Skip to content

This Week in World Religion 2018–09–02


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/09/02

“Clay Routledge, author of the new book “Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World,” was watching his university’s football team play for the national championship on TV. There were about 20 of his friends in the room, when a girl of 9 or 10 twirled in. She pointed out that just because their team was ahead didn’t mean they still couldn’t lose.

One of the men told the girl to leave, saying that if she came back, she would jinx the game.

And everyone else just kept watching the TV, as if this guy had not just said something both mean and, well, crazy. How could a girl’s being in or out of a TV room possibly affect the outcome of a football game?”


“If you think religion belongs to the past and we live in a new age of reason, you need to check out the facts: 84% of the world’s population identifies with a religious group. Members of this demographic are generally younger and produce more children than those who have no religious affiliation, so the world is getting more religious, not less — although there are significant geographical variations.

According to 2015 figures, Christians form the biggest religious group by some margin, with 2.3 billion adherents or 31.2% of the total world population of 7.3 billion. Next come Muslims (1.8 billion, or 24.1%), Hindus (1.1 billion, or 15.1%) and Buddhists (500 million, or 6.9%).

The next category is people who practise folk or traditional religions; there are 400m of them, or 6% of the global total. Adherents of lesser-practised religions, including Sikhism, Baha’i and Jainism, add up to 58m, or well below 1%. There are 14m Jews in the world, about 0.2% of the global population, concentrated in the US and Israel.”


“Religious people who lack friends and purpose in life turn to God to fill those voids, according to new University of Michigan research.

Belonging is related to a sense of purpose. When people feel like they do not belong or unsupported by their relationships, they consistently have a lower sense of purpose and direction in life, says lead author Todd Chan, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Psychology.

Chan and colleagues say that having a belief system that adequately “substitutes” for some of the functions of human relationships, like having a God that values and supports them, may allow socially disconnected people to restore some of this purpose.”


“ One thing that distinguishes Christianity from other religions is not only its doctrine of purity, but also its sophistication and erudition. While all other religions talk about love and care for your neighbours and kin, Christianity goes beyond human comprehension of love and advances it to love and care of even your enemies. This is why others chide Christian faithful and believers are taken for granted. But that is what makes it stand out as the true religion.

Lev. 19:17–18 states, “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

The above is the law as was given to Moses. It says one should not do his neighbour any evil, including harbouring hatred in his heart towards him. But the inference drawn by the Jews from this teaching was that one should only love his neighbour and probably his kin. This, they believed would make them pure and dutifully comply with the law. They supposed that if they loved only their neighbours, they must, of course, hate the other. The entire world believes religious conviction should end at this doctrine of only loving your neighbour.”


“LOUISIANA, Mo. — Labor Day marks the anniversary of an important freedom of religion case that took place at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Louisiana, Mo., on Sept. 3, 1865.

The case’s resolution, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1867, helped lead to the elimination of loyalty oaths, which were popular after the end of the Civil War.

“It’s a remarkable story and was really significant for the time,” said the Rev. Louis Dorn, who retired as priest of St. Joseph Catholic Church on Wednesday. “It also was remarkable for the ecumenical partnership that occurred during it.””



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: