Opportunities for 21st Century Interfaithing

This week, I’m attending the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge fifth annual convening in Washington D.C. It is organized by the Department of Education and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I will be serving on a panel to talk about Illinois College’s partnership with the Interfaith Youth Core, which has [Read More…]

Unapologetically Madonna: Sex & Religion Through the Decades

In the category of News of the Obvious, Madonna declared that her Rebel Heart tour, which kicks off in Canada on September 9, will focus on sexuality and religion: “I’m very immersed in deconstructing the concept of sexuality and religion and how it’s not supposed to go together, but in my world it goes together.” [Read More…]

For Women Who Aren’t Contrite

When I first heard about Pope Francis’ offer of forgiveness for women who had had abortions, provided they were “with contrite heart,” during the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy (starting December 8), my first thoughts were: What if a woman isn’t contrite? What if she knows it was the right decision for her? What if she [Read More…]

Let’s Do Justice

We have a new voice joining the work of writing and moving toward justice at Patheos. Rebecca Todd Peters is now blogging over at To Do Justice. She’s a feminist Christian social ethicist who says “it is my fervent hope to think with you about what it means to live faithfully as a Progressive Christian in the [Read More…]

Honorable Mention: Equality Illinois

Today I’m speaking on the Faith and Equality Issues Panel at the Equality Institute, hosted by Equality Illinois in partnership with several other justice-oriented organizations in the state. The mission of Equality Illinois is to “build a better Illinois by advancing equal treatment and social justice through education, advocacy and protection of the rights of [Read More…]

Why #BlackLivesMatter Has to Exist

I wrote the following piece which was first published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, my local newspaper, last week. When I saw a cluster of white police officers marching up to my neighbor’s house in military fatigues and helmets with large guns at the ready, my first instinct was to grab my camera and take a [Read More…]

Words for Justice, Songs for Worship

My friend and colleague Rev. Jann Aldredge-Clanton has just published a new book titled Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship. I’ve written about and shared some of her work here on this blog before. I asked Jann a few questions about her new book. 1. Tell us why you put together this collection [Read More…]

Back to School With Purpose

This will be the first fall since I was three years old that I will not be a student or be starting school. I have the great gift of being on sabbatical from teaching this coming academic year, with time for writing, reading, speaking, travelling, and so many other things. Because of that, I spent [Read More…]

4 Women & a Train Station: Reflection on an Interfaith Moment

Four women outside the entrance to Union Station, lingering in the cool breeze on a sunny summer day. Two women perched behind displays of brochures: “Do You Know Jesus?” and “What About Your Afterlife?” query passersby. One women in hijab, her religiosity also on display, watching the same crowd of travelers coming and going from [Read More…]

Why We Need to Teach Interfaith Understanding

Amidst conservative Christian fervor over religious freedom, it’s important to remember what real threats to religious freedom in the U.S. look like. A news item getting little attention is currently unfolding in Texas: “A proposal to bring a Muslim cemetery to a rural North Texas town has stoked fears among residents who are trying to convince community [Read More…]

Planned Parenthood Would Serve Mary

After dismissing the edited videos that pretend to catch Planned Parenthood staffers in a compromising position, Jay Michaelson takes on the issue of fetal tissue donation and points out: “Nearly 20 years ago, the Conservative movement, then the largest movement in American Judaism, ruled that not only is organ donation permitted — it is religiously required. The [Read More…]

Some Good News in Religious Higher Ed

Over at Religion News Service, Eliel Cruz highlights three Christian colleges who have recently taken steps to be more inclusive of LGBT employees: “Goshen College, Eastern Mennonite University, and Hope College have amended their policies to include employees in committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships. … These changes affect the schools’ nondiscrimination hiring policies, which now lists sexual orientation and, [Read More…]