This Friday Sunni Muslims across the world will celebrate Mawlid, the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. Though the celebration is centuries old, historically Muslims were divided over the issue of permiting the holiday and how it should be celebrated (maybe it appeared too similar to that religious birthday among Christian neighbors: Christmas). Festive processions and parties can be found in several nations, particularly in India, and though Mawlid is celebrated in nearly all Muslim nations, Saudia Arabia (the birth place of Islam) has not made Mawlid an official holiday.
Elton John courts controversy by announcing in an interview in Parade that he believes that Jesus was gay. Without elaborating why he held this view on Jesus’ sexual orientation, Elton John lauded Jesus’ ability to forgive, and his calling us to do the same. Elton John’s comments are sure to anger many Christians, as so many celebrities have done in the recent past (Madonna, for one). Is Elton John revealing something about the historical Jesus? Or is the “gay Jesus” a projection of his own mind (and wishful thinking)?
After figuring out who Tiger Woods is (apparently the Dalai Lama has better things to do than watch golf or read the tabloids), the Dalai Lama stated that Tiger should practice self-discipline. This after Tiger stated in his recent apology that he plans on rededicating himself to the Buddhist teachings of his youth. Tiger, in his public apology, summarized a few buddhist teachings; for one, that ”a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security”. Woods’ apology included strong words against the media, demanding that they cease stalking his wife, children and mother; sounds similar to the Dalai Lama’s recent command to the media, ”Don’t ask silly questions.”
Zimbabwe’s Museum of Human Science has recently displayed a wooden vessal claimed to be an original fragment of the Ark of the Covenant of biblical fame. It might sound shocking to some, but African Arks are nothing new. Ethiopia’s city Axum claims to house the original ark of the ancient Hebrews, concealed to all except a lone guardian who dedicates his whole life to living in the sanctuary protecting the ark. Replicas of the ark are kept in every Ethiopian Orthodox church, where they are treated with the utmost reverence and carried in religious processions.
Couple marries at Apple store in New York on Valentine’s Day. The couple had their priest dress as Steve Jobs, read their vows from their iphones, and the groom stated, “I used to joke that the Apple Store is my church because I am not religious, and I loved everything Apple.” Apple was not responsible for planning the wedding, but only gave permission for the use of their store; but it seems unlikely that funerals will be permited any time soon.
Chest pains caused by a broken heart can be real. And in a reverse scenario, holding hands with someone who is experiencing pain can lessen the sensation for them. Recent studies has shown how emotional pain and healing are closely linked to the body. Expressions such as “heartbreak” are more than emotional descriptions, but also physical states. Also, friendly social contact produces health benefits ranging from reduction of physical pain to feeling less depressed. The lesson: maintain a healthy balance of mind and body.
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