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  • The New York Times' Michael Wilson tells the sad story of how a woman murdered in Harlem was only identified 47 years later.

  • In NOW Toronto, Gelek Badheytsang writes about the complexities surrounding the visit of the 17th Karmapa to Tibetan-heavy Parkdale.

  • Novak Jankovic writes in MacLean's that there are real declines in the Toronto real estate market, but not enough to set a trend.

  • The Toronto Star's Jackie Hong reports that protecting Bluffer's Park from the waves of Lake Ontario could also wreck an east-end surfing haunt.

  • The National Post reports on how the Ontario NDP claims, probably correctly, that the Wynne Liberals are stealing their ideas. Good for them, I say.

  • Universe Today's Matt Williams notes a study reporting that life on Mars' surface is a much greater risk factor for cancer than previously thought.

  • Seth Miller argues that efficient electric cars will push Big Oil through the trauma of Big Coal in the 2020s.

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  • D-Brief notes the first-ever use of Einsteinian gravitational bending to examine the mass of a star.
  • Language Log announces the start of an investigation into the evolving rhetoric of Donald Trump. Something is up.

  • The LRB Blog reports from Tuareg Agadez in Niger, about rebellions and migrant-smuggling.

  • Marginal Revolution wonders what is the rationale for the extreme cut-off imposed on Qatar.

  • Maximos62 wonders about the impact of Indonesia's fires on not just wildlife but indigenous peoples.

  • Personal Reflections notes the irrelevance of the United States' withdrawal from Paris, at least from an Australian position.

  • Savage Minds points to a new anthropology podcast.

  • Window on Eurasia
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  • Bloomberg looks at the recent surge of Chinese investment in Southeast Asia.

  • Culture.pl looks at why Nietzsche falsely claimed Polish ancestry.

  • Foreign Policy suggests that this is a new age of German prominence in the West.

  • The New Yorker finds Amazon's new brick-and-mortar bookstores lacking.

  • The Toronto Star shares claims that learning a second language provides mental benefits.

  • Universe Today notes the discovery of potentially habitable super-Earth Gliese 625 b.

  • Vice's Motherboard notes how the popularization of ayahuasca-driven spirit quests has actually hurt traditional users.

  • Vox notes the latest Russia-Ukraine history fight on Twitter.

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  • Beyond the Beyond notes an image of a wooden model of Babbage's difference engine.

  • James Bow talks about the soundtrack he has made for his new book.

  • Centauri Dreams considers ways astronomers can detect photosynthesis on exoplanets and shares images of Fomalhaut's debris disk.

  • Crooked Timber looks at fidget spinners in the context of discrimination against people with disabilities.

  • D-Brief notes that Boyajian's Star began dimming over the weekend.

  • Far Outliers reports on a 1917 trip by zeppelin to German East Africa.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that there is good reason to be concerned about health issues for older presidential candidates.

  • The NYRB Daily reports on Hungary's official war against Central European University.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the origins of modern immigration to Russia in internal Soviet migration.

  • Savage Minds shares an ethnographer's account of what it is like to look to see her people (the Sherpas of Nepal) described.

  • Strange Maps shares a map speculating as to what the world will look like when it is 4 degrees warmer.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues that the US Congress does not have authority over immigration.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia's population will be concentrated around Moscow, compares Chechnya's position vis-à-vis Russia to Puerto Rico's versus the United States, and looks at new Ukrainian legislation against Russian churches and Russian social networks.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes how Evelyn Waugh's writings on the Horn of Africa anticipate the "Friedman unit", the "a measurement of time defined as how long it will take until things are OK in Iraq".

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  • The Big Picture shares photos of the South Sudanese refugee exodus into Uganda.

  • blogTO shares an ad for a condo rental on Dovercourt Road near me, only $1800 a month.

  • Centauri Dreams reports on the idea of using waste heat to detect extraterrestrial civilizations.

  • Crooked Timber uses the paradigm of Jane Jacobs' challenge to expert in the context of Brexit.

  • The LRB Blog reports on the fishers of Senegal and their involvement in that country's history of emigration.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares an image comparing Saturn's smaller moons.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy comes out in support of taking down Confederate monuments.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Chechens are coming out ahead of Daghestanis in the North Caucasus' religious hierarchies, and argues that Putin cannot risk letting Ukraine become a model for Russia.

  • Arnold Zwicky looks at various bowdlerizations of Philip Larkin's famous quote about what parents do to their children.

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  • Centauri Dreams reports on asteroid P/2016 G1, a world that, after splitting, is now showing signs of a cometary tail.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers outrage as a sociological phenomenon. What, exactly, does it do? What does it change?

  • Joe. My. God. reports on a new push for same-sex marriage in Germany, coming from the SPD.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money examines the Alabama government's disinterest in commemorating the Selma march for freedom.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at Oxford University's attempt to recruit white British male students.

  • At the NYRB Daily, Masha Gessen warns against falling too readily into the trap of identifying conspiracies in dealing with Trump.

  • pollotenchegg maps the distribution of Muslims in Crimea according to the 1897 Russian census.

  • Savage Minds takes a brief look at ayahuasca, a ritual beverage of Andean indigenous peoples, and looks at how its legality in the United States remains complicated.

  • Elf Sternberg considers the problems of straight men with sex, and argues they might be especially trapped by a culture that makes it difficult for straight men to consider sex as anything but a birthright and an obligation.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers how the complexities of eminent domain might complicate the US-Mexican border wall.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on protests in Russia and argues Belarus is on the verge of something.

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Marie-Danielle Smith's Canadian Press report carried in the National Post is subtly alarming. That some people who claim about "religious freedom" are not concerned with that concept in general so much as with maximizing their favourite religion's standing is sad.

Canada’s former ambassador for religious freedom is warning conservatives about the pitfalls of “Canadian values” talk.

At the annual Manning Centre Conference in Ottawa Saturday, Andrew Bennett said “values” language — like that cropping up in the Conservative party leadership race — must be debunked.

“When people bandy about an expression like ‘Canadian values,’ they will ascribe all kinds of different things to that, things that can be contested,” he said.

Elaborating on that idea in an interview, Bennett told the National Post Canadians should focus on universal concepts: rule of law, human rights and freedoms. “When you get into the ‘values’ language, it’s fraught with a lot of pitfalls,” he said, and specific “values” beyond those all Canadians can accept shouldn’t be prescribed.

Bennett said his views aren’t political and he hasn’t followed the Conservative leadership race closely, but the “values” debate has permeated the contest.

Kellie Leitch’s opponents have largely rejected her rhetoric around immigration interviews, and the idea all immigrants should be tested for “Canadian values,” with some accusing her of sowing division and inciting hatred.
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  • blogTO notes that the redevelopment of Toronto's Port Lands is continuing.

  • Crooked Timber argues that climate denialism exposes the socially constructed nature of property rights.

  • D-Brief notes the reburial of Kennewick Man.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes there is no sign of a second planet around Proxima Centauri.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at life in Texas.

  • The LRB Blog analyzes Milo's stumble.

  • Marginal Revolution considers the levels of disorderliness different societies, like Sweden, can tolerate.

  • The NYRB Daily reports on the poisoning of a Russian dissident.

  • The Planetary Society Blog suggests Voyager 1 picked up Enceladus' plumes.

  • Peter Rukavina writes of his mapping of someone's passage on the Camino Francés.

  • Supernova Condensate looks at the United Arab Emirates' plan to build a city on Mars in a century.

  • Torontoist reported on a protest demanding action on the overdose crisis.
  • Towleroad describes the plight of Mr. Gay Syria in Istanbul and reports on the progress of same-sex marriage in Finland.

  • Understanding Society considers the complexity of managing large technological projects.

  • Window on Eurasia links to one Russian writer arguing Putin should copy Trump and links to anotehr suggesting the Russian Orthodox Church is overreaching.

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  • blogTO looks at deserted Mirvish Village.

  • Crooked Timber reenages with the Rachel Carson and DDT myth.

  • The Crux looks at the Mandela Effect, exploring false memories.

  • Dangerous Minds makes the case for the musical genius of Bobbie Gentry.

  • From the Heart of Europe's Nicholas Whyte recounts his visit to Albania's bunker museum.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Brazil's retirement of its only aircraft carrier.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the extent and speed of events in the Trump Administration.

  • Marginal Revolution engages with a book examining France's carving out a "cultural exception" in international trade agreements.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw reports on the passing of rulership of the Australian micronation of Hutt River.

  • Peter Rukavina shares good advice for visiting museums: visit only what you can take in.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russian Orthodox Church opposition to a certain kind of Russian civic nationality, and argues Russia is losing even its regional superpower status.

  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell reports on how local councils in the United Kingdom are speculating on commercial property.

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The Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is dominated, figuratively and to some extent literally, by the figure of Marguerite Bourgeoys, the 17th century migrant from France who came to the island of Montréal with her Grey Sisters to tend to the needs of the locals.

<center><a data-flickr-embed=" true"="true"" href="http://margueritebourgeoys.org/en/><U>Marguerite Bourgeoys</u></a>, the 17th century migrant from France who came to the island of Montréal with her Grey Sisters to tend to the needs of the locals.

<center><a data-flickr-embed=" title="Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (1)">Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (1)

Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (2)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (3)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (4)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (5)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (6)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (7)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (8)
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The Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is a linchpin of Vieux-Montréal, the building proper dating back to 1771, European inhabitation going back another century, and millennia of history of First Nations inhabitation before this.

Towards Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montréal (1)


Towards Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montréal (2)


Towards Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montréal (3)
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  • At Apostrophen, 'Nathan Smith writes about the status of his various writing projects.

  • Beyond the Beyond's Bruce Sterling links to an article examining pieces of software that have shaped modern music.

  • blogTO notes the expansion of the Drake Hotel to a new Junction site. Clearly the Drake is becoming a brand.

  • Citizen Science Salon looks at how Internet users can help fight illegal fishing in the Pacific.

  • Crooked Timber asks readers for new Doctor Who candidates.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper finding that the presence of Proxima Centauri would not have inhibited planetary formation around Alpha Centauri A and B.

  • The LRB Blog notes the growing fear among Muslims in the diaspora.

  • The Map Room Blog shares a reimagined map of the Paris metro.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy and Towleroad have very different opinions on the nomination of Neil Gorusch to the US Supreme Court.

  • Transit Toronto reports on the reopening of the TTC parking lot at Yorkdale.

  • Whatever's John Sclazi responds to the past two weeks of Trump-related chaos, and is not impressed.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that the Russian Orthodox Church carries itself as an embattled minority because it is one, and looks at the future of Russian federalism in regards to Tatarstan.

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Toronto Life shared First Nations educator Eddy Robinson's account of how his experiences of First Nations spirituality changed his life. There's definitely something to this, I think, about the transformative effect of the processes and procedures involved. My memory of the time spent in a Mi'kmaq sweat lodge while during field research for an undergraduate paper is one of my fondest of my young adulthood.

I didn’t have a happy childhood. My Cree father, a residential-school survivor, and my Ojibwa-Anishinabe mother split when I was three and sent me to live with my grandparents. I slept on a cot in their living room, and my little brother’s crib was in the hallway. When I was 10, I moved back in with my mom in a subsidized housing complex at Pape and Danforth. We argued all the time. A few months later, I reconnected with my dad, who was living in Sault Ste. Marie. When I was 14, after a particularly nasty fight with my mom, I hopped on a Greyhound bus and went to stay with my dad and his girlfriend. That didn’t work out, so they put me up in a tiny one-bedroom apartment and bought me groceries once a week. Soon I was drinking and smoking weed. I was arrested several times—for stealing, for fighting, for selling drugs—and spent four months in juvie. Eventually, I was remanded back into my mother’s custody. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I knew she’d let me do what I wanted.

When I moved back to Toronto at age 15, my grandparents insisted that I prepare for my confirmation at St. Ann’s Catholic Church near Gerrard and Broadview, where they were parishioners. The church has a Native People’s Parish, which combines Catholicism with elements of Indigenous spirituality. The church leaders incorporate sage-burning ceremonies into Mass, for instance, and translate hymns into Indigenous languages. As part of my confirmation, the priest insisted that I go on a vision quest—a ritual that lasts anywhere from 24 hours to a week. You’re left alone in the wilderness without food or supplies, and you pray to the Creator for guidance and wisdom.

On the night of my vision quest, I set up my tent at Dreamer’s Rock, a sacred place on Manitoulin Island. I was skeptical. 
I just thought I’d be abandoned outside, bored, hungry and alone. To my shock, I had a vision that night. It was an old man, standing beyond my tent. He looked like he was beckoning me. I didn’t recognize him, but I believe he was a manifestation of First Nations culture—my culture—which was waiting for me to embrace it.
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CBC News' Nicole Williams reports on the struggle of Island churches to have parishoners who attend holiday services attend non-holiday services, too.

For many Christians, attending church is a biannual tradition on two major holidays: Christmas and Easter — but many churches would like to see people in pews for the other Sundays of the year.

"We had over 600 people," said Karen MacCannell, a pastoral associate at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, a Catholic church in Cornwall, P.E.I., of Christmas weekend.

MacCannell said big crowds are typical at Christmas and Easter, where they need set up extra seating and even an overflow room in the church basement.

But it's not so much the case the rest of the year.

"It definitely fluctuates," said MacCannell.
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The National Post shared Ruth Sherlock's article, originally from The Telegraph, noting the rising popularity of the cult of Santa Muerte in Mexico. This can be seen as a reflection of grim times, but I also choose to see it as a fascinating case study for sociologists of religion.

Holding a scythe in one hand and a globe in the other, the Santa Muerte could be easily mistaken for the Grim Reaper. But to her supporters, this skeletal saint, nicknamed “skinny woman”, has the power to heal illness, bring prosperity and even help them find love.

Known as the patron saint of violent drug cartels for her relative tolerance, Our Lady of Holy Death is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the Americas.

When Jasmin Marquez was sentenced to life in prison but freed after only a year, she attributed the “miracle” to this smiling skeleton.

Standing reverently before the shrine of the Santa Muerte, she carefully lit a cigarette and let it burn without toking. “It’s for her,” she explained, in a whisper so as not to disturb the other worshippers.

[. . .]

“From Chile to Canada, Santa Muerte has no rival in terms of the rapidity and scope of its expansion,” said Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint.

“In 2001, when devotion to the folk religion first went public in Mexico, Saint Death was unknown to 99 per cent of Mexicans. In just 15 years Santa Muerte has attracted an estimated 10 to 12 million devotees, primarily in Mexico, Central America, and the U.S.”
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The Globe and Mail carries Michelle McQuigge's Canadian Press article looking at the efforts of non-believing United Church minister Gretta Vosper to set up a branch of a secular community movement in Toronto. I think this makes sense; I think she would be better off doing this than she would be in occupying a leadership role in a religious movement she is fundamentally opposed to.

A minister deemed unsuitable by the United Church for declaring herself an atheist is now at the heart of an effort to establish a type of church-style, secular community in Canada.

Gretta Vosper is one of about 10 founding members of Toronto’s Oasis Network, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada and due to launch in February.

Oasis communities, which have sprung up in several locations across the United States, are non-faith-based groups that try to draw people together based on five broad-based principles.

Among them are notions that reality is best understood through reason rather than religious insight, and that the world’s problems are best addressed by people rather than divine intervention.

Vosper sees setting up the community in Toronto as a natural extension of the work she’s already doing at one of the city’s churches.

The United Church criticized Vosper for declaring herself an atheist and will hold an ecclesiastical hearing in late 2017 to determine whether or not she will be defrocked as a minister.
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The Toronto Star's Noor Javed reports on how the Cathedral of Transfiguration, which gave the Markham town of Cathedraltown its name, is now finally open for worship. It's good that this building is finally going to be put to some use.

For residents of Cathedraltown, the news was nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

After nearly a decade of seeing the towering Slovak Cathedral of Transfiguration in Markham closed to the public, local resident Mayrose Gregorios couldn’t believe it when she heard the news from two men doing cleanup work on the property one morning: the church would be open for weekend mass.

For as long as Gregorios had lived in Cathedraltown, a quiet subdivision near Major Mackenzie Dr., and Highway 404, whose name was inspired by the adjacent European-style cathedral, the empty building had cast a dark shadow on the community. The last service in the cathedral, which broke ground more than three decades ago, took place in 2006.

The reasons for the closure are believed to be twofold: The first, a decade-old dispute between the developer Helen Roman-Barber and the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada, over the title to the land, left the cathedral without a congregation.

But in recent years, Roman-Barber, head of King David Inc., told residents the cathedral, with its magnificent 14-storey bell towers and cupolas plated in 22-karat gold, was closed so that the numerous detailed mosaics planned for the inside could be completed. An anticipated deadline of December 2015, set by Roman-Barber in a Markham staff report, came and passed. Residents stopped hoping for good news.

So two weeks ago, Gregorios woke up early and waited for the 18-tonne bronze church bells, built at the prestigious Paccard Foundry in France, to ring and announce the momentous occasion. When she didn’t hear them toll that day, she walked over to the cathedral, saw people streaming in and joined them.

“They said it was a private mass, but couldn’t stop anyone who wanted to worship,” she said, adding there were about 200 people in attendance. “It was a beautiful moment: the mass, the singing, the spirit of it all,” said Gregorios, who said the mass was in Arabic and English.
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  • blogTO notes that Toronto's housing market is now hotter than Vancouver's.

  • The Crux looks at progress in human reproductive technology, including in ectogenesis.

  • D-Brief looks at a new simulation of an asteroid impacting the ocean.

  • Dangerous Minds reports on a French cement truck made into a giant mirrored disco ball.

  • In Media Res' Russell Arben Fox writes about the benefits of reading the Old Testament.

  • Language Hat considers the experiences of one man trying to learn Avar.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money suggests Obama's evaluation of his historical touchstone personalities is off.

  • The Map Room Blog looks at Soviet spy maps.

  • The Planetary Society Blog tries to figure out space policy under the Trump Administration.

  • Window on Eurasia notes Russia's loss of sporting events and argues that Circassian language and culture are threatened with extinction.

  • Arnold Zwicky talks about two unusual flowers.

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  • The Big Picture shares photos from ruined Aleppo.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at the new explanation for the ASASSN-15h, of a Sun-mass star torn apart by a fast-rotating black hole.

  • The Crux looks at the condition of hyperemesis gravidarum.

  • Dangerous Minds shares the dark and Satanic art of an Argentine artist.

  • Joe. My. God. reports on one man's displeasure that Malta has banned ex-gay "therapy".

  • Language Log looks at where British law confronts linguistics.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money imagines an alternate history where Jill Stein leaves the presidential race and gives Hillary Clinton a needed victory.

  • Peter Rukavina recalls the simple yet effective early version of Hansard for the Island legislative assembly.

  • Mark Simpson notes the objectification of men on the new Baywatch.

  • Window on Eurasia fears the violence of an open Russian imperialism and looks at the confusion over how to recognize the 1917 revolution.

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I originally posted this essay at r/daystrominstitute, drawing it from a post I made on Tumblr.

Lots of fans of Star Trek have expressed disbelief, or concern, at the suggest that religion is mostly a dead letter among humans (and perhaps other species) in the 24th century. Isn't this just a presumption stemming ultimately from the doctrinaire atheism of Gene Roddenberry? Why, they ask fairly, would a type of belief system that has been enormously common throughout human history vanish in the space of a few centuries?

Roddenberry's prejudices on the subject of religion did bias him. I'm not unconvinced that the future of religion in Star Trek is inaccurately depicted, despite this depiction's origins. One influential recent study of religion in society, Norris and Inglehart’s 2004 sociology study Sacred and Secular, took a look at patterns of religious belief in developed Western societies. They made the compelling argument that religious belief is most popular in societies marked by insecurity, that the subjective psychological comforts of religion were most popular in insecure societies. They suggested that much of the gap in religiosity between the United States and western Europe, for instance, could be explained by the fact that the United States does not have a comprehensive welfare state. In a very real sense, religion focused as a coping tool for people faced with severe stresses, whether as a morale-booster or as some sort of institutional support via charity and the like. Nothing in the model suggests that this model would not work with other, non-Western societies.

We know that by the 22nd century, the Earth is stable, at peace and unified and verging on the utopian. What happens to religion when the entire world has a comprehensive welfare state, something more complete than what a given western European country has now? What about the future of this world? What role does religion play when no one has been terribly insecure for decades, generations, even centuries? Can religion attract anything but a niche audience in this sort of environment? I think there's a real argument to be made that no sizable number of 24th century people on Earth or any other stable human world would feel particularly compelled by religious perspectives, not with materialism that has been so consistently successful for centuries.

For humans, there's also the question of how religion ended up. Some of the most secularized societies nowadays are those which had the most thorough-going religious regimes beforehand, and which saw a counter-reaction against religious institutions. Sometimes, as in Québec in the 1960s, this was triggered by the simple incapacity of religious institutions to offer a way forward in an increasingly cosmopolitan world. Sometimes, this was triggered by the revelation of crimes committed by religious figures of note. Clerical sex abuse scandals come to mind as exactly the sorts of things which have led people to lose faith in established religions. Worse can happen than mere sexual assault, of course: genocide, say, or general dictatorship. What happens to a religion when the actions and values of its hierarchy conflict with what followers think is right? We know the answer: The best-case scenario from the perspective of the religion is that people stop paying attention to it, and the worst-case scenario is that people become actively hostile to it.

Is there any reason to think that, in the terrible 21st century of the Star Trek universe, religions would have acquitted themselves well, would have proven their value? Or is there reason to think, based on what we have seen in our own world, that religion might become another thing to be tossed out for the future's sake?

Would other species have undergone similar experiences? Maybe, if their histories were at all similar to humanity's, with religion as a belief system that served its purpose in its day before negative consequences became too unignorable. I wonder if Vulcan might have undergone this sort of secularization in the aftermath of the conflicts leading up to Surak, for instance. (Were the Romulans religious dissenters?)

It's worth looking at the experience of the Bajorans, who are generally depicted as being religious and being fine with that. How are they different? Most notably, they have a religion that does demonstrably describes reality, complete with god-like entities whose existences have been confirmed by multiple external observers. Before the confirmation of the Prophets' existence, Bajoran religion seems to have been helped by what may be a lack of religious oppression: Women seem to have just as many rights as men, for instance, as evidenced by the two female kais we see, Kira’s confusion in “Rejoined” over why Jadzia Dax cannot get back together with Lenara Kahn suggests to me that homophobia is not an issue on Bajor, and the ease with which the d'jarra caste system was dropped suggests it also was not an integral component of the religion. I suppose this is not a surprise: If anyone could design a workable religion for a culture that has been enormously stable and successful for tens of thousands of years, the Prophets who see beyond linear time could.

There almost certainly are minorities of humans who continue to cling to the old faiths, minorities in the main human worlds and perhaps relatively more substantial populations on different colony worlds. Other civilizations with their own histories may follow the path of humanity, or do otherwise. Perhaps if there's a sufficiently convincing religion, one that seems true and that seems to offer convincing gains, it might actually gain converts. (The Bajorans may soon be making lots of new followers outside their species.) By and large, though, I would argue that the highly secularized future of Star Trek is a perfectly plausible future. How many people need a god to offer them comfort in a near-utopia?

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