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“Noah,” starring Russell Crowe, is being marketed as a kind of action-disaster movie — think “Gladiator” meets “Armageddon.” And on its face, the Great Flood story from the book of Genesis seems like a...
Do you wear something – anything – that indicates a religious inclination? Does it bother you if someone else does? Is that something government can regulate? These questions are the subject of intense debate in Quebec and (to a lesser...
Happy Friday! It seems to be sunny today, at least in Canton, and it looks like we may at least see sun for the next couple days to come. So hooray! Lots in the news today: I blogged earlier this week about Canton and Potsdam’s tentative...
Here’s one about potential traps strewn across unfamiliar cultural landscapes. As recounted by the National Post, a French author and a French publishing house with a popular series of  children’s books set in Quebec got it...
The conclave has begun. Any day now there will be a new Pope. There’s been vigorous speculation about who it might be. According to numerous media reports in Canada, Cardinal Marc Ouellet is in the running. And he has a chance,...


Religion
Aug 13, 2014 — Upcoming U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which the north frequently protests, may also have inspired the show of belligerence, reports NPR's Jason Strother.
Aug 13, 2014 — The Vatican hasn't had formal relations with China since 1949, when the communists took charge. Pope Francis is flying to South Korea today for a five-day visit.
Aug 9, 2014 — The preservation of Yiddish as a spoken language gets more attention, but Yiddish once had a vibrant written tradition as well, filled with plays, poetry, novels and political tracts.
Aug 9, 2014 — Lenira de Oliveira and her boyfriend were on trial for murder. Then an astonishing piece of evidence was submitted in their defense: a letter from the victim, as communicated to a medium.
Aug 8, 2014 — Jose Gomez is the Archbishop of Los Angeles — he was born in Mexico, and became an American citizen a few years ago. Steve Inskeep talks to Gomez about his views on U.S. immigration policy.

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Letters Home:
The Garrys in Mzuzu
Rev. Fred Garry of Watertown and his family travel to Malawi on a Lily Foundation sabbatical grant.
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amish school
Audio Slideshow:
Inside the Amish schools
They use textbooks that are thirty, sometimes a hundred years old. And their methods are very different. Karen Johnson-Weiner, an anthropology professor at SUNY Potsdam, has been visiting Amish schools; she talks with Gregory Warner .
torah cover
Slideshow
A Look Inside Temple Beth Joseph, Tupper Lake
Beth Joseph Synagogue in Tupper Lake is the oldest synagogue in the Adirondacks. Built in 1905, its origins stem from the late 1800s, when Jewish immigrants from Russia and eastern Europe arrived in America. It had been closed up for decades when a summer resident asked to take a look inside. What she found was a national treasure.
St. Williams photo
Audio Slideshow
St. William's on Long Point
In the late 1800s, St. William's was the parish church for Raquette Lake and served many of the Irish and French-Canadian Catholics who were the early pioneers on the Lake. Today, it's a seasonal camp and cultural center, accessible only by boat. Todd Moe visited during restoration work.
Audio Slideshow
Mandala Dismantling Ceremony: All Things Transitory
Visitors to St. Lawrence University's Brush Art Gallery have had an opportunity for quiet reflection while viewing a sand mandala constructed by Tenzin Yignyen, a Tibetan Buddhist monk. But, like life, it isn't permanent.Tenzin returns to lead a dismantling ceremony..
Audio Slideshow
Celebrating Buddha's Birthday
Roko Sherry Chayat, Abbot of the Zen Center of Syracuse, came to Canton to lead a celebration of the Buddha's birth.

UpNorth Concert Hall: Sacred Music

Meet the Masters of North Country Folklife:
Veronica Terrillion: Sculptor of Religious Art
Mohawk Choir of St. Regis

SUNY Potsdam anthropology professor Karen Johnson-Weiner
SUNY Potsdam anthropology professor Karen Johnson-Weiner

Amish cope with tragedy and its "Big Media" aftermath

As the legal side of the kidnapping case kicks into gear, the St. Lawrence County Amish community is coping with the tragic ordeal.

An expert on Amish culture and religion says their coping hinges on the Amish sense of faith "by a deep belief that whatever is happening, they are in God's hands," says Karen Johnson-Weiner, an anthropology professor at SUNY Potsdam who has written several books about the Amish. "I think that provides them with a kind of courage that some of us might not have that keeps them from giving in to the despair."  Go to full article

Man dead after disturbance at Indian Lake church

State police are investigating an altercation at St. Mary's Church in Indian Lake over the weekend that left one man dead and two parishioners injured. Officials say Hamilton County sheriff's deputies and state police were called to the church just before 5 pm Saturday.

They found 44-year-old Jason Berg of Indian Lake unresponsive. Efforts by the local volunteer ambulance crew to revive him were unsuccessful and Berg was declared dead at the scene.

According to a statement issued by state police, Berg allegedly entered the church and started "shouting obscenities and throwing objects" at parishioners.  Go to full article
Town Hall, Greece, NY. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greece,_New_York_town_hall.jpg">Daniel Penfield</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Atheist to deliver invocation at Greece town board meeting

GREECE, N.Y. (AP) An atheist is set to deliver the opening "prayer" before the upstate New York town board where the U.S. Supreme Court's recent prayer case was centered.

The Center for Inquiry says Rochester atheist Dan Courtney will open the July 15 Greece Town Board meeting.  Go to full article
Diana Beresford-Kroeger, among the hellebores. Photo: Sarah Harris

"Sacred and science go together" for botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Travel half a mile down a tree-lined dirt road in southern Ontario, and you'll find an oasis, a wooden cabin surrounded by sprawling gardens. Diana Beresford-Kroeger lives...  Go to full article
Town Hall, Greece, NY. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greece,_New_York_town_hall.jpg">Daniel Penfield</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Town prayer case challengers: The debate matters

GREECE, N.Y. (AP) The upstate New York residents who challenged their town board's prayer practice before the nation's highest court say their disappointment in losing is...  Go to full article

NYC priest to be ordained Albany's Catholic bishop

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The Rev. Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger of New York City is being ordained as the Catholic Diocese of Albany's 10th bishop.

The ordination Mass...  Go to full article

Islamic group's plan to cut off crosses draws ire

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Some neighbors and former parishioners of a century-old Catholic church are protesting plans to remove six crosses from the roof and spires so the...  Go to full article
Raffle Tickets Photo: <a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/alykat/5848722/">Alyson Hurt</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY pastor raffles rifle during Sunday service

TROY, N.Y. (AP) After a sermon connecting the "Christian values" of America's founding fathers with the right to bear arms, an upstate New York Baptist minister has raffled...  Go to full article
Law would protect those wearing attire traditional to their religious practice, such as these Sikh men, from discrimination. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/eriksimages/7592692048/">Arjen Stilklik </a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY lawmakers seek protections on religious attire

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Two New York state lawmakers from Queens are promoting a bill that would protect workers from religious discrimination based on how they dress.
...  Go to full article
Inside the tiny Potsdam mosque. Photo: Zach Hirsch

For North Country Muslims, NYPD surveillance ruling brings back memories

A recent federal ruling is bringing back memories of surveillance in Potsdam's Muslim community.

Since 9/11, the New York City Police Department has played an...  Go to full article

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