Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

…The divided city.
He asked me about my first impression of Jerusalem and the first impression is its beautiful, the second it’s so divided and so unfair in so many ways. I’ve asked myself the question about if woman should be protected by law for covering up and I said to myself, but so many want this … because that’s what they say when they got to be heard in interviews.

My taught now are different. Last night we walked at Mea Shea rim the orthodox Jewish street. A sign at beginning at the street tells woman to please cover themselves. They have (if you guys remember Bruno running around chased by the fashion police) some people that actually tells woman that doesn’t dress according to the code, to go away from their street. It’s not a law but it’s in the Jewish context, woman shall dress their gender, especially when married. In Europe we blame Muslims for the burke, here so far I have had more strict rules with the Jews. It feels weird for me, the man in my company only have to wear a little Jewish kippa at their head, I have to cover . (more…)


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Rooftop view

Morning company outside hostel

The holy wall

King Davids Tomb

And you can never leave the crypt ….

More to v\come att flickr when we have better internet connection

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Now when It´s getting closer to my take off for Jerusalem, I have noticed a slight increase of worries in my surroundings.
From people saying: “Are you not worried to go?” til ” I hope you get home alive!”
-Seriously people, am I not afraid enough?
Of course I am awared of the fact that things do happends in Israel. Of course I understand that it would, probably, be safer to stand home, but … I am not really afraid to travel there … should I be?

I am just saying that people that lives there, and people that traveled there comes back and tells me that: You will love it, and of course when I mention how people over here worries they say: “Yeah you should listen to the locals thy will give you recommendations if something happends, but its a city just like any other city and not. Its …. it´s … oh you just have to experience it!”

So who am I supposed to listen to.
I know things could happend.
I know the risk is increased when I travel somewhere close to conflicts.
But …
I also know that life is not certain wherever you might be.

Who says that I live tomorrow, or even four minutes from now. You could be hit by a bus, you could be stabbed to death on the u-bahn. Anything could happened to you, so tell me when am I supposed to stop and hide from doing things I want to do or visit places important for my education?

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
Mark Twain

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Is it possible to be tolerant? When we have freedom of speech and religion are we never allowed to mess with it? A while ago we had a Swedish minister talking about homosexuals as cancer at the human body. The opinions in that case where different whether or not he was allowed to say that be course it counted as agitation against an ethnic group, but were it?

I mean it’s a horrible thing to say, because he just show the world that he is a know-nothing-prick and doesn’t deserve to be broadcasted, but … when did he cross the line between freedom of speech and agitation against an ethnic group? He spoke his opinion, should he be judge by that, who is the one setting the line between right and wrong, and what happens with freedom of speech if we are not allowed to speak our opinions (how foolish they might be)?

It’s not an easy question. There are a bit of the same thing with another occurrence we might see now and then. When are we letting religion take too much space in society? Is it a possibility to have balance between freedom of religion and other things in society?

We have had controversies when people feel discriminated because they can’t wear their religious outfit at work. The employer tells them: We have a dress code! And the job searching person says: Yeah I respect that but I need to wear this because it’s a part of my religion.
Who is right?

Is religion really suppose to stand above other laws in our society, if so, which religion is supposed to be in highest priority? And why? Is it really fair to say that you want to wear, for instance, burka, as a police? a nurse?, bus driver, firefighter?

Yeah I know the burka is the most instantly recognizable symbol of oppression and I am not intending to make a mockery of disempowered women who have been stripped of all human dignity. But it’s still a problem when you come to a school and somebody wants to teach kinder garden kids in a burka and says it’s a part of their religion. Are we allowed to point out the fact that burkas are not ” a traditional Islamic dress,” that burkas were made-up by fanatically fundamentalists and is a sign of oppression in our westernized word, therefore we should also be careful when it comes to a point when people claim that they are allowed to things be course it’s a part of their religion.

We have to, in fact we should be obligated to question such statement when we see that people uses their religion to justify oppression. In some cases it’s hard, in some cases we have to let people do and act in a certain way even though we are loathed when we face it. But sometimes we really have to put our foot down, because we should never allow terror or oppression of any kind.

The question is who and how shall we draw the lines?

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The frailest thing ask at his blog if sports is a religion

There is not a real simple answer to that, well I could say that sports as a conception is not what I would call a religion, but just as devotion to for instance a rock star, an artist or a kult is similar to religiousfenomenas, sports can be that to I guess.

The sport (or the dedication to it)that often is compared to religion, is football, or what Americans would refer to as soccer. Is it a religion then, or is it something else? Some believe that football “is just a game”, some belive that its more important than life or death. As I sad there is not a simple answer. We could, depending on how we define religion find similarities, common denominator and cooperation between football and religion. But does that mean its equal?

Football has a central role in many societys, as religion, football can also build bridges between social, political, and religious areas aswell as, between regions, Nations and generations. On a football pub or at the football stadion where everyone cheers for the same team there are bounds between people, there is brotherhood, and a familiar feeling that we all are one no matter from where we came or what we do.

Football affects a very large mass, where they can vent their feelings and is including aswell as excluding, it makes people laugh, cry and feel together. It engages people around the world when the world cup is on and it has many similaritys to a church-community.

But is it equal?

I guess it all comes down to how we define religion, and there are many definitions.

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Some people taught that the secularization in the world will make religiosity less important. Studying relicion-sociology I will not agree with that statement.

The importance of religion is constantly rising but as long as it not interfere with politics and is kept as a matter of oneself I don´t se the rising importance of religion as a problem.

When a religion and religious practice claims to be the essential truth …yes I agree that its dangerous. But this is also true for those who claim that there is no room for religion in our secularized world.

Religion is not the main reason for world conflicts, even though some people claim they are. When we blame religion for being the main reason for world conflicts, we should take a look at ho its used not just that religion is a part of it. What I am saying is that religion is often used to legitimate political whishes.
The point is we should never accept oppression, and we should tolerate that people need to turn to religion or similar things as long as they do it in private and within the limits of what is acceptable in a secularized society.

Any person should be able to see that historical religious documents and publications are meant to be read metaphorically and are of great importance for the historical documentations.

We should not deny the fact that religion is a part of our society.
The thing we shall fight against is when people claim that science is BS or want to erase important historical or scientifically proof from schoolbooks. Or when they claim that religious documents or movements are the definite truth and that there is no room for other opinions.

But if somebody wants to pray or believe in something that is unbelievable or unreal …let him as long as other people don´t get forced to do the same or get hurt by his claims.

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Some people are so biased and they seem to be so unawared of it. Often when people find out that I study religion-sociology they want to have a nice discussion.. or not …
Some people attack me immediately with the statement: So you are religious, I did not think that, and when I tell them that I am not they look at me as if I am weird or something.

– Why do you study that then?
– Well, its interesting to know, how religion affects people, societies, politics and culture …don´t you think?

And then it comes … Sometimes it feels as if they want to throw up all their prejudictions of eighter religion in general or specific religions… at me, and when I try to bring up the many different nuances in religion they can´t accept it. Be course if they do not get anything good from the newspapers …why would they want to see that there can be both good and bad and not only bad?

I mean it´s ok to have prejudictions, as a matter of fact the human race had never survived without having the fundamental suspiciousness built in our brains. If we just threw ourself out in every new environment we would have been easily killed as a race early, but … Its really good to try to be open minded when you actually don´t have a real clue about what you are talking about.

Becourse you can´t judge people without knowing them, and you do not know people, religion or religious people just by reading the news.

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