01: The Cause is the name given to a small but influential movement of conservative Christian protestors who rely on personal revelation as much as political strategy to advance the pro-life cause.
Mainly consisting of young charismatic Christians, these protestors have received publicity for their unique style of protest, such as holding vigils where each participants has a piece of tape covering their mouths reading “LIFE.“ The group was particularly active and visible during the Terry Schiavo protests as well as regularly praying publicly on Capitol Hill. Founded and led by Lou Engle, a California minister, a unique feature of the group is its reliance on dreams in relaying divine messages that translate into strategy.
(Source: Mother Jones, September/October)
02: A new secular religion called Universism is attempting to gain a national profile for its “big tent” approach to secularism that blends free-thought and deism.
In recent years freethinkers and non-theist groups have attempted to repackage their approach to appeal to “secular seekers,” those who desire a sense of community without holding to supernatural beliefs or doctrine. Universism, the brainchild of Ford Vox, an Alabama medical student who is said to have recruited 8,000 atheists, agnostics, deists and freethinkers who rally around the notion that there are no universal religious truths and that the meaning of existence must be determined by each individual.
Vox, who calls the movement “neo-deist,“ recently handed over the reins of leadership to Todd Stickler, who will base the grop in Chicago.
(Source: The Birmingham News, September 9)