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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, February 5

Hindus protest display of their gods at Louisiana ball. Muslim leaders in Morocco call for a more considerate and tolerant policy towards religious minorities in Muslim majority countries. And the question of whether humans will every fully divorce themselves is addressed. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Most Pagans, particularly those from reconstructionist paths, take it as a matter of fact that popular culture and entertainment will make use of their gods. But not everyone feels the same way. Recently, Hindu leaders decried the "trivial" display of Hindu deities such as Shakti and Brahma at a ball in Louisiana.

Here in the West, Muslims are a religious minority. But that's obviously not the case in the Muslim world, where the minorities are more often Christians, Hindus, Jews, or Zoroastrians. In a recent meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco several Muslim leaders gathered and issued a declaration calling for greater protection and preservation of the rights of those minorities.

Meanwhile in America, Barack Obama met for the first time with American Muslims at their place of worship, a mosque. While hailed by many Muslim leaders and Democrats as an example of religious pluralism, the move has garnered the criticism of many Republicans, including prominent politician Marco Rubio, who said that Obama gave the wrongful impression that Muslims are discriminated against in the United States. But according to analyst Mona Chalabi, it's Rubio that's mistaken.

When we talk about patriarchy in North America and Europe, we often connect it instinctively to traditions of the Abrahamic faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. But patriarchy is far from unique to the sons of Abraham; it's also long been present in the east. An article from Quartz takes aim at the patriarchal traditions of one eastern religion in particular: Buddhism.

Atheists often express hope that, with time, humanity will do away with religion all together and it will become a relic of the past. But is there any chance of that actually happening? Although faithlessness is on the rise in many Western countries, the growth of the faithful continues to outpace the growth of the faithless worldwide and some data suggests that religiosity may actually be "natural" for humans, whether or not it physical evidence supports it.

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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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