This section of Religion News Blog highlights religion-related news stories that may tickle your funny-bone, leave you flabbergasted, or at least scratching your head wondering: What were they thinking?
These items are not intended to ridicule or otherwise poke fun at those involved.
A fragile status quo governs relations among the denominations at the ancient church, and to repair or clean a part of the structure is to own it, according to accepted practice. That means that letting other sects clean part of the church could allow one to gain ground at another’s expense. Similar fights have taken place during the same late-December cleaning effort in the past.
Tensions between rival clergy at the church have been a fact of life there for centuries and have often been caught up in international politics.
In the 1800s, friction between the denominations at the church — each backed by foreign powers — became so fraught that Russian Czar Nicholas I deployed troops along the Danube to threaten a Turkish sultan who had been favoring the Catholics over the Orthodox.
Those disagreements threaten the integrity of the church itself, which was originally built 1,500 years ago and parts of which have fallen into disrepair. Although the roof has needed urgent work for decades, and leaking rainwater has ruined much of the priceless artwork inside, a renovation has been delayed all these years by disagreements among the denominations over who would pay.
Only recently, the Palestinian Authority brokered an agreement to move ahead with replacing the roof, and officials hope work will begin in 2012.
Regarding this year’s fight, Reuters quotes police Lieutenant-Colonel Khaled al-Tamimi as saying:
“It was a trivial problem that … occurs every year.
Everything is all right and things have returned to normal.
No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God.”
Is software licensing theft still a problem? Is the Pope a Catholic? Or perhaps more aptly, is the Pope a pirate? The answers are yes, yes and probably not.
That said, when security software vendor AVAST decided to track down exactly where one 14 user enterprise software license had ended up after it was discovered on a file-sharing site, it must have been somewhat surprised to find that it cropped up a couple of times in Vatican City.
Add another temptation for the faithful to resist: Facebook.
The world’s biggest social network can lead married people astray, says the head of the Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune, N.J.
So, in his Sunday sermon, the Rev. Cedric A. Miller will announce that married church leaders have to log out for good, or get kicked out.
This thinking runs counter to churches that are embracing social media to reach their flocks. [Read more...]
Jewish law allows women to sleep with the enemy in order to get intelligence vital to Israel’s security, a rabbi was quoted as saying in a Israeli newspaper Monday, AFP reports.
The mass-selling Yediot Aharonot quoted an academic article by Ari Shvat, an expert in Jewish law, in which he said it was acceptable to have sex with “terrorists” in order to obtain information leading to their arrest.
The advice appeared to be directed at Israel’s Mossad spy agency, and is an exception to the traditional religious prohibition of deception and sex outside of marriage. [Read more...]
An Indian court has ruled that Hindu gods cannot deal in stocks and shares, reports said Saturday, after an application for trading accounts to be set up in their names.
Two judges at the Bombay High Court on Friday rejected a petition from a private religious trust to open accounts in the names of five deities, including the revered elephant-headed god, Ganesha.
“Trading in shares on the stock market requires certain skills and expertise and to expect this from deities would not be proper,” judges P.B. Majumdar and Rajendra Sawant said, according to Indian newspapers. [Read more...]