What Do Americans Know About World Religions?

Religious News From Around the Web May 11, 2020

Study Other Faiths, Worship Resumes, SCOTUS Update, Iran Thanks Zoroastrians, Sikhs Help, Samaritan’s Purse Hit Again, Methodist Split Delayed, Everyone is Our Mother

How to Study Other Faiths
What Do Americans Know About World Religions?Rule 1: When you are trying to understand another faith, you should ask adherents of that faith for information rather than critics or enemies of that faith. Rule 2: Do not compare the best things about your own religion with the worst things of other faiths but rather compare bests with bests.
Rule 3: You should be open to aspects of other’s faiths that you admire so deeply you are inclined to wish they were part of your own faith.

How to Keep People Safe When In-Person Worship Resumes
New Book Claims Homosexual Behavior is Rampant in the Vatican ClergySocial distancing, quarantine and other restrictions have helped curb the spread of COVID-19, but as the economy worsens and job losses increase, many states and localities are rolling back restrictions. So what are the steps to take to keep self and family safe as many areas return to near-normal activity?

Supreme Court Update on Religious Liberty

Brett Kavanaugh Loses Support from Catholic Magazine After Hearing
Brett Kavanaugh Video screenshot
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing cases by teleconference, and the requirement that employers provide birth control coverage, even if the organization is a group of Catholic nuns, is under scrutiny this week in Little Sisters v. Pennsylvania and Trump v. Pennsylvania. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose appointment to the court was opposed partly because he’s Catholic, noted that there are strong interests on both sides of the question, including religious liberty for Little Sisters of the Poor and ensuring women’s access to health care and preventive care. National Public Radio said the five-justice conservative majority will likely make it harder for women to get birth control coverage if they work for religiously based organizations.

Iran thanks Zoroastrians for Help

First Zoroastrian Temple Opens in Kurdistan
Antoine Taveneaux, [CC BY-SA 4.0], via
Wikimedia Commons
Despite the fact that Iran restricts Zoroastrians from many rights – including the right to hold office, and mixed families cannot practice their faith if the father is Muslim – the Iranian foreign minister thanked the Zoroastrians of India for offering COVID-19 aid to his country. Zoroastrians practice one of the oldest religions on earth.

Samaritan’s Purse Taxed After Helping in NYC

Some cities – like people – are hard to help. Samaritan’s Purse was invited to help in New York City’s Coronavirus response and set up a field hospital in Central Park that treated some 315 Coronavirus patients. The group did not charge the city for the doctors, nurses, supplies and time rendered. But they were picketed by gays, lambasted by politicians and the leader Franklin Graham was attacked as a hater – and for what? For helping while Christian under religious profiling. Now the city has decided to tax them because they were inside the city for more than 14 days.

Sikhs Step up to Help in Coronavirus Pandemic
Should Sikhs Be Forced To Wear Helmets?Sikhs are known for service to the public, such as providing vegetarian meals to people in need, to fire victims and to those stuck at home during the pandemic. One of the precepts of the Sikh religion is for men to leave their beards unshaven. Sikh doctors in the UK protested being required to shave their beards, even though being unshaven is a religious requirement. But Dr. Sanjeev Singh-Saluja in Montreal shaved his beard in order to fit a mask securely and continue to help Coronavirus patients.

Methodist Split Delayed by Virus
The United Methodist Church has been working for some time on a split between congregations who oppose same-sex marriage and gay pastors and those who accept it. The conference to decide was to have taken place at the Minneapolis Convention Center May 12-15. Instead, bishops are proposing to hold it there Aug. 31-Sept. 10 of next year, which leaves the issues undecided.

Everyone is Our Mother

“Dalai Lama” by Christopher Michel is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Dalai Lama” by Christopher Michel
is licensed under CC BY 2.0
There’s a Tibetan Buddhist teaching that describes how all beings have been our mothers at one point in the cycle of rebirth. This Mother’s Day, they say we should practice seeing everyone we encounter as our mother.