There’s Hope

<> on September 26, 2013 in Washington, DC.

While it seems like Ted Cruz is doing everything wrong, this post gave me a little hope in him. CNN White House Producer Matthew Hoye wrote an article saying, “Sen. Ted Cruz joined about 20 protesters and members of different Christian churches outside the White House Thursday to pray for the swift return of an American pastor being held in Iran, reportedly for his Christian beliefs.” “Pastor Saeed Abedini has been held in Iran and Thursday marked the one year anniversary of his detention.”

There’s hope for Ted Cruz in my eyes after hearing about this! But on a much more serious note, this man had been in jail for a year because of his beliefs? A YEAR?? I mean held in detention at all is mind blowing to me. But a whole year?? I just can’t even imagine. I’m praying with Ted Cruz that this man will be released.

Love Above All

Ed Pilkington wrote an article in theguardian saying, “Pope Francis has set out his desire to find a ‘new balance’ in the Catholic church, calling for greater involvement of women in key decisions and a less condemnatory approach towards gay people, divorcees and women who have had an abortion.”

I love this. The church is meant to love all people, to encourage them and love them through their sin. So I love that he is speaking out about this and has made it it known.

“The Pope urges Catholics to show ‘audacity and courage’ in their approach to people who, in the past, have been given short shrift by the church, including those who ‘do not attend mass, who have quit or are indifferent.'” “Asked how he would respond to Catholics who are divorced or remarried or gay, he replies: “I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’, because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this.”

This makes me really really sad. That people don’t feel loved by the church and not just unloved but condemned. People of the church are called to love. It doesn’t matter what a person has done or what they continue to do, it’s not our place to judge them. I’m happy Pope Francis is finally realizing this and speaking up about it.

After the Bombings

Almost every article that i’m reading that has to do with politics and religion is about the horrific event that took place in Pakistan on Sunday. And rightfully so. 

Posted on religiontoday.com,  “As expressions of sympathy poured in, protests broke out across the country, fueled by grief and by accusations that the government does too little to protect religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country. One person died in the protests.”

I find this interesting. I feel like if I were in their position I would be protesting as well. People who are religious minorities need the same protection as those who are a part of the majority. 

The article goes on to quote “Joseph Coutts, the Catholic archbishop of Karachi and president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, called the attack “‘a shameful act of cowardice.’ He said it ‘proves’ that ‘increasing religious and sectarian intolerance … has reached alarming proportions,’ and insisted on increased police protection at places of worship.

I totally agree with this. It’s scary to see that people are becoming more intolerant of religions as well as other things. I don’t see a lot of this in America, but it’s clear to see with the articles that i’ve read. It breaks my heart and I agree that they need to increase police protection in places of worship. 

Broken World

Jon Boone wrote an article in the guardian which stated that, “Pakistani Christians mourn 85 killed in suicide bombings at Peshawar church. Pakistan’s worst-ever attack on beleaguered Christians prompts warning by bishop for future of minority in Muslim countries.”

This article breaks my heart. They were in a mosque, praying to God when this happened. 85 people dead for no reason. At all.

“It was Pakistan‘s worst attack on Christians, sparking impassioned, country-wide protests. Christians are a tiny and politically weak minority in Muslim-majority Pakistan who suffer from prejudice and sporadic bouts of mob violence. But Sunday was the first time that bombs had been used to such deadly effect on worshippers.”

I cannot imagine being hated for what I believe in. But these people were killed for their beliefs. It just hurts my heart. This world is so lost and so broken.

“Throw-away culture”

I might not agree with Pope Francis on everything..or a lot of things, but his views on abortion are straight on. An article in the guardian says, “Pope Francis offered an olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic church on Friday, when he denounced abortions as a symptom of today’s ‘throw-away culture’ and encouraged Catholic doctors to refuse to perform them.”

I love that even though this view he has might not be liked by a lot of people, he voiced it anyways. Cause it’s what he believes in. He said that it’s in the bible and that that is what he follows. 

“In his comments, Francis denounced today’s ‘throw-away culture’ that justifies disposing of lives, and said doctors in particular had been forced into situations where they are called to ‘not respect life.'”

I agree with everything he has to say on this topic. That we live in a culture that chooses to throw away lives and values. And it needs to stop. 

Power of Prayer

A article in the huffington post says, “A recent study by LifeWay Research has found that a ‘third of Americans – and nearly half of evangelical, fundamentalist, or born-again Christians – believe prayer and Bible study alone can overcome serious mental illness.'”

“The study also found that most Americans, 68%, would feel welcome in church if they were mentally ill.” 

With regard to the specific breakdown of responders, Stetzer commented, “The other thing that was interesting to me was that the people most likely to say that they’d feel welcome in church are the people who go to church. The folks who don’t go are likely to say they would not feel welcome. So it could be that people who come to church have experienced church as a caring place. “

I found this post really interesting. I believe in the power of prayer and i’m happy to hear that a third of americans believe in it too.

“Garb Ban?”

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On fox news an article states that, “Thousands of mostly Muslim protesters took to the street in Montreal to express anger at a plan to ban public sector workers from wearing religious garb in Quebec.”

“The prohibition of headscarves, turbans and other religious garments is part of a proposed overhaul of the Canadian province’s ‘Charter of Values.'”

I just don’t get why. This is part of their culture and who they are. 

“It would ban public sector employees from donning ‘conspicuous religious symbols,’ including headscarves, yarmulkes, turbans, and large crosses at work, but allows certain religious jewelry, as long as it is “not very visible.”

These are seen as “conspicuous?” why?? People someone goes about their religion in a different way than you? I just don’t agree with this at all.