• A survey of 1,648 adults found that 55% of adults felt they have been protected by angels with women, African Americans, and Republicans claiming the most angelic experiences. • Cute story alert: A pair of childhood sweethearts in England who were forced to cease contact with each other when the woman got pregnant have been reunited by their daughter (whom the father never knew) and plan to get married. • A new book titled Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World is based on the true story of an abandoned cat named Dewey who lived in the public library in Spencer, Iowa. •• A recent study has found that children who have less than 3 family dinners a week are two and a half times likelier to smoke pot and tobacco than children who have family dinners 5 or more times a week. • A survey of 3,000 people in England has revealed that "phenomenon" is the most mispronounced word. • A UK study has found a small number (35 out of 769) of cerebral palsy cases in children whose mothers were given the antibiotics erthromycin and co-amoxiclav due to premature labor, but researchers maintain that the development of cerebral palsy was not directly related to the antibiotics. • A synagogue in San Francisco has created a prayer for anonymous sex (or "unexpected intimacy") which is meant to be read after the encounter. • Female conservative politicians in Spain were outraged when a male Spanish politician recounted the loss of his virginity in a brothel to a television interviewer, thereby "encouraging" young people to patronize prostitutes. • A female Saudi journalist asks the Saudi government to hire Saudi female nurses and encourage women to go into the nursing profession instead of bringing in nurses from overseas. • British and U.S. scientists report that there are nearly 7 million pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa who are infected with hookworms (a parasitic worm that lives in the intestines) and are thus at risk of maternal anemia. •
I don't practice any religion, though I understand the need for comfort in a scary world and the inevitability of death. But I prefer philosophy to religion...and even I pick and choose. Existentialism makes a lot of sense to me...your life has the meaning you give it. And certain Buddhist ideas also make sense to me, in that I think compassion is one of the most important (and seemingly most difficult for a lot of people) qualities to possess.
I can't, however, get behind any concept of a god...and I especially don't like organized religions because they present exceedingly limited ideas of what is "good" or "bad". And I think once something is institutionalized it gets the inevitable taint of human hypocrisy all over it. Our religions say more about us than we'd like, and a lot of their doctrines are too hateful and contradictory to be anything other than rules made up by people to tell other people what to do. Which isn't really divine.
Sometimes there were practical reasons for certain rules...since religion also governed more of society. But it also enforced class structures and discrimination...and all kinds of other things that aren't particularly noble.