Dems Ought to Lay Claim to Religious Liberty

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."This is the first amendment.It protects, among other things, Americans’ right to religious liberty; and it is one of the bedrocks of our nation.At its core, religious liberty is a liberal, democratic value. But as of late, it has been a cause championed by the Religious Right. We see this when Sarah Palin decries … [Read More...]

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CPAC Highlight: Obama is proclaimed anti-Christian

A panel discussion this past weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) offered a stark assessment of the state of religious freedom in the U.S., providing a rallying cry for conservatives as the race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination begins.Entitled “Would the Pilgrims Still be Welcome Here?” the panel tackled topics ranging from the assault on religious values levied by teaching evolution in the classroom, to persecution as a “badge of honor” for American Christians. Moderated by columnist Cal Thomas, the conversation included radio host Dana Loesch, Repu … [Read More...]

Faith Leaders Unite to Spare a Life

As of Friday night at 8:00 p.m., 96 ordained clergy in the state of Georgia and surrounding regions have signed a petition, pleading to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to spare the life of Kelly Gissendaner— an inmate on death row, scheduled to be executed Monday, March 2nd, 2015. Gissendaner was denied clemency last Tuesday, and the response from many has been outrage and sadness.The petition was created by Atlanta-area clergy, seminarians, and professors—including many affiliated with Emory Un … [Read More...]

Prayer doesn’t answer with discrimination

Prayer is a powerful motivator. In heart and mind, one reaches out to God, a higher power, and asks for well wishes, grace, humility, peace and guidance. Prayer is powerful because once an answer is derived, it is believed to be true and a direct answer from an all-knowing spirit or being.But history is littered with stories about horrible deeds and decisions supposedly inspired by the Lord. Last week, the nation received its latest perplexing conservative-leaning hypocritical decision as … [Read More...]

Teaching faith and humility to Congress

I was having dinner about 18 months ago in D.C. with some friends when they asked me why I care so much about religion, faith and politics. I told them that when both sides stop talking, will not work together and would rather throw mud than praise, there are only two options to bridge the divide.Aside from a giant kegger on the National Mall, sharing of one’s faith, religion and values is the next best step. One of the few times both Democrats and Republicans occupy the same space v … [Read More...]

A Better Politics: Modeling Civility, Embracing Difference

Toward the end of President Obama’s sixth State of the Union address last week unexpected applause prompted the President to improvise. After declaring “I have no more campaigns to run,” much to the delight of some Members of Congress, the President grinned, and reminded the audience why: “I know, because I won both of them.” I smiled as my Facebook and Twitter feeds immediately erupted with praise for the President’s quick wit. The Huffington Post labeled it as the “best moment” of the speech. … [Read More...]

A New Year’s Hope: End the Death Penalty

On December 9 2014 despite objections from anti-death penalty activists, a last minute petition to the Supreme Court, and media outcry, the state of Georgia killed Robert Wayne Holsey. Convicted in 1997 for murdering sheriff’s deputy William Robinson, Holsey’s guilt was never in question. And yet, in the weeks and days leading up to his execution, bolstered by severely negligent representation in his first trial and questions regarding his intellectual capabilities, Mr. Holsey’s case garnered sig … [Read More...]

Celebrating the Power of Light at Christmas

At every Christmas Eve service my favorite part is always the final singing of Silent Night. Watching the warm orange and yellow light from the flickering candles one-by-one is a joyous sight as new faces, old faces, and those who have been away the past year are welcomed into one union celebrating the birth of Jesus.My Christmas tradition is spent with my in-laws in rural central Pennsylvania with congregations comprised of many who would not consider themselves progressive or De … [Read More...]

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 sam … [Read More...]