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How Hard Is It to Get Kicked Off Brazil's "Sin-Free" Facebook? 

Evangelical Christians in Brazil are going louco for Faceglória, a new, “sin-free” Facebook knockoff for the very religious. Since launching a month ago, Faceglória has over 100,000 users pressing “Amen” instead of “like.” It also has strict posting policies: No swear words, no violence, no gay content or erotica,… » 7/06/15 1:32pm 7/06/15 1:32pm

Video: The serenity of nature in the mountains of Japan

Shugendo is an old religion in Japan that started in the 7th century that focuses on a spiritual experience or awakening of sorts with nature. There’s more to it then that, of course. But this film by Mathieu Le Lay explores that world and follows Yamabushi monk Kosho Tateishi during his prayer rituals. » 6/25/15 1:35am 6/25/15 1:35am

The Power of Symbols: Why People Still Defend The Confederate Flag

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham joined Governor Nikki Haley Monday in calling for the removal of the state capitol’s Confederate flag. They join the growing throng of voices demanding the flag be taken down in the wake of last week’s killings in Charleston. The cases that these voices have presented are… » 6/23/15 4:54pm 6/23/15 4:54pm

Evolution Aside, Even Basic Geology Disproves Creationism

In the ongoing conflict between science and creationism, evolution is usually a main point of contention. The idea that all life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor is a major problem for creationists. As a geologist, though, I think that the rocks beneath our feet offer even better arguments against creationism.… » 4/29/15 5:00am 4/29/15 5:00am

A Guide to Scientology's Most Ostentatious Real Estate

Empire-building has been part of many a religious group’s strategy throughout history. But no one does it better than Scientology. The documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which debuted on HBO last night, offers the first in-depth survey of Scientology’s practices, including its ongoing… » 3/30/15 9:40am 3/30/15 9:40am

Which Religions Are Prepared to Accept Life in Space?

Assuming we don't blow ourselves up before then, colonizing other planets may be the last hope for the survival of humanity. Most of the preparation for this cosmic expansion has centered around solving the more immediate, physical problems of transporting our bodies into deep space, but what about our culture?… » 1/27/15 11:00am 1/27/15 11:00am

The history of all religions explained in one fascinating graphic

I spent some of my college years studying with the Jesuits, which inevitably led to theology classes and the fascinating history of religion. That class is summarized in this new version of a great graphic by Simon E. Davies, a complex tree of myths and traditions continuously evolving into remakes. » 10/07/14 1:54am 10/07/14 1:54am

From Sexting to Sacraments: How Mobile Apps Are Taking on Religion

At this point, our entire lives could be boiled down into a series of apps. Schedules, diets, friends, family, play—it's all there in a set of brightly colored, easy-to-digest icons that have come to define the way we see ourselves. And though it may be hard to reconcile, even religion is no more than a Google Play or… » 4/06/14 12:00pm 4/06/14 12:00pm

Georges Lemaitre: The Greatest Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of

There's a perception that religion and science go together about as well as mayonnaise and marshmallows. In some instances, this is, perhaps, true. But on a typically warm Southern California January in 1933 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California (the same place and same time that Jack… » 2/10/14 7:40am 2/10/14 7:40am

Watch how the major religions have conquered the entire world

Christianity. Islam. Judaism. Buddhism. Hinduism. All the major religions have basically competed with each other in an epic, historical game of Risk. Who can gain the most converts? Which religion is the most right at being right? Who has the most color on the board? Those who start strong early can flame out, others… » 11/21/13 10:45pm 11/21/13 10:45pm

Cult-itecture: The Compounds Of Reclusive Communities

Waco, Texas, the Divine Lorraine, and Jonestown were radically different, yet each existed within a similar American terrain—rapidly globalizing, urbanizing, and increasingly fearful. Made from material odds and ends, their leaders sought sites that were neither here nor there: an abandoned hotel, an unused ranch, a… » 8/26/13 6:19pm 8/26/13 6:19pm

This Comprehensive Map Traces 463 of the Bible's Contradictions

No matter what your beliefs, it's hard to deny that the era in which the Bible takes place was a more, uh, brutal time, filled with plagues, salt pillars, and excessive murders—plus plenty of conflicting moral diktats from the man himself. Now, one designer has built a handy map to help us navigate the text. » 8/23/13 10:26am 8/23/13 10:26am