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How does your religion view capital punishment?

Arvind Khetia, engineer: In Hinduism, God is not seen as the one handing out reward or punishment. However, there is a recognition of the universal law of karma, also known as the doctrine of justice.

What are we to make of Isaiah’s mythical cockatrice and the flying fiery serpent?

The Rev. Eugene Curry, senior pastor, Park Hill Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo.: Translating animal names in ancient documents is notoriously tricky because the specific identity of the things mentioned can’t always be deduced from context alone. The “cockatrice” of the Old Testament is a great example of this.

Voices of Faith: Is yoga a religion?

A.M. Bhattacharyya, Hindu adviser of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council: Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “union,” by extension “union with God.”

Are tattoos sinful?

Father Joe Nassal, Missionaries of the Precious Blood in Liberty, Mo.: Most biblical scholars suggest the prohibition in the book of Leviticus, “You shall not … print any marks upon you,” has more to do with ceremonial markings the Canaanites used as a sign of mourning than with morality.

When we pray for something, does that define God somewhat and diminish him?

The Rev. Holly McKissick, Peace Christian Church: He was sitting on the playground, cross-legged and bent over, his 5-year-old body perfectly still. From the back he looked like a Tibetan monk guarding a treasure on his lap, cradling something precious.

How does one choose the best faith to follow?

Arvind Khetia, engineer and Hindu: Hinduism recognizes that the finite human mind cannot fully comprehend the infinite, therefore, the various religions are seen as so many interpretations of one ultimate reality.

Is there a day of judgment for every careless word spoken?

Elder Donald D. Deshler, of the Seventy, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: To understand the Day of Judgment referred to throughout Holy Scripture, it is important to consider a question that all people ask: “What is the purpose of our life on Earth?”

What place does personal identity have in faith?

Rabbi Mark H. Levin, Congregation Beth-Torah, Kansas City, Mo.: Identity influences faith. Formative childhood experiences often determine adult religion. Other factors exist, however.

Why were Paul’s letters around before most of the Gospels?

The Rev. Paul Rock, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church:

Are there ‘end times’ prophecies in your faith?

A.M. Bhattacharyya, Hindu adviser of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council:

Voices of Faith: Why build a temple or a charity?

Rabbi Avi Weinstein, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Overland Park, Kan.:

Free choice doesn’t seem so free when the wrong choice is everlasting hell

Duke Tufty, Unity Temple on the Plaza, Kansas City, Mo.: Since the beginning of organized religion, there has been some conception of hell.

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