Weekly Religion News with an article exploring Steve Jobs' spirituality and religion and more.

When you look at the sleek, smooth and uncluttered design of an iPod, iPad or MacBook, can you tell that its creator once considered a life dedicated to Buddhism in a Zen monastery?

In a recent article posted on ReligionNews.com, writer Daniel Burke explores the multiple religious pathways that Steve Jobs explored before, during and after his high-profiled career.

"I have always found Buddhism, Japanese Zen Buddhism in particular, to be aesthetically sublime," Jobs said to Walter Isaacson, the writer of Jobs' biography.

However, Jobs, the adopted son of a California couple, was raised Lutheran. According to Burke's article, "At age 13, Jobs asked the Lutheran pastor of his parents' church if God knew about starving children. 'Yes, God knows everything,' the pastor replied. Jobs never returned to church, refusing to worship a God who allowed such suffering."

That was the start of Jobs' venture into Eastern religion and spirituality, practicing meditation, studying Buddhism and reading such books as "Be Here Now," Baba Ram Dass' guide to mediation and psychedelic drugs.

In 1974, Jobs forged a strong bond with a local Zen guru, Kobun Chino Otagawa, in his hometown of Los Altos, Calif.

"I ended up spending as much time with him as I could," Jobs told Isaacson. "Zen has been a deep influence in my life ever since."

However, only a couple years later, Jobs began to shift his attention towards Apple as the company garnered more attention. Soon enough, Jobs drifted away from his focus on spirituality and consumed himself with the business of Apple.

Still keeping in contact with Otagawa –– he officiated Jobs' 1991 wedding –– Jobs admitted that he practiced Zen "only occasionally" at this point.

After Jobs died, his sister, Mona Simpson, wrote his eulogy and delivered it at his Oct. 16 memorial service. In it, she said his last words were, "Oh, wow. Oh, wow. Oh, wow."

"Whatever Jobs saw, he had been seeking it for decades," writes Burke.

Week in Religion

Nov. 16, 1925, theAmerican Association for the Advancement of Atheism formed in New York.

Nov. 17, 0003, B.C., according to early Christian theologian Clement of Alexandria, Jesus Christ was born on this date.

Nov. 18, 1787, first Unitarian minister in U.S. ordained in Boston.

-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian Church

Survey Says

As of early October, Romney held a slim lead for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, with the backing of 22 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters. Among white evangelical Republicans, however, Romney and Perry received roughly equal levels of support.

-- Pew Research Center

Good Book?

"The Three Gifts: A Story About Three Angels and the Baby Jesus" by Kathie Lee Gifford

"One day in Heaven, a long time ago God summoned three angels before him. He told them to sing of the birth of his son and to take him three gifts to adore him."

So starts “The Three Gifts,” a gentle narrative poem that tells the story of the Angel messengers sent by the Lord to deliver three special gifts in celebration of the birth of the Baby Jesus. The last and most exceptional of the gifts contains a secret that holds a moving message for us all.

-- St. Martin’s Press

Quote of the week

"The more false any man is in his religion, the more fierce and furious he is in maintaining it; the more mistaken, the more imposing." -- Benjamin Whichote

The Word

ordination: The process of authorizing a person to perform ministry in an official capacity for a specific religious organization, usually Christian or Jewish. Many denominations require formal education and training, and many ordain deacons as well as clergy. Lowercase ordainedand ordinationin all references.

-- religioustolerance.org

Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Belize (2000)

Roman Catholic: 49.6 percent

Protestant: 25.5 percent

Jehovah's Witnesses: 1.5 percent

Other: 14 percent

None: 9.4 percent

- CIA Factbook

GateHouse News Service