As yet another two slices of evenly-browned toast pop up, 46-year-old Stanley (Stan) Nault studies them carefully and then tosses them in the garbage can with the dozens of others. The toasted Wonderbread had no images of Jesus. He’s disappointed but even after three years of trying he’s not giving up. “I’ve been so close a few times,” self-employed Nault told the Jackson Free Press today.
According to a report from the U.N., ISIS — the Sunni militant group taking control of Iraq and Syria — has ordered women and girls in Mosul to undergo genital mutilation. This fatwa potentially affects 4 million women and girls.
The mayor of Dearborn, Michigan, Mohammed Al Kannard, has signed an official proclamation exhorting citizens to turn to Allah for guidance on a daily basis. The mayor has issued this statement in the midst of Ramadan so that the city's 40,000 or so Arab Americans feel that their religious freedom is protected by city government. Mayor Kannard recently announced the declaration while celebrating the breaking of the Ramadan fast.
An official proclamation signed by Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) has called on Iowans to pray and repent on a daily basis.
In a public ceremony earlier this year, Branstad signed the proclamation ahead of a July 14 revival at the Iowa Capitol:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E Branstad, as Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby invite all Iowans who choose to join in the thoughtful prayer and humble repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14 in favor of our state and nation to come together on July 14, 2014.
On Tuesday, Branstad was also one of the speakers at the 11-hour Christian event.
The “Good Country Index” recently released a list of 125 countries, all ranked in order of how much “good” they contribute to the world, based on factors such as international peace, prosperity/equality, culture, science/technology, etc. Business Insider then created a nice visual representation of the top 30 countries on that list.
In 2012, WIN-Gallup International released a global survey on religiosity, in which 57 countries were ranked according to what percentage of citizens called themselves “religious,” “not religious,” and “convinced atheist.”
So I put the two together. Just to see if there was any correlation.
A former newspaper editor has filed a federal complaint against his former employer, claiming his religious beliefs were violated when he was fired for writing a blog post that referred to gay people as the "gaystapo" and "the enemy."
You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly.
Yesterday, Pope Francis met with six victims of Catholic-priest-initiated sexual abuse and assured them that bishops would be “held accountable” for not doing enough. But unless he starts pushing pedophile priests out of the Church and into the hands of the criminal justice system, those words really mean nothing. [..] he would be moving in the right direction by removing all priests accused of sexual abuse from their parishes immediately, kicking them out of the Church altogether if they’re found guilty of abuse (or covering it up), and supporting harsh criminal sentences against anyone involved. Let’s see him support criminal charges against bishops who transferred pedophile priests to new locations. Let’s see him open up all the Vatican’s books to secular authorities instead of impeding their investigations by limiting access.