Monday, October 18, 2010

Religion Rundown: October 18th



"A man can beat his wife and kids as long as he leaves no physical marks, the United Arab Emirates' highest court has found.
The judgment came after a man slapped his wife and kicked and slapped his daughter, according to Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper.

In the case debated by the Federal Supreme court, the daughter was bruised on the hand and knee, while the wife's lip and teeth were injured.

According to the court, the injuries showed that the man had over-stepped his rights under Shariah, or Islamic law, the newspaper reported. He had originally been fined 500 United Arab Emirates dirhams ($136), but appealed the case twice. 

At 23, the daughter was deemed too old to have been disciplined, the newspaper said.

According to Shariah law, a man can beat his wife and children as long as he has first tries unsuccessfully to discipline them by admonishing and then abstaining from sexual relations with his wife."

 To read the rest of the story, click here.



From The New York Times:

"More than 100 Chinese Christians seeking to attend an international evangelical conference in South Africa have been barred from leaving the country, some in the group said, because their churches are not sanctioned by the state. 

Organizers say that more than 4,000 Christians from around the world will discuss faith, poverty, the AIDS epidemic and other issues at the nine-day conference, which begins Saturday in Cape Town. But members of the Chinese delegation said that they could get no farther than the passport control at international airports in China before officials confiscated their documents. 

“They said it is illegal to attend this conference, and they sent me home,” said Liu Guan, 36, a Protestant evangelical leader who tried to fly out of Capital International Airport in Beijing last Sunday. “The explanation was ‘for your own good.’ ” 

China’s policy toward Christians is more relaxed now than a decade ago. Although only government-sanctioned churches are considered legal, millions of Chinese — some say tens of millions — worship in unregistered house churches."

To read the rest of the story, click here.



From The Telegraph:

"He is an idle, pea-brained glutton with a permanent craving for doughnuts and Duff beer, but Homer Simpson has been declared a true Catholic by the Vatican's official newspaper.

The long-running cartoon series explores issues such as family, community, education and religion in a way that few other popular television programmes can match, according to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's daily broadsheet. 
The newspaper acknowledged that Homer snores through the sermons of the Reverend Lovejoy and inflicts "never-ending humiliation" on his evangelical neighbour, Ned Flanders. 

But in an article headlined "Homer and Bart are Catholics", the newspaper said: "The Simpsons are among the few TV programmes for children in which Christian faith, religion, and questions about God are recurrent themes." 

The family "recites prayers before meals and, in their own peculiar way, believes in the life thereafter".
It quoted an analysis by a Jesuit priest, Father Francesco Occhetta, of a 2005 episode of The Simpsons, The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star, which revolved around Catholicism and was aired a few weeks after the death of Pope John Paul II. 

The episode starts with Bart being expelled from Springfield Elementary School and being enrolled in a Catholic school where he meets a sympathetic priest, voiced by the actor Liam Neeson, who draws him into Catholicism with his kindness. 

Homer then decides to convert to Catholicism, to the horror of his wife Marge, the Rev Lovejoy and Ned Flanders. The episode touches on issues such as religious conflict, interfaith dialogue, homosexuality and stem cell research. 

"Few people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it, but it is true: Homer J Simpson is a Catholic," insists L'Osservatore Romano."

To read the rest of the story, click here.


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