Are You a Faitheist?

If you want to test how evolved you are as a person, the holidays often provide an annual testing ground for spiritual maturity. It’s easy to be blissful while sitting on the beach, hiking by yourself in the woods, or pausing to savor a sunset. But as the saying goes, “Our family can push our buttons the most, because our family members are the ones, who sewed our buttons on in the first place!” Our various complexes and neuroses are often forged in our childhood family systems. Or, even if your … [Read more...]

“Practicing Safe Texts”: Misquoting Moses, Misquoting Jesus, Misquoting Muhammad

I try to post about Islam from time to time for at least two reasons. First, it is important to learn about the world’s second largest religion. There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and 2.1 billion Christians. And current statistical projections have Islam on track to become the world’s largest religion by 2070. Second, there is a lot of Islamophobic misinformation that needs to be corrected. For instance, contrary to the popular stereotypes that all Muslims are Arabic and wo … [Read more...]

“Do You Really Want to Know?” From Pope Francis & Kim Davis to Copernicus, Darwin, & Marx

The singer-songwriter Peter Mayer’s tune, “Do You Really Want to Know” traces two monumental paradigm shifts in how we humans understand ourselves. The first was the Copernican Revolution in the wake of astronomer Nicolai Copernicus’ 1543 book, On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, which demonstrated that our planet is not the center of the universe. The sun, moon, and stars do not revolve around us; we are merely the third rock from the sun. And I love Mayer's lyrically imagined conversa … [Read more...]

Celebrating Mixed Religion: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Syncretism

The summer after my freshman year in college, Sarah McLachlan released her album Surfacing. Among the many singles from that album that seemed to be playing on every radio, in every elevator, and in every store was the opening track, “Building a Mystery.” And having spent the past year questioning the conservative Christian theology I had been taught as a child, one line from that ubiquitous song stood out to me — about a man wearing “a cross from a faith that died before Jesus came.” Those lyri … [Read more...]

Letting Go of Fear & Celebrating Differences: Insights from Intersectionality

This past Sunday was the 70th anniversary of the United States dropping an atomic bomb on the  Japanese city of Nagasaki toward the end of World War II. The weapon, nicknamed “Fat Man,” was released at 11:01 a.m. local time, causing tens of thousands of civilian casualties. (The even more devastating bombing of Hiroshima was three days earlier.) This anniversary of the only time to date that atomic bombs have been used in warfare comes at a time when headlines are being made worldwide concerning … [Read more...]

“The Selma Awakening”

I have posted previously on “Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall: Claiming Our Social Justice Story” in which I invited us to reflect on the activist legacy in this country. And today during the 50th anniversary month of the Selma to Montgomery Marches, the core questions I will be inviting us to reflect on is when the calls come to take action for social, economic, and environmental justice, will we stand up, will we speak up, will we show up? To begin to set the stage historically, when you think o … [Read more...]