Religion News: Humanists rework ‘In God We Trust’ motto
The American Humanist Association has created a billboard in Moscow, Idaho, that replaces the American motto “In God We Trust” with “In Good We Trust.”
Members of the organization, which raises awareness about nontheism, said the billboard reflects that you don’t have to believe in God to be good, and that church and state should remain separate.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently upheld the constitutionality of references to God on national currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance. According to wire reports, the court panel said the motto is patriotic and ceremonial, not religious.
This Week in History
- On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI. It was the second day of the papal conclave.
- On April 17 and 18, 1521, reformer Martin Luther spoke at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.
New research indicates that 28 percent of the adult population has not attended any church activities, including services, in the past six months. That translates to nearly 65 million unchurched adults.
And about three out every five unchurched persons in America are self-described Christians, according to the survey.
-- The Barna Group
“The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time” by Judith Shulevitz
The Sabbath is not just the holy day of rest. It’s also a utopian idea about a less pressured, more sociable, purer world. Where did this notion come from?
Judith Shulevitz weaves together histories of the Jewish and Christian sabbaths, speculations on the nature of time, and a rueful account of her personal struggle with the day.
Shulevitz has found insights into the Sabbath in both cultural and contemporary sources — the Torah, the Gospels, the Talmud and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, as well as in the poetry of William Wordsworth, the life of Sigmund Freud and the science of neuropsychology.
Get to Know … Amina Wadud
Amina Wadud, 57, is an Islamic feminist and scholar with a progressive, feminist focus on the Qur'an.
Wadud was born as Mary Teasley. Her father was a Methodist minister and her mother descended from Muslim slaves. In 1972 she accepted Islam.
Wadud's research specialties include gender and Qur'anic studies. After publishing her first book, she spoke at universities, grass roots forums, and government and non-government events throughout the United States, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe.
She was the subject of debate after leading a Friday prayer of more than 100 male and female Muslims sponsored by the Progressive Muslim Union in 2005, breaking with the tradition of having only male imams.
She has written two books: "Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective" and "Inside the Gender Jihad: Women's Reform in Islam.”
Mortal sin: A Roman Catholic classification of serious offenses against God or the church. Unless cleared by through confession and absolution, it would cause an individual to end up in hell after death. Lighter offenses are called venial sins, and can be expiated by various good works and activities. – religioustolerance.org
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of New Zealand
Anglican: 14.9 percent
Roman Catholic: 12.4 percent
Presbyterian: 10.9 percent
Methodist: 2.9 percent
Pentecostal: 1.7 percent
Baptist: 1.3 percent
Other Christian: 9.4 percent
Other: 3.3 percent
Unspecified: 17.2 percent
None: 26 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service