Here is a mash-up of the serious and important religious news with the not-so-important and down right strange religious news of today. I present to you the Remarkable Realm of Religion II:

I’m waiting on the Bible for people with red hair and two different eye colors. A a hot new Bible version is the Original African Heritage Study Bible, which emphasizes the role African people played in the Bible and pictures prominant Bible figures as darker with curly hair. I am glad that many people interviewed in the story have enjoyed using this Bible and I hope even more people become interested in God’s Word. However, this trend in creating a Bible geared for every possible stereotype is getting out of hand. In attempting to correct the “Europeanization” that occured at the hands of the Catholic church and many artists, the publishers have simply replaced it with an “Africanization.” Neither is Scripture and both can be harmful.

I thought I was doing good if got the insurance to pay for the chiropractor. A California man has been forced to pay for herbal medicines and cows, pigs and chickens slaughtered, after he injuried three Hmong men in a fight. The herbs and animals were part of Hmong “spirit-calling ceremonies” that are believe to be part of curing Hmong people.

Whatever you do not read it in the bathroom. The Council on American-Islamic Relations are shipping out free Korans to anyone interested. This will anger one of my good friends, not because he minds Muslims giving out their sacred text, but because he is discouraged that so many people promoting false ideas (Muslims and Mormons for example) are much more committed to their faith than Christians are. If you are interested (I am thinking about it myself) go to www.explorethequran.org.

Maybe God is on our side afterall, or at least He will like us better than Europe. A new AP poll finds that Americans are more likely to believe in God and view their faith as important to them in comparrison to their counterparts in Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Canada. Only 2% of Americans do not believe in God, while 19% of the French claim to be atheists. I suppose if I lived in France I might want to be an atheist, too.

Speaking of Europe: Many of the left hold the European view of religion as the highest form of cultural evolution. You might want to reconsider after reading these stories. A ruling in Germany and a statement by a politican in Italy show how little Europeans reguard religious freedom as important. In Germany a court has ruled that a Muslim boy must violate his faith by participating in a co-ed swimming class. In Italy, the justice minister has said that he would fine women for wearing the Islamic burka. He cited an Italian law outlawing the covering of the face. (All this comes on the heels of the US Supreme Court 9-0 ruling that prisoners had the right to practice their faith.) On the other end of the spectrum, Staphorst, a village located in the Dutch “Bible belt,” has outlawed using God’s name in vain.

South America is not much better. Kaka, a Brazilian soccer player turned down a wedding proposal by his self-professed angel. 20-year-old Cristiane Sampaio said that she became an evangelist because of Kaka and that she was his angel, so he should marry her. Finally, a
Chilean economist learned that selling your soul to Satan may not be the best business decision. The dark underlord did not show up to place a bid, but many others stopped by asking the model number, if there was a guarentee on the soul, or if a used care could be taken as part of the $4,300 asking price. “It turned out even worse,” she said. “Now I would rather just shut up.”