Moving Zionism Forward: A Conversation with the President of the American Zionist Movement

In a New York City bookstore in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, far-left, self-described “radicals” gather to discuss “Freedom-Fighting Under State Repression.” Contempt for everything from Israel and America to capitalism and law enforcement dominate the conversation. But the most caustic rhetoric is reserved for redefining Zionism.The movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland is a racist and genocidal enterprise according to these the speakers who fancy themselves part o … [Read more...]

It’s Time to Stand Up and Be the Church in the Refugee Crisis

I’ll never forget the day our plane touched down in Iraq. I was terrified, saddened and overwhelmed all at the same time. The memories of the life I’d left behind when I fled the country almost 30 years before flooded my mind. All I could do was cry.But it was also on this ministry trip in 2010 that I discovered my calling to help provide care and compassion to refugee families, wherever they are. Jesus himself was a refugee, and there are more than 70 directives in the Bible that tell Chr … [Read more...]

A Spectrum of Faith: Religions of the World in America’s Heartland

On a cold and windy night in November 2014, a forty-foot statue of the Vietnamese bodhisattva Quan Am began radiating her compassion to the residents of Des Moines, Iowa. She is, to my knowledge, the largest religious statue in our capital city and the second-largest one in our state. I found her and everything she symbolizes so remarkable that I wrote an op-ed for the Des Moines Register on the occasion of her dedication nearly three years ago. This is the story about how that op-ed led to the … [Read more...]

The Bible and Science Fiction: A Match Made in Heaven?

To be sure, religions, spirituality, and sacred texts play a significant role in science fiction: the Jedi from Star Wars, the Lords of Kobol from Battlestar Galactica, Shepherd Book from Firefly, and references to the Old Testament in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale are only a few of many examples. (Seriously, if you have a few sci fi geeks together and started collecting examples, you'd still be at it tomorrow morning.)Of course, it is interesting to ask: why and how do creators of bl … [Read more...]

Persecutor, Not Protector: Assad Is Not Christians’ Savior

A year after forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began shooting pro-democracy demonstrators, sparking the war that continues today, I met with an alliance of Syrian Christians who had come to ask Washington for help in their struggle.They wanted nothing more than freedom from the regime and were chillingly prescient in this 2012 conversation about the horrors to come, including the eventual outbreak of terrorist groups, if the world stood by and did nothing to stop Assad. Among these … [Read more...]

Love Trumps Nothing

By Kyle Sebastian Vitale.With the November elections, as with so many recent social conflicts, the word love has re-entered our national lexicon. Hashtags, t-shirts, and protests announce that “Love Trumps Hate.” Hurting voters express love for the refugee, the Muslim, the LGBTQIA+ through moving Facebook posts. Meanwhile, President-Elect Trump claims electoral victory to the tune of a new nationalism that expresses love of country in a spectrum of colors.Yet these same pathways also … [Read more...]

Respect for Women Is a Common Bond in Three Different Faiths

By Amy Gopp, Deborah Rosenbloom, and Christina Tobias-Nahi.   So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27, The Torah Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. ~ Romans 12:10, The New Testament O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you … [Read more...]

Mormon Women: Why They Won’t Vote for Trump or Clinton

By Catharine and Melissa Richmond. A lot has been written about Mormon voters distaste for Donald Trump. What began as an initial discomfort, following Trump’s suggestion that Muslims should be banned from the country, ended with firm opposition when a tape was released on which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. Most pundits are now predicting that Mormon voters will flock to third party candidates, like Gary Johnson and fellow Mormon Evan McMullin. But, why won’t Mo … [Read more...]

Trump as Archetype: The Golem Has Run Amok

By Shalom Goldman.A year ago, as U.S citizens of both political parties were developing a fascination with Donald Trump, no pundits came forth with a mythic or religious way to understand Trump's appeal or his ability to strongly repel those not attracted to him.  As I teach college courses on the intersection of religion and politics, I was hoping that someone quicker and wiser than I am would come forward to situate the Donald in the world of archetypes, and remove him—if only br … [Read more...]

Diwali and the Election: Truth, Light, and Meaning in the Voting Booth

 By Anantanand Rambachan.Diwali is the Hindu festival of light, and we pray each year to be led from untruth to truth (asato mā sad gamaya), from darkness to light (tamaso mā jyotir gamaya), and from the transient to that which has ultimate value (mṛtyor mā amṛtaṃ gamaya). The truth that we pray for on Diwali is the truth of goodness and righteousness. It is truth that challenges us to search into our minds, hearts and traditions for the ethical values that guide our daily choice … [Read more...]