1. USA Today: ‘Catholic guilt,’ ‘Jewish guilt’ not just a joke, it’s essential
“Guilt gets a bad rap as a relentless joke: Catholic guilt. Jewish guilt. Mormon guilt. Even Lutherans have guilt, or, some say, guilt envy. We dub our trivial naughtiness “guilty pleasures” to put a little frosting on those thorns of conscience.
But as Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement nears (it begins at sunset Friday), experts say guilt is not passé, it’s essential — and probably inescapable.”
2. The New York Times: Imam Talks Compromise on Islamic Center
“The imam working on the planned Muslim community center near ground zero said Monday he was open to all options to resolve the fierce dispute surrounding it, while possibly provoking the project’s opponents by declaring that the site, two blocks from the former World Trade Center, was not “hallowed ground.””
3. USA Today: French Senate passes ban on full Muslim veils
“The French Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill banning the burqa-style Islamic veil on public streets and other places, a measure that affects less than 2,000 women but is widely seen as a symbolic defense of French values.
The Senate voted 246 to 1 Tuesday in favor of the bill in a final step toward making the ban a law — though it now must pass muster with France’s constitutional watchdog. The bill was overwhelmingly passed in July in the lower house, the National Assembly.”
4. Google News/AP: Pope travels to Britain amid indifference, outrage
“Pope Benedict XVI takes his campaign to revive Christianity in an increasingly secular Europe to Britain on Thursday. He faces a daunting task in a nation largely at odds with his policies and where disgust over the church sex abuse scandal runs high.”
1. Brad Hirschfield: No religion, no peace
“Mideast peace talks resume this week, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveling to Egypt and Israel for negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Is religion helping or hurting the attempt to forge peace between the Jewish state and the Palestinians?”
2. Mark Silk: The New Progressive Religious Script
“Pastordan’s new book, Changing the Script, advances a “progressive political theology for the 21st century” by focusing on abortion, economic justice, and militarism as avenues for liberal religious folks to march down. He’s got good arguments, but arguments alone, I’m afraid, do not a religious movement make. Judging by the history of anti-slavery, woman suffrage, temperance, and civil rights, you need a cause that is at once morally incontestable and, in fact, contested. Its message must be simple and capable of creating a broad and diverse coalition. And it must be plausibly related to the religious sensibility of its time.”
3. Michael Ruse: Accommodationism in the Religion-Science Debate: Why It’s Incomplete
“The New Atheists continue to swing out against all and sundry…But there is always a little venom to spare for the so-called “accommodationists,” these being folk who think that one might possibly be onside with science and yet be religious. Some accommodationists, like Francis Collins, former head of the Human Genome Project who now runs the National Institute of Health, are actually practicing Christians (or members of other faiths). Others, like me, have little or no religious belief. But all of us just don’t see why the two cannot go together.”
If God exists, he must be felt. If he is love, it must be experienced and become the fact of one’s inmost life. Without spiritual enlightenment, all is an idle talk, like a bubble which vanishes under the least pressure.
(from Zen for Americans, translated by D.T. Suzuki)
MOMENT OF WONDER:
“All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.”
~ Samuel Butler