Monday, December 19, 2011

Religion News Roundup, Monday: Lady Gaga, Jedi Knights, and Occupy Wallstreet


Pagan wins ‘family life’ human rights case: An American woman who worships Norse gods has won the right to stay in Britain because of her “family life” with her boyfriend and his wife. Home Office officials told Emily DiSanto, 25, that they would not grant her permission to stay in Britain because the law bans what are in effect polygamous relationships. But now she has won an extraordinary legal case in which she was allowed to remain here on the basis of her human right to family life. The 25-year-old now shares Alan and Anne-Marie Caulfield’s marital home in south-east London with his two children – one by each of the women. The tree are Odinist. Odinism is another name for Asatru.

China party official warns members over religion: Religious practice among Chinese Communist Party members is increasing and threatens its unity and national leadership, a top party official said in remarks reported Monday. Party members are required to be atheists and must not believe in religion or engage in religious practice, said Zhu Weiqun, a member of the party’s Central Committee and executive vice director of its United Front Work Department in charge of dealings with nonparty groups.

Jedi knights top 15,000 in Czech census: AFP: More than 15,000 Czechs follow the faith of the Star Wars movies’ Jedi knights, official census data showed Thursday, while half of the country’s 10.5 million people declined to list any religion. “Many people adhered to the moral values of Jedi knights from the Star Wars saga,” the Czech Statistical Office said in a statement, noting that the invented faith also had a strong following in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Britain.

Czech Republic Sees Rise of ‘Jedi Knights’ as Religious Movement: The rise of the Jedi religion, whether serious or not, shows a strong turn away from organized religion. Nearly 1.1 million people declared themselves Roman Catholic on this census, making it the country’s most popular religion. But that’s a sharp decline from the 2001 numbers, where 2.8 million listed themselves as Roman Catholic, Radio Prague notes.

Religious leaders’ concern at library Scientology stock: Church leaders in Tonbridge (UK) have questioned why almost a quarter of the library’s religious section is dedicated to books on Scientology. A spokesman at the Scientology headquarters in East Grinstead, Graeme Wilson, said the books were donated to the library. Spamming libraries with the quackery amd pseudo-religious fantasies taught by the cult’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard is standard practice for the commercial enterprise.

Why the Church Should Listen to Lady Gaga: The most popular, not most prolific or even the most accurate, theologian in the world right now is Lady Gaga. She talks about Jesus… a lot, interpreting Him for her staunch fans. She has covered sin, God’s creation, Jesus, internal spiritual struggles, etc. in her music. Lady Gaga openly claims to love Jesus and be a Christian. It’s a conversation that the Church needs to take notice of. What she gets right the Church needs to claim, and what she gets wrong the Church needs to critique.

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