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This Week in World Religion 2018–10–15


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/15

“VATICAN CITY — Religions, which are meant to build bridges, contradict their very nature if they stop pursuing the path of peace, Pope Francis said.

“Our differences, therefore, must not pit us one against the other; the heart of a true believer seeks to open paths of communion always and everywhere,” the pope said in a written message to an annual international gathering of religious and cultural leaders.

The Vatican released the pope’s message Oct. 14 as the international “Bridges of Peace” meeting was beginning; the meeting was organized by the Rome-based lay Community of Sant’Egidio and hosted by the Archdiocese of Bologna.”


“ Donald Trump announced “Islam hates us” and then went on to exclude citizens of five Muslim-majority countries from the United States, on the grounds that they are inherently violent and require “extreme vetting.” In the language of critical social theory, Trump “othered” Islam, declaring it intrinsically un-American. It was Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986) who introduced a new perspective on the distinction between self and other, arguing that women in her era differentiated themselves with regard to men, whereas men needed no such reference point. She wrote, “He is the Subject; he is the Absolute. She is the Other.” Her insight is just as apposite to the relationship of Christian European culture and Islam. But what if, as I argue in my new bookMuhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires, Islam is not Other for those of European cultural heritage but very much Self?”


““I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.”

This phrase before is based on a quote from the 1977 film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ short story “Empire of the Ants.” In the revised quote, “robot” replaces “insects,” the idea of the meme being that anything can: llamas, octopi, robo-dogs, you name it.

When it comes to AI overlords, the joke hits closer to home. That’s because there’s a real fear that AI will assume godlike qualities, taking over humanity along with our beloved institutions.”


“WASHINGTON, D.C. (RNS) — In 2004, as George W. Bush was running for a second presidential term, his campaign asked religious supporters to share their churches’ directories, which staffers hoped to combine with voting registration records. The strategy was criticized by some conservative religious leaders, who felt it violated churchgoers’ privacy, the New York Times reported at the time.

Fourteen years later, the spread of social media and digital profiling has made such privacy concerns seem almost quaint. Powerful data-mining tools allow today’s campaigns to connect religious voters with their political viewpoints and to micro-target ads to fit their particular brand of faith.

“It’s definitely happening at a greater level,” said Terry Schilling, executive director of the conservative American Principles Project.”



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.

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