The Vatican announced that the name of the new Pope of Francis I. The
Vatican Sistine chapel at the top of the chimney (13) on Wednesday
evening, white smoke, finally from the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires,
archbishop of red hall, Mario’s Leo (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) was chosen as
226 Pope. He is 76 years old and born in an Italian immigrant families in
Buenos Aires. He is one of the five children in the home, his father is a
railway workers. He is regarded as sympathetic conservatives. This is the
first time in the history of the Roman Catholic archbishop in red from
America as the Pope. The Vatican announced that a new name for Francis I
of the Pope.
New Pope huge crowds gathered on St Peter’s square in a speech, “all men
and women of goodwill”, please pray for him and helped him to lead the
Catholic Church. Before he wishes also with Italian accent in Latin
America and the people joked, “Cardinal meeting just choose a bishop to
Rome, but my brothers archbishop of red was running on the other end of
the world.” On abortion, gay marriage and birth control issues, such as
high Mr Bell held orthodox position. He said in 2010, gay and lesbian
couples to adopt children is discrimination against children. A statement
he has received the Argentine President Cristina Fernandez DE Kirchner’s
challenge. Argentina is the first Latin American countries legalizing gay
marriage. Christina advocate free contraceptives and artificial
insemination, its position and the church is completely at odds.He is the
tallest leadership of 1.6 billion Christians. Hope he can lead Christians
towards a good direction.

The Myth’s Influential Power


The article “Moses is Revered by Three Faiths – The biblical story strongly resonates today”, by Kira Zalan, ” discusses the influence of Moses in modern society. According to the article, political leaders  are often inspired by the story of Moses and how he freed the oppressed Israelites by God’s command. Political leaders such as president Harry Truman and Bill Clinton have referenced Moses and the Ten Commandments. It is easy to see how such religious  influence on powerful political people can in turn influence the masses on a large scale. Some of these political leaders shape the way laws are made and their ideology certainly has an influence on their decisions. A simple example would be the idea of  thou shalt not kill. Some states practice capital punishment while some states do not. How these states decide whether to practice capital punishment may be dependent on the beliefs of their political leaders . Political leaders also have influence over the people they represent. For example through the use of media. In African societies, eerie murders and sacrifices are common. These incidents are sometimes promoted by African religions and beliefs.

The article also mentions many facts that historians find and the use of these facts by scholars to interpret the story of Moses. William Dever, who was mentioned in the article, is a biblical archaeologist. He reveals his findings on the character Moses and concludes that there is no significant evidence that supports for Moses’ existence According to Zalan, Egyptologists also found no similar characters that resembled Moses in the historical time frame. 

Most people’s understanding of myth is an influential story that is not true. Taken into consideration of the idea that there is not many evidence of Moses’ existence outside the biblical context, the story of Moses may be considered a myth.. The academic definition of a myth “is a story with culturally formative power that functions to direct the life and thought of individuals and groups of societies”. Under this definition, whether the myth is true or not the story of Moses is still considered as a myth.

The significance of myths is shown through the story of Moses’. Essentially, the idea that there is no proof of Moses’ existence outside of biblical context does not change the fact of its influential power. Many other myths continue to shape today’s modern society. Having an understanding of myths can explain how some of the rules and ideologies of our society come together. The moral and beliefs of today’s society may be influenced by myths; spreading like a wild fire.


Web name: hsnW



It is no secret that most major religions have their roots set deep in the past, and at the foundation of all religions are doctrines and creeds, these steadfast beliefs required by religions are becoming increasingly challenged in the modern world.  I chose this article because it is a perfect depiction of how religion is being pressured to change ancient doctrines in order to fit into a world of equal human rights, whether that is with regards to gay marriage, or women being ordained into priesthood. In this article Kate Kelly, a human-rights attorney in Washington D.C. is fighting for the right for women to be ordained into priesthood, something that is not typical or traditional in Mormonism, and is being met with great revolt in the Mormon community by both men and women. This illustrates the importance of religious studies as I believe that in the future, human rights will continue to clash with doctrinal beliefs of many religions.


                  The reality of the world is that it is ever changing; belief systems that show refusal to change with society will surely remain under fire, and face increasing societal pressure. Kate Kelly is a person on the frontier of this fight,  many religions maintain their androcentric  hierarchies,  and as time goes on these systems are continually being shown to be out dated. It is my own personal opinion that it will only be a matter of time until all churches face the decision to revise doctrines to catch up to the societal progress that is being made within the states in which the reside. Due to the current disparity between human rights movements and religious androcentric doctrines, I believe that the study of religion will flourish, and become increasingly important and dynamic in the future to help understand how belief systems that are by nature unchanging will fit into a world that is constantly changing and advancing. 


Sexism: A Misused Term


Religious tolerance and gender inequality are two topics that Canada prides itself on having. However, when such topics come into practice, are they as greatly protected as Canadian officials say they are? This is a question that seems to be usually answered in a biased manner. The answer to my question is, in the simplest terms, no. In religions, such as Orthodox Judaism and Islam, physical interaction between men and women is prohibited with the exception of interfamily contact. However, due to the structure of our current society, such interactions are inevitable. Does that mean if an opportunity to avoid the interactions without causing any harm to any party, the individual should not take it? Again, no. When considering the perspective of religious tolerance, such beliefs should not be compromised, but rather, they should be understood instead of being fought against in a war of ideological differences.

In York University, a student made a request from his professor to excuse him from a group project because the student did not believe in “intermingling between men and women.” The professor, then, forwarded the request to the dean of the faculty and the University Center for human rights in hopes that it would be denied under the pretense of “sexism”. Instead, the dean of the faculty, instructed Mr. Grayson to “accommodate” the student’s request. The professor neglected the decision, forcing the student to make further accommodations.

This event is one of many conflicts between religion and gender equality, but just tolerance for the student was heavily rejected and was not taken into consideration by professor Grayson. York University stands by its decision to excuse the student, but their decision was not accepted by any federal MPs. What these MPs need to realize, is that the request was not an act of “sexism” as claimed by conservative MP Mark Adler, but rather, one of innocent belief in regards to his religion. No sexist remark was made nor was any prejudiced intended. Canadian culture is not limited to one set of beliefs.  Why are those who “challenge” the so called “societal norms” so horrifically labeled? Why should one person compromise their beliefs because the other person deems them wrong? Why should it be either gender equality or religious tolerance? Instead of using both ideologies, Canadian society uses one against the other. To claim “sexism” to such a small request is unjust. After all, this is Canada and there is no room for such implication. The situation could have simply been resolved with reasoning and understanding.  

Desperation in Tibet


Oppression to the point where you cannot practice your own culture such as religious traditions your ancestors have been following for thousands of years. This is the extent that the Chinese Communist government has gone to commit cultural genocide against the Tibetan population in China. The Tibetans living in China have been stripped of their basic human rights, to any other sort of freedom even outside religion. Tibetans have been resorting to desperate measures to display the pain and agony they go through every day, while living under Communist rule. This includes the practice of self-immolation, where individuals willingly set themselves on fire.


In 1950, the Chinese military invaded and subsequently conquered Tibet. Since then, the Tibetan population has been participating in peaceful action, in order to get their homeland back. Peaceful protests against the occupying Chinese in Tibet have taken place from all areas of the world. They have taken place from Canada to the United States and even across China. But these peaceful protests have done little to nothing to promote awareness about the horrendous events going on in Chinese subjugated Tibet. Just recently in the past 4 to 5 years, self-immolations have started to begin in China. Due to the Communist Party in China, Tibetans are treated and watched like criminals. Chinese soldiers even go as far to infest sacred places such as Tibetan Monasteries to keep surveillance on monks. It is even a crime to have any type of image of their revered religious leader The Dalai Lama. Monks are detained, thrown into jail and often executed for worshipping this spiritual leader. “Many Tibetans feel forcibly estranged from their language, culture and religion by repressive Chinese policies”. This quote describes the feelings of many Tibetans, and is argued to represent the motivation behind self-immolations. Through self-immolations, Tibetan monks are displaying how they would rather leave this world behind than live under these repressive conditions imposed by the Chinese government.


Demonstrating the overwhelming control over Tibetan daily life, the Chinese government deploys thousands of troops in populated Tibetan regions. These troops are heavily armed and are there to minimize any hint of resistance, or any attempts of self-immolations. Another duty of these troops is to go door to door to clear out any type of pilgrimage of Tibetan Buddhism or worship of The Dalai Lama. Something like this would never occur in any civilized nation such as Canada where multiculturalism, democracy, and freedom is valued. China being such a powerhouse economically, politically and military, sanctions their power to treat the Tibetan people with such inhumanity and humiliation. With such tyrannical policies imposed by the Chinese government, it is difficult to imagine how Tibetan’s can have hope for the future, as they are basically living in the largest prison in the world. 

Religion has undoubtedly been a controversial issue for centuries in all parts of the world. A great deal of the controversial issues stem from conflicting views of different religions, as well as legislature in specific countries which governs the religious rights and practices of its citizens. Unsurprisingly, such legislature is met with resistance since citizens from any given country come from a wide variety of different religious backgrounds.

A recent article based on the religious requests of Israeli Christians illustrates this well. Israel, known for having a disproportionately high Jewish and Muslim population, has been criticized in the past by the U.S. State Department for failing to guarantee the rights of all Christians living there. Israeli legislature, the Knesset, just recently voted to give Christians a seat on the Equal Employment Opportunities advisory council, despite Christian’s presence in the country for centuries. Although indigenous Christians are exempt from military service, there is a growing number who become part of the forces on a volunteer basis. This trend stems from a desire to integrate more into the larger Israeli society – where Christians often feel like second-class citizens.

Volunteering to protect their home country is one way that Christians integrate themselves into the larger Israeli society. They state that if they don’t integrate, they will remain marginalized. While the Israeli government supports this trend, it is faced with backlash and even harassment from Muslims and even other Christians.

This is an important issue in the realm of world religions because it could be the start of a devastating catastrophe. If cases of violence towards Israeli Christian Soldiers continue, the citizens could see the breakout of a war. Furthermore, it clearly represents a lack of knowledge or ignorance towards religious diversity. People need to understand and accept that a person’s religion does not define them as a citizen of their country.  The fact of the matter is that these men are being honorable and fighting for their homeland. I find it absolutely despicable that they are facing harassment and violence based solely on their religion.  This clearly illustrates the need for teaching religious studies, as it would create a population of people with a more accepting view of diversity in the realm of religion. Finally, with a greater understanding and acceptance of other religions, hopefully the citizens will come to encourage the honorable job the soldiers are performing, regardless of their religious beliefs.


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Hazardous Hijabs!?



Different religions call for different attire that is deemed acceptable in their religion, for the Sikh it’s the turban, for a Jew it may be his yamaka, for a Catholic Nun the robes she chooses to wear, and for a Muslimah it is the hijab which is compulsory according to her religion. Here in Canada we pride ourselves in our tolerance and acceptance of one another’s religion, and in the traditions they bring a long with them. Yet should it be a matter blown out of proportion on what an individual chooses to wear on the premise that it’s a safety hazard?

This seemed to be the case when an unsuspecting 14-year-old girl, Safaa Menhem was all of a sudden banned from playing soccer due to the religious headscarf she was wearing. A soccer referee made the call that it was unsafe for her to be on the field with a headscarf on her head.  And this decision was later backed up by Gary Roy, the referee development officer with the Alberta Soccer Association who said that this is not an issue of religious discrimination but rather “The reason is, that if a player is wearing a hijab that is tied under the chin and someone decides to grab her by her hijab while she’s running down the field, it could result in a serious injury,”. An adequate explanation yet it was certainly not enough for the coaches and team mates of Safaa as she had been playing for the past five seasons without incident. It’s easy to see that this situation can go back and forth with both sides providing adequate reasoning behind their views. Safety versus religious discrimination; to reach a good resolution the solution may not lie in having the same Neo Nazi methods employed by the French government when they banned religious headgear and sought to severely fine anyone who broke the law, but rather we should look to our own Canadian Armed forces and Police who approved a military issued official religious garments to be part of their uniforms, therefore satisfying both religion and protocol.



Pray for Separation


Christianity and politics:


            It has long been argued that it is not possible to separate Christianity and the state within North America, as Christianity has been the dominant religion for so long. This can be seen by merely examining certain laws and legislation drafted in Canada and the USA. Even courts still require witnesses to swear on the bible, and a few national holidays, such as Easter and Christmas, are based on Christianity. That being said, both countries have taken steps to ensure that all members within their increasingly culturally diverse societies are viewed as equal. As a result there has been an increase in challenges of Christian norms within society, as reflected in the Greece v Galloway case.


The conflict in the case of Greece v Galloway revolves around an opening prayer delivered at the beginning of every town hall meeting in Greece New York, which often refers to, “Jesus”, “Christ”, and the “Holy Spirit”. Two members of the town council took particular offense to this practice as neither are Christian, one is Jewish and the other Atheist, and filed a lawsuit against the town. However, the ruling of this case will not just impact the small town in the USA. It will have much greater implications, as it will define whether religion has any place within the government, at any level.


As a Christian myself, I would feel rather comfortable opening a non secular meeting with a prayer , however I do not believe it would be fair to others to do so. I agree with the arguments laid out in the aforementioned case that, everyone is guaranteed freedom of religion, which also means freedom from religion. Therefore, I think that the Christian church and the state need to remain separate in North America to encourage the acceptance and even promotion of other religions.


In general, Christian ideologies, practices, and symbols are seen as the norm in Canadian and US societies. For example, it is very common to see someone wearing a cross around their neck. Yet, when someone wears a kapah, or a turban, or another religious symbol, they are somehow viewed as being “less Canadian”. I find it incredulous as well, that in a country as multicultural and free willed as Canada, some religious groups in Canada, such as Sikhs, have to use the courts in order to gain the right to wear certain religious dress. It is also inappropriate for a Christian dominated society to ostracise other religions when it was once the detested religion. If one religious group is accepted into society, then shouldn’t they all be? In order for this to occur, the government needs to distance itself from religion so that no religion is viewed as dominant or superior.

Is Social Media Contributing To The Death of Religion?


Speaking only from my own personal experiences, I have observed a decline in religious activities among the people I interact with, which lead me to wonder, how come? From what I can discern, it certainly isn’t an issue isolated to a specific religion, nor are those distancing themselves from faith replacing one religion with another.  In my eyes there are several reasons for this gradual dilution of religious involvement, one of which being the publics perception of religion(s). As societies perception of religions, and those who practice them is changing, stereotypes are developing, aided by modern social technology.  For example, following a debate between scientist/engineer Bill Nye, and young-earth creationist Ken Ham, hundreds of online news sites reviewed the evenings events, the majority eventually siding with Nye, and perpetuating negative stigma regarding not only Cristian faith, but most other religions as well.  Having seen this, as well as a trend of similar events occurring in the past, I have concluded that as social media becomes increasingly prominent in our lives, it seems to be contributing to the uprise of anti-religious ideals. This is likely contributed to by the fact that modern technology has allowed people to communicate and share ideas in ways that were never possible in the past. Additionally, in many “western cultures”, political structure is progressively moving to accommodate views which conflict with those of a religious individual.


Essentially, with individuals such as Brysa Peters now able to publish their opinions/arguments easier than ever before, and then be protected by a rapidly growing percentage of society, religion is facing an ideological attack to which it has yet to find a defence. 




Peters, Brysa. “Western Herald – Opinion: Bill Nye, Ken Ham debate a waste of time.”, 2014. Web. 17 Mar 2014. <;.

Noah: The Movie, The Controversy


 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, 30 cubits high. For both Christian and Islamic believers, these measurements spark the memory of a story centered around unimaginable destruction and the promise of rebirth. The story of Noah epitomizes the wrath of God and his unwavering power over the world. With the release of the film Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky, centering around this biblical story, many religious observers see this film as a threat to the biblical story and the teachings it provides. Paramount Pictures has since released statements claiming the in the film, “artistic license has been taken” but, that Noah still holds “true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.” 


Much like many of the films put forth by Hollywood, based on pre-written stories, the plot must be altered and embellished in order to capture and maintain the audiences attention. But why is it that when the movie has a religious background such as Passion of the Christ or the soon to be released Noah, the general public doesn’t quite embrace the movie with open arms. For a Christian, the film may lack appeal due to the inaccurate display of biblical teaching. For a Muslim, the portrayal of a prophet is taboo and has lead to the movie being banned in many Middle Eastern countries. On the flip side, a non religious movie goer may see the film as an infringement on their beliefs and more religious propaganda being shoved down their throat. 


No matter what the viewer believes, the notion behind religiously centered movies and the response they elicit in the general public is never short of controversial. Paramount Pictures needs to only whisper the fact that an upcoming production centers around a biblical tale and the publicity is basically handled by word of mouth and the opposing views held by the public. Religion being such a personal belief oriented topic of conversation, any form of media that promotes one side or the other always yield the attention of the general public. With the controversy over Passion of the Christ raking in over 600 million dollars; Noah is sure to provoke the audience right into the movie theater seats. 


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