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  • 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?

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Following the retirement of Protestant John Paul Stevens from the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court will include no Protestants. Elena Kagan, awaiting confirmation to replace Justice Stevens, is Jewish. That puts the count at 6 Catholics and 3 Jews on the court:

Catholic Justices: John G. Roberts, Jr. (chief justice), Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor

Jewish Justices: Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan (awaiting confirmation)

Per the U.S. Constitution, religion cannot be a factor in the choice for who will fill a government office. But people certainly think about it. With Kagan in place, the court will no longer have a Protestant voice – a fact some consider scary and others consider hopeful. For those in the latter category, they say it’s great that justices are no longer pigeon-holed into the “woman” or “Jewish” category but are welcomed into the court even if they don’t have a stereotypical role to play. They say it’s exciting that we’ve become diverse enough that we it doesn’t matter whether we have a Protestant in place. Not to mention the Supreme Court existed for almost 50 years before adding a Catholic to the bench and it took another 80 years beyond that to include a Jew.

Those on the other side say the Protestant voice isn’t going to be heard at that level and decisions won’t be made that fit within Protestant values (particularly related to abortion, marriage, etc.). Given that half the United States claims to be Protestant, the lack of a Protestant justice is, at the least, surprising.

The Wall Street Journal speculated as to why more Catholics and Jews than Protestants are becoming justices.

Of course, representation for everyone would be ideal. The court now includes African American and Hispanic justices, women and men, Jews and Christians. But how can we as a nation sit back and question the lack of a Protestant justice when the court is also lacking Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, LGBT, and Asian-American representation?

Perhaps when it’s time to choose the next justice, we should be considering all genders, all races, and all religions. And for now, we can sit back and be proud of the diversity we have attained so far.

Read biographies of the justices on the Supreme Court site.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010

Talk about diversity.

NorthWood Church, a Baptist congregation in Keller, Texas, recently combined services with the local Jewish temple and an Islamic Center. Over the course of four days, congregants from all three houses of worship met at the Temple Shalom, NorthWood, and the Dallas mosque to hold three separate services highlighting similarities among the religions.

The idea was to create understanding, an opportunity for dialogue, and ultimately cooperation. The pastor admits to receiving criticism about “watering down Christian doctrines” but says each religion does (and should) hold onto its own beliefs as the singular truth. It’s more about the religions opening up to each other to talk about their similarities and differences.

Want the rest of his answer to criticism? Check it out on the Ministry Today site. Religion Transcends applauds this minister’s attempts at love, peace, and understanding. He has transcended criticism and anger and hatred, seeking only to love those around him and to open his doors to them.

Disagree? Think it’s a bad idea?

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010

The following series of winter religious holidays was written by Religion Transcends writer Jackie Walker for the Winter 2009 issue of Relate magazine. Relate’s mission is to inspire teen girls to pursue their dreams with confidence and to teach them to be an example for others in their speech, life, love, faith and purity. Religion overviews may have Christian overtones to make the content relatable for the Christian teen audience.

If you’re putting the finishing touches on a winter wonderland of figgy pudding, jingling bells, and neatly wrapped presents, you’re in good company. Each year, about 93% of Americans celebrate Christmas. That’s more than 9 out of every 10 people in the United States!

Of course, Christmas comes in a variety of packages: Santa and his sleigh, Jesus and his manger, the Grinch and his itty-bitty heart. So just what is the real Christmas story? And what are some of the holy nights that the other 7% of Americans are celebrating this winter?

Set aside those gingerbread cookies and read this holiday list (we checked it twice!).


Holiday: Hanukkah

Date: December 12-19

Main Players: The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem

The Story: Compared to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Hanukkah is a less important holiday. But some Jewish families do celebrate it. As history tells, the Jews had a holy temple in Jerusalem. The Greek army seized the temple in 168 BC and destroyed many items like the menorah, a golden candle holder. In 165 BC, after the Jews had cleaned up the temple, they held a dedication ceremony to give some honor back to the building. They looked for oil to light the menorah but found only enough for one day. By some miracle, the oil lasted for eight whole days! The temple was later destroyed in 70 AD; all that remains are fragments like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. But Jews today remember the night they took the temple back and witnessed the miracle of the oil.

Traditions: Some Jews give presents on Hanukkah, but for the most part Hanukkah involves two traditions:

  • Jews light a menorah in their homes. It has 9 candles, one for each night the menorah stayed lit and one candle to light the others. They light one candle each night for eight nights.
  • Kids play games like spinning the dreidel. This is a top with four sides that say “Nes, Gimel, Hay, and Shin” which together mean “a great miracle happened there.”

Other installments in this series:
-Buddhism: Bodhi Day

-Christianity: Christmas

-Islam: Ashura

-Hinduism: Vasant Panchami

Other holidays this winter:
-Islam: Hijra (December 18)
-Wicca: Winter Solstice (December 21)
-Shinto: Gantan-sai (January 1)
-Baha’i: World Religion Day (January 17)
-Buddhism/Confucianism: Chinese New Year (February 14)

Created by Religion Transcends, 2009

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