Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Romney’s Remark Conflicts With Mormon Religion

“Should God speak to you… how would you handle that?” asked reporter Natalie Jacobsen.

According to the Tribune, Romney laughed and replied, “I don’t recall God speaking to anyone since the time of Moses and the burning bush.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — which Romney is a practicing member of — believes that God has spoken to many who followed Moses.  For example, the church believes God spoke to LDS founder Joseph Smith which allowed him to find the brass plates — which became the Book of Mormon.

Romney’s Remark Conflicts With Mormon Religion

Anything to keep people distracted from the REAL issues: war, the economy, the poor, health care…


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Faith of a Skeptic – Faith Matters

I don’t think what we call religion can be put into a box neatly labeled religion and relegated to one part of the academic curriculum or one area of journalism. It seems to me that one of the lessons of 9/11 is that the influence of religion is virtually limitless and ubiquitous, and the sooner we figure that out, the wiser we’ll be.

Faith of a Skeptic – Faith Matters (usnews.com)


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Nice Folks, Those Insurance People – BOOOOO CIGNA!

On Thursday, the family rallied supporters online and staged a protest at Cigna’s Glendale office with about 150 people, including many members of the local Armenian community and the California Nurses Assn., which had released statements supporting the family’s cause.

Later in the day, Cigna released a statement approving the transplant payment.

“Although it is outside the scope of the plan’s coverage, and despite the lack of medical evidence regarding the effectiveness of such treatment,” spokesman Wendell Potter wrote, “Cigna HealthCare has decided to make an exception in this rare and unusual case, and we will provide coverage should she proceed with the requested liver transplant. Our thoughts and payers are with Nataline and her family at this time.”

Nataline died about 6 p.m.

Family blames HMO for teen’s death – Los Angeles Times


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From the Environment News Service (ENS)


AUSTRALIA WANTS JAPANESE WHALERS OUT OF WHALE SANCTUARY

CANBERRA, Australia, December 20, 2007 (ENS) – With less than three weeks in office, the new Australian government is planning diplomatic and legal action against Japan’s so-called “research” whaling. Much Japanese whaling takes place in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean, where the Japanese whaling fleet is right now, pursuing whales.


http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2007/2007-12-20-01.asp



ARSENIC IN RICE THREATENS ASIAN PUBLIC HEALTH

ROME, Italy, December 20, 2007 (ENS) – Improved irrigation practices in Asia could reduce the high levels of arsenic found in rice, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, said Wednesday, warning of the increased food safety risk posed by the toxic substance.


http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2007/2007-12-20-04.asp



STUDY: THAILAND COULD SUPPORT 2,000 TIGERS

NEW YORK, New York, December 20, 2007 (ENS) – Conservationists estimate that today 5,000 tigers remain in the wild, down from 100,000 tigers that inhabited Asia alone just 150 years ago. Now, a new study
of the potential for tigers to survive in Thailand has hope soaring that the endangered big cats may not be headed for extinction.


http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2007/2007-12-20-02.asp


Cloned Animals to be Tracked for Food Processors

Million Tons of CO2 Will Be Injected Under Illinois

Off Road Vehicle Damage Closes North Carolina Trails

Winter Forecast Shows Little Drought Relief for Southeast

Bacteria Keep Undersea Methane Out of the Atmosphere

Colorado Water District Ordered to Restore River


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Are You a Perennialist?

Perennialism rejects a modern world that has slipped off the rails. Yet it also embraces all variations of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith, as well as Asian religions and indigenous schools of thought. Perennialists believe that all religions are part of one great religion; that all wisdom makes up a great river of truth that all modern people should return to for what the Gospels call “living water.”
Faith Without Borders


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Whalers to be tracked

The Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, set his country on a diplomatic collision course with Japan yesterday amid reports that he plans to send an armed vessel to monitor a whaling expedition to the Southern Ocean.

Japan’s annual scientific hunt plans to slaughter more than 1,000 whales in the area this year, but it is the plan to kill 50 humpbacks – a protected species – that has most angered anti-whaling nations….

Whalers to be tracked | Environment | The Guardian


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I was just thinking… by Bill

There’s a lot of stuff going around the Web, the conservative talk shows and blogs, and the Christian right-wing press about how Christianity and The Church are being badmouthed, demonized and otherwise mistreated by those terrible atheists and other unbelievers of whatever stripe. To hear them tell it, they’re beleaguered on every side, and unless all True Christians stand up and be counted — hopefully at the polls — the Will Of The Lord is in danger of being contravened, all that is Good toppled, and the Reign Of The Serpent will be upon us.

What’s that all about, anyway? Continue reading


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Excuse me for not dying

What would Buddha do?

Every spring and fall, enlightenment-seekers from all over come here to find out, converging for arduous weeklong retreats at the Bodhi Manda Zen Center in a red rock canyon among the thermal springs and Indian pueblos west of Santa Fe.

Dressed in black robes, they strive to live in the moment and awaken to the oneness of everything by rising at 3 a.m. for 18-hour sessions sitting lotus-style in the zenda, or meditation hall, eating communal vegan meals in silence, chanting and taking restorative dips in the hot pools.

But mostly they come to practice with an impish, smooth-faced Japanese monk, Joshu Sasaki Roshi, a 100-year-old Rinzai Zen master, one of the oldest in the world, who tells followers, “Excuse me for not dying.”

Monk says, ‘Excuse me for not dying’ / Rinzai Zen master challenges students with tough love – Buddhist style


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Joseph who?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney
dropped a distinguished roster of names during his speech titled “Faith
in America” Thursday: Abraham Lincoln, Brigham Young, John Adams and,
of course, John F. Kennedy. But there was one name he did not invoke.
Where was Joseph Smith?

Just as John F. Kennedy was not the first Roman Catholic to run for
the White House, Romney is not the first Mormon to do so. Prophet
Joseph Smith Jr. announced his candidacy in January 1844. As mayor of
the Nauvoo City Council, Smith ran on a platform of the gradual
abolition of slavery, a reduction in the size of Congress, a national
bank, territorial expansion that included the annexation of Texas and
Oregon and radical prison reform that would have converted all prison
sentences into community service. …

[Be sure to read the comments at the site.]

The Seeker – A personal and professional quest for truth | Chicago Tribune | Blog

[Personal commentary:

The idea that we can learn what Mitt Romney believes by studying the Mormon faith is disingenuous to an incredible degree. That’s like saying that we can know what Hillary Clinton (a reputed Methodist) believes by studying the Bible and the teachings of John Wesley.

Romney believes whatever Romney believes, not what he has been told to believe by the teachings of his youth. If he were that simple, inflexible and — yes — gullible he would never have risen to national prominence. George W. Bush purports to follow the teachings of Jesus, yet he starts and prosecutes wars, and believes in torture.

Romney is Romney. We need to look at his record, his demonstrated positions on a wide variety of issues, and stop pretending that his religion is important. It’s what a man has done that’s important, not the label he chooses to wear — or that others choose for him. ]


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Reason, Religion and Fear

We live in a time in which people with strong opinions about the end of time can influence foreign policy. It’s fair to ask Romney the questions put to Kennedy: will your faith conflict with your duty? Will others, even non believers get a fair shake? Romney says separation of Church and state has gone too far. Inquiring minds want to know: What exactly does he find excessive?

Bill Curry: Reason, Religion and Fear – Politics on The Huffington Post


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Buddhist Rap?

Japanese monks and nuns held a fashion show — replete with rap music
and a catwalk — at a major Tokyo temple Saturday to promote Buddhism.

In the “Tokyo Bouz (monk) Collection” held at Tsukiji Honganji,
nearly 40 monks and nuns from eight major Buddhist sects joined in the
event aimed at winning back believers.

Following a rap version of a Buddhist sutra, five monks from each
school walked on the runway, then chanted prayers and wrapped up in a
grand finale with confetti resembling lotus petals.

“We wanted to show the young people that Buddhism is cool, and
temples are not a place just for funerals,” said Koji Matsubara, a
chief monk at Tsukiji.

Japanese monks try to promote Buddhism through fashion, rap music – International Herald Tribune


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Listen To The Supremes

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Sentencing Commission took aim at the disproportionately harsh sentences meted out for crack-cocaine offenses, suggesting that Americans and their democratic institutions might finally be waking up to the gross racial disparities haunting our prison system.

State Prisons: Listen To The Feds