Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why Bother to Learn About World Religions

I have been an atheist for some time because I have deep doubts about all religious structures but, thanks to my youngest son who shares a lot of my philosophical views, my youngest daughter who is a Wicca, my older daughter who is a Jehova Witness, my oldest son's family who are Buddhist and my childhood girl friends with thier spiritual beliefs, I have set off on a quest to discover the various traditions of the world.

The Muslims are not the only people whom we fear will overrun us; Ben Franklin had this to say about the Germans:

"Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation…and as few of the English understand the German Language, and so cannot address them either from the Press or Pulpit, ’tis almost impossible to remove any prejudices they once entertain…Not being used to Liberty, they know not how to make a modest use of it…I remember when they modestly declined intermeddling in our Elections, but now they come in droves, and carry all before them, except in one or two Counties...In short unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so out number us, that all the advantages we have will not in My Opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our Government will become precarious."

"Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion."
There is only one cure for this type of fear:  Learning about that which is unfamiliar.

ag·nos·tic        One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

a·the·ist           One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

Ba·ha'i            Of or relating to a religion founded in 1863 in Persia and emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind.

Con·fu·cian     Of, relating to, or characteristic of Confucius, his teachings, or his followers.

Study Questions for the Analects of Confucius

1. In Analect 6.18, Confucius says, “When one’s basic disposition overwhelms refinement, the person is boorish; when refinement overwhelms one’s basic disposition, the person is an officious scribe. It is only when one’s basic disposition and refinement are in appropriate balance that you have the exemplary person.” In what way is this similar to Aristotle’s idea of the mean?

2. In Analect 7.1, Confucius says, “Following the proper way (dao), I do not forge new paths; with confidence I cherish the ancients…” But in Analect 15.29, he says, “It is the person who is able to broaden the way (dao), not the way that broadens the person.” How can these two statements be reconciled?

3. In Analect 15.24, Confucius says that if there is one expression which can always be relied upon to direct proper action, he replies that it is, “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not want.” This has been referred to by some Western scholars as the “Negative Golden Rule.” In what way does this edict differ from the Golden Rule with which we are more familiar? Is the content of the principle significantly altered?

4. Confucius often speaks of social harmony as a primary virtue and uses musical analogies to make his point. What do these analogies tell us about his conception of harmony? Consider Analect 13.23, “Exemplary persons seek harmony not sameness; petty persons, then, are the opposite.”

5. Early translators of the Analects rendered the Chinese word “yi” as “right,” “duty,” or “morality.” Recently, some scholars have suggested that “appropriateness” is a more faithful translation. Consider the differences between these terms. How might one’s interpretation of Confucius’s thought be substantially different when contemplating the new translation, as opposed to the older versions? What does this tell us about the differences in Western conceptions of morality as opposed to those prevalent in East Asian traditions?

Chris·ti·an·i·ty The Christian religion, founded on the life and teachings of Jesus.

Hebrews 1

The Son Superior to Angels

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.


Orthodox Church  The Eastern Orthodox Church.

  1. Of or relating to Luther or his religious teachings and especially to the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
  2. Of or relating to the branch of the Protestant Church adhering to the views of Luther.

French-born Swiss Protestant theologian who broke with the Roman Catholic Church (1533) and set forth the tenets of his theology, known today as Presbyterianism, in Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536).

  1. Of or characteristic of the Church of England or any of the churches related to it in origin and communion, such as the Protestant Episcopal Church.
  2. Of or relating to England or the English

  1. A member of an evangelical Protestant church founded on the principles of John and Charles Wesley in England in the early 18th century and characterized by active concern with social welfare and public morals.
  2. methodist One who emphasizes or insists on systematic procedure.
  1. A member of an evangelical Protestant church of congregational polity, following the reformed tradition in worship, and believing in individual freedom, in the separation of church and state, and in baptism of voluntary, conscious believers.
  2. baptist One that baptizes.
  1. A type of church government in which each local congregation is self-governing.
  2. Congregationalism The system of government and religious beliefs of a Protestant denomination in which each member church is self-governing.
  1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
  2. often Fundamentalism An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.
  1. Of, relating to, or occurring at Pentecost.
  2. Of, relating to, or being any of various Christian religious congregations whose members seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit, in emulation of the Apostles at Pentecost.

A member of the Society of Friends.


A member of an Anabaptist church characterized particularly by simplicity of life, pacifism, and nonresistance.


A member of a radical movement of the 16th-century Reformation that viewed baptism solely as an external witness to a believer's conscious profession of faith, rejected infant baptism, and believed in the separation of church from state, in the shunning of nonbelievers, and in simplicity of life.


An orthodox Anabaptist sect that separated from the Mennonites in the late 17th century and exists today primarily in Ohio and southeast Pennsylvania.

Unitarian Universalism

A religious association of Christian origin that has no official creed and that considers God to be unipersonal, salvation to be granted to the entire human race, and reason and conscience to be the criteria for belief and practice.

Christian Science
The church and the religious system founded by Mary Baker Eddy, emphasizing healing through spiritual means as an important element of Christianity and teaching pure divine goodness as underlying the scientific reality of existence. Also called Church of Christ, Scientist.


A member of any of several Christian denominations that believe Jesus's Second Coming and the end of the world are near.

Je·ho·vah's Witness

A member of a religious denomination founded in the United States during the late 19th century in which active evangelism is practiced, the imminent approach of the millennium is preached, and war and organized governmental authority in matters of conscience are strongly opposed.


  • One who adheres to the religion of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
  • Such persons considered as a group; the unconverted.
  • One who is regarded as irreligious, uncivilized, or unenlightened.
  • Such persons considered as a group.
her·e·tic           A person who holds controversial opinions, especially one who publicly dissents from the officially accepted dogma of the Roman Catholic Church.

Hin·du·ism       A diverse body of religion, philosophy, and cultural practice native to and predominant in India, characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils.

Is·lam             A monotheistic religion characterized by the acceptance of the doctrine of submission to God and to Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God
  • The people or nations that practice Islam; the Muslim world.
  • The civilization developed by the Muslim world. 

  1. The monotheistic religion of the Jews, tracing its origins to Abraham and having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Talmud.
  2. Conformity to the traditional ceremonies and rites of the Jewish religion.
  3. The cultural, religious, and social practices and beliefs of the Jews.
  4. The Jews considered as a people or community. 
pa·gan           One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially a worshiper of a polytheistic religion.

pol·y·the·ism  The worship of or belief in more than one god.

  • Not domesticated or cultivated; wild: savage beasts of the jungle.
  • Not civilized; barbaric: a savage people.
  • Ferocious; fierce: in a savage temper.
  • Vicious or merciless; brutal: a savage attack on a political rival. See Synonyms at cruel.
  • Lacking polish or manners; rude.
  • A person regarded as primitive or uncivilized.
  • A person regarded as brutal, fierce, or vicious.
  • A rude person; a boor.
  • To assault ferociously.
  • To attack without restraint or pity:
Shin·to           A religion native to Japan, characterized by veneration of nature spirits and ancestors and by a lack of formal dogma.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the World's Religions Author: Toropov, Brandon.; Buckles, Luke.
Publication: New York Alpha Books, 1997. Product ID: 9940 eBook ISBN: 9780585086132
ISBN: 9780028617305 Subject: Religions. Language: English

Passage results: Hebrews 1:1-2 (New International Version)

Study Questions for Analects.doc Valdosta State University

List of Christian denominations by number of members

Largest denominations in the world

  1. Catholicism - 1.2 billion
  2. Catholic Church - 1,147 million[1]
  3. Roman Catholic Church (Latin Rite) - 1,129.9 million
  4. Eastern Catholic Churches (Eastern Rite) - 17.1 million
  5. Alexandrian
  6. Ethiopian Catholic Church - 0.21 million
  7. Coptic Catholic Church - 0.17 million
  8. Antiochian (Antiochene or West Syrian)
  9. Maronite Catholic Church - 3.1 million
  10. Syro-Malankara Catholic Church - 0.5 million
  11. Syriac Catholic Church - 0.17 million
  12. Armenian
  13. Armenian Catholic Church - 0.54 million
  14. Chaldean (Eastern Syrian)
  15. Syro-Malabar Catholic Church - 4.0 million
  16. Chaldean Catholic Church - 0.65 million
  17. Byzantine (Constantinopolitan)
  18. Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church - 4.3 million
  19. Melkite Greek Catholic Church - 1.6 million
  20. Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic - 0.8 million
  21. Ruthenian Catholic Church - 0.65 million
  22. Slovak Greek Catholic Church - 0.37 million
  23. Hungarian Greek Catholic Church - 0.29 million
  24. Italo-Greek Catholic Church - 0.07 million
  25. Croatian Greek Catholic Church - 0.06 million
  26. Belarusian Greek Catholic Church - 0.01 million
  27. Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church - 0.01 million
  28. Georgian Byzantine Catholic Church - 0.01 million[2]
  29. Macedonian Greek Catholic Church - 0.01 million
  30. Albanian Greek-Catholic Church - 0.01 million
  31. Greek Byzantine Catholic Church - 0.01 million
  32. Russian Catholic Church - 0.01 million
  33. Breakaway Catholic Churches - 28 million
  34. Apostolic Catholic Church - 5 million
  35. Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association - 4 million[3]
  36. Philippine Independent Church - 3 million
  37. Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church - 1 million
  38. Old Catholic Church - 0.6 million
  39. Mariavite Church - 0.03 million
Protestantism - 670 million
Historical Protestantism - 350 million
Baptist churches - 105 million[4]
Southern Baptist Convention - 16.3 million[5]
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. - 7.5 million[6]
National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. - 5 million[7]
Nigerian Baptist Convention - 3 million[8]
Progressive National Baptist Convention - 2.5 million[9]
American Baptist Churches USA - 1.4 million
Brazilian Baptist Convention - 1.4 million
Baptist Bible Fellowship International - 1.2 million[10]
Myanmar Baptist Convention - 1.1 million[11]
Baptist Community of the Congo River - 1 million[11]
National Baptist Convention, Brazil - 1 million
National Primitive Baptist Convention of the U.S.A. - 1 million[10]
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America - 1 million
Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches - 0.8 million[12]
Baptist Convention of Kenya - 0.7 million[11]
Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Russia - 0.6 million
Methodism - 75 million
United Methodist Church - 12 million
African Methodist Episcopal Church - 3 million
Methodist Church Nigeria - 2 million[13]
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church - 1.5 million
Church of the Nazarene - 1.9 million
Methodist Church of Southern Africa - 1.7 million[14]
Korean Methodist Church - 1.5 million[15]
United Methodist Church of Ivory Coast[16]
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church - 0.9 million
Methodist Church Ghana - 0.8 million[17]
Free Methodist Church - 0.7 million
Methodist Church in India - 0.6 million[18]
Lutheranism - 87 million[19]
Evangelical Church in Germany - 26.9 million[20]
Church of Sweden - 6.9 million
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - 4.8 million
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus - 4.7 million
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania - 4.6 million[21]
Danish National Church - 4.5 million
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland - 4.3 million[22]
Batak Christian Protestant Church - 4 million[23]
Church of Norway - 3.9 million
Malagasy Lutheran Church - 3 million
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod - 2 million
The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria - 1.7 million[24]
United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India - 1.5 million[25]
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea - 0.9 million[26]
Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church - 0.8 million[27]
Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil - 0.7 million[28]
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia - 0.6 million[29]
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa - 0.6 million[30]
Reformed churches - 75 million
Presbyterianism - 40 million
Presbyterian Church of East Africa - 4 million[31]
Presbyterian Church of Africa - 3.4 million[32]
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - 3.0 million
United Church of Canada - 2.5 million
Church of Christ in Congo–Presbyterian Community of Congo - 2.5 million[33]
Presbyterian Church of Korea - 2.4 million[34]
Presbyterian Church of Cameroon - 1.8 million[35]
Church of Scotland - 1.1 million[36]
Presbyterian Church of the Sudan - 1 million[37]
Presbyterian Church in Cameroon - 0.7 million[38]
Presbyterian Church of Brazil - 0,7 million [39]
Presbyterian Church of Ghana - 0.6 million[40]
Presbyterian Church of Nigeria - 0.5 million[41]
Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa - 0.5 million[42]
Presbyterian Church in America - 0.3 million
Continental Reformed churches - 30 million
Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar - 3.5 million[43]
United Church of Zambia - 3.0 million[44]
Protestant Church in the Netherlands - 2.5 million[45]
Swiss Reformed Church - 2.4 million
Evangelical Church of Cameroon - 2 million[46]
Protestant Evangelical Church in Timor - 2 million[47]
Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa - 0.7 million[48]
United Church in Papua New Guinea - 0.6 million[49]
United Church of Christ in the Philippines - 0.6 million[50]
Protestant Church in Western Indonesia - 0.6 million[51]
Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua - 0.6 million[52]
Protestant Church in the Moluccas - 0.6 million[53]
Reformed Church in Hungary - 0.6 million[54]
Reformed Church in Romania - 0.6 million[55]
Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa - 0.5 million[56]
Congregationalism - 5 million
United Church of Christ - 1.2 million
Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola - 0.9 million[57]
United Congregational Church of Southern Africa - 0.5 million[58]
Anabaptism and Free churches - 5 million
Schwarzenau Brethren/German Baptist groups - 1.5 million[59]
Mennonites - 1.5 million
Plymouth Brethren - 1 million[60]
Moravians - 0.7 million[61]
Amish - 0.2 million
Hutterites - 0.2 million
Quakers - 0.4 million
Waldensians - 0.05 million
Modern Protestantism - 588 million[62]
Pentecostalism - 130 million
Assemblies of God - 60 million
New Apostolic Church - 11 million
International Circle of Faith - 11 million[63]
The Pentecostal Mission - 10 million
Church of God (Cleveland) - 9 million
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel - 8 million
Church of God in Christ - 6 million
Apostolic Church - 5.5 million
Christian Congregation of Brazil - 2.5 million
Universal Church of the Kingdom of God - 2 million
Church of God of Prophecy - 1 million
God is Love Pentecostal Church - 0.8 million
Indian Pentecostal Church of God - NA
Non-denominational evangelicalism - 80 million
Calvary Chapel - 25 million
Born Again Movement - 20 million
Association of Vineyard Churches - 15 million
New Life Fellowship - 10 million[citation needed]
True Jesus Church - 2.5 million
Charismatic Episcopal Church - NA
African initiated churches - 40 million
Zion Christian Church - 15 million
Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim - 10 million
Kimbanguist Church - 5.5 million
Church of the Lord (Aladura) - 3.6 million[64]
Council of African Instituted Churches - 3 million[65]
Church of Christ Light of the Holy Spirit - 1.4 million[66]
African Church of the Holy Spirit - 0.7 million[67]
African Israel Niniveh Church[68]
Seventh-day Adventist Church - 17 million
Restoration Movement - 7 million
Churches of Christ - 5 million
Christian Churches and Churches of Christ - 1.1 million[10]
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) - 0.7 million
Eastern Orthodoxy - 210 million
Autocephalous churches
Russian Orthodox Church - 125 million
Romanian Orthodox Church - 18 million
Serbian Orthodox Church - 15 million
Church of Greece - 11 million
Bulgarian Orthodox Church - 10 million
Georgian Orthodox Church - 5 million
Greek Orthodox Church of Constantinople - 3.5 million
Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch - 2.5 million
Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria - 1.5 million
Orthodox Church in America - 1.2 million
Polish Orthodox Church - 1 million
Albanian Orthodox Church - 0.8 million
Cypriot Orthodox Church - 0.7 million
Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem - 0.14 million
Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church - 0.07 million
Autonomous churches
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) - 7.2 million[69]
Moldovan Orthodox Church - 3.2 million
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia - 1.25 million
Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia - 0.62 million
Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric - 0.34 million
Estonian Orthodox Church - 0.3 million
Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe - 0.15 million
Finnish Orthodox Church - 0.08 million
Chinese Orthodox Church - 0.03 million
Japanese Orthodox Church - 0.02 million
Latvian Orthodox Church - 0.02 million
Non-universally recognized churches
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) - 5.5 million[69]
Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - 2.4 million
Macedonian Orthodox Church - 2 million
Orthodox Church of Greece (Holy Synod in Resistance) - 0.75 million
Old Calendar Romanian Orthodox Church - 0.50 million
Old Calendar Bulgarian Orthodox Church - 0.45 million
Croatian Orthodox Church - 0.36 million
Montenegrin Orthodox Church - 0.05 million
Orthodox Church in Italy - 0.12 million
Other separated Orthodox groups
Old Believers - 1.8 million
Greek Old Calendarists - 0.86 million
Russian True Orthodox Church - 0.85 million
Oriental Orthodoxy - 75 million
Autocephalous churches in communion
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church - 45 million
Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria - 15.5 million
Syriac Orthodox Church - 10 million
Armenian Orthodox Church - 8 million
Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church - 2.5 million
Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church - 2 million[70]
Armenian Orthodox Church of Cilicia - 1.5 million
Autonomous churches in communion
Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church - 1.2 million[71]
Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople - 0.42 million
Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem - 0.34 million
French Coptic Orthodox Church - 0.01 million
British Orthodox Church - 0.01 million
Churches not in communion
Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church - 1.1 million
Malabar Independent Syrian Church - 0.06 million
Anglicanism - 82 million
Anglican Communion - 80 million[72]
Church of Nigeria - 18 million
Church of England - 13.4 million
Church of Uganda - 8.8 million
Church of South India - 3.8 million
Anglican Church of Australia - 3.7 million
Episcopal Church in the Philippines - 3.0 million
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia - 2.5 million
Anglican Church of Tanzania - 2.5 million
Anglican Church of Southern Africa - 2.4 million
Episcopal Church of the United States - 2.2 million
Anglican Church of Canada - 2.0 million
Anglican Church of Kenya - 1.5 million
Church of North India - 1.3 million
Church of the Province of Rwanda - 1 million
Church of Pakistan - 0.8 million
Anglican Church of Burundi - 0.8 million[73]
Church of the Province of Central Africa - 0.6 million
Church of Christ in Congo–Anglican Community of Congo - 0.5 million[74]
Scottish Episcopal Church - 0.4 million
Church of Ireland - 0.4 million
Continuing Anglican movement - 1.5 million
Traditional Anglican Communion - 0.5 million
Anglican Church in North America - 0.1 million
Nontrinitarianism - 27 million
Latter Day Saint movement (Mormonism) - 14 million
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 13.5 million[75]
Community of Christ - 0.25 million[76]
Jehovah's Witnesses - 7.1 million
Iglesia ni Cristo - 6 million[77]
Oneness Pentecostalism - 6 million
United Pentecostal Church International - 4 million
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World - 1.5 million
Church of Christ, Scientist - 0.4 million
Friends of Man - 0.07 million
Christadelphians - 0.05 million
Nestorianism - 1 million
Assyrian Church of the East - 0.5 million
Ancient Church of the East - 0.3 million
Religions of the world

Religion             Date Founded          Sacred Texts          Membership         % of the World

Christianity             30 CE                 The Bible [Note1]           2,039 million        32% (dropping)

Islam                    622 CE                 Qur'an & Hadith              1,570 million       22% (growing)

Hinduism             1500 BCE             Bhagavad-Gita,               950 million           13% (stable)
                   with truly ancient roots   Upanishads, & Rig Veda

No religion             -                          None                               775 million           12% (dropping)
(Note 2)

Chinese folk       270 BCE                  None                               390 million             6%

Buddhism           523 BCE               The Tripitaka                       350 -
                                                      (consisting of the                  1,600 million (3)     6% (stable?)
                                                      Vinaya, the Sutras,
                                                       and the Abhidharma)

Tribal Religions,   Prehistory            Oral tradition                         232 million            4%

Atheist                No Date               None                                     150 million            2%

New religions.     Various                 Various                                 103 million           2%

Sikhism               1500 CE              Guru Granth Sahib                  23.8 million          <1%

Judaism               Note 4                 Torah, Tanach, & Talmud      14.5 million          <1%

Spiritism                                                                                        12.6 million           <1%

Baha'i Faith        1863 CE                Alkitab Alaqdas                        7.4 million         <1%

Confucianism       520 BCE               Lun Yu                                     6.3 million          <1%

Jainism                 570 BCE               Siddhanta, Pakrit                       4.3 million         <1%

Zoroastrianism      600 to 6000 BCE  Avesta                                       2.7 million         <1%

Shinto                    500 CE                 Kojiki, Nohon Shoki                  2.7 million         <1%

Taoism Note 5       550 BCE               Tao-te-Ching                             2.7 million         <1%

Other                     Various                  Various                                      1.1 million         <1%

Wicca Note 6         800 BCE,               None                                         0.5 million?       <1%
                              1940 CE

  1. List of Christian denominations by number of members
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Religions of the world


  1. Basically all of the versions say the same thing, they just use slightly newer words and grammar.
  2. Persons with no formal, organized religion include agnostics, freethinkers, humanists, secularists, etc. Their numbers are growing in Europe, North America, and other places. With the collapse of Communism in the USSR, the total numbers worldwide are dropping.
  3. There is no consensus on the number of Buddhists in the worlds. Estimates of the precise number of Buddhists in the world vary between 350 and 1,500 million, making Buddhism the second, third or fourth largest world religion.
  4. There is no consensus on the data of founding of Judaism. Some claim that Adam and Eve were the first Jews, and lived circa 4000 BCE; others suggest that they, and all biblical persons prior to King David are mythical; they never existed. Some would place the date at the time of Abraham, circa 1900 BCE. Some date it to the Exodus from Egypt circa 1490 BCE; others say that no Exodus happened, and the ancient Hebrews were originally a group that gradually separated from the main body of Canaanites and eventually developed a different culture.
  5. Many, perhaps most, followers of Chinese folk religion follow a number of different religions/philosophies including Taoism. The number cited for Taoism is an estimate of the number of individuals who follow only Taoism.
  6. We have included Wicca even though their numbers are small because such a large percentage of our site's visitors are of that faith. There is no reliable measure of their numbers. Some Wiccans believe that their faith can be traced back to the origins of the Celtic people; other suggest it is a recently created religion and is based on ancient symbols, deities, seasonal celebration and other factors.


  • CE stands for "Common Era." It is a relatively old term that is experiencing rapidly increased usage in recent years. It is expected to eventually replace AD. The latter is an abbreviation for "Anno Domini" in Latin or "the year of the Lord" in English. The latter refers to the approximate birth year of Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ). CE and AD have the same and value. 2004 CE = 2004 AD. The word "common" simply means that it is based on the most frequently used calendar system: the Gregorian Calendar.
  • BCE stands for "Before the common era." It is expected to eventually replace BC, which means "Before Christ," or "Before the Messiah." Years in the BC and BCE notation are also identical in value. Most theologians and religious historians believe that the approximate birth date of Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus) was in the fall of a year, sometime between 7 and 4 BCE. However, we have seen estimates as late as 4 CE and as early as the second century BCE.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Ever since I retired, I wanted to assemble all of my Army patches, decorations, medals, badges and ribbons on some sort of display board.  But, I kept thinking about how much work that would be to go through all of my boxes of archives and place everything in proper order.  Then I had a stroke of genius.  Just go through my 201 file and find everything online that I was authorized to wear and bingo, in two days I had everything assembled in the proper precedence and it sure was a lot of fun.

I hope you enjoy going through this blog as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  Or like all of my useless information, you can just dump it.


U.S. Army Training Command Armor
Fort Knox, Kentucky
Basic Combat Training
circa November 1960 to January, 1961

3rd Army
US Army Southeastern Signal School
Fort Gordon, Georgia
Advanced Individual Training
Teletype Writer Operator
circa January, 1961 to March  1961

 (I don't remember the patch I wore)
Redstone Arsenal
Huntsville, Alabama
Circa March, 1961 - September 1961

999th Signal Company (Spt), 25th Infantry Division
Helemano Military Reservation between Wahiawa and Haleiwa, Hawaii
circa September, 1961 to May, 1962

Naha Port, Okinawa
circa May, 1962 to August, 1962

9th Logistical Command

Circa August 1962 - The 9th Logistical Command was deployed to Thailand to provide assistance in civil construction, and later became the logistical support element for Joint Task Force 116 to counter conflict in the Southeast Asia area the 999th provided communications support

United States Army Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa
circa December,1962 to March, 1963

First Army
Fort Devens Communication Center 
circa March 1 1963 to  November 20, 1963

Separated on November 20, 1963
The end of my first tour of duty
 November 21, 1960 to November 20, 1963
Communications Center Specialist 36 months, Sp4 (E-4)


820617 - 831119
CO C, 1st Bn, 225th Infantry, 38th Infantry Division
Port Huron, Michigan

831119 - 840707
Flint, Michigan
840707 - 850818
Fraser, Michigan
850818 - 900917
CO A, (Staff & Faculty), 70th DIVISION (TRAINING)
Fraser, Michigan

900917 - 920413
United States Army Recruiting Command
Des Moines, Iowa


 920401 - 940925
HHC, 157th Separate Infantry Brigade
Horsham, Pennsylvania

940925 -  960220
2nd Bn 329th Regiment, 70th Division (Training)
Camp Atterbury, Indiana
960220 - 980301
88th Regional Readiness Command
402nd Engineer Company (Dump Truck)
 Camp Atterbury, Indiana

980301 Retired with a permanent disability of 50% and rank of SSG (E6)


Meritorious Service Medal

Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award)

Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award)

Army Good Conduct Medal (5th Award)

National Defense Service Medal

Armed Forces Reserve Medal

NCO Professional Development Ribbon

Army Service Ribbon

Overseas Service Ribbon

United States Army Identification Badge-Recruiter, Silver

Sharpshooter (M1 and M16)

Army Hashmark (1 for every 3 years /21 = 7)

Army Overseas Bar (1 for every 6 months /18 = 3)

En listed Signal MOSC 72B Communications Center Specialist 

Enlisted Infantry-MOSC 11B- -Infantryman, 11H Infantry Direct Fire Crewman 

Enlisted Transportation MOSC 88M Motor Transport Operator

Signal Orange Cord

Infantry Blue Cord

Private E-2

Private First Class E-3

Specialist E-4

Sergeant E-5

Staff Sergeant E-6 (Retired)

Unit Crest 329th Regiment Brigade Combat Team USAR

Recruiting Unit Crest


United States Army Southeastern Signal School 1961

Self Portrait in Hawaii circa 1961

The Times They Have Sure Changed

They Do Not Have Khakis Anymore

Party Time

Would You Believe the Woman is Jan...First Sergeant is Michael Brink

I Told You That I was a Recruiter in Iowa

Do You Think I Look Like Patton?

Certificate of Appreciation

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"You'll Find Them Both In The Grand Canyon At Sundown"

“You'll Find Them Both In The

Grand Canyon At Sundown”

Kenneth E. Reynolds

August 3, 2010

Author Note

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kenneth E. Reynolds,


“You'll Find Them Both In The

Grand Canyon At Sundown”

It really doesn’t really matter what I believe. It really doesn’t matter what you believe. What does matter is that we all agree to disagree and have respect for our fellow man and woman.

Growing up in a modest home in Detroit, Michigan we went to a Christian Science Church because that is the church my father was brought up in.

Then I reached the dating age and was introduced to several other types of churches. If my girlfriend was a Baptist, I went to a Baptist Church. If she was Episcopalian then I went to an Episcopalian Church. This trend continued into my marriage. My wife was a Methodist so I became a Methodist. When I joined the Army and was assigned to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama my wife and I rented a mobile home from a Pentecostal Minister and considering we did not have a car at the time, he invited us to his church and provided the transportation. My second wife was a Catholic so I attended the Catholic Church.

After my second marriage failed, I decided to become an Atheist. I mean why not? Nothing else worked and I really had a hard time believing that if there is only one God and the Roman Catholics believe they have the mother church, where did all of these other churches and religions come from?

One thing does fascinate me about religion though. Whether you believe in the Big Bang theory or Creationism don’t you find it ironic that they both started out with nothing?

• The Big Bang is not an explosion of matter moving outward to fill an empty universe. Instead, space itself expands with time everywhere and increases the physical distance between two comoving points.


God createth Heaven and Earth, and all things therein, in six days.

1:1. In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.

1:2. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face

of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.

1:3. And God said: Be light made. And light was made.

1:4. And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light

from the darkness.

1:5. And he called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was

evening and morning one day.


My children were also allowed to choose the path that they wished to follow. Therefore one is a Buddhist, one pretty much believes in my philosophy, of no deity, one is Jehovah Witness, and one is a Wicca.

I am a serious believer in diversity. Especially religious beliefs, age, disability, ethnicity, race or sexual orientation. Just to mention a few. Yes, I am an atheist but I try to place everyone on a level playing field and respect their cultural beliefs and values.

When I started out on this quest of world religions, I had no idea that I would be involved in more religions that I could possibly comprehend. So, I decided to narrow my research down to those churches that I have touched my life, which I think will be more than sufficient to see the similarities and differences of different religions…even those that I have some knowledge of.,

So let’s start at my beginning and see why I chose to become an Atheist.

About Christian Science

Core Beliefs

Christian Scientists believe in one, infinite God who is All and all-good. They believe that God is not distant and unknowable, but that God is all-encompassing and always present, and that each individual is loved by God, cared for by Him, and made in God’s image—spiritual, not material.

Christian Scientists believe in the Bible and in Christ Jesus as the Son of God, or promised Messiah. And they believe that Jesus’ teachings and healing work expressed scientific Christianity, or the application of the laws of God—laws which are still practical and provable today, by anyone, anywhere. Christian Scientists consider the Commandments, as well as Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, to be central to their lives and practice of Christianity.

Above all, Christian Scientists believe in the saving, healing power of God’s love—that no one is beyond redemption, that no problem is too entrenched or overwhelming to be addressed and healed. In other words, Christian Scientists don’t believe that salvation occurs at some point in the future, but that the presence of God’s goodness can be experienced here and now—and by everyone.

One of the best ways to learn more about Christian Science is to explore the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

The Tenets of Christian Science, Science and Health, pages 496–497



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Baptists are a group of Christian denominations, churches, and individuals who subscribe to a theology of believer's baptism (as opposed to infant baptism), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local church. They generally practice baptism by immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling) and disavow authoritative creeds. Baptist churches are Protestant, and some churches or individuals further identify with evangelicalism or fundamentalism. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastor-elders and deacons, but not bishops. Diverse from their beginning, those identifying as Baptists today differ widely from one another in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship.[1]

Historians trace the earliest Baptist church back to 1609 in Amsterdam, with English Separatist John Smyth as its pastor.[2] In accordance with his reading of the New Testament, he rejected baptism of infants and instituted baptism only of believing adults.[3] Baptist practice spread to England. Here, the General Baptists considered Christ's atonement to extend to all people, while the Particular Baptists believed that it extended only to the elect.[4] In 1639, Roger Williams established the first Baptist congregation in the American colonies.[4] In the mid-1700s, the Great Awakening increased Baptist growth.[4] Baptist missionaries have spread the church to every continent.[3]

The Baptist World Alliance reports more than 37 million members in more than 150,000 congregations.[5] In 2002, there were over 100 million Baptists and Baptistic group members worldwide and over 33 million in North America.[3] The largest Baptist association is the Southern Baptist Convention, with over 16 million members.[4]


What is the Episcopalian Church and what do Episcopalians believe?

Question: "What is the Episcopalian Church and what do Episcopalians believe?"

Answer: The Episcopal Church, USA (ECUSA) is the official organization of the Anglican Communion in the United States. Most of the earliest colonists to America were Anglican Puritans, and the Anglican Church became the established church of Virginia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia during the colonial period. After the American Revolution, the Anglican Church in America formed an independent body in 1789 and called it the Protestant Episcopal Church. On their website, the ECUSA is described as a “middle way between Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions.” Like the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church upholds the sacraments as essential to salvation, and like Protestant churches, it denies the supremacy of the Pope as the vicar of Christ on earth.

The word “Episcopal” comes from the Greek word that is usually translated “bishop,” and points to the church's understanding that a bishop is the primary ruler of the church. Under the Episcopal form of government, the bishop's authority is equal to that of the Apostles and follows a line of succession by the laying on of hands in ordination. Priests come under the authority of the bishops and are responsible for the teaching and administration of the local churches. Throughout the history of the ECUSA, their doctrine and practice have been generally in line with that of the Anglican Church.

Over the years, the Episcopal Church has gradually accepted changes that have strained its ties with the Anglican Communion and have even resulted in schisms. In 1873, the Reformed Episcopal Church was formed over disagreements about the freedom to worship with non-Anglicans. In 2006, Jefferts Schori was elected as the Presiding Bishop of the ECUSA, the first woman to hold that office. That election strained ties with the Anglican Communion, as no other church body recognizes the ordination of women as bishops. Bishop Schori has made history in other ways, as well. While the Bishop of Nevada, she allowed for the blessing of same-sex unions in her diocese. When openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson was examined for qualification to continue in ministry, Bishop Schori voted to confirm him. At the 2009 meeting of the House of Bishops, over which Schori presided, that body voted that “any ordained ministry” should be open to gay and lesbian members as long as they were in a committed relationship. As a result of these positions on homosexuals in the church, nearly 700 dissenting parishes have formed the Anglican Church in North America, which has been recognized in full communion by the Anglican Churches of Nigeria and Uganda, which represent about 1/3 of all Anglicans worldwide. Several dioceses have also severed ties or threatened to sever ties with the ECUSA over that same issue.

Though there may be genuine disciples of Christ within the Episcopal Church, it seems that the general characteristic of the church is like the people that Ezekiel ministered to: “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice” (Ezekiel 33:31-32).

Recommended Resource: Complete Guide to Christian Denominations: Understanding the History, Beliefs, and Differences by Ron Rhodes.


United Methodist Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of the The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the holiness revival movement of John and Charles Wesley within the Church of England.[6][7][8] As such, the church's theological orientation is decidedly Wesleyan.[9] It contains both liturgical and evangelical elements.[10][11]

In the United States, it ranks as the largest mainline denomination, the second largest Protestant church after the Southern Baptist Convention, and the third largest Christian denomination. As of 2007, worldwide membership was about 12 million: 8.0 million in the United States and Canada,[12] 3.5 million in Africa, Asia and Europe.[13] It is a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, and other religious associations.


What is a Pentecostal church?

From the book, ‘What People Ask About The Church’ by Dale A. Robbins

A Pentecostal church takes its name from the Spirit's outpouring which occurred on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4. The primary distinction of a Pentecostal church is the belief that Christians can receive the same experience as the 120 did, of being baptized with the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in other tongues. In this same vein, the Pentecostal believes in the present day operation of spiritual gifts such as miracles, healing, prophecy, and other supernatural manifestations described in 1 Corinthians 12. They generally follow a similar form of liturgy to that found in most evangelical churches, and they place high value on praise and worship.

A Pentecostal church generally identifies with the long standing history, traditions and theological views of the Pentecostal movement which began to emerge throughout the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century. The origins of the movement are usually associated with a band of believers led by minister, Charles F. Parham. In a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, students and teachers, along with Parham, researched the book of Acts, searching for the source of the Apostle's great power and success. They all concluded that it was because of the events that began with the Day of Pentecost. After a thorough review of Acts 2,8,9,10, and 19, they concluded that the same experience was available to them. On New Year's eve 1900, the first student was filled with the spirit and spoke in tongues. Then on January 3rd, others including Parham received, igniting a rapid growing movement. The famed 1906 revival of the Azusa Street mission in Los Angeles was a derivative of the events in Topeka. From there, it spread through the U.S., Canada and abroad.

The Pentecostals have long been known and respected for their great emphasis on evangelism and foreign missions. Some of the more well known Pentecostal fellowships are: The Assemblies of God (of Springfield, MO) with 11,689 U.S. churches, The Church of God in Christ with 15,300, The Church of God (of Cleveland, TN) with 5,776, and The Foursquare Church with 1,558. In all, there are 43,727 U.S. churches affiliated with Pentecostal denominations, with hundreds more of independent status.¹

Within the ranks of those who identify themselves as Pentecostals, there are small sects which are known for more extreme or even bizarre views. Some practice handling of snakes, or others of a Unitarian theology insist that only those who speak with tongues can be saved. These unorthodox beliefs are not embraced by the large body of Pentecostal churches or denominations, however the fanaticism of this small group of radicals has sometimes generated an inaccurate stereotype of all Pentecostals which has been exploited by tabloid TV news shows and so forth.


Catholic Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with more than a billion members.[1] Its leader is the Pope who is head of the College of Bishops. A communion of the Western church and 22 Eastern Catholic churches, it comprised a total of 2,795 dioceses in 2008.[2] The Church defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity. It operates social programs and institutions throughout the world including schools, universities, hospitals, missions, shelters and charities.[3]

The Church teaches that it is the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are consecrated successors of his apostles and that the Pope as the successor of St. Peter possesses a universal primacy of jurisdiction and pastoral care. Church doctrines have been defined through 21 ecumenical councils and the Church maintains that by guidance of the Holy Spirit, it can define its teachings on faith and morals infallibly under specific conditions.[4][note 1][5] Catholic beliefs are based on the Holy Bible and Sacred Tradition interpreted by the Church's teaching authority and detailed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catholic worship is called the liturgy, the central component of which is the Eucharist.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[3] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[4] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[5][6]

The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without gods", which was applied with a negative connotation to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves as "atheist" appeared in the 18th century.[7] Today, about 2.3% of the world's population describes itself as atheist, while a further 11.9% is described as nonreligious.[8] Between 64% and 80%[9] of Japanese describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or non-believers.[10] According to a poll by Der Spiegel magazine, 45% of Germans believe in God, and a quarter in Jesus Christ.[11] The percentage of such persons in European Union member states ranges as low as single digits in Malta, Poland, Romania, Cyprus and some other countries, and up to 85% in Sweden, 80% in Denmark, 72% in Norway, and 60% in Finland.[10]

Atheists tend to lean towards skepticism regarding supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence.[citation needed] Common rationales for not believing in any deity include the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Other arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. Although some atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as humanism,[12] rationalism, and naturalism,[13] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[14]

In Western culture, atheists are frequently assumed to be exclusively irreligious or unspiritual.[15] However, atheism also figures in certain religious and spiritual belief systems, such as Jainism, some forms of Buddhism that do not advocate belief in gods,[16] and Hinduism that holds atheism to be valid but difficult to follow spiritually.[17]



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (Pāli/Sanskrit "the awakened one"). The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.[2] He is recognized by adherents as an awakened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end suffering (or dukkha), achieve nirvana, and escape what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth.

Two major branches of Buddhism are recognized: Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle"). Theravada—the oldest surviving branch—has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, and Mahayana is found throughout East Asia and includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shingon, Tendai and Shinnyo-en. In some classifications Vajrayana, a subcategory of Mahayana, is recognized as a third branch. While Buddhism remains most popular within Asia, both branches are now found throughout the world. Various sources put the number of Buddhists in the world at over a billion followers and possibly as many as 1.5 billion or 1.6 billion followers[3][4][5], making it one of the world's largest religions and possibly the second largest religion if upper estimates are accurate. Low estimates of Buddhism tend to come from sources that exclude Chinese Buddhists and refuse to acknowledge that one can combine Buddhism with other beliefs such as Hinduism in Nepal, Jainism in India, Taoism in Chinese populations, primal-indigenous beliefs in Burma and Laos, and Shintoism in Japan.

Buddhist schools vary significantly on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices.[6] The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community).[7][8] Taking "refuge in the triple gem" has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist.[9] Other practices may include following ethical precepts, support of the

monastic community, renouncing conventional living and becoming a monastic, meditation (this category includes mindfulness), cultivation of higher wisdom and discernment, study of scriptures, devotional practices, ceremonies, and in the Mahayana tradition, invocation of buddhas and bodhisattvas.


Beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of its founder, Charles Taze Russell and his successors, Joseph Franklin Rutherford and Nathan Homer Knorr. Since 1976 they have also been based on decisions made at closed meetings of the religion's Governing Body.[1][2] These teachings are disseminated through The Watchtower magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses, and at conventions and congregation meetings.

Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the present age of human existence is about to be terminated with the direct intervention of God, who will use Jesus Christ to fully establish his heavenly government over earth, destroying existing human governments and non-Witnesses,[3][4] and creating a cleansed society of true worshipers. They see their mission as primarily evangelical (disseminating "good news"), proselytizing to as many converts as possible in the remaining time before Armageddon.[5][6] All members of the religion are expected to take an active part in preaching what they refer to as "the truth".[7]

They endeavor to remain separate from secular society, which is regarded as a place of moral contamination and under the control of Satan the Devil, refusing any political and military activity and limiting social contact with non-Witnesses.[8] Members practice a strict moral code, forbidding adultery, premarital sex and homosexuality. Drug abuse, smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol are prohibited, as are blood transfusions.[9] Discipline within congregations is maintained by a system of judicial committees, which have the power to expel members who breach organizational rules and demand their shunning by other Witnesses.[10] The threat of shunning also serves to deter other members from dissident behavior.[11][12]

Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jehovah's Witnesses alone represent true Christianity and for that reason they refuse all ecumenical relations with other religious denominations.[13] Members are expected to attend all congregation meetings, as well as regular large-scale conventions, which are highly structured and based on material from Watch Tower publications.[14]



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wicca (pronounced [ˈwɪkə]) is a Neopagan religion and a form of modern witchcraft. It is often referred to as Witchcraft or the Craft[1] by its adherents, who are known as Wiccans or Witches. Its disputed origins lie in England in the early 20th century,[2] though it was first popularised during the 1950s by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft", and its adherents "the Wica".[3] From the 1960s the name of the religion was normalised to "Wicca".[4]

Wicca is typically a duotheistic religion, worshipping a Goddess and a God, who are traditionally viewed as the Triple Goddess and Horned God. These two deities are often viewed as being facets of a greater pantheistic Godhead, and as manifesting themselves as various polytheistic deities. Nonetheless, there are also other theological positions within the Craft, ranging from monotheism to atheism. Wicca also involves the ritual practice of magic, largely influenced by the ceremonial magic of previous centuries, often in conjunction with a liberal code of morality known as the Wiccan Rede, although this is not adhered to by all Witches. Another characteristic of the Craft is the celebration of seasonally based festivals known as Sabbats, of which there are usually eight in number annually.

There are various different denominations within Witchcraft, which are referred to as traditions. Some, such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, follow in the initiatory lineage of Gardner; these are often collectively termed British Traditional Wicca, and many of their practitioners consider the term "Wicca" to apply only to these lineaged traditions. Others, such as Cochrane's Craft, Feri and the Dianic tradition, take primary influence from other figures and may not insist on any initiatory lineage. Some of these do not use the term "Wicca" at all, instead preferring to be referred to only as "Witchcraft", while others believe that all traditions can be considered "Wiccan".[5][6]


Like I stated in the beginning of this essay, It doesn’t matter what I believe in but, I would like to borrow from one of my favorite song writers, Bob Dylan when he wrote Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie:

“You can either go to the church of your choice

Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital

You'll find God in the church of your choice

You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it's only my opinion

I may be right or wrong

You'll find them both

In the Grand Canyon

At sundown”

Dylan, B. (1963, April 12). Bob dylan. Retrieved from

And that my friends makes as much sense to me as being religious.

References Page




Big Bang

Catholic Church

Christian Science

Dylan, B. (1963, April 12). Bob dylan. Retrieved from


Holy Bible

Jehovah’s Witness's_Witnesses


United Methodist Church