A Tale of Two Seasons: Election vs. Advent

As elections wrap up and Advent begins, I cannot help but to think of the ostensible paradox that the two seasons represent. It is an overlap of one season defined by divisive, partisan spectacle—all inclusive of attack ads, pontification and sentimentality—with a season of waiting, humility, reflection and for many people, togetherness.Amidst a harsh political culture, oddly enough, the season of Advent tends to bring people together. Families, friends and colleagues who cannot be in the same room during election season because of political differences, fluidly move into exchanging gifts, … [Read More...]

World Meeting of Families website

Pope Francis to visit Philadelphia

Last month, Pope Francis announced he’s coming to Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families. Regardless of religious affiliation, it’s an exciting time for the City of Brotherly Love. Yet despite the elation surrounding the visit, it’s perhaps prudent to understand the struggles Philadelphia faces and how the pope’s visit is a rare opportunity to highlight populist, progressive solutions that can and should be taken to strengthen the family unit and society at large.Philadelphia, like many other cities, struggles with poverty and violence. For many, there seems to be … [Read More...]

Missing Values, Missing Votes in the 2014 Mid-Terms

With some time now to properly digest the Mid-Term blue-to-red Election results, I found myself saying that my fellow Democrats didn’t stand for anything this November. There were plenty of issues to be proud of and tout, yet the more the electorate heard about these victories, the less impact they made.The simple question that is every Election Day is “Why?” Why vote for one candidate or party? For the GOP, that answer was opposing the president, and all the fuel the Republicans doused the W … [Read More...]

Raise the Wage

As a rookie summer intern reporter at a Philadelphia suburban newspaper, I was paid $10 an hour. It was a pretty good wage for being only 19 years old, and a rising college junior. At 19, I only had myself to worry about with supportive parents paying for college, food, room and board.  The $10 took care of my needs of my car and the occasional dinner out or movie with my then-girlfriend, now-wife. Still, those paychecks went fast. At 19, I wasn’t worried about saving money except for some fun in … [Read More...]

Good Times with The Good Lie

If I’m going to review The Good Lie, I should start with a truth – I was crying at the end of this film. So was my wife.The Good Lie stars Reese Witherspoon and tells the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan who survived civil war and a decade in a refugee camp to come to America.  We watched last weekend not expecting much as this genre of good-doer films often seems overly simple and unrealistic. Instead, we were left feeling a connection with so many characters maturing in real ways to solve pr … [Read More...]

Redistricting: A Faith Issue?

We traditionally think of redistricting as an issue that impacts us only politically. Redistricting is the redrawing of districts based on the shared ideologies within the district without regard to the actual citizens that compose the district. It has become a problem because it effectively decides who gets elected in a given district. Redistricting has become a way to suppress voters. However, redistricting is more than a political issue; it is a faith issue as well. If a certain candidate, … [Read More...]

We Are People, Not Pawns

Would you raise taxes by $4,700 on working families to make a political point? What if the tax raise stopped families all across the state from affording healthcare?The very idea of sacrificing the health of families to make an ideological point should be met with disbelief and nausea, but I’m guessing few of you are surprised to hear the Attorney General of Michigan is actually using this tactic in an effort to undermine Obamacare.Attorney General Bill Schuette led the fight to keep M … [Read More...]

Daily Beast’s Sally Kohn: Why I’m Against Hamas, Against What Israel Is Doing, and For Judaism

This piece by Sally Kohn originally appeared on the Daily Beast.  As violence between Israel and Gaza continues, the author raises thoughtful questions worth considering.  For the victims of violence, Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers. Hamas is awful, but how can any faithful Jew look at Israel’s disproportionate violence against innocents and defend it?What kind of Jew would I be if I were not horrified by the incredible death and destruction being wrought on the Palestinian … [Read More...]

The Preschool to Prison Pipeline Must Stop

Laws are created for society; society is not created for its laws. It’s both a biblical principle and common sense knowledge that laws are only as good as the ends they serve and the means by which they get there. When laws harmfully reshape our communities, it’s time to change them.A recent report from CNN found that public preschools suspended 7,500 children nationwide last year. That’s right, these are suspensions from pre-school.For what, you ask?According to Dr. John Deasy, the S … [Read More...]

What has Shaken American Faith in the Power of Religion?

A May 2014 Gallup Poll says that 57% of the Americans polled believe in the ability of religion to answer most or all of the world’s problems. Click here to read the article. Gallup first conducted this poll once in the 1950s, once in the 1970s, and multiple times during the 1980s and each subsequent decade. American belief in religion to solve worldwide problems was at its height the first time the poll was conducted in 1957. In 1957, 82% of the respondents believed in Religion’s ability to ans … [Read More...]