How Do We Stop the World’s Most Deadly Terrorist Group?


By Kimberly Smith. “Evidence suggests that this optimism owes more to government hype than reality.” This statement could easily be from any mainstream media source accurately covering U.S. politics or our current electoral posturing. In this case, however, it happens to be from a report on the government of Nigeria whose corruption, including of U.S. funds, leaves innocent women and children vulnerable to the world’s most deadly terrorist group, Boko Haram.In a one-week spre … [Read more...]

Myanmar as a Country of the Year and a Year of the Change

By David Moe.On New Year's Eve, Burmese pastors normally read Isaiah 43:18-19—“Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing.” Emphasizing verse 19 as a fundamental text for a New Year’s resolution, they encourage church members not to remember the past. But for me, it is important to review an old year with gratitude and to envision a new year with hope because our past is the clue to our identity. Without the memory of our past, we cannot for … [Read more...]

White “Militiamen” Mistake “Domination” for “Dominion”

Shantha Ready Alonso

By Shantha Ready Alonso.Embed from Getty ImagesBurns-Paiute tribal council member Jarvis Kennedy asks protest...The Burns Paiute tribe has asked armed protesters to leave and stop desecrating the land. Read more: by KGW-TV on Wednesday, January 6, 2016An armed “militia” of white men has taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. They plan to stay. They demand “return of local control” of the land to the mostly white population in the … [Read more...]

Patheos in 2015: The Peccadilloes, Conflicts, and Calamities of a Year in Review


By Kathleen Mulhern.The year was barely a week old when the first of many tragedies struck. Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris were stormed and eleven journalists and magazine employees were slaughtered by Islamic terrorists. Thus began a central and sorrowful theme of 2015: ideologically driven violence. Whether the undergirding ideology was religious fanaticism or racism, 2015 suffered more than its share of painful news events. Patheos writers together mourned, analyzed, and often c … [Read more...]

Orphan Awareness Month: Moving Beyond Awareness


By Jenny Eaton DyerNovember is Orphan Awareness Month. It is a time to raise awareness and funding for the millions of children around the world displaced by HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty.  According to UNICEF, there are over 153 million children worldwide who have lost one or both parents. Of these orphans, HIV/AIDS has orphaned 17.9 million of these children, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.There is good news.  The peak deaths has been reached, in 2005, and s … [Read more...]

Mormon Homophobia and the Unintended Theological Crisis

By Stuart Parker.On Thursday, November 5th, 2015, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), colloquially known as the Mormons, announced a new set of policies to reinforce the hard line it has taken against homosexuality. Since becoming the primary sponsor and proponent of Proposition Eight, the 2008 amendment to California’s state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, the LDS have jockeyed for position among conservative American religions to distinguish themselves as the … [Read more...]

Infant Mortality Disparity in the Developing World


By Dr. David Vanderpool, M.D. As a surgeon practicing in the U.S., I rarely encountered the issue of infant mortality. While I occasionally saw babies die in the U.S., the overwhelming resources we have at our disposal fortunately made this a rare event.  However, after I was called to sell my surgical practice and permanently moved to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, infant mortality became a desperate daily struggle.Defined as death within the first … [Read more...]

Chicago Jains Celebrate Annual Fast for Self, Neighbor, and the World


By Brianne Donaldson. Editor’s Note: This reflection is Part 2 in a series exploring the Jain festival of Paryuṣana at the Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago. Read Part 1 here. Also, the names of Jain community members under the age of 18 years old have been shortened to their first initial.   A row of large plastic pitchers lines the serving table at the Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago. Each pitcher is filled with a different kind of water prepared with either coconut, lemon, mung bean … [Read more...]

Behavioral and Social Scientists: Witch Doctors of the 21st Century?

By Thomas M. Doran.Someone’s got to say it. Many, if not most, behavioral and social scientists are wreaking havoc. But how dare we question them, because they know better than we do. Don’t they have access to knowledge and information we don’t? Don’t they offer a progressive vision of the next stage of human development, calling us to abandon our former bigotry and superstitions?A recent Wall Street Journal reference to an article by Monya Baker—“Over half of psychological studies fail r … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and the Realities of Climate Change

By Sharon Friedman.Dear Pope Francis, I know you don’t know about climate change. I know because I worked in the business (as climate advisor to a U.S. government executive, pretty much the equivalent of a mid- level bishop in the Roman Catholic Church).  So, like any high level person, you are listening to your advisors.  But I think they may be leading you in a direction that is not the best one for you as the head of the Roman Catholic Church, nor for the rest of the world. I don’t know if … [Read more...]