Offer the Other Cheek? The Risks of Listening and Peacemaking

by Brianne Donaldson “Religion is the vision of something which is real and yet waiting to be realized . . . .” —Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World, 275 There are dangers of speaking of the dead. Derrida warned against the possibility of using another’s death, even unintentionally, for one’s own end, or “to draw from the dead a supplementary force to be turned against the living . . . ” (2001, 51). The risk is double here... 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 celebrate vindictiveness. Unfriending plagues Facebook,... 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... 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 Mormon women become... 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,... 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... Read more

Israel Envy and Trump’s Wall

By Shalom Goldman. Andrew Cline / Shutterstock.com   In the current presidential campaign, Republicans and Democrats seem to be competing with each other to proclaim their “pro-Israel” stances. In a March address to AIPAC Hillary Clinton said, “I feel so strongly that America can’t ever be neutral when it comes to Israel’s security or survival.” Clinton was not introducing a new idea into the presidential campaign; “pro-Israel” statements are a necessary part of many, if not... Read more

Who’s Responsible for Religious Literacy Education?

By Skyler Oberst and Benjamin Marcus.     Skyler Oberst and Benjamin Marcus recently completed the 2015-2016 Germanacos Fellowship. Skyler created a “Meet the Neighbor” video series in Spokane, WA to teach members of his community how to visit local houses of worship and create a safe space to have a meaningful interfaith encounter. Ben collaborated with public school teachers in the suburbs of Chicago, IL to create lesson plans about religion for teachers in history, social studies, and literature... Read more

Unprecedented Diversity: Influential Faith Leaders from 7 Religions Join Together in the Name of Justice

By Susan Barnett, FaithSource/Auburn Seminary.   Unprecedented Unity Eighteen diverse leaders for the 21st century bring organizing faith (not organizational faith) to the public square, to take on today’s most pressing issues. From best-selling authors to MLK’s pulpit and the streets of Moral Monday to the Nuns on the Bus, they are making history by living, teaching and preaching respect over division to millions of Americans. They carve new paths as the first openly gay bishop in the high church traditions of Christianity,... Read more

Mike Pence on the “American Heartland” and the Holy Land

By Shalom Goldman, Middlebury College.   lev radin / Shutterstock.com The Republican Party platform, posted last week, gives the American-Israeli relationship considerable space. Pundits in the U.S. and Israel have duly noted the absence in the platform of any reference to a “two-state solution”—a phrase that appeared in the 2012 Republican platform but has now become identified with the Democratic Party and the State Department tenures of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Republicans are by inference... Read more