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Credit: flickr | lilian wagley
Egypt in Crisis, the Mayan Apocalypse, and How Druids Celebrate the Winter Solstice
December 13, 2012
Summary: Religion's role in the new Egypt, how modern Druids celebrate the winter solstice, and the Mayan calendar - is it time to run for the hills?
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Religion's Role in the New Egypt December 13, 2012
Egypt has been in turmoil for months, but it took a turn for the worse in November. That's when Egypt's new president, Mohamed Morsi, granted himself almost unlimited power to run the young government.

After protestors swarmed the presidential palace, Morsi took back most of his decree--but not without leaving a lasting dispute between the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Morsi secularists. Now, as Egyptians battle over a new constitution, Ed Husain explains why religious differences are at the heart of the crisis.

Pictured: the logo of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ed Husein, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations
Credit: Fotothing | boselecta
Druids, Stonehenge, and the Winter Solstice December 13, 2012
On December 21, the northern tip of our planet will tilt further away from the sun than on any other day of the year, making it the shortest and darkest day in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the annual winter solstice--a word taken from the Latin phrase for "sun stands still.” For Druids and other pagans it’s one of the most sacred days of the year, a time to honor the mystery and power of the natural world.

Pictured: Arthur Pendragon leads a solstice celebration at Stonehenge.

Editor's Note: We incorrectly stated in our broadcast that the winter solstice is the "longest" day of the year. If we were in the Southern Hemisphere, we'd be right!

Arthur Uther Pendragon, Battle Chieftain of the Council of British Druid Orders
John Michael Greer, Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America

Credit: Wikimedia Commons | Wolfgang Sauber
The Mayan Calendar - Is It Time to Run for the Hills? December 13, 2012
The short answer is, well, no. A scholar of indigenous religions introduces us to the Mayan calendar known as the "Long Count," which will start itself over at the end of December. It was never intended to predict the end of the world--that part got tacked on later by Christian missionaries.

Garry Sparks, Assistant Professor in Humanities at the University of Louisville