Category: Other Religions

Jesus was a refugee

Jesus was a refugee, along with his mother Mary and father Joseph. They fled their native Israel out of fear for their lives. They were able to return some years later, only after the politics of their homeland changed. Sound familiar? It should. It is happening today, and in the same neighborhood that the Holy Family was from. People there again fear for their lives. The vicious and brutal militants of ISIS are…  [more]

Paris, terror and what to say when it all comes down

With 50,000 others I ran the New York City Marathon two weeks ago. We ran through five boroughs and crossed over four bridges. It was challenging, colorful and crowded. From a variety of angles during the race I could see 1 World Trade Center - the Freedom Tower. I saw it from bridges that had a view of the skyline; I saw it glimmering in the sun and poking above other buildings as we ran down Fifth Avenue; I saw it…  [more]

Hummus for peace and the beauty of communion

After a series of stabbings and shootings in the Holy Land, I would have guessed that lines along ethnic and religious differences would be drawn sharper than ever. The owner of a restaurant in Tel Aviv, though, has taken a different approach. He advertised 50 percent off for Jewish and Arab patrons who eat together. The Facebook page of the Hummus Bar makes the peacemaking motivation even more clear: “Are you…  [more]

In defense of Oprah’s Belief series

Oprah Winfrey aired an inspiring documentary television miniseries last week called Belief. The seven-part show focused on how religion is lived out in heartfelt ways across the globe. Belief and devotion were portrayed in a positive light. Winfrey’s dedication to sharing how religion can be used for peace and healing was refreshing. It seems that there is an increasing amount of skepticism these days about…  [more]

Would you vote for an atheist?

If public opinion is any indication, we could have our first atheist president in a few years. Some 50 years ago, only 18 percent of Americans would vote for an atheist. But according to a June Gallup poll, that number has increased to 58 percent. (For comparison, 73 percent said they would vote for an evangelical Christian.) Some find this troubling because they don't think God would want them to vote for…  [more]

Where atheistic altruism falls short

In a recent New York Times op-ed titled “Wanted: A Theology of Atheism,” Molly Worthen describes Sunday Gatherings, atheist get-togethers that involve singing “hymns” like “Walking on Sunshine” or “Lean on Me,” followed by a lecture on the tenets of secular humanism. Worthen goes on to defend the movement as more than a materialistic replacement for church. She also…  [more]

A word of comfort as American Christianity is in decline

Pew Research released a new demographic study yesterday declaring that in America’s changing religious landscape, the Christian population is declining sharply. This caught the attention of many major news outlets, including the New York Times, which reported that “71 percent of American adults were Christian in 2014, the lowest estimate from any sizable survey to date, and a decline of 5 million adults…  [more]

Free speech, hate speech, love speech: responding to AFDI

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer Anyone who has kept up with the news this past…  [more]

The spiritual disconnect in Imagine Dragons’ Smoke + Mirrors

Credit Imagine Dragons and front man Dan Reynolds for truth in advertising with Smoke + Mirrors. Behind its bombastic hooks and designed-for-arenas lyricism is … who knows what. Like Oz’s great and powerful wizard, the truth behind this multi-platinum act’s vaguely spiritual angst is hard to ascertain. The smoke is cool, though. The mirrors are definitely working. This is arena rock at its bloated…  [more]

The problem with Obama’s Crusades comment

Last week, President Barack Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast remarks about religious violence were not well-received. Noting the relationship between violence and religion in various times and places, he referenced Christianity’s connection with the Crusades, the Inquisition and American slavery and segregation. It’s true that Christians and the church have been complicit in violence –…  [more]

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