Archive for the ‘heaven’ Category

Taiwan celebrates lantern festival

February 18, 2008

(ITN)  Taiwan is celebrating its annual lantern festival to mark the end of Chinese New Year festivities.

The lanterns were first used as a tool to help protect the safety of townspeople, but gradually evolved to become a way to send prayers to heaven.

Ling Yao-ting, a magistrate in Pingshi, said: “A long time ago there were bandits in Pingshi. People hid in the mountains to protect themselves until the bandits left, and they released lanterns as signal to say that people could return home.”

“Today the floating lanterns carry prayers for people who wish to get married, wish for success in their career, or happiness for the family. They deliver these prayers through the lanterns.”

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Is religion losing the millennial generation?

February 6, 2008

By Stephen Prothero
USA Today
February 4, 2008

My students are careful — exceedingly careful — not to tell one another what to believe, or even what to do. Above all, they want to be tolerant and non-judgmental. Most of the religions my students developed were fully compatible with other religions.
They made few demands, either intellectually or morally. Repeatedly, their founders stress that you can join their religion without leaving Catholicism or Judaism or Islam behind.
They are allergic to divinity and even heaven. In the religions of their imagining, God is an afterthought at best. And the afterlife is, as one of my students told me, “on the back burner.”
What my students long for is not salvation after they die but happiness (or, in the case of Euphorianity, euphoria) here and now. They want less stress and more sleep.

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