dispute and said the cremated remains of a man are not “property” under law, and may not be split between his divorced father and mother, so each could have some remains to bury.

Satanic Temple, Come On Down: Florida Eases Holiday Display Bids at State Capitol

| May 14, 2014

Rather than institute a new policy that would limit displays as some expected, the state Department of Management Services is trying to make the application process easier for groups seeking to put up temporary displays in the Capitol complex. The Satanic Temple will give Florida another chance after being blocked from putting up a holiday display last year.

Supreme Court’s Decision Allowing Prayers at Government Meetings Reverberates Locally

| May 5, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision today allowing explicitly religious prayers at local government meetings had two direct connections to Palm Coast and Bunnell. So the ruling had particular resonance locally—happily for some, not so happily for others.

A Rabbi, a Priest and a Bible Walk Into a Seminar: An Interfaith Class in Palm Coast Delivers Weekly Punchlines

| April 20, 2014

Every week since December at St. Thomas Church in Palm Coast, Rabbi Merrill Shapiro and Rev. Robert Elfvin have led an interfaith seminar, open to all, on the Bible as it is read through Jewish and Christian eyes. No ideas are out of bounds and some are off the wall, but participants find it bracing, eye-opening and overdue. Ezra Salkin reports.

Replacing Salisbury Steak With Sardines, Florida Prisons’ Kosher Option Raises Hackles

| April 11, 2014

Inmates contend that the peanut butter, sardines and cabbage served up daily by the Florida Department of Corrections are designed to discourage them from signing up for the kosher meals or to punish inmates if they do, and that the chow is far from what a federal judge had in mind last year when she ordered the state to start serving kosher meals to inmates.

Neither Marx Nor Hannity: Pope Francis’s Cool Embrace of Simplicity

| February 15, 2014

Even for a pope as refreshingly humble and open-minded as Francis, it’s too much to expect that he will remake the worldwide Catholic Church into one big hippie commune, argues Cary McMullen. Those on the political left may eventually be just as disappointed in him as those on the political right.

As State Mulls Review, Christians and Atheists Agree: Keep Florida Capitol a Free Speech Zone

| January 7, 2014

The threat of a lawsuit is hovering over the state’s rejection of a satanic display, and the rotunda exhibit policy is set to undergo a staff review. But the prevailing view among those who have recently jumped at the chance to use the public floor space to express their beliefs is to simply let everyone have their say.

Before Florida Made an Ass of Christmas, Philadelphia Gave Us a Founding Nativity Scene

| December 20, 2013

The Rick Scott administration’s illiterate interpretation of the Bible and the first amendment turned the Florida Capitol rotunda into a comedy of absurd Christmas displays and discrimination, all of which could have been avoided with a reason and respect–for the holidays and the Constitution.

Deemed “Grossly Offensive,” Satanic Display Is Barred from Florida Capitol’s Christmas Gallery

| December 19, 2013

The state Department of Management Services on Wednesday denied an attempt by “Satanists” to put up a display in the Florida Capitol, which currently showcases a Nativity scene, a Festivus pole made of beer cans, posters from atheists, and a crudely-made Flying Spaghetti Monster.



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