Outlawing the Jain Fast-Unto-Death Is a Bioethical Issue


By Brianne Donaldson. On August 10, 2015, the Rajasthan High Court outlawed the ancient and rare Jain practice of fasting unto death on the basis that it is not “an essential religious practice” protected by Article 25 of the Indian Constitution protecting freedom of religion.[1] Nor is the “right to death” protected by Article 21 that ensures the right to life and property. This case highlights a fundamental bioethical tension between killing and letting die that remains unresol … [Read more...]

Once in a While You Get Shown the Light: The Grateful Dead and the Bible

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By Andrew R. McGaan.To commemorate their fiftieth anniversary, surviving members of the Grateful Dead returned to Chicago’s Soldier Field for three shows over the Fourth of July weekend. Though the band had not toured since the death twenty years ago of Jerry Garcia, its most iconic member, hotels across Chicago sold out within hours of the announcement. A leading broker said ticket demand was exceeded only by the Super Bowl. It became the largest live-streamed event in history and by t … [Read more...]

The Moral Case Against Drone Strikes

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By Rabbi Michael Lerner.There was a brief and rare moment this year in which people openly discussed the U.S. lethal drones program. For a few days, the Obama administration apologized for a strike, the American people expressed shock, and the media took note. But that moment ended as quickly as it began, and only happened in the first place because a U.S. citizen was inadvertently killed by an American drone strike. For the remainder of the year, hundreds to thousands of non-Americans … [Read more...]

Liberal Protestants, Social Justice, and Antisemitism

By Mark E. Gammon.With the astounding pace of news over the last couple of weeks, it was easy to miss one small item. The United Church of Christ became the latest liberal Protestant denomination to endorse “boycotts and divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.” As David Palumbo-Liu recently reported at Salon.com, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has made substantive inroads in the mainline American Protestant denominations, wit … [Read more...]

Global Poverty and Local Religiosity

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By Rabbi Francis Nataf. Many questions still remain as the United Nations completes the review of its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) scheduled for later this year. But perhaps the biggest question should really be former New York mayor, Edward Koch’s, trademark quip about personal performance, “How am I doing?” At the top of the MDGs was halving the number of people subsisting on less than $1.25 a day. And partly because the UN made it a public goal, that milestone was reached well ahead of … [Read more...]

Time for a New Political Expression

By Jyl Hall Smith.It is abundantly clear that Christians have divergent opinions on last week’s Supreme Court rulings regarding gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act. However, what becomes unclear in these times is how much Americans have in common in their political views. Pew research did a 25-year study, published in 2012, on trends in American values. They found that independents are the largest voting block at 38 percent, and that half of all independents, Democrats, and Republicans c … [Read more...]

An Exploration into the Evangelical Obsession with the Unborn

By Kristen Syme.On an April morning in 2008 during my brief stint at Bible college, a strange turn of events unfolded at one of the weekly chapel services. The college president stood sternly behind the pulpit in preparation for an exhortation as congregants entered. Like the prophet Jeremiah warning of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, he bellowed from behind the pulpit, “There is a great scourge that threatens the security of our nation—the time to act is at hand!” That terror that pl … [Read more...]

A Jump Start for Sustained Peacebuilding

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By Rev. Robert ChaseFor most Americans, Kazakhstan seems like a faraway place, indeed. But Americans can be quite myopic, blind to much of what goes on in the world beyond its borders. Actually, from a world perspective, Kazakhstan is right in the center of things. Located on the old silk route, straddling Asia and Europe, Kazakhstan is home to well over 100 ethnic groups, a wide variety of cultural expressions and religions. By relinquishing its Soviet stockpile of nuclear weapons in … [Read more...]

Why Christians Should Stand With Israel


By John Hagee. Christians should stand with Israel because the God of the Bible is the God of Covenant. He is a promise-making and a promise-keeping God. Those who claim that God is not accountable to the promises he made to the children of Israel are contradicting the Apostle Paul’s words to the Gentile Christians of the early church: I say then, “Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.” (Romans 11:1, KJV) ... as far as election is concerned, they (Jews) are loved on account of the patri … [Read more...]

“White God”: More Than a Whiff of Transcendence

White God

Reviewed by Douglas Groothuis, Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary Dog lovers who watch this exceptional film should arrange to have a cat-loving designated driver take them home. If not, they may weep all the way home, as I did. The Hungarian film, The White God, is an extraordinary thriller from Hungarian writer-director, Kornél Mundruczó. It is not an upbeat dog film, but a visceral drama of love, cruelty, and redemption. Brilliant is not too strong of a word to describe its c … [Read more...]