The Contagion of Euthanasia and the Corruption of Compassion


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Is euthanasia compassionate in some cases?

Humans do not live in isolation. The more our culture sends messages that some lives are less valuable than others, the more some people will internalize messages to end their lives. A psychological contagion of suicide is unleashed by euthanasia and assisted suicide laws. Condoning suicide in one circumstance implicitly condones it across the board. The wrong of suicide is no longer absolute: death is made a reasonable—even the expected—response to pain, misfortune, and sadness.

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Arthur Goldberg & ShimonCowen — Public Discourse

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The Spiritual Cost of Scandal


I saw “The Keepers” on Netflix recently. One thing that remained with me was that a reckless act perpetrated on a child by a person the child trusts can scar the child for life. The pain and hurt never really go away.

I am not talking here about the loss of naïve optimism, or the experience of taking clergy down off the pedestal. Such things are part of growing up. If we take our theology seriously, we must acknowledge that sin is real and human beings fail us. The Church has always included both saints and sinners. Indeed no one among us is sinless. What I think has been happening, however, is different from a loss of naïveté or growth in a mature acceptance of human failings.

Something good in our souls is being eroded whenever, in place of fairness, we take refuge in cynicism. This is one of the less-admitted costs of scandal. Even with all the good we have known from, yes, virtuous people in the Church, we cannot forget the ugliness of betrayal displayed in clerical crimes and cover-ups. It has been burned into our memory and left us scarred.

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Rita Ferrone – Commonweal

It’s Time For The Right To Openly Embrace Classically Liberal Muslims


Undeniably, the politicization of Islam is harmful to its followers. What blame to the left and right share in this?

The Right and Left are both playing opposite sides of the same game, and happily so. The Left gets to use its identity politics wedge to create yet another special interest group, and the Right, masochistically, gets a new boogeyman to justify spending more money on police and the military.

The Federalist 

Image: Painting by Brianna Keeper

The Sunni-Shia Divide


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With what is going on in the Middle East, it is important to understand the conflict better. Today’s needull explains the Qatar issue in detail starting from origin of Islam to the present socio-political and religious factors.

Islam’s schism, simmering for fourteen centuries, doesn’t explain all the political, economic, and geostrategic factors involved in these conflicts, but it has become one prism through which to understand the underlying tensions. Two countries that compete for the leadership of Islam, Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, have used the sectarian divide to further their ambitions. How their rivalry is settled will likely shape the political balance between Sunnis and Shias and the future of the region, especially in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Yemen.

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Council on Foreign Relations

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Buddhism, Science And The Western World


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Let’s start the weekend with two foundations of the world- religion and science. This needull explores whether Buddhism is more in tune with the modern world.

Part of the problem for Sharf and others is that by focusing only on the domains of inner experience (i.e. mindfulness via contemplative practice), Buddhist Modernism loses aspects of its function that were central to its history. “Look at how suspicious many Western Buddhists are of religious ritual,” he says in the Tricycle interview, “… when we downplay ritual, we risk weakening our bonds to community and tradition. That’s a pretty major loss.”

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Adam Frank — NPR

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The Call of Jihad


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Why do young people, who are well-educated and doing good for themselves and their family decide to leave all behind and join ISIS? Today’s needull looks at a small village in Kerala in India and tries to find out what is happening on the ground. An eye opener on the harsh realities today.

As a family, Hafisuddin’s has been well exposed to cosmopolitan life. His grandfather was among the early residents of Padanna to open a hotel in Bombay. “He was the first man to own cars in our village. He also owned a flat in Mumbai,” says Rahman. “You have to see the irony in it. The grandfather was a man who was urbanised in the 1960s, but the grandson [fifty years later] went back to conservative values and wanted the life of a jihadi.”

Radicalisation, however, may have little to do with such exposure. Or even geography. “It is certain that the seeds of extremism are sowed somewhere else, and not in Kerala. I think they got their wrong understanding of Islam from the internet,” says Rahman, “They are educated and exposed to foreign countries.”

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Shahina KK — OPEN

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Rare Needull – A journey to the center of the world


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This needull marks a new beginning for the Rare Needull series. We have mostly been recommending interesting articles from well known journals and magazines. Rare Needull will pick gems from the lesser known publications. Needull will try to provide these amazing written pieces the much needed visibility they deserve.

This is the story of a journey to one of the most restricted places for travel – Mecca. I am not sure if it is fact or fiction or a mixture of both. Reading this story, you will feel a sense of dread, anxiety and sometimes relief. In my view, this piece is a NewYorker quality story.

The first problem, and the realization that this could go really wrong, stuck at the first checkpoint, 15 miles from Mecca city. While I was in the queue, non-chalantly waiting for my turn, the call for prayer echoed through the complex. The devout Muslims, which most people there were, got on their knees like a remote control button. It took me seconds, which seemed like hours to me, to realize that I was about to do my first prayer in public. The next 15 minutes of standing, kneeling, prostrating were the most nervous 15 minutes of my life. I was clumsy all throughout but I guess, everyone was so engrossed in prayer that they didn’t notice my awkwardness. I sailed through this test, one of the many to come over the next 12 hours.

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Taboo-Naut

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