President Biden is “a good Catholic”, says Pope Francis; Buddhist Reality and Freedom from Illusion; Ásatrú, Viking religion on the rise in Iceland; Religious exemption to vaccine mandates rejected by Supreme Court; America: an evolving identity or a culture under attack?
President Biden is ‘a good Catholic’, says Pope Francis
President Joe Biden says Pope Francis told him he is a ‘good Catholic’ and must continue to commune when the world’s two most prominent Roman Catholics met at the Vatican on Friday. Some conservatives like Cardinal Raymond BurkeThey have, however, called for Biden to be denied the sacrament because his outspoken support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage contradicts church teaching. Speaking to reporters after an unusually long 75-minute private audience with the pope, Biden described the meeting as “wonderful” and said the pope blessed his rosary beads and prayed for him.
Buddhist reality and freedom from illusion
One of the Tibetan Buddhist words for dualistic mind means something like “a magician creating illusions.” All our thoughts are magical illusions created by our mind. We get trapped, carried away by our own illusions. We forgot that we are the magician in the first place!” We believe that our thoughts, especially those that make up our sense of identity, are substantial and enduring. The truth is that they are not. They are completely illusory. Even our bodies are illusory.
Ásatrú, Viking religion on the rise in Iceland
In the late 9th century, the King of Norway wanted Iceland to become Christian and sent a warrior missionary, named Thangbrand, to convert the country and in the year 1000, Norway’s wish came true. Iceland’s legislative and judicial body, the Althing, decreed that Christianity would be the sole religion of the nation. But in recent times, the pagan religion has seen a resurgence. The Icelandic government recognized Ásatrú as a formal religion in 1973 and it has since become one of the fastest growing religions in the country. The Ásatrú Association of Iceland, which was formed in 1972 and lobbied for legal recognition, claims to be the largest non-Christian church in the country.
Religious exemption to vaccine mandates rejected by Supreme Court
The US Supreme Court last Friday allowed a vaccination mandate for Maine health care workers to remain in effectrejecting an emergency request from workers who argued they should receive religious exemptions. the short order It was a rare case in which the court deferred to a statewide COVID-19 policy in the face of religious rights claims, and the decision divided conservatives on the court. The three most conservative justices, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, argued in disagreement that Maine’s mandate unconstitutionally discriminates against health care workers with religious objections to coronavirus vaccines. Two other Conservatives, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, agreed with the decision not to intervene, saying the court’s emergency docket is not the proper place to resolve the merits of workers’ claims.
America: an evolving identity or a culture under attack? Findings from the 2021 American Values Survey
Has the United States always been a force for good in the world? Does the country evolve or erode? Is belief in God important to our national identity? Religious belief or lack thereof, affiliation with a political party, and other factors show the depth of our ideological divisions in a recent poll. In the 2021 American Values Survey, the overwhelming majority of white Christian groups agree that America is a force for good, including white evangelical Protestants (88 percent), mainstream white (non-evangelical) Protestants (88 percent), and Catholics whites (85 percent). Two-thirds or more Hispanic Catholics (73 percent), other Christians (71 percent), black Protestants (69 percent), and members of non-Christian religions (66 percent). Americans with no religious affiliation (58 percent) are the least likely to hold this belief.