Religion Posts

  • My new Twitter handle is now live - check me out at @jackiewgibson!

  • CNN has posted a history of bias against Sikhs - more reason for people to learn about religions before they attack anyone:...

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Hackers group Anonymous takes down Vatican website:

  • WGN-TV calls doomsday prophecies "an illusion":

  • RT @graceishuman: Really,? Asking people JUST LEAVING the service how they felt about it? Tacky, tacky, inappropriate

  • Whitney Houston's funeral service really took the world to church. Love Pastor Winans' honesty, very moving.

  • #teacher ? Here are appropriate responses to situations with your Jehovah's Witness student:

  • #Teachers: Want to know why your Jehovah's Witness student won't say the pledge and how to respond?

English flagItalian flagKorean flagChinese (Simplified) flagPortuguese flagGerman flagFrench flagSpanish flagJapanese flagArabic flag
Russian flagGreek flagDutch flagBulgarian flagCzech flagCroatian flagDanish flagFinnish flagHindi flagPolish flag
Romanian flagSwedish flagNorwegian flagCatalan flagFilipino flagHebrew flagIndonesian flagLatvian flagLithuanian flagSerbian flag
Slovak flagSlovenian flagUkrainian flagVietnamese flag      


In June, Catholic bishops got together to revise an outdated letter, adding new language about the importance of sharing the story of Jesus with others. The revisions called for Christians to share their faith with Jews, without “proselytizing” the Jewish people.

Though the pope has said that Jews are God’s chosen people according to Biblical covenants, some Jews think this new language implies they need to convert to Christianity to go to Heaven.

Judaism: Anger over conversion attempts

Jewish groups including the American Jewish Committee and rabbis from all three major movements of Judaism wrote a letter to the bishops. They wrote that their relationship with Catholics is at risk thanks to the revised statements.

The Jewish leaders said they wanted to be able to have dialogue with Catholics without Catholics trying to convert them to Christianity.

Hinduism: Anger over conversion attempts
In 2008, violence erupted all over India between Hindus and Christians, much of which continues today. The violence concerned Christians’ attempts to convert Hindus in the country, where Hinduism is the major religion. Learn more about the Hindu argument here.

So what do you think? Do other religions have a right to be angry at conversion attempts? Should Christians continue to convert others? Is there a way to share your beliefs without proselytizing?

Created by, 2009

The New Encyclical

Last Tuesday, Catholic Pope Benedict XVI released his latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth).

An encyclical is a letter from the pope that usually addresses doctrine and takes a stance on some idea or ideas. Perhaps the most famous encyclical is Humanae Vitae (1968), in which Pope Paul VI wrote about abortion, contraception, and so on.

According to The Examiner, Caritas in Veritate builds on Pope Paul VI’s 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio which discusses worldly progress and truth.  The new encyclical makes it clear that there is a black and white answer for everything – and there should not be any relativism when it comes to morals. It also mentions Humanae Vitae, upholding the “strong links between life ethics and social ethics.” He wrote that man cannot depend on social foundations alone – in other words, we cannot make our decisions based on the progress of the day. Decisions (whether we apply them to abortion, poverty, etc.) must be grounded in a respect for life and in morality. He wrote:

“When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good…By cultivating openness to life, wealthy peoples can better understand the needs of poor ones, they can avoid employing huge economic and intellectual resources to satisfy the selfish desires of their own citizens, and instead, they can promote virtuous action within the perspective of production that is morally sound and marked by solidarity, respecting the fundamental right to life of every people and every individual.”

Read the full encyclical on the Vatican website.

The Pope and Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Catholic Pope Benedict XVI on Friday. Highlights of the meeting include the following:

–The pope gave Obama a copy of Dignitas Personae (2008), his encyclical that talks about the dignity of humans, including the unborn. The statement is pro-life and urges politicians to consider morals when making laws.

–Obama said he’d like to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S.

–CNN reports they likely discussed stem cell research.

–The two discussed the pope’s new encyclical (see above).

A Catholic Surgeon General

Today, Obama named Alabama rural family physician Regina Benjamin as the next U.S. Surgeon General.

According to, Benjamin:

–is Catholic

–has urged future physicians to learn how to perform abortions

–is on the board of Physicians for Human Rights, which speaks out against illegal abortions

–received a distinguished service medal from the current pope and the National Caring Award from Mother Teresa

By selecting Benjamin, it appears Obama has chosen someone the pope approves of – yet someone who seems to support legal abortions. So has Obama really taken to heart the pope’s call to consider morals? What do you think?

Content created by

U.S. President Barack Obama will be meeting with the pope in Rome on Friday. In preparation for his trip, he met with a group of religion reporters last Thursday.

Reporters represented Catholic News Service, the National Catholic Reporter, America magazine, The Washington Post, Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, Commonweal magazine, and Vatican Radio.

Obama’s recent comments include the following:

- He “continues to be profoundly influenced by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago.”

- He plans to continue reviewing conscience clause regulations that allow people who are opposed to abortions to decline providing them.

- He wants to establish a good relationship with bishops.

- He is eager to meet the pope and hopes it will lead to continued cooperation.

- He receives a devotional prayer from his faith-based office chief every morning.

Find links to transcripts through USA Today.

Learn more about Catholicism on Religion Transcends.

Content created by

Some churches around the world have moved toward online giving – church attendees can go online, tithe a certain amount of money, and have that money pulled directly from their bank accounts or credit cards. It’s especially popular with parachurches, where one megachurch is at the center and satellite churches watch the services on television. And while the trend has made giving easier for some, Ministry Today reports that “many Christians remain hesitant to use a method they believe is susceptible to fraud, theft, and error.”


The magazine claims online giving is secure and makes it easier to make recurring gifts to a church. This is also helpful for church leaders – if they know member X will be giving $50 a month, they can plan ahead for how to use those funds.


On the other hand, the magazine warns that online giving makes it easy to forget the importance of developing face-to-face relationships with congregants and thanking those people for their gifts to God/the church.


What do you think? Is online giving a scam? Or is it a convenient tool for giving?


Copyright 2009, Religion Transcends