Israel, like the United States, is a largely secular society with
deep religious roots. And Israel, like the U.S., is home to vocal
religious conservatives who frown on homosexuality. But Israel, unlike
the U.S., has allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military
for 17 years. In fact, they are required to do so.
(RNS) American Sikhs are urging President Obama to visit the famed
Golden Temple in India next month, despite his administration's reported
concern that wearing the headscarf required for entry will inflame false
rumors that Obama is a Muslim.
Earlier this year, a group of English bishops charged that the nation's Christians faced systematic discrimination that endangered their right to hold public office. Some even warned that anti-Christian hostility amounted to open persecution, which could provoke civil unrest. Pope Benedict, meanwhile, charged that new British statutes clearly violated natural law.
The summertime floods have devastated Pakistan—inundating one-fifth of the country, displacing millions, destroying and altering landscapes. But in other ways the floods changed very little. The country was already facing a perilous humanitarian and social situation. The floods have led some to wonder whether there is a future for the country.
A global survey by National Geographic indicates that people are eating better—more local food, less meat—yet diets in many countries are still unsustainable environmentally. The best country is India, since many people are vegetarians and those who aren’t tend not to eat beef, the most environmentally detrimental meat. Americans eat the most packaged and convenience foods and the least fruits and vegetables. Mexico ranked last in the rankings due to a diet high in chicken and beef. Japan, which eats the most seafood, is the most resistant to dietary change (National Geographic, September 29).