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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 24

As an integral part of many people's lives across the world, religion naturally intersects with just about every other aspect of society: politics, entertainment, morality, law, etc. This week, for Faithful Friday, we take a look at some of the ways religion impacts our lives outside of purely denominational settings. Join us as we look at the politics of religion in the United States, the way in which religion (and other strong ideologies) affect scientific progress, and even how the popular sci-fi franchise Star Wars is impacted by religious values.

Many have accused U.S. President Barack Obama (wrongfully) of being a Muslim. Aside from the fact that the accusation is in many ways racist it's actually not that different from how American Presidents have been historically treated throughout history: it turns out no President has ever been "Christian" enough for the American people.

But while Americans may not be wholly convinced that Obama is a Christian (or that any of his predecessors were Christian enough) most do oppose the implementation of "religious freedom" laws that could be used to discriminate against groups like gays, lesbians, or trans people. Read more about the public's opposition in this article from CNN.

Does high religiosity stifle scientific and technological innovation? It's a controversial question, but according to the National Bureau of Economic Research they can and often do, but with an important caveat: other ideologies can do the same thing when pressed with enough fervor (such as communism in the old Soviet Union).

Water is a sacred substance to many religions, including Christianity. What does that mean then when it becomes scarcer and more precious? This article from Pacific Standard examines how churches are reacting to water shortages around the world.

Lastly, we take a look at the theology and philosophy of the Star Wars saga by George Lucas. Is Anakin Skywalker a redemptive figure in the model of Christ or a metaphor for the fall of humanity? Is his son Luke's choice to embrace love and forgiveness Christian or Buddhist? Read more at The Washington Post.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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