Religious worship – Waterloo Band http://waterlooband.net/ Thu, 18 Aug 2022 03:25:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://waterlooband.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/icon.png Religious worship – Waterloo Band http://waterlooband.net/ 32 32 Education Week: Mind Against Anxiety, Toxic Perfectionism, and Religious OCD https://waterlooband.net/education-week-mind-against-anxiety-toxic-perfectionism-and-religious-ocd/ Wed, 17 Aug 2022 21:50:00 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/education-week-mind-against-anxiety-toxic-perfectionism-and-religious-ocd/ Debra Theobald McClendon, a clinical psychologist trained in marriage and family therapy, shares a slide on the differences in characterizing feelings of anxiety versus Spirit. McClendon’s topic for Wednesday’s class covered three topics: Mind versus Anxiety, Toxic Perfectionism, and Religious OCD. (Payton Pingree) Debra Theobald McClendon, a clinical psychologist trained in marriage and family therapy, […]]]>
Debra Theobald McClendon, a clinical psychologist trained in marriage and family therapy, shares a slide on the differences in characterizing feelings of anxiety versus Spirit. McClendon’s topic for Wednesday’s class covered three topics: Mind versus Anxiety, Toxic Perfectionism, and Religious OCD. (Payton Pingree)

Debra Theobald McClendon, a clinical psychologist trained in marriage and family therapy, taught an Education Week course on Wednesday on feelings of anxiety, toxic perfectionism and religious OCD, in contrast to feeling the Spirit.

The Spirit Against Anxiety

McClendon said certain levels of anxiety can actually be spiritually motivating. “Moderate levels of anxiety can motivate you to more consciously study the gospel, invite the spirit into your heart, and be more curious,” McClendon said.

However, anxiety can quickly become damaging when levels get too high and individuals are unable to cope. “It can cause spiritual deficiency,” McClendon said. “It is difficult and sometimes impossible to discern the love of God.”

McClendon mentioned that some of his clients who have experienced high levels of anxiety have expressed concerns such as thinking they don’t feel God and that God doesn’t love them.

She explained how our body produces stress hormones that disrupt and compete with our ability to sense the Spirit.

McClendon showed several slides with charts detailing the differences between feelings of anxiety and feeling the Spirit. She explained how important it is to be able to discern between the two in order to avoid developing toxic religious habits caused by excessive anxiety.

She added that revelation is a development process. When anxiety is high, disclosure may seem like it’s meant to be quick and sudden. “Spiritual promptings are not impulsive,” McClendon said.

toxic perfectionism

McClendon clarified the differences between adaptive and toxic perfectionism. She described a person with adaptive perfectionism as having a goal-setting outlook, where they work hard and are resilient when certain goals are difficult to achieve.

On the other hand, toxic perfectionism encourages an unhealthy lifestyle. “You can never win with that approach to life,” McClendon said.

“Anyway, someone with toxic perfectionism will lose,” she explained. “If they don’t reach their level, they’ll think, ‘I’m not good enough,’ and if they do, they think, ‘My goals weren’t high enough.'”

McClendon provided a comforting thought from President Russell M. Nelson’s October 1995 General Conference address, Awaiting Perfection. He explained how the term “perfect” is used in the scriptures, but has a different meaning than what we may be familiar with. “Perfect” comes from the Greek “teleios”, which means “complete”. The infinitive form of the verb is “teleiono”, which means “to reach a distant end”.

McClendon pointed out that from this definition people learn that they are not expected to be error-free, but are expected to strive for some distant goal. .

McClendon shares a chart comparing his clients’ descriptions of what scruple looks like versus pure religion. McClendon’s topic for Wednesday’s class covered three topics: Mind versus Anxiety, Toxic Perfectionism, and Religious OCD. (Payton Pingree)

Religious OCD

“In OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder, the anxiety takes on an extreme and destructive nature and creates an even greater deficit in cognitive flexibility,” McClendon said. She also said that a person with OCD has obsessions, which are unwanted, repetitive, and distressing thoughts. These are accompanied by compulsions, which are repetitive behaviors that are done in an attempt to combat the anxiety caused by the obsession.

Religious OCD is called scrupulousness, which means that the content of distressing thoughts is religious in nature. “It’s an overuse or overapplication of religious principles,” McClendon said. “He takes the anxiety and bullies his way into religious belief and personal worship.” This creates toxic guilt and pathological fears, such as disappointing God or having impure intentions.

“God’s nature is good, but these individuals come to intensely fear God and see him as a rigid, malevolent dictator looking for the slightest reason to condemn them,” McClendon said.

She said that in healthy faith, personal worship is about creating peace and feelings of connection with spirit. With anxiety, this is done out of fear of punishment. “Those who scrupulously struggle have all the pains of a damned soul, but none of the relief of a saved soul.”

She briefly explained how dealing with these struggles can take many forms. This includes doctrinal clarification and help with spiritual concepts as well as formal treatment, such as therapy to help improve cognitive flexibility.

McClendon ended his lecture by reminding the audience that “Our Father is not interested in finding reasons to condemn us, He wants to exalt us”.

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“Religious freedom from bad to worse” https://waterlooband.net/religious-freedom-from-bad-to-worse/ Wed, 17 Aug 2022 01:55:00 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/religious-freedom-from-bad-to-worse/ The American Commission on International Religious Freedom denounces the “disastrous condition” of religious minorities. by Massimo Introvigné Protests against forced conversions in Pakistan. Credits. It’s a bad August for Pakistan. As reported by Bitter Winter, Punjab’s new chief minister has come under heavy international criticism for escalating the persecution of Ahmadis in his province. Visa […]]]>

The American Commission on International Religious Freedom denounces the “disastrous condition” of religious minorities.

by Massimo Introvigné

Protests against forced conversions in Pakistan. Credits.

It’s a bad August for Pakistan. As reported by Bitter Winter, Punjab’s new chief minister has come under heavy international criticism for escalating the persecution of Ahmadis in his province. Visa trafficking charges against a senior Pakistani diplomat, former Ambassador to the Czech Republic Israr Husain, pointed to the presence of human trafficking and corruption at the highest levels of the Pakistani bureaucracy. Meanwhile, in the United States, a detailed report from USCIRFthe United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, has accused the Pakistani government of finding that the religious freedom situation is going from bad to worse.

The report notes that Islam is the state religion in Pakistan. The constitution reserves a small number of seats in national and some provincial assemblies for religious minorities but, by a perverse mechanism, Ahmadis, who are among the most persecuted minority, are in practice not allowed to vote.

The USCIRF report reviews laws punishing blasphemy with the death penalty. It notes that “those accused of blasphemy risk violence, imprisonment with limited possibility of bail, and even the death penalty, although no convicts of blasphemy have been executed by the state in Pakistan. Even if he is acquitted by

in court, the accused and his family are often ostracized or expelled from the community and face continued aggression. Simple allegations of blasphemy are enough to provoke riots and the murder of the accused by armed assailants or vigilante groups. Blasphemy laws are also used to accomplish personal vendettas.

The fact that to date no death sentence for blasphemy has been carried out is counterbalanced by the sad observation that “many of those who are indicted or simply accused of blasphemy are killed by vigilante groups or in assassinations targeted”. Obtaining justice from the court against those who were part of the lynching mobs is not easy.

The report mentions the case reported by Bitter Winter in December 2021 of a Sri Lankan executive accused of blasphemy and lynched by a mob who burned his body. He also mentions the horrific case that happened in “February 2022, [when] an angry mob stoned to death Muhammad Mushtaq, a mental patient accused of burning the Quran, in Khanewal district, Punjab province. Officers at the scene were also injured as they attempted to take the accused into custody. The crowd of some 300 people then hung his body from a tree. Videos shared on social media showed a large crowd gathered at the site.

Muhammad Mushtaq after being stoned to death.  From Twitter.
Muhammad Mushtaq after being stoned to death. From Twitter.

Christians, Sikhs and Ahmadis have also been killed in sectarian hate crimes without any charges of blasphemy. Laws prohibiting Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims are increasingly being enforced. Ahmadis’ use of any symbol that can be constructed as Muslim is enough to arrest them, vandalize their places of worship, and even their graves.

Christians and Hindus report that forced conversions and abductions of girls from minority religions who are then ‘converted’ to Islam and married to Muslim men are on the rise. Courts often side with the perpetrators and say the conversions were voluntary.

The report also notes the rise of xenophobic and fundamentalist Sunni Muslim political organizations, including Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, which target Shia Muslims as heretics.

The report concludes that, notwithstanding Pakistan’s promises to improve its human rights record, the religious freedom situation has, to say the least, deteriorated and religious minorities remain in a ‘disastrous’ situation. . “The existence and enforcement of blasphemy laws and anti-Ahmadiyya laws facilitate Islamist extremist elements and support their narrative that leaves little room for religious inclusion. Pakistani laws also fail to protect religious minorities who are at increasing risk of kidnapping, forced marriage and forced conversion to Islam. “As the U.S. government continues to engage with Pakistan, USCIRF notes, it should continue to raise religious freedom concerns and ensure the protection of religious communities targeted by Pakistan’s problematic laws and extremist groups.”

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Frederick Buechner, religious novelist, dies at 96 https://waterlooband.net/frederick-buechner-religious-novelist-dies-at-96/ Mon, 15 Aug 2022 23:04:09 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/frederick-buechner-religious-novelist-dies-at-96/ “Contrary to popular religious belief,” he wrote in a 1994 essay for The Times, “I don’t think God changes things in the sense of making bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people, or to give victory to one side over the other in wars, or to pass a bill […]]]>

“Contrary to popular religious belief,” he wrote in a 1994 essay for The Times, “I don’t think God changes things in the sense of making bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people, or to give victory to one side over the other in wars, or to pass a bill in Congress to make school prayer constitutional.

Mr Buechner said he believed that chance rules much of the universe, but also that “through chance things happening, God opens up possibilities for redemptive human change in the inner self, even for those who would not be taken dead believing in him”. .”

Emerging from a chaotic childhood in which his family constantly moved as his father, an unsuccessful salesman for industrial chemical companies, drifted from job to job during the Depression and committed suicide when the The boy was 10, Mr Buechner attended private boarding school and his father’s alma mater, Princeton, and taught for a few years before beginning his writing career in New York.

His first novel, “A Long Day’s Dying” (1950), about the conflicts between a student, his widowed mother, his grandmother and his mother’s lovers, appeared when he was 23 years old. It won both critical praise and commercial success. “Overall, it is a true work of art, of fine sensibility and amazing human understanding,” wrote David Daiches, an English scholar at Cornell, in The Times Book Review.

It was not until the publication of his less successful second novel, “The Difference of the Seasons” (1952), which explored the moral vacuum in a group of sophisticated people, that Mr. Buechner had his spiritual awakening. Attending Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, he heard a sermon by its famous pastor, George Buttrick, which inspired him.

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Laal Singh Chaddha: Complaint filed against Aamir Khan for hurting military and religious feelings https://waterlooband.net/laal-singh-chaddha-complaint-filed-against-aamir-khan-for-hurting-military-and-religious-feelings/ Sat, 13 Aug 2022 08:55:53 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/laal-singh-chaddha-complaint-filed-against-aamir-khan-for-hurting-military-and-religious-feelings/ Lal Singh Chadda, a film by Aamir Khan, caused controversy upon its release. Even before the film’s release, there were voices against the boycott, and as audiences started watching it, criticism of Amir Khan rained down as well. According to the latest information, the police filed a complaint against Amir Khan on Friday. A Delhi-based […]]]>

Lal Singh Chadda, a film by Aamir Khan, caused controversy upon its release. Even before the film’s release, there were voices against the boycott, and as audiences started watching it, criticism of Amir Khan rained down as well. According to the latest information, the police filed a complaint against Amir Khan on Friday.

A Delhi-based lawyer has filed a complaint with Delhi Police Chief Sanjay Arora against Bollywood actor Aamir Khan. In addition to Aamir, the lawyer also mentioned Paramount Picture Production House and other names. According to ANI, the lawyer said the film Laal Singh Chaddha offends Indian and Hindu soldiers. The film hurt the feelings of the army and the Hindus.

The lawyer’s name is Vineet Jindal. Vineet complained to the Delhi Police, saying the film had a lot of inappropriate content. He also wants to register FIR against Aamir Khan, director Adwait Chandan and producer Paramount Pictures under IPC sections 153, 153A, 298 and 505.

Vinit Jindal wrote in a complaint: “In this film, mentally handicapped people are recruited into the Indian army to participate in the Kargil wars. It is well known that India’s best soldiers were sent to the Kargil wars. After careful preparation, the soldiers of this army fought in this war, but the filmmakers intentionally created this situation to defame the Indian army.

Lawyers also objected to a scene related to the film. Lawyers say there is a scene in the film in which a Pakistani soldier says to the character Lal Singh Chaddha, “I offer namaz and pray, Lal, why don’t you?” To this, Lal Singh Chadha replied this. “My mother used to say that all these cults are malaria, it leads to riots.

The complaint said the film’s words not only incited people but “offended the feelings of Hindus in general”. The complaint states that under the Indian constitution, everyone has the right to express their opinion. However, abusing it, this right is false and threatens the honor and peace of the country. At the same time, this dialogue incites citizens for social and religious reasons and threatens national security.

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Reviews | Alito’s call to arms to guarantee religious freedom https://waterlooband.net/reviews-alitos-call-to-arms-to-guarantee-religious-freedom/ Thu, 11 Aug 2022 09:00:14 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/reviews-alitos-call-to-arms-to-guarantee-religious-freedom/ Even aside from his swipe at his fellow judges who did not sign up for his crusade, to call this kind of talk simplistic is far too generous. Judges and jurists have struggled for decades to identify the right balance for religion within a pluralistic society, an effort Judge Alito has reduced to an either/or […]]]>

Even aside from his swipe at his fellow judges who did not sign up for his crusade, to call this kind of talk simplistic is far too generous. Judges and jurists have struggled for decades to identify the right balance for religion within a pluralistic society, an effort Judge Alito has reduced to an either/or cartoon. Even if I was willing to give him some time to talk freely with friends (I don’t know if he was aware that Our Lady would be posting the video), I would still find the narrowness of his vision deeply troubling. . He offered no recognition, none, of the evil that can occur when religion is elevated above all other claims to recognition and respect.

For example, following its opinion in the Case Lobby Hobby 2014, tens of thousands of women have never received the contraceptive coverage they are entitled to under the Affordable Care Act because they work for employers who oppose particular forms of birth control. His notice in 2020 extending the so-called ministerial The exception to cover non-ministerial employees of religious organizations deprived such employees of the protection of federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment. And, of course, the very opinion of which he boasted to her audience in Rome, an opinion which, as I recently explained, was based on religious doctrine rather than constitutional law, disregarded its devastating impact on women.

In speech In addition to opinions, Judge Alito warned of growing hostility to religion, and he did the same in Rome, denouncing what he called hostility to “at least the traditional religious beliefs that are contrary to the new moral code which is ascending in certain sectors”. .” It was the Alito of his dissenting opinion of the Oberfell v. Hodges Decision, which recognized a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. He then predicted that “those who cling to old beliefs may whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat these opinions in public, they risk being labeled as fanatics and treated as such”.

In Rome, more clearly than in the past, Judge Alito provided his own definition of religious liberty, a broad definition that reflected the court’s decision in this summer’s prayer coach case. In this case, the Bremerton, Wash., school district had offered the coach another place where he could pray after games. But the coach insisted he felt religiously obligated to pray in public in full view of the spectators. The court, which in the past has been particularly stingy with regard to the freedom of expression of civil servants, endorsed this expression of militant Christianity.

In his speech from Rome, Justice Alito did not explicitly refer to this case, but his definition of religious liberty underscored and explained the court’s remarkable departure. Religious freedom must mean more than just “freedom of worship,” he said. “Freedom of worship means the freedom to do those things that you love to do in the privacy of your home, or in your church or your synagogue or your mosque or your temple. But when you go out into the public square, in the light of day, you better behave like a good secular citizen. And he added: “That’s the problem we face.”

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FIR lodges against Masoom Sawaal for ‘hurting’ religious feelings https://waterlooband.net/fir-lodges-against-masoom-sawaal-for-hurting-religious-feelings/ Mon, 08 Aug 2022 15:30:49 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/fir-lodges-against-masoom-sawaal-for-hurting-religious-feelings/ After receiving a complaint that the film Masoom Sawalwhich depicts a picture of Lord Krishna on a sanitary napkin, allegedly offended religious feelings, the police have officially filed charges against the director and several members of Masoom Sawaal’s crew. According to a senior law enforcement source who spoke to PTI, the first information report (FIR) […]]]>
After receiving a complaint that the film Masoom Sawalwhich depicts a picture of Lord Krishna on a sanitary napkin, allegedly offended religious feelings, the police have officially filed charges against the director and several members of Masoom Sawaal’s crew.

According to a senior law enforcement source who spoke to PTI, the first information report (FIR) was filed on Sunday against the manufacturers, including director Santosh Upadhyay, and his company, on the complaint of Amit Rathore, president of the Hindu Rashtra Navnirman Sena.

Swatantra Singh, an officer from Sahibabad circle, reportedly said that the FIR was filed under Section 295 (Injuring or defiling places of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code.

According to PTI, the complainant claims that the presence of a photo of Lord Krishna on a sanitary napkin had offended the devotees of “Sanatana Dharma” and could trigger riots in Uttar Pradesh.


Suggested reading: Wedding Season Review: Finally A Movie About Native Americans That Doesn’t Cringe Your Teeth


FIR filed against Masoom Sawaal:

The film Masoom Sawal is about menstruation awareness. The poster with Lord Krishna and sanitary napkins is said to have hurt the religious feelings of followers of ‘Sanatana Dharma’ and may cause riots in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country, according to the complainant. FIR mentioned that the film’s producer and his team deliberately tried to provoke controversy.

The film was released on August 2, 2022. Additionally, Rathore told PTI that members of Hindu Rashtra Navnirman Sena and their supporters would be protesting outside the two cinemas in Sahibabad and Ghaziabad where the film was released. According to the report, the police have tightened security at the two cinemas. The circle officer warned that anyone trying to disturb the peace would face the consequences. He said, “Law and order would be maintained at all costs.”

At Masoom Sawal The plot revolves around superstitions and regulations imposed on women during their menstrual cycle. It is directed by Santosh Upadhyay and written by Kamlesh K Mishra. The film stars Nitanshi Goel, Ekavali Khanna and Shishir Sharma.

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Part 2: Religious Liberty Is Central to What It Means to Be Human – Church News and Events https://waterlooband.net/part-2-religious-liberty-is-central-to-what-it-means-to-be-human-church-news-and-events/ Sat, 06 Aug 2022 14:15:04 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/part-2-religious-liberty-is-central-to-what-it-means-to-be-human-church-news-and-events/ The following is part 2 of a three part series. Part 1 is titled, “Why is religious freedom important? » Part 3 will include an interview with President Dallin H. Oaks. ROME, Italy – Dressed in colorful traditional clothes and comfortably ensconced in the sun outside the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, Mona Polacca […]]]>

The following is part 2 of a three part series. Part 1 is titled, “Why is religious freedom important? » Part 3 will include an interview with President Dallin H. Oaks.

ROME, Italy – Dressed in colorful traditional clothes and comfortably ensconced in the sun outside the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, Mona Polacca listed all that is sacred to her – “elements like water, air that we breathe, the sun and Mother Earth.

A representative of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, she spoke passionately about preserving a way of life for generations to come.

Last year, an indigenous sacred site in Arizona called Oak Flat was threatened by mining excavations. The destruction of Oak Flat would have left an empty crater where religious gatherings and ceremonies once took place. Polacca said the sacred site offered a spiritual connection to the land found nowhere else on earth.

“The Oak Flat Fortress is not just a place but a focus of spiritual powers…” she said to Notre Dame. “For centuries, Oak Flat has remained an active place where Indigenous people come to pray, harvest and gather where holy beings reside and sacred springs flow.”

The Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Initiative fought for and won religious freedom protection for the Indigenous sacred site.

Speaking about his own “spiritual practices and beliefs,” Polacca addressed religious freedom at the 2022 Notre Dame Religious Freedom Summit as “the sanctity of life” and “a story we should learn from.”

It’s a connection that defines his humanity.

Thomas B. Griffith, former federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and a Latter-day Saint, said religious freedom is at the very heart of what it means to be a human being. “Humans yearn for freedom. Humans are curious,” he said. “We want to know the truth. And we want to pursue the truth and in all walks of life. For human beings, matters of faith are central to their identity.

Any just society, he said, will be one that recognizes this fundamental element of what it means to be a human being – the freedom to think, to debate, to pursue ideas, to worship. “Religious freedom is not just one strand of a larger mosaic, it goes to the very heart of what it means to be a human being.”

The sun sets at the Temple of Rome Italy in Rome on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The right to pursue meaning

Stephanie Barclay, director of Notre Dame’s Religious Freedom Initiative, said believers, as well as non-believers, should care about religious freedom. “The core of what it means to be human, to have dignity, is that government gives individuals space to pursue whatever gives them deepest meaning in life and seek answers to the most important questions. life for themselves,” she said. .

Religious liberty, she continued, often acts as “a canary in the mine shaft” that functions as an early warning signal when the government begins to encroach too much on freedoms of all types. “It’s a signal that the government often acts in a way that is going to be detrimental to all citizens.”

Both empirical data and scholarship support the idea that countries that support religious freedom also have better national security, more economic prosperity and more peace, she said.

Barclay said religious groups often serve the most vulnerable in society. “If you care about the most vulnerable among us, those who need to be served and uplifted, then we should care about protecting the religious ecosystem that enables so much of this good work to be done.”

Human beings have more in common than what divides them. “We all want to be able to pursue the issues that matter most to us, to be able to live with dignity and to thrive as human beings,” she said.

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President Dallin H. Oaks of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks with Cornel West, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary, at the Notre Dame Freedom Summit nun at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. In the center is Robert P. George, professor of jurisprudence and professor of politics at Princeton University.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

A matter of life or death

Cornel West, American philosopher, political activist and social critic, said he could not conceive of what it means to be human without wrestling with what it means to be “one in search of structures of meaning and value that provide a means of justifying my passage from the womb to the grave.

Referring to the past history of the United States, West spoke of descending from a people who lived in a time when it was “against the law for black people to worship God without the supervision of white people. And it is under one of the most enlightened constitutions of modern times.

Religious freedom “is not a matter of abstract academic discourse, it is a matter of life and death. It is a matter of dignity and holiness. It’s a question of integrity. And in our attempt to stand in solidarity with each other.

God’s love for all his children is deeper and prior to human judgment. It’s “deeper than race, it’s deeper than gender, it’s deeper than sexual orientation, it’s deeper than any human construct we know of.” And that to me is another reason why religious freedom is so important.

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The Colosseum in Rome on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Religious leaders gathered in Rome for the Our Lady of Religious Liberty Summit 2022, held July 20-22, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

At the heart of humanity

Robert P. George, professor and director of the James Madison Program at Princeton University, said asking questions about the meaning of life is at the heart of humanity. “Answering these questions honestly, without being wrong, without wishful thinking, but answering these questions honestly is also part of who we are as human beings. It’s intrinsic to our nature.

Living life with authenticity and integrity – in light of the best answers to these big questions of meaning, value and purpose – is also central to who people are as human beings. “So if we want to be fully who we can be as human beings, if we have to be ourselves, if we want to realize our nature, then we have to be able to be free to ask these questions, to answer them honestly, and live with integrity and authenticity in light of our best answers.

Dignity, he said, is involved in raising these questions and answering them, and living up to the answers. “And that is why we say that respect for religious freedom is required by the dignity of the human person.”

Many will disagree on the answers to these big questions, he continued. “But at a minimum, we agree on the importance of the questions. …And we all agree in all major faith traditions, that it is important to live with authenticity and integrity, in light of your best answers. That’s a lot of agreement. It’s a lot of agreement on what it means to be a human being. There is a lot of agreement on human nature, human good, human dignity. We can work with that. »

George commended President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, for his call for worldwide efforts to preserve religious freedom. ” That you are [a Latter-day Saint], whether you are Catholic like me, whether you are Muslim, whether you are Jewish, we must unite all over the world. … We have much to learn from each other about religious freedom.

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There is constitutional protection of religious freedom, freedom of speech in Nigeria https://waterlooband.net/there-is-constitutional-protection-of-religious-freedom-freedom-of-speech-in-nigeria/ Wed, 03 Aug 2022 23:00:21 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/there-is-constitutional-protection-of-religious-freedom-freedom-of-speech-in-nigeria/ I have read Mr. Jiti Ogunye’s statement titled Courting Electoral Crime in the Name of God and made available and widely reported by social media and print media in their editions of Saturday July 24, 2022. Mr. Ogunye is a respected human rights defender whose legal activism and campaigns have enriched our country. But I […]]]>

I have read Mr. Jiti Ogunye’s statement titled Courting Electoral Crime in the Name of God and made available and widely reported by social media and print media in their editions of Saturday July 24, 2022. Mr. Ogunye is a respected human rights defender whose legal activism and campaigns have enriched our country. But I think his view, which I’ve discussed below, is wrong this time around. Conscientiously for me, it is therefore urgent to bring this false pontification of Mr. Ogunye to the attention of the general public. This is necessary as Mr. Ogunye had rightly acquired a degree of credible bullhorn status in recent years. Thus, failing to debunk the obvious fallacy in Mr. Ogunye’s misinterpretation could sway many towards the fallacious argument of this popular human rights crusader. In this statement, Mr. Ogunye harassed a clergyman and attempted to send the fear of criminal prosecution behind the backs of the clergy! And what had the preacher done if not to be faithful to his calling by urging his flock to abstain from going to hell. Mr. Ogunye had quoted the preaching of the cleric as follows: “It is a clear instruction, when it is time to vote, vote only for the Church and not for your party. Any believer who sells his faith in the name of his party is headed for hell.

Mr. Ogunye believes that the above cleric’s statement violates section 97(1)(a) of the Elections Act 2022. For convenience, the article is reproduced here: “97(1) A candidate, person or association that engages in campaigning or dissemination based on religious, tribal or sectoral reasons for the purpose of promoting or opposing a particular political party or the election of a candidate particular, commits an offense under this Act and is liable on conviction (a) to a fine not exceeding N1,000,000 or imprisonment for 12 months or both. purpose of this provision is that the legislator recognizes the pre-eminence and inviolability of the freedom to form and propagate an opinion and its twin freedom to hold a religious belief and to propagate it. The legislator has expressed no intention of abrogate these freedoms in the article quoted above. the human rights activist does not wish to outlaw him by his statement. And indeed, no legislator can do that in a legislative text. Not even by constitutional amendment, some scholars have argued. They argued that under the basic structure doctrine, the National Assembly does not have the power to amend the Constitution to restrict these sacred freedoms. (See a 2016 article by Ekokoi Solomon at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3051480 on this doctrine.)

ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Mindful of the strict and inelastic limit on its power to restrict free speech and religious freedom, the framers of the 2022 Elections Act clearly refrained from broadly punishing the sharing with voters of views favorable to a religion. The exception is when the dissemination of that opinion or campaign is “for the purpose of promoting or opposing a particular political party or the election of a particular candidate”. It is only in circumstances where the campaign or broadcast is “for the purpose of promoting or opposing a particular political party or the election of a particular candidate” that a violation of Article 97(1)(a) may be justified. Every prosecutor knows that you cannot dismiss this sentence as a condition of the crime in this section and proceed to file a charge based on this section, let alone get a conviction. As a rule of thumb, every element of a crime must be present before you can sustain a charge or prove it beyond a reasonable doubt against an accused.

It is clear from the cleric’s statement that he did not defend or oppose any particular political party or candidate. The law does not allow anyone to prove a crime by insinuation or supposition. The intention must be demonstrably clear and more than one possibility is not permitted. That’s what proof beyond a reasonable doubt means! One might be tempted to assume that the statement opposes the candidacy of one of the main presidential candidates or their political party. However, if one carefully considers the phrase “vote only for the Church and not for your party,” one would easily realize that the cleric’s warning is in no way aimed at any political party or candidate. Each (or at least each of the major political parties) contesting the 2023 general elections in Nigeria would field a mix of candidates professing different faiths or even those professing none. Coming in 2023 are presidential, gubernatorial, national and house of assembly elections for which political parties have fielded thousands of candidates of different faiths. The cleric did not refer to any particular candidate or any particular election. The clergyman simply asked his followers not to consider any political party; all they should care about is that they vote for candidates of their faith, no matter what party they or the candidates belong to. Isn’t it clear then that the clergyman had no candidate or political party in mind to oppose or support?

It has also been argued somewhere that the quoted speech of the cleric also violates section 92 of the Elections Act 2022. The provision of section 92 closest to the quoted speech is paragraph (3) which is reproduced as follows: “Places designated for religious worship, police stations and public offices shall not be used: (a) for political campaigns, rallies and processions; or (b) to promote, propagate or attack political parties, candidates or their programs or ideologies. Again, one wonders what makes the declaration a political campaign. Which political party or candidate does the clergyman’s statement oppose or support? It is important to examine or interrogate this critically. Can one have the right to hold and propagate a religious belief without a corollary right to campaign within the bounds of the law for a political leadership that would respect and protect that right?

In other words, what is the value of a right to hold and propagate a religious belief if one cannot, again, within the limits of the law, solicit other believers to vote according to a model that is believed to protect this right? Every right includes another right to protect that right. At least that is what the doctrine of self-defence has made explicit: the right to life also means the right to protect one’s life.

The inviolability of fundamental freedoms makes it abusive to want to use criminal law to limit these freedoms. Freedoms are not given by the state and therefore cannot be taken away or degraded by the state. It would then obviously be wrong to attempt to use electoral law to chill freedom of expression or degrade religious freedom, especially when the legislator does not remotely express such an intention.

The cleric’s statement was also characterized as “verbal or written threats to life or defamatory statements”, not protected by the right to freedom of expression and of the press. Again, this cannot be true. Nigeria is a democracy. It is probably more intolerance of opposing viewpoints than patriotism and loyalty to the Constitution to try to make the cleric’s statement feel like a threat or defamation. Pray, who is defamed here and what is defamatory in the statement? The offense of threat or its civil equivalent will only be established where the recipient of the threat reasonably believes that the maker of the threat is capable of carrying out the threat. So who believes that the cleric is the clerk of hell, charged with the duty of compiling the names of hell lovers? This allegation of threats and defamation is likely to discredit the law. We certainly don’t want a legal regime where a pastor or imam is too afraid to preach that sinners or those who betray their faith will go to hell. The truth or otherwise of this assertion is what religious freedom has taken away from political moderation. Humanity was once at this point. It is progress that the human race has moved beyond this style of governance.

The heart of this article is to make it very clear that the Elections Act 2022 did not nullify freedom of speech and religious freedom, nor the right to do anything within the law to defend the protection of these fundamental rights. However, these rights must be exercised with great caution, respect for the rights and religions of others and the duty to promote peace and harmony.

  • Jayeoba writes via jayeobadeji@yahoo.com.

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LankaWeb – Sri Lanka must restrict religious leaders to their place of worship and away from politics https://waterlooband.net/lankaweb-sri-lanka-must-restrict-religious-leaders-to-their-place-of-worship-and-away-from-politics/ Mon, 01 Aug 2022 22:04:34 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/lankaweb-sri-lanka-must-restrict-religious-leaders-to-their-place-of-worship-and-away-from-politics/ Sri Lanka must restrict religious leaders to their place of worship and away from politics Posted on August 1, 2022 shenali wadugue During ancient times in Sri Lanka, kings went for guidance as well as blessings from the Sangha. The kings went to the Sangha – the Sangha did not come to the king. The […]]]>

Sri Lanka must restrict religious leaders to their place of worship and away from politics
Posted on August 1, 2022

shenali wadugue

During ancient times in Sri Lanka, kings went for guidance as well as blessings from the Sangha. The kings went to the Sangha – the Sangha did not come to the king. The role of the Maha Sangha was advisory. The reverse is happening now. In the Western Hemisphere, the Church has played a key role in governance. Post-colonial rule, governance transferred to the state and its institutes. Religions were confined to their places of worship. However, in recent times we are witnessing an undesirable increase in interference in governance by religious bodies, sometimes in conflict with state governance. Currently we see religious leaders organizing demonstrations, processions, holding signs, inciting hatred, animosity and divisions between communities and making the country vulnerable to attack due to the negative publicity they generate locally and internationally through their conduct. This conduct has gone too far and beyond the levels of acceptability. The government must take steps to prevent all religious leaders from staying within their religious boundaries and not getting involved in politics unless the leaders come to them for advice.

President Ranil Wickremasinghe must consider the following:

  • No Buddhist Theros in civilian universities: Return the Theros student to the Bhikku universities and separate them from the secular universities. This will prevent the growing number of men wearing Buddhist robes and behaving in an unruly manner, as seen in recent protests. We wonder if these robed men are real Buddhist heroes or university students in robes. To avoid such doubt, it is suggested that theros be separated from the laity.
  • Buddhist clergy amid protests: It was such an ugly site and something Buddhists do not wish to encourage or see in the future. There were so-called Buddhist heroes pretending to observe වස් වසිනවා in the open Galle Face Green, making a joke about a Buddhist observance.
  • Catholic Church: The Church is not only responsible for 500 years of colonial crimes, but has played a negative role since independence. Catholic Action by a segment of the military to overthrow the government in the 1960s, the Church directly implicated in LTTE terrorism and separatism in Sri Lanka, in the more recent ways the fathers and nuns of the Church were leading the recent protests. People have the right to protest, but do people need Buddhist heroes and Catholic priests to lead protesters? When the majority of Tamils ​​are Hindus, why should Catholic priests play a leading role in aligning themselves with the LTTE fronts?
  • Hindu and Islamic clergy – were also seen galvanizing young people during the protests. There is no requirement for any clergy to be involved in protests and this ugly practice must stop before it reaches ugly levels.

Religious leaders of all faiths should be ashamed that if people’s values ​​have deteriorated, they are partly to blame because instead of bringing people closer to spirituality, they are busy inciting hatred in their minds.

As a result, people lose trust and respect towards religious leaders and this is not a very good sign and needs to be addressed.

In a world of stress and calamity, we expect much more than what spiritual leaders are currently doing (applicable to all religions). People cannot simply follow rituals or customs while religious leaders are busy playing politics. Leave the politics to the politicians and without pointing fingers at the politicians, the religious leaders must first do their duty.

Due to the conduct of religious leaders, people of these faiths have become disoriented and disillusioned and alienated, resulting in a society that has also lost the need to be spiritually awakened.

Leave the politics to the politicians – leave the protests to the demonstrators – … suggest that the religious leaders stick to what their robes tell them to do.

Shenali D Waduge


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Where Judge Alito and Rep. Greene overlap on religious liberty https://waterlooband.net/where-judge-alito-and-rep-greene-overlap-on-religious-liberty/ Fri, 29 Jul 2022 18:51:00 +0000 https://waterlooband.net/where-judge-alito-and-rep-greene-overlap-on-religious-liberty/ Comment this story Comment What caught the most attention in a speech by Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. at a recent religious freedom conference was his mockery of foreign leaders. He mocked those overseas who expressed concern over the overthrow of Roe vs. Wade in an opinion he wrote, much to the amusement […]]]>

Comment

What caught the most attention in a speech by Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. at a recent religious freedom conference was his mockery of foreign leaders. He mocked those overseas who expressed concern over the overthrow of Roe vs. Wade in an opinion he wrote, much to the amusement of the public.

But that was not the point of his speech. Rather, it was to insist that religious freedom—and religion itself—had reached a point where it needed a strong defense.

After noting extreme examples of hostility to religion, including the actions of the Islamic State and Nazi Germany, he presented his thesis.

“The looming problem is not just indifference to religion. It’s not just ignorance of religion,” he said. “There is also a growing hostility to religion, or at least to traditional religious beliefs that are contrary to the new moral code that is gaining momentum in some sectors.”

You will notice the heavy burden placed on the word “or” in that last sentence: there is hostility to religion. or at least traditional beliefs that conflict with this “new moral code”. The “new code” he is referring to, we can safely assume, is the push toward recognizing the value and identity of people who have long been excluded from power, if not from social conversation entirely. It is therefore not really that there is so much hostility to religion that Alito sees this contradictory “moral code” as a threat to his “traditional” beliefs.

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The rest of Alito’s speech reflected that same tension. Perhaps the clearest articulation of his concern centered on how the constitutional right to worship freely was interpreted.

“‘Freedom of worship’ means the freedom to do those things that you like to do in the privacy of your home or in your church or synagogue or your mosque or your temple,” he said. “But when you go out into the public square in the light of day, you better behave like a good secular citizen. This is the problem we face.

Alito pointedly declined to give examples of how this happens but, taken together, these two quotes clearly articulate his position. He sees a secular society – he intentionally uses “citizen” – imposing a new moral code that suppresses religious beliefs outside the home. What he fails to see is how the expression of traditional beliefs outside the home can be seen as suppressing secular or other religious traditions and beliefs. The contrast between “traditional” and “new” is a contrast intended to suggest a gradation of value.

“Religious freedom is under attack in many places because it is dangerous for those who want complete power,” he said at another point. It’s a theme he’s addressed before, such as when he criticized pandemic restrictions on religious gatherings as disturbing incursions on religious freedom rather than efforts to prevent the spread of a contagious virus. It’s not just that he thinks secular culture is oppressive, it’s that he sees it as an intentional effort to crush opposition. Again, he started by referring to the Holocaust.

All of this reflects a familiar pattern on the right. Polls have repeatedly show that Republicans in particular view Christians and whites as equal or even more targets of discrimination than black Americans or Jews.

It’s safe to assume that’s because many see the rise of non-white, non-Christian voices as a threat to white, Christian dominance since the country’s founding. Alito does not address race, but it is clear that he sees Christian values ​​as facing the discrimination of these secular citizens.

For context, Alito was in the majority when the Supreme Court ruled that a Christian baker could refuse to provide services for religious reasons at the marriage of a same-sex couple. He was in the majority in a number of recent cases in which the court sided with Christian groups or individuals against the government, including one in which a public school football coach was fired for organizing midfield prayer sessions. He seems to have viewed them as secular impositions of the “new moral code” on traditional beliefs and not as religious beliefs imposed on those around them.

It is true that the number of self-identified Christians in the United States has declined. The number of white Christians has declined further (since the percentage of the country that is white is lower than it used to be).

It is not that there is a “new moral code”, as such. It is that there are more non-Christians to question the implicit, often systemic primacy of Christian values ​​and rules in American society. Just as there are more non-whites who might be skeptical about how American society can be structured to benefit whites.

Speaking at a religious freedom conference, Alito focused on religious freedom. But the entrenchment of the defenders of Christian America takes many forms.

Over the weekend, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was interviewed by a host of a right-wing YouTube channel.

“We must be the party of nationalism. And I’m a Christian and I say this proudly: we should be Christian nationalists,” Greene said. “And when Republicans learn to represent most of the people who vote for them, then we’ll be the party that continues to grow without having to chase certain identities or chase away, you know, certain segments of people.”

It’s usually not subtle. She says that by becoming a party of explicit Christian nationalism, the GOP would not have to “hunt down” non-white voters because they would build a strong enough base of support solely from white Christians.

Alito doesn’t say he wants a Christian nation. He says, instead, that religious belief is in tension with secular citizenship. He said in November 2020 that “you cannot say that marriage is a union between a man and a woman”, which imposes freedom of expression. He says, in other words, that things like letting a same-sex couple marry because they’re in love is a “new moral code” that’s necessarily hostile to its traditions. This closure of a church along with everything else at the height of the pandemic is an example of how the government stands against its religious expression.

He and Greene fight in the same direction and with the same instincts, if not explicitly for the same purpose. For non-Christians, the difference between an explicitly Christian country and a country where Christian values ​​carry more weight can sometimes be difficult to distinguish.

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