Messiah is a title, not a person. The Hebrew form is mashiah and the Greek form is Christos, commonly rendered in English as Christ. For Jews, the Messiah is the 'anointed' or 'consecrated' one. Kings, priests, and prophets were all anointed in some fashion, but the Messiah is typically regarded as the perfect union of all three: a king, priest, and prophet picked by God to lead his chosen people.
Secularism had not always been regarded as a universal good. There are many today who not only fail to find secularism and the process of secularization to be beneficial, but who argue that it is the source of all society's ills. According to them, abandoning secularism in favor of a more explicitly religious basis for politics and culture would produce a more stable, more moral, and ultimately better social order. Are their critiques of secularism reasonable and accurate?
Is there a real connection between religion and belief in the paranormal? Some, particularly adherents of various religious faiths, will often argue that the two very different types of beliefs. Those who stand outside of religion, however, will notice some very important similarities which bear closer consideration.
Every dictionary has a definition of religion, but not every definition is equally good. Some are decent, but others are horrible. Sometimes older dictionaries have better definitions than newer ones, but more recent comprehensive dictionaries tend to have the better overall definitions of all. It's easier to understand what religion is if you understand the advantages and disadvantages of some of the more commonly cited definitions found in dictionaries.
Everyone probably knows that the first written records of Jesus' life appear several decades after he would have died. Not everyone seems to understand what the implications of this are. Given such a long time span during which nothing more than oral transmission would have existed, just how reliable can we count on the gospels being? In any other context, people wouldn't trust them much.
Do infants and very young children qualify as atheists? Most atheists will say so, working from the definition of atheism as 'lacking belief in gods.' Theists tend to reject this definition, even if they don't use the narrow definition of atheism as "denial of gods." Why? If infants lack belief in the existence of gods, they can't be theists - so why not atheists?
A common complaint made by theists, typically those of the fundamentalist variety, is that atheism and/or humanism are essentially socialist or communist in nature. Thus, atheism and humanism should be rejected since socialism and communism are evil. Evidence indicates that bigotry and prejudice towards atheists in America is due in no small part to anti-communist activism by conservatives Christians in America, so this claimed connection has had serious consequences for American atheists.
Moral values can differ from religion to religion, but there are common themes in religious moral systems which can be identified and criticized. There are flaws in most religious systems of morality and thus a basis for rejecting the idea that religion is necessary for moral values.
The primary architect of liberation theology in the Latin-American and Catholic context is Gustavo Gutierrez. A Catholic priest who grew up in grinding poverty in Peru, Gutierrez employed Marxs critiques of ideology, class, and capitalism as part of his theological analysis of how Christianity should be used to make peoples lives better here and now rather than simply offer them hope of rewards in heaven.
Quite a few politicians and citizens want the government to display the Ten Commandments on public grounds and in various government buildings, like schools. In such a situation, it becomes reasonable to ask: What exactly are these 'Ten Commandments'? What many dont realize is that there arent really 'the' Ten Commandments; instead, there are multiple versions of the Ten Commandments.