Mike Lacher offers God some feedback on the Creation of the world:
According to a Gallup poll just released today, 42% of Americans believe in Creationism, 31% of Americans believe in god-guided evolution, and 19% of Americans are actually right:
It’s only a slight improvement from two years ago, the last time Gallup checked these numbers, but within the margin of error (so who knows if there’s really any significant improvement).
We are still a country full of deluded people, though there’s a sliver of a silver lining:
Years after a Galway-area Catholic home for unmarried Irish mothers closed its doors, two boys playing on the grounds made a gruesome discovery:
… partially broken concrete slabs covering a hollow — a disused septic tank — “filled to the brim with bones.”
So began the latest scandal to swirl around the Catholic Church, an institution whose reputation in Ireland and elsewhere is in tatters due to a gigantic child sex-abuse scandal and the subsequent cover-up. Irish Catholicism was also rocked by revelations about the cruelty and exploitation that were endemic in the Magdalene Laundries, which I previously wrote about here.
On Saturday, Western media shared some very good news: following international protests, Meriam Ibrahim will be set free. The 27-year-old Sudanese woman was sentenced to death two weeks ago, found guilty of leaving Islam for Christianity. Both the charge and the punishment are downright nauseating:
Ms Ibrahim was raised a Christian by her mother and has refused to renounce the faith.
However, a court ruled earlier this month that she is Muslim because that was her father’s faith.
Her Christian marriage was annulled and she was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and death by hanging for renouncing Islam.
The adultery charge stems from the fact that a Sudanese court decided Ibrahim’s marriage is illegal, because her husband is a Christian. Under Sudan’s version of sharia, a Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man. If she does, that’s considered adultery.
I’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s tough to have a non-religious wedding. You have to find an officiant who’s not a priest. You have to use (or write) a ceremony script and vows that don’t bring God into the mix. And, perhaps most importantly, you want to do it in a way that doesn’t draw attention to the fact that God’s not in there (because it might bother some of your guests).
That’s what we was going for, anyway. With the help of our officiant, my wife and I were able to create something that made both of us very happy. (And by “create,” I mean we swiped things heavily from the Internet.) In case anyone wants to know what a secular ceremony script looks like, though, this is pretty much what we ended up using. (Special thanks to Adam Lee for giving us the idea for the first reading.)