religious and ethical topics
Since about 75% of Americans and Canadians identify themselves as Christians, this
section will mainly deal with the conflicts between some Christian sources and other
elements in society. Please be aware that we follow a very inclusive definition of the term "Christian." On this website, a Christian is any group or individual who sincerely, devoutly, thoughtfully considers themselves to be Christian. Thus, Christian denominations include a great range of faith groups, from the Southern Baptists to Mormons, from the Roman Catholic Church to Jehovah's Witnesses, from the Christian Scientists to progressive Christianity.
The topics listed below were chosen because they have a strong religious or moral content.
Vitally important stuff:
The webmaster is very fortunate to have been able to convert his life-time interest in religion into a full-time pursuit at retirement.
He is a "NOTA" (A "None Of The Above"; one person in the growing minority in North America who is not affiliated with a specific religion). Unlike almost all other webmasters of religious web sites, he is not committed to promoting a single faith group. He believes that he has at least some level of objectivity when he studies the religious scene.
He strongly recommends that you read the following two topics:
- Random religious thoughts...: These are observations by the webmaster: Important stuff that you will probably never hear in your church, mosque, synagogue, circle, etc.
- Basic questions that often underly many conflicts One can often find fundamental questions that underly active conflicts, but which are often neglected. Yet it is often in these ignored questions that the possibility for consensus lies.
Changes in religious beliefs are very different from changes in scientific
- In the larger world religions, religious beliefs are largely based upon the writings in a holy
book -- the Hebrew Scriptures for Jews, the Holy Bible for Christians, the
Qur'an for Muslims, etc. Religious beliefs evolve only as the interpretation of
the holy book(s) change. Because of the close interaction between religion and culture, change happens at a very slow rate -- often over generations. For example, in the U.S. the level of acceptance of inter-racial marriage increased over the latter part of the 20th century by only about 1 percentage point a year; acceptance of same-sex marriage since 1988 has been increasing somewhat faster -- about 1.7 percentage points a year.
- In science, all beliefs are open to falsification.
Scientists know that their beliefs only approximate reality. Their beliefs are
grounded in observations. They expect and aggressively search out change, which can happen quickly.
Discussion of these topics:
Past Conflicts, Now Settled:
Ever since the time of the scientist Galileo, there have been continual battles in the West between
the dominant religion (Christianity) and persons who propose conflicting social, medical,
scientific and other ideas.
Future topics which have not yet been fully engaged:
At any time over the past few centuries, there have been "hot" topics
that are just emerging into public debate. Now is no exception.
|The current big three major moral/ethical concerns:>
and physical therapies and treatments:
|In the U.S.:
|About marriage: Changes in
marriage, marriage in the Bible, marriage amendment to the U.S.
Constitution, covenant marriages, same-sex marriages, inter-faith
marriages, handfasting, polygamy.....|
|Other items (in alphabetic order):|
|Christian urban legends: really neat stories with a
Christian theme that never happened|
|Clergy sexual abuse of children and youth
|Cloning of humans; Therapeutic
|Condoms in the schools, sex-ed, and pre-marital sex
|Conscience clauses: Discriminating against
people motivated by religious belief|
|Corporal punishment of children (Spanking)
Cremation vs. burial:
|Embryo and stem cell research|
|Euthanasia and assisted suicide
|Evolution vs. Creation Science
|Fantasy role playing games
Dungeons & Dragons, etc.|
||Female Genital Mutilation (a.k.a. Female Circumcision) |
|Freedoms: erosion of freedoms and human
rights in the U.S.|
|Government vs. religion in the US|
|Halloween: Facts and misinformation
|The Harry Potter books
(children's imaginative fiction)|
||Homosexual marriages (We prefer the term "same-sex marriage" as being more inclusive)|
||Intersexuality and Intersexual Genital Mutilation|
|Jesus' body: where is it now? In heaven or a
|License plates with anti-abortion
or pro-Christian messages|
|Nudism, Naturism, Public Breast-feeding, Toplessness
|The "Occult" |
|Priests' sexual abuse of children and youth|
|Recovered Memory therapy|
|Religion in the public schools |
|Residential schools for Native students in
||Same-sex marriage |
|Satanic ritual abuse|
|Sex related topics|
|Separation of church and state; Recent court decisions|
|Spanking (corporal punishment of children)|
|Stem cell research|
|The Ten Commandments; should
they be posted in public schools, etc.?|
|Transgenderism, transsexualism and gender
|Truth and falsehood: absolute or relative?|
|"Spare the Rod:" an essay describing partnership
and dominator cultural models by Riane Eisler|
|Vouchers for religious schools|
|War costs in Iraq and Afghanistan |
|Women in the clergy: priests, pastors, ministers, rabbis
More "Hot" Topics can be seen elsewhere on this Web site at the