Poland’s Battle Between Theocracy and Secular Democracy

By Beth Holmgren, Duke University.   In early April, the Middle Ages engaged in an unusual skirmish with the 21st century in cities across Poland. During a Sunday mass in this overwhelmingly Catholic country, priests read their congregations a letter from the Polish Episcopate calling for an unconditional ban on abortion. Scores of women then walked out in protest, their exodus filmed in famous churches such as St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdańsk and Saint Anne’s Church in Wars … [Read more...]

Adult Clergy Abuse Is Overlooked and Misunderstood: Here’s Why

By Erin Crosby.Last week, the archbishop of Oklahoma City removed a priest from his duties after learning the priest had been investigated for sexual battery in San Diego five years ago. In this case, the victim wasn’t a child, but a young adult. As an adult victim of clergy sexual abuse myself, I am saddened but not surprised to hear the priest had been charged only of a misdemeanor and allowed to continue pastoral work. Churches of every denomination should stop diminishing the s … [Read more...]

Daniel Berrigan and Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold: Missing Voices for Human Worth

By Shalom Goldman.Embed from Getty ImagesApril saw the passing of two very courageous American religious figures, the Rev. Daniel Berrigan and Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold. Berrigan, a Catholic priest and member of the Jesuit order, had reached the age of 94. Rabbi Gold, a Conservative rabbi, was 92.Berrigan was born in 1921 to a working-class Catholic family in the Midwest. Gold was born in Poland in 1923 and with his family was deported to Auschwitz at age 17; he was the only one of hi … [Read more...]

The Panama Papers and the Ritual of Confession

By Devin Singh. The Panama Papers caught some of the most powerful people on the globe in the act of self-dealing. Now the public wants the guilty to come clean, step into the light, and confess their financial misdeeds.While such confession might be an important public ritual, there are reasons to believe that confession won't make the sins disappear and they'll likely happen again.In the early 20th century, the German social theorist Walter Benjamin described capitalism a … [Read more...]

60th Anniversary of the Red Sea Parting

By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz and Susan Barnett.This year marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most iconic scenes in film history. In the 1956 Academy Award-winning film, The Ten Commandments, the young Charlton Heston parts the Red Sea and the Israelites make their heroic escape from ancient Egypt. During the modern Passover celebration of this Exodus, when the Jews reached the safety of the far shore and the Egyptian armies were drowning in the sea, the rabbinic tradition teaches, … [Read more...]

Has Science Made God Irrelevant?

By Thomas M. Doran. I once read a science fiction story about a galaxy-roving human race that had run its ancient God to ground in a garden on an abandoned planet Earth. Rather than supplanting God in wisdom and power, these men came off as aping the serpent in the ancient story: “We have outgrown you. We want to be liberated from you. We want to be like you, but on our terms.”In much of the ancient and medieval worlds, the Creator was thought to be a grand clockmaker. The Su … [Read more...]

The Palmarian Church: New Rome or Fanatical Sect?

By Maria Hall. On a hilltop on the plains of Andalucía in Southern Spain, the huge gothic basilica of Palmar de Troya stands forever alone – a symbol of yet another sect which had distanced itself from mainstream Catholicism. An imposing wall surrounds the basilica, reminding the world of its isolation, not only religious but actual. Carmelite priests and nuns live in silence within the walls, cut off from the world, yet dedicated to praying for its conversion. No one associated … [Read more...]

Why I Got Arrested at the U.S. Capitol

By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II.I was arrested today in Washington, DC, for insisting that the Federal government defend the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and protect Americans’ voting rights.As a pastor, a leader of the Forward Together Moral Movement, and state chapter President of the North Carolina NAACP, I do not take arrest lightly. Anytime we see a problem, our first response must be to understand it. Nothing is worse than being loud and wrong. After doing our h … [Read more...]

Trump, Nietzsche, and the Jewish Tradition

By Rabbi Francis Nataf. An American acquaintance recently told me that there is only one question every Israeli was asking him on his last visit—what’s with America and Trump? Like him or not, Donald Trump has captured the world’s imagination in a way very few have done before. Almost consciously setting himself up as a buffoon and a ruffian, he has nonetheless become a very serious contender for the world’s most powerful office.In response, an army of pundits has struggled t … [Read more...]

A Pastor, a Rabbi, and an Imam

Stop me if you’ve heard this one – a priest, a rabbi and an Imam walk into a diner… and have a fun, light-hearted, and sometimes irreverent conversation about the big spiritual questions at the heart of the National Geographic Channel’s “Story of God with Morgan Freeman.”  Rabbi Deborah Shuldenfrei, Pastor Touré Roberts, and Imam Jihad Turk tackle topics such as creation, the end of the world, and what awaits us after this life – each injecting their own style and religious perspective into the d … [Read more...]


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