Friday, March 03, 2006

This Week in "God"

Assorted stories about {insert appropriate god(s) here} -- or belief in {deity} -- from various sources. And not necessarily presented in chronological order. First up, armed students...

Supreme Court allows Sikh daggers in school By Randall Palmer Thu Mar 2, 12:32 PM ET OTTAWA (Reuters) Multiculturalism and religious freedom trumped safety concerns in a Canadian Supreme Court decision on Thursday that will allow orthodox Sikh students to carry traditional daggers to school.

In its decision, the court noted that Sikh orthodoxy requires the wearing of the daggers, known as kirpans, even though they are banned from airplanes and some courtrooms....

[Full Story]

The kirpan is pictured here; and you can read about it and other Sikh requirements here and here (much more detail). I wonder if there are other groups who could make a case for carrying a blade as a religious obligation. For example, Heathens (AKA: Asatruar, Odinists, etc.) hold the writings of the Hávamál in high regard (Hávamál means "Sayings of Hár"or "Sayings of the high one"). And stanza 38 seems to advise people to go armed when going about their regular business:
Leaving in the field his arms, let no man go a foot's length forward; for it is hard to know when on the way a man may need his weapon.
The Hávamál, which is believed to have been written around 800CE, is far older than Sikhism, a fairly modern religion (500+ years). And the basic tenents and practices of Heathenry were well-established long before any of it was written down, which makes it older still. But I'm willing to bet that the Sikhs have a slight edge in Western courts if only because they are more established (read: "accepted") and because they are monotheists.

OK ... on to the next story! Updated 03/06/2006: Apparently, the original story was a hoax. Many thanks to Agora who posted a comment so that we could properly update this posting. We have more deadly zaniness regarding those dastardly Danish cartoons...
Cartoonist's Daughter Hunted bothered by 12 Jihadists 6 to 8 girls Agora (

[Agora collects a bunch of entries regarding this story. Agnora has the full story here, and analysis here]

"A group of Moslem males have tried to get at the daughter of one of the 12 cartoonists who drew the cartoons of Muhammed at her school. The political spokesman of the Liberals, Jens Rohde, revealed this during an interview with TV-Avisen while explaining his and the Prime Minister’s attack on the business community in Denmark, charging that they have put profits over Freedom of Speech."

"Four weeks ago, 6-8 Moslem girls showed up at the school of the daughter of one of the cartoonists, asking for 'the daughter of the cartoonist who had insulted their prophet'. They were turned away at the door."

:::Sigh::: That's a really beautiful and peaceful reaction from adherents of a beautiful and peaceful religion. What?! A journalist was misquoting information and accidentally blamed Muslims for the whole thing? Hmmmmm ... does Jens Rohde work for the Bush Administration? (Oh, and my bad for my earlier comment on the misinformed story. I was duped too!)

And speaking of cartoons...
Radford University Campus cartoon draws backlash By GREG ESPOSITO, The Roanoke Times © February 28, 2006

Cartoons depicting Jesus in a Radford University online student magazine have created controversy just weeks after Danish cartoons of the P rophet Muhammad touched off violent protests throughout the Muslim world. In his "Christ on Campus" comic strip, sophomore Christian Keesee has satirized what he sees as the hypocrisy of some churchgoing students, the greed of some televangelists and the commercialization of Christmas, among other things, in 12 cartoons he's published on Radford's Whim Internet Magazine. He has made his points with images of a cartoon Jesus being stabbed by Santa Claus, playing poker with other religious figures - including Muhammad - and punching a heckler who referred to him as a "glorified Easter bunny." Those depictions have sparked anger among many students, both Christians and non-Christians, and concern among administrators...

[Read More]

If you want to see those cartoons, click here. But only if you really, really want to see them. And only if you have something resembling a sense of humor. Oh, and only if you are not easily offended. And if you ignore all my warnings, and you get all offended after viewing them, please do not complain to me. Thanks. From one backlash to another ... Apparantly, some people in Nevada are so enamored of Intelligent Design that they want their constitution to legitimize (er, I mean, allow for the teaching of) it:
Nevada proposal raises evolution questions By Brendan Riley, Associated Press Writer

CARSON CITY, Nev. --A proposed constitutional amendment would require Nevada teachers to instruct students that there are many questions about evolution -- a method viewed by critics as an opening to teach intelligent design...

[Full Story]

Nevada is a bastion of hard science, right? Right??

And for our final story, we'll tone the rancor down a bit while an exile visits home...
Brother Thây: A Radio Pilgrimage with Thich Nhat Hanh Speaking of Faith by American Public Media

March 2, 2006: Forcibly exiled from his native country, Thich Nhat Hanh is currently visiting Vietnam for the first time in nearly forty years. In 2003, Speaking of Faith took a radio pilgrimage with Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh at a Christian conference center in a lakeside setting of rural Wisconsin. Here, Nhat Hanh discusses the concepts of "engaged Buddhism," "being peace," and "mindfulness" with host Krista Tippett.

Download (mp3, 53:18) | » Stream (RealAudio, 53:00) | » Podcast

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you like This Week in "God" ... and maybe I'll make it a regular thing.


Anonymous said...

I'll comment on the evolution story.

When I was in school, I was taught that scientific theory was just that - still unproven, not to be treated as scientific law.

Yet, whenever anyone brings up the fact that evolution still has many gaps, and is still at the "theory" level, all of a sudden they are labeled as "anti-science".

Seems to me, that what's in the best interest of "science" is to be honest about the shortcomings of the theory, and work to prove / disprove what we know.

Unless, of course, we should now consider theory and "law" on the same plane.


Anonymous said...

That story has been updated. See here.

Four weeks ago, 6-8 Moslem girls showed up at the school of the daughter of one of the cartoonists, asking for "the daughter of the cartoonist who had insulted their prophet". They were turned away at the door.

Someone poopooed big time.


Brainwise said...


Thanks for letting my know about this new wrinkle in the story. I have updated my post.

Brainwise said...


In the course of replying to a comment in another story about ID over at Dialogic, Susanne posted an excellent overview of what is meant by "scientific law," "hypothesis," and "theory." I suggest you check it out.

And, as far as I am concerned, stories that are critical of ID are less a matter of labeling its proponents as being "anti-science" than it is about about calling them on their agenda. As I posted over at Dialogic: "Intelligent Design is a not-so-thinly veiled attempt to promote Christianity in schools, in the science classes to be specific."

ID can be discussed in the school setting. But the topic is more appropriate to a social studies, philosophy, or comparative religion class.