LCMS Official to Speak on Heritage Foundation Religious Freedom Panel

St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) February 24, 2012

Note: The panel discussion will be held between 2-3:30 p.m. EST Monday, Feb. 27, and can be streamed lived at The Heritage Foundation?s website here.

What:????Maggie Karner, director of Life and Health Ministries for The Lutheran Church?Missouri Synod, will be one of five participants on a panel discussion sponsored by The Heritage Foundation and the National Review Institute about religious freedom.

When:????2-3:30 p.m. EST Monday, Feb. 27, 2012

Where:????The Heritage Foundation?s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachuesetts Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C.

Why:????Karner oversees the work of LCMS Life Ministry, which is devoted to upholding the sanctity of human life, both in our church body and the culture at large. Life Ministry is actively involved in a variety of domestic and international programs to support and encourage life ?in the image of God.?

LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison was one of several witnesses to testify during the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform?s recent hearing, ?Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?? Harrison also has issued two letters to the church about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services? birth control rule. Harrison?s statements, videos, press releases and news story links about the issue can be found at

About The Lutheran Church?Missouri Synod

The Lutheran Church?Missouri Synod (LCMS), is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 1847, the LCMS has about 2.3 million baptized members in more than 6,000 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America. The church broadcasts the saving message of Jesus Christ over KFUO Radio, and it has relationships and active mission work in 89 countries around the world. In the last five years, the LCMS has awarded more than $ 35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster relief. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide and is a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social ministry organization serving one in every 50 Americans. For more information, visit


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Shimla Holiday Packages – Religious Sites and Sightseeing Attractions

The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is one of the most frequented hill stations of Northern India. Undulated paths embroidered with lush pine, oak and rhododendron forests exude crisp mountain air; the entire scenery is both very tranquilizing and healing in character. A peaceful hamlet perched at the north-west Himalayas, Shimla is popularly known as the “Queen of Hills” for the beauty of its snow clad winters, captivating natural exuberance and Victorian style architecture. Shimla Holiday Packages thus unfold a world of nature’s bounty perfectly coupled with charming neo-gothic architecture built during colonial era by the British colonizers. The salubrious air and scenic views of the Himalayas are the most fascinating features of these Shimla tour packages.

Famous religious sightseeing destinations in Shimla:

Jakhoo Temple

Perched at an altitude of 8000 ft, Jakhu Hill is the highest peak in the region. The beauteous views of snow-clad peaks of Himalayas and the renowned Jakhoo Temple are its main attractions. It takes quiet an effort to reach the hilltop Jakhoo temple dedicated to Hanuman (the monkey god); according to the famous legend Lord Hanumana rested here for a while during his journey to bring Sanjivini Buti (A Herb). The temple premises are frequented by countless playful monkeys.

Christ Church

Located on the Ridge, Christ Church is the second oldest church in North India. Built by British colonisers, the church is built in very peculiar Victorian style architecture. Its stained glass windows represent Christian virtues such as faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility. A significant landmark in Shimla Christ Church looks majestic with a white façade.

Tara Devi Temple

Situated about 11 km from Shimla bus stand, Tara Devi Temple is a situated atop a lush hill. The temple is dedicated to Goddess of stars and is a renowned for its surrounding beauty and tranquilizing ambiance.

Other important tourist sights of Shimla holiday packages are:

The Mall

The main shopping street of Shimla, The Mall is where fun galore. The street is laden with finest of restaurants, banks, clubs, bars and tourist offices of the town and thus is frequented by both locals and tourists in big bulks. A walk in the region will provide numerous opportunities to shop, chit-chat, dine and have an absolutely fabulous evening. Himachal State Museum & Library: A visit to the state’s museum and library must be included in all Shimla tour packages for it provides a peep into the town’s historic heritage. The museum here has a collection of sculptors, coins, paintings and photos related to kingly rule on display.

Shimla Holiday Packages introduce a unique concoction of natural splendour and urban charms to its visitors. The town settled in the foothills of Himalayas is blessed with breath-taking beauty which is only enhanced further due to the presence of relics of colonial age. The town is dotted with fine accommodation, dining and recreation venues to compliment the effect of Shimla holidays. Renowned holy shrines, beautiful natural vistas, interesting sightseeing places and great tourist infrastructure, all these factors together makes Shimla one of the best holiday destinations ideal to escape the bustling city life.

Travelmasti is a traveler who likes to share his experiences. All the articles published by him will help you understand India better and answer all your holiday queries regarding North India Tour, Travel to Rajasthan including Rajasthan Tours etc. Find tourist info on travel destination, Holiday Packages, India Hotel and much more.

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Radical Author Issues Invitation to Religious Leaders

Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) November 21, 2005

At his recent 70th birthday celebration, the Dalai Lama said all religions were “more or less the same,” with their fundamental compassion holding the key to world peace. In the same week, conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson warned citizens of a Pennsylvania town who voted against “intelligent design” that they had rejected God and could expect disaster to strike.

At first glance, the two attitudes seem very different. But radical thinker Sankara Saranam, author of the award-winning book God Without Religion, claims both leaders are misguided. “Robertson is obviously a deeply disturbed individual, and it’s unfortunate, though not entirely surprising, that a major religious sect has such a person at its helm. But the Dalai Lama, who is positioned to be a spiritual role model, ought to know better than to mouth platitudes about religious compassion as the solution to world conflict.”

“If compassion is so fundamental to organized religions, then why have religious beliefs caused so much war and violence?” Saranam asks. “Leaders who represent religious authority—which by definition fosters exclusivity, a false sense of superiority, and a narrow sense of identity in both ecclesiasts and followers—are incapable of promoting peace.”

In God Without Religion, Saranam uncovers the hypocrisy underlying all religions and calls for an end to organized worship. Religions, Saranam says, represent centralized authority that removes power from its rightful place in individuals in ways even more insidious than governments and corporations do. “Organized religions have never represented loving others as ourselves,” he says. “Rather, they embody the perversion of universal virtues that would otherwise be naturally expressed by an expansive human heart.”

Saranam suggests that the way to find peace is not through more reliance on organized religion, but through freeing ourselves from religious identification altogether and expanding our sense of self to unconditionally include the rest of humanity. “Simplistically touting any single virtue as the solution to conflict from within one of the very institutions that causes division is like trying to save a burning house with a water hose in one hand and a flamethrower in the other. Only when we give up identifying with institutions that foster a narrow sense of self and instead devote ourselves to the entire human family will we cease to interpret virtues in self-serving ways.”

Saranam challenges today’s spiritual leaders to symbolically cast off the outer accoutrements of organized religion and exemplify genuine inclusiveness. “If the world’s religious leaders took my criticism to heart and truly embraced a universal spirituality, they could greatly advance the cause of peace—an initiative that, as history abundantly proves, cannot be achieved from within the confines of a prescribed faith,” he counsels. “To end the wars caused by narrow identification with a religion, spiritual leaders need to march side by side as human beings—brothers and sisters free of the artificial boundaries and insignias of authority that foster divisiveness and violence.”


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Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know — But Doesn’t by Stephen Prothero

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) September 29, 2010

The United States is one of the most religious places on earth, but it is also a nation of shocking religious illiteracy. We have a major civics education problem today, says religion scholar Stephen Prothero. His book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – But Doesn’t, reveals what every American needs to know in order to confront the domestic and foreign challenges facing this country today.

Backed by the new findings in the Pew Forum survey, in his acclaimed book Prothero argues it is time to teach religion in American public schools. “Our national ignorance is staggering,” claims Prothero.

Consider this:

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Unlike many who want to bring religion back into the public schools, Prothero has no theological, religious, or moral agenda. He argues on secular grounds that “Americans are not equipped for citizenship (or, for that matter, cocktail party conversation) without a basic understanding of Christianity and the world’s major religions.”

Complete with a dictionary of key beliefs, characters, and stories about Christianity, Islam, Judaism and the other major world religions, Religious Literacy is a provocative book that is generating an important national discussion.

Stephen Prothero is the author of the New York Times bestselling Religious Literacy and God Is Not One, and a professor of religion at Boston University. His work has been featured on the cover of Time magazine, Oprah, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, National Public Radio, and other top national media outlets. He writes and reviews for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Boston Globe, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and other publications. He holds degrees in American Religion from Harvard and Yale and lives on Cape Cod. For more information, please visit


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