Recent Entries in Religion

Iraqi worshippers have been told that anyone who captures a female British soldier can keep her as a slave.

A senior aide of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr also called on supporters to launch holy war against British troops in Basra.

Sheik Abdul-Sattar al-Bahadli held in his hand what he said were documents and photographs of three Iraqi women being raped at British-run prisons in Iraq.

Al-Bahadli said 250,000 dinars ($195) will be given to anyone who captures a British soldier and 100,000 dinars ($83) for the killing of one.

He also offered cash for anyone who captures or kills a member of the Governing Council, a widely unpopular interim administration appointed by the US led occupation 10 months ago.

He also called on government departments in Basra to display pictures of al-Sadr in their offices.

Al-Bahadli, al-Sadr's chief representative in southern Iraq, was speaking at al-Hawi mosque in central Basra.

CRAWFORD, Texas - Donna Coody disbanded her 7-year-old daughter's Brownie troop and took her 9-year-old daughter out of another Girl Scout troop because she was upset over the organization's endorsement of two Planned Parenthood (news - web sites) sex education seminars.

But Coody didn't want her daughters and their friends to miss out on camping trips, educational activities and service projects. So she decided in March to start a troop affiliated with the Christian-based American Heritage Girls.

"I felt like the Girl Scouts' morals were definitely lacking, and the girls needed another choice," Coody said.

American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a Cincinnati-area woman and her friends who were unhappy that the Girl Scouts accepted lesbians as troop leaders, banned prayer at meetings and allowed girls to substitute the word "God" in the oath.

What started with 100 girls in Ohio has turned into a nonprofit group with 2,800 members in 22 states . with a 40 percent enrollment boost since the fall, founder Patti Garibay said.

Troops must be chartered by a church or private school with the same basic religious beliefs as American Heritage Girls. Leaders must sign a statement of faith, but girls don't have to be religious to join. The organization receives no government money and operates by donations, fund raising, membership dues and merchandise sales.

  Atheism on the Rise

A new study indicates significant shifts in the nation's religious composition, with mainstream faith groups stagnating, and the numbers of those who profess no religion on the rise.

The American Religious Identification Survey 2001 was carried out under the auspices of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and is considered a follow-up study of a 1990 census. The poll utilized a sample of over 50,000 randomly selected respondents, and was described as "the most comprehensive portrait of religious identification in the U.S. today." It revealed, for instance, that while the numbers of Roman Catholics increased since 1990 from 46 million to nearly 50.8 million, their percentage of the population fell nearly two points. Protestants and other non-Catholic groups remain the majority, but their proportion slipped sharply from 60% to 52%. And those identifying with a non-Christian religion jumped from 5.8 million to 7.7 million, but reflected only 3.7% of the population.

The survey and news reports about the study, though, noted that one of the most significant findings involved growth in that segment of the adult population "identifying with no religion." In 1990, 14.3 million or roughly 8% identified with this category. The new ARIS count now shows that the non-believer population has grown to 29.4 million, roughly 14.1% of the American community.

  Book, Chapter and Verse

In the beginning, the Big Bang created the heavens and the earth. The Big Bang, not God. Also, camels and lions were never immortal, and neither were humans, who actually used to be monkeys. Oh, and get this: The Earth is billions of years old, not six thousand, like the Bible tells us.


Thorne's not a scientist: He's a tour guide with Denver-based B.C. Tours. The B.C. stands for "Biblically Correct," and B.C. Tours conducts between 100 and 150 biblically correct tours of major Colorado attractions every year.

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