News You Really Need To See: “When Is Facial Hair a Sign of Faith?”

“When Is Facial Hair a Sign of Faith?”

The Washington Post, October 11, 2014, p.B2

“On Tuesday (Oct. 7), the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that will decide whether a Muslim inmate can grow a beard in keeping with his religious beliefs.  Does facial hair equal faithful holiness? … The ultra-Orthodox ban shaving altogether, while some modern Orthodox believe the law bans only razors — but not electric razors, which are like scissors because they have two blades.  Reform Jews place no restrictions on shaving. … Christianity has an on-again, off-again relationship with the beard. … The Quran does not prescribe beards for Muslims, but the hadith (the collected sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) describes Muhammad as ordering his followers to wear beards. … Hair is part of God’s creation to Sikhs, and is therefore sacred.  ‘Kesh’ — maintaining uncut hair all over their bodies is one of the five articles of faith for Sikhs, both men and women.”

Quickie Analysis:  An interesting look at the religious implications of facial hair for the world’s major religions.

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