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Religious Literacy

RELIGIOUS LITERACY
In 2017, the Pew Research Center surveyed Americans to find out what it is that makes their lives meaningful. Not surprisingly, spending time with family was the first thing those surveyed said brought meaning to their lives. The second? Religion.
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
Though it is up to each of us to choose which religious path to follow, religion, period, is worth it. Beyond individual improvement, it unites us in a common goal of a better world—one which, for future generations, erases the fears I suffered in my youth.
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
One Catholic priest known to me only as Father Donovan, whom my parents had befriended, attended many of our family picnics, religious or secular events, and outings. He was a likable fellow, and he was intelligent and good-looking. I remember being awestruck by his dedication represented by the white collar around his neck, which offset the black garb he wore in any weather or season.
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
Cultures rise and fall, governments come and go, but religion remains a constant influence. Under all the verbiage of such things as laws and governments lie spiritual motivations and goals.
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
I grew up in the south, where hair is big and religion is bigger: mega-church big. Mormons were different. Not the wearing-black-and-avoiding-ornament humility of the Mennonite faith, but quiet in their own way: no swearing, no drinking, and church boundaries divided by geographic location, not by the popularity of a specific preacher (they have a lay ministry anyway).
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
“How can genetic testing tell you your religion, anyway?” you might ask. 23andMe can’t tell that I’m a Scientologist. But it turns out that the Ashkenazi Jewish people stuck together so closely for so many years that genetic testers CAN tell if you’re one of them.
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
I don’t think that there could have been a more appropriate song for us to sing that morning, for truly, it was amazing grace that brought us all together in the name of perhaps the most spiritual cause ever—help.
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
The venerable phrase “In God We Trust” has survived yet another legal attack and will continue to appear on the bills and coins in your pocket. A recent decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota, confirmed similar decisions
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
On the first day of a four-part Open House on Religions of the World, I fulfilled my duty as a Jew. Are you surprised? Well, apparently, having an ancestor on my mother’s side named Pinkus gave me that right and obligation.
RELIGIOUS LITERACY
I surprised myself the other day when I recognized that I was actually prejudiced against another religion. That was a real eye-opener as I have been on the receiving end of religious hate on several occasions, and that is never fun. Some backstory will help.