Pat Robertson has made many controversial statements over the years, such as suggesting that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were God's punishment for the U.S. tolerating abortion and homosexuality. His critics are usually those on the politically opposite spectrum of the conservative Christian leader, or outside the Christian faith
The church refuses to acknowledge the hypocrisy at its heart: that it became a haven for gay priests even though it declares homosexual sex a sin, and even though it lobbies to stop gays from marrying.
Sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the United States is a "historical problem" that has largely been resolved and that never had any significant correlation with either celibacy or homosexuality, according to an independent report commissioned by Catholic bishops and subjected to fierce attack even before its release on Wednesday.
Haggis was prominent in both Scientology and Hollywood, two communities that often converge. Although he is less famous than certain other Scientologists, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, he had been in the organization for nearly thirty-five years. Haggis wrote the screenplay for "Million Dollar Baby," which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2004, and he wrote and directed Crash, which won Best Picture the next year - the only time in Academy history that that has happened.
The three powerful monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam are responsible for the spilling of boatloads of innocent blood, not just back through history but in current time. And these religions show no sign that they plan to stop killing in the name of their competing mythologies.
The world is watching closely to see what kind of country may emerge from the latest popular revolt to rock the Arab world. Yet in the United States, the conversation-- as usual when it comes to the Middle East--seems fixated on the singular issue of Islam, and more specifically, on the role that the Muslim Brotherhood may play in Egypt's future.
A Muslim worship leader is accused of raping a 12-year-old boy during visits to a mosque for religious lessons. Mohammed Hanif Khan, 42, is alleged to have sexually assaulted the boy inside the Stoke on Trent mosque where he worked as the imam.
Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican officials Monday that they must reflect on the church's culpability in its child sex-abuse scandal but he also blamed a secular society in which he said the mistreatment of children was frighteningly common.
The greatest religious battles are often not between faiths, but within faiths. The widest gulfs are often not those that divide one religion from the next, but those between extremists and progressives within a single faith. And in this religious season, there s something that we can all learn from the courage, compassion and tolerance of Dr. Hawa Abdi.
A core contradiction of the Christian faith is how a religion, based on the teachings of a martyred advocate for peace and the poor, could be transformed into an institution that justifies war and rationalizes extraordinary wealth.
Muslims pray on the streets in paris by blocking the streets against french laws - police are letting them operate for now eventhough they are inconviniencing the residents who can not approach their homes becuase the streets are blocked.
Robert Spencer gets torn a new nether orifice by Reza Aslan in this segment of the CNN town hall meeting on Islam. Aslan quite correctly identifies Spencer s group Stop the Islamization of America as a branch of the European hate franchise Stop the Islamisation of Europe, and points out that Spencer is working hard to import European-style ethic and religious hatred to the US.
60 Minutes' Scott Pelley went to the Burlington Coat Factory location where the Park51 Islamic Center is scheduled to be built to talk to the people behind it and get a little truth and a little less hysterics in this media-manufactured controversy.
Barack Obama, the US president, has warned that threats to burn the Quran are a sure and effective way to swell the ranks of al-Qaeda. This may be true, but largely because such symbolic acts of 'Islamophobia' are widely viewed as verifying the perception that the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with its backing of Israel, are motivated by its hostility towards Muslims. The previously unheard of pastor of a small Florida church may have scrapped his plan to publicly burn hundreds of Qurans on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but the threat alone has done untold damage to the already troubled relationship between the Muslim world and the West.
Two-thirds of New York City residents want a planned Muslim community center and mosque to be relocated to a less controversial site farther away from ground zero in Lower Manhattan, including many who say they favor the project, according to a New York Times poll.
For more than two decades, Abdelhamid Shaari has been lobbying a succession of governments in Milan for permission to build a mosque for his congregants - any mosque at all, in any location. Related Far From Ground Zero, Obscure Pastor Is Ignored No Longer he leads Friday Prayer in a stadium normally used for rock concerts. When sites were proposed for mosques in Padua and Bologna, Italy, a few years ago, opponents from the anti-immigrant Northern League paraded pigs around them. The projects were canceled. In that light, the furor over the precise location of Park51, the proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, looks to Mr. Shaari like something to aspire to. At least in America, Mr. Shaari said, "there s a debate."
Not everyone in the Cairo lecture hall last February was buying the imam Feisal Abdul Rauf s message. As he talked of reconciliation between America and Middle Eastern Muslims - his voice soft, almost New Agey - some questioners were so suspicious that he felt the need to declare that he was not an American agent. Muslims need to understand and soothe Americans who fear them, the imam said; they should be conciliatory, not judgmental, toward the West and Israel. But one young Egyptian asked: Wasn t the United States financing the speaking tour that had brought the imam to Cairo because his message conveniently echoed United States interests? I m not an agent from any government, even if some of you may not believe it, the imam replied. "I m not. I m a peacemaker."
I was born in pre-revolutionary Iran. My family led a largely secular existence -- I did not attend a religious school, I never wore a headscarf -- but for us, as for anyone there, Islam was part of our heritage, our culture, our entire lives. Though I have nothing but contempt for the fanaticism that propelled the terrorists to carry out their murderous attacks on Sept. 11, I still have great respect for the faith. Yet, I worry that the construction of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site would not promote tolerance or understanding; I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world.
Faced with withering Republican criticism of his defense of the right of Muslims to build a community center and mosque near ground zero, President Obama quickly recalibrated his remarks on Saturday, a sign that he has waded into even more treacherous political waters than the White House had at first realized.
CHARSADDA, Pakistan As public anger rises over the government s slow and chaotic response to Pakistan s worst flooding in 80 years, hard-line Islamic charities have stepped into the breach with a grass-roots efficiency that is earning them new support among Pakistan s beleaguered masses.
I greatly respect the feelings of those who lost loved ones on 9/11 which was perpetrated in the name of Islam and who oppose this project. Personally, if I had $100 million to build a mosque that promotes interfaith tolerance, I would not build it in Manhattan. I d build it in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. That is where 9/11 came from, and those are the countries that espouse the most puritanical version of Sunni Islam - a version that shows little tolerance not only for other religions but for other strands of Islam, particularly Shiite, Sufi and Ahmadiyya Islam. You can study Islam at virtually any American university, but you can t even build a one-room church in Saudi Arabia.
One cold spring day in London, as I crossed the bustling square at Piccadilly Circus, I looked left instead of right (a typical American tourist) and was nearly run down by a careening double-decker bus with a flash of letters emblazoned along its side: THERE'S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE
Augustus Richard Norton, of Boston University, a Shiite expert, said this about Fadlallah, whom he knew: He argued that women should have equal opportunities to men and be well educated. He even argued that women have a right to hit their husband back because it was not appropriate for a spouse to be beaten by their husbands. He was not afraid to speak about sexuality, and he even once gave [a mosque sermon] about sexual urges and female masturbation. It was common to find young people who followed his writings all over the region. Indeed, Nasr later explained that her tweet about Fadlallah was because he took a 'contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on women s rights.'
The Catholic Church continued to heap insult upon injury when it revealed its long-awaited new rules on clergy sex abuse, rules that the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said signaled a commitment to grasp the nettle with 'rigor and transparency.' The church still believes in its own intrinsic holiness despite all evidence to the contrary. It thinks it s making huge concessions on the unstoppable abuse scandal when it's taking baby steps.
ROME - In a sign of sharply rising tensions between the Vatican and Belgium, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday criticized as "surprising and deplorable" a raid on church property last week by Belgian police investigating sex abuse by clerics.
Nomad argues that Islam creates dysfunctional families like her own and adds that these distorted families constitute a real threat to the very fabric of Western life. Western countries, she says, should be less tolerant of immigrants who try to preserve their lifestyles in their new homelands. It might seem presumptuous to write another memoir so soon, but Hirsi Ali is a remarkable figure who has plenty of memories to record.
We finally have a case where the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is responding forcefully and speedily to allegations of wrongdoing. But the target isn't a pedophile priest. Rather, it's a nun who helped save a woman's life. Doctors describe her as saintly. The excommunication of Sister Margaret McBride in Phoenix underscores all that to me feels morally obtuse about the church hierarchy. I hope that a public outcry can rectify this travesty.
ROME The longest-serving bishop in Belgium resigned Friday after admitting to sexually abusing a young man in my close entourage many years ago, becoming the latest cleric to quit in a spreading abuse scandal.
ROME - In his most direct reference to the sexual abuse crisis that has reached the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday that it was necessary for Christians to "repent" in light of the attacks of the world, which speaks to us of our sins.
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican responded Monday to allegations that it had concealed years of clerical sex abuse by making it clear for the first time that bishops and other high-ranking clerics should report such crimes to police if required by law. Victims have charged that the Catholic Church created what amounted to a conspiracy to cover up abuse by keeping allegations of abuse secret and not reporting them to civil authorities.
Father Gabriele Amorth, the chief exorcist for the Holy See, said in Rome that The Times s coverage of Pope Benedict, which cast doubt on his rigor in dealing with pedophile priests, was prompted by the Devil.
VATICAN CITY At a solemn Good Friday service, Pope Benedict XVI's personal preacher likened the tide of allegations that the pontiff has covered up sex abuse cases to the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism." But within hours, facing a storm of criticism at the comparison, the Vatican felt it necessary to distance the pope from the preacher's remarks.
ARMAGH, Northern Ireland As the sexual abuse scandal sweeps through the Roman Catholic Church in Europe and the United States, there are few places where dismay and confusion among worshipers strikes as deep a chord as here in Armagh, seat of the embattled cardinal whose fate has become closely entangled with the widening controversy facing Pope Benedict XVI.
The sin-crazed "Rottweiler" was so consumed with sexual mores - issuing constant instructions on chastity, contraception, abortion - that he didn t make time for curbing sexual abuse by priests who were supposed to pray with, not prey on, their young charges
MUNICH The priest at the center of a German sex-abuse scandal that has embroiled Pope Benedict XVI continued working with children for more than 30 years, even though a German court convicted him of molesting boys.
For most of the last century, save-the-worlders were primarily Democrats and liberals. In contrast, many Republicans and religious conservatives denounced government aid programs, with Senator Jesse Helms calling them money down a rat hole.
Raymond Joseph, Haitian ambassador to the United States, addresses the outrageous claim by televangelist Pat Robertson that the earthquake suffered by Haiti is the result of a 200 year old deal with the devil.
Liberal democracy offers religious believers a bargain. Accept, as a price of citizenship, that you may never impose your convictions on your neighbor, or use state power to compel belief. In return, you will be free to practice your own faith as you see fit and free, as well, to compete with other believers (and nonbelievers) in the marketplace of ideas.
Here s my take: Major Hasan may have been mentally unbalanced I assume anyone who shoots up innocent people is. But the more you read about his support for Muslim suicide bombers, about how he showed up at a public-health seminar with a PowerPoint presentation titled Why the War on Terror Is a War on Islam, and about his contacts with Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni cleric famous for using the Web to support jihadist violence against America the more it seems that Major Hasan was just another angry jihadist spurred to action by The Narrative.
It was pretty much only a matter of time before Pat Robertson said something controversial, complicating life for Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell. And that time turns out to have been exactly one week since Robertson showed up at McDonnell's victory party, telling a reporter who saw him in the hotel lobby that he was headed upstairs to see McDonnell in his hotel suite while returns rolled in.
Robertson: Oh, worry about backlash, but the truth is that this guy was off his trolley and they should have gotten him out, but nobody wanted to go after him because of political correctness. We just don't talk about somebody's, quote, religion, even if the religion involves beheading infidels and pouring boiling oil down their throats. He wasn't hiding it.
LONDON The questions before the judges in Courtroom No. 1 of Britain s Supreme Court were as ancient and as complex as Judaism itself. Who is a Jew? And who gets to decide? David Lightman with his daughter, who was denied admission to the Jews' Free School because her mother's conversion was not recognized. But a court ruling has voided the admissions policy.
In the early 1980s, Nasir Tamara, a young Indonesian scholar, needed money to fund a study of Islam and politics. He went to the Jakarta office of the U.S.-based Ford Foundation to ask for help. He left empty-handed. The United States, he was told, was "not interested in getting into Islam."
O FALLON, Mo. With three small children and her marriage in trouble, Pat Bond attended a spirituality retreat for Roman Catholic women in Illinois 26 years ago in hopes of finding support and comfort.
I grew up Catholic and did go to church quite often some years ago and I never heard any politics mentioned from the pulpit. This is beyond disgraceful, but in today's times it happens every day among the extreme religious right. C&Ler Jay emailed me the info: Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome 9 November 2008 Dear Friends in Christ, We the People have spoken, and the 44th President of the United States will be Barack Hussein Obama. This election ends a political process that started two years ago and which has revealed deep and bitter divisions within the United States and also within the Catholic Church in the United States. Between these two visions of the use of lethal violence against the unborn there can be no negotiation or conciliation, and now our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president. We must also take note of the fact that this election was effectively decided by the votes of self-described (but not practicing) Catholics, the majority of whom cast their ballots for President-elect Obama... 1. Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation. read on Meg Kinnard writes: Conservative