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.
As a child Richard Feynman once asked his father why a ball went to the back of a wagon when he pulled the wagon forward. His father said it was inertia. When Feynman asked what inertia was, his father said it is the name scientists give to the movement of a ball to the back of a wagon, but in truth no one really knows what it is. Feynman went on to get degrees at MIT and Princeton, and he won a Nobel Prize in physics. He attributed his success in science to the curiosity engendered by that conversation with his father. The simplest questions can carry us to the edge of knowledge, and that’s where he wanted to play (TED Radio Hour, June 12).