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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.  

Hellish payday looms for “Angel” service

Variety reports that family-friendly entertainment streamer VidAngel could be in for a massive bill after a trial commenced to determine how much the company will have to pay for copyright infringement. The service allowed users to watch popular entertainment properties such as Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead but have “objectionable” content such as nudity, profanity and gore edited out.

Major Hollywood studios Disney, Fox, Lucasfilm and Warner Brothers filed a lawsuit and a judge eventually ruled that VidAngel had violated copyright; a jury will now determine the damages.

A maximum penalty in this type of case could cost the service US$125 million. An attorney for the company stated that 65 per cent of VidAngel’s customers would not have watched movies without the content filtering and that studios were at fault for not making censored versions available for the “faith-and-family audiences”.

Alteration to clarify temptation

The Guardian writes on Pope Francis’ approval of a word change to the Lord’s Prayer which will see the line “lead us not into temptation” change to “do not let us fall into temptation” with the new text being added to the liturgical book Roman Catholics use as guiding texts for mass. The Pope has previously stated he thought the wording should change making the case that the translation was not good and implied that God induces temptation.

Some are not so happy with the change with Sheffield University biblical and religious studies lecturer Meredith Warren claiming, “This new version of the Lord’s Prayer tries to avoid implying that God has some hand in evil. But in doing so the pope not only overlooks the many biblical examples where God works with the devil to tempt his followers and even his own son. The new version actually goes against the plain meaning of the Greek of the gospel text.”

The Anglican version of the prayer still includes the line “lead us not into temptation”.  

Kmart kiosk drama, a snapshot of anti-Christian bias or simple error?

News.com.au has news of a software malfunction that left one Christian user of Kmart’s photo kiosks less than pleased: when users tried to add captions to their photos words such as “God”, “church”, “Jesus”, “bible” and “Jewish” were banned. Words such as “Islam”, “Allah” and “Koran” were all acceptable though.

Kmart blamed the error on problems with the software operating the kiosk but not everyone was buying their excuse with some speculating it was a double standard and like “something out of a kind of South Park parody of social justice”.

Kmart’s official statement read, “At Kmart, we support diversity and inclusiveness irrespective of race, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, ability, appearance or attitude and we want our teams and stores to reflect the communities in which we operate.”

Vatican’s educational a-gender causes outrage

Daily Mail Australia reports on the Vatican’s latest communications on transgender issues which have been released during LGBT Pride Month and is sure to inspire controversy with the LGBT community. The document titled “Male And Female He Created Them” argues transgenderism is a bid to “annihilate nature” and people cannot choose or change gender in addition to insisting on the sexual “complementarity” of men and women to procreate.

The document was distributed to assist Catholic educators, parents, students and clergy in the field of sex education but many are condemning the text as contributing to bigotry. “The real life experiences of LGBT people seem entirely absent from this document,” stated Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest. “We should welcome the congregation’s call to dialogue and listening on gender, and I hope that conversation will now begin.”  

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