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

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…. Read more

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%… Read more

Earlier this month the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, called upon all states to “take concrete steps towards abolishing or no longer practicing this form of punishment.” By “this form of punishment,” Ban Ki-moon was referring to the death penalty. He went on to call the practice “cruel and inhumane” and I could not help but nod my head in agreement. I have asked myself many times: should laws be based in equality or fairness? After all, equality and… Read more

On Monday, June 30, the Supreme Court ruled on the Hobby Lobby case. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that “closely held” (e.g., the majority of outstanding stock of a company is owned by five or fewer people) for-profit companies do not need to follow federal law requiring that insurance plans include contraception for female employees. The ruling was based on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed to protect an individual’s free exercise of religion, and marks the… Read more

Just a little while ago, I read a blog post by Dr. Jackie Roese regarding the upcoming Supreme Court decision about the Hobby Lobby case. She makes the argument that we, especially women, are “eating cheeseburgers” when it comes to the issue of contraception for women – that it seems so straightforward and obvious that women should have easy access to contraceptives, we just go about our regular lives, munching on our cheeseburgers and not worrying about this case or… Read more

Catholics care about creation. The command to be actively involved in and concerned for our environment has a divine origination. To care for creation is to care for the God we can encounter through nature. With these statements in mind, I feel the need to draw attention to the inspiring and encouraging behaviors some Catholics have engaged in to take action upon these fundamental Catholic beliefs. This week the University of Dayton, “a leading Catholic University and the largest private university in… Read more

Let’s get one thing clear: no one dreams of having an abortion. Here, America stands united. We all want to lower the U.S. abortion rate. We all want fewer unplanned pregnancies. We all want “life.” We all want to see an America filled with happy, healthy families and babies. But, as a recent article by Julia K. Stronks and Jeffrey F. Peipert, “an evangelical Christian, political science professor and a Jewish, family-planning physician,” states clearly, if the upcoming Hobby Lobby… Read more

In the wake of increased gun violence in our country that is disproportionately affecting our children and youth, we as citizens of this nation and as people of faith have a responsibility to respond by demanding legislation that better regulates guns and other weapons. We have to create the safest possible situation for our children. This is a call not only for those of us who are biological or adoptive mothers and fathers. This is a call to every person… Read more

A Good World, a Life of Rights, and the Freedom to Choose   Catholic teaching unquestionably necessitates the use of renewable energy. Notice, I did not limit Catholic teaching to “Catholic Social Teaching,” or “Catholic Morality Teaching.” Catholic teaching as a whole is complex and many-sided; rarely, if ever, is there a single inflexible Message with a capital “M” that can capture the diversity within this rich tradition. However, several messages are crystal clear: the maker of Heaven and Earth,… Read more

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