WHAT WOULD HANUMAN DO?
A business school in India has named a Hindu monkey god its chairman. Do you go there to get an MBA -- Monkey Business Administration degree?
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A TAXING PROPOSAL
What are you doing with your federal tax rebate check? As this story reports, faith communities from hither to yon are hoping you'll give some of it to them. Isnt' that what President Bush has wanted all along -- tax money supporting faith-based groups?
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UNVEILING THE SHROUD OF TURIN
I've long been intrigued by the shroud. I've read a couple of books about it, though I must say I find it difficult to explain my interest in it. Usually relics don't do much for me. And, as you might suspect, I harbor profound doubts that the shroud is what some claim it to be -- the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The odds against that are, frankly, enormous.
And yet -- despite various scientific efforts to determine whether it's authentic -- the shroud remains a mystery. Some suggest it dates from the 13th or 8th centuries or somewhere in there, anyway. But others aren't sure the science is reliable.
So the question I invite you to think about and respond to today is how much of your faith either depends on or is affected by material things. That is, would it make a difference to the Christians among you if the Shroud of Turin turns out to be either a fraud or the real thing? Would it, in other words, affect your faith in some way? Similarly, in what ways do Torah scrolls or ancient copies of the Qur'an or old Bibles or crucifixes or anything material like that add or substract from your faith?
Matter is, of course, different from spirit, but I think there's some kind of interconnection, and maybe the Shroud of Turin provides the opportunity to define that more clearly.
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here. (My Saturday column this weekend deconstructs the nation's formational religious story.)