Discrimination Pure and Simple

The trending line on facebook had an appalling headline. “Beheading in Oklahoma.” The link took me to a local OK television station. There was the story of a man who was fired from his job. He returned to his old work place with a large knife. There he stabbed and slashed one woman multiple times, [Read More…]

Fear and Analysis

The most common, the most popular framework for analyzing religion in America appears to be fear.  Religion is complicated. It always amazes me when people think they can read a couple of books, check out a website or two, and then begin making strong assertions about this or that religion. Would they do that with [Read More…]

When Dialogue Must Stop

A summer of violence is winding to an end, with yet another war between Israel and Hamas, the rapid rise of ISIS and its reign of terror against every possible sectarian or religious minority, and nations from the Magrib to Southeast Asian slipping into failed state status. Two things have become clear. First that religion [Read More…]

Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Is Islam a Religion of Peace? Yes and No. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and the other religions I know of all encourage peace, both personal and social.  Yet at this moment in time members of all of these religions are not peaceful. By the billions they are afflicted with inner turmoil, sleepless nights, and [Read More…]

Face to Face with Jesus (A Review)

Face to Face with Jesus, by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene Let me start by saying that I  support evangelistic efforts within the Muslim world, assuming they are carried out with the kind of discretion and care necessary for a full witness to God’s love. People of any religion who believe that faith makes a [Read More…]

The Irrelevance of “God”

Maybe it is time we just drop the word God from our vocabulary in inter-religious dialogue, or for that matter any discourse. I recently read a prescient comment in book pointing out that Europe and North America are going the way of Japan in possessing a robust spirituality without any reference to God. Being “spiritual [Read More…]

Who did you say you represent?

How can there be a dialogue about sexuality with only men? How can there be a discussion of religious views of homosexuality with only straight men? Good questions. Questions asked at the end of our recent Faiths in Conversation Dialogue on sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality. These questions reveal the vast gulf between traditional religious views [Read More…]

Sexual Desire versus Sexuality

We may call ourselves and others human, but that is a word that hides more about us than it reveals us to each other. In the recent dialogue over sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality there was one particular aspect of two presentations that members of the audience found offensive. In different ways the rabbi and the [Read More…]

Same Kind of Different

An inter-religious dialogue on sex, marriage, and homosexuality raised more questions that it answered. At a May 19th Faiths in Coversation Dialogue, held at Synagogue Beth Torah, we hear that all three religious leaders agree on this point: The God who created humanity has also established and revealed a normative social order. Thus each religion [Read More…]

A Matter of Principle?

How long do those who believe in freedom of speech try to stay in a conversation with those religiously committed to restricting freedom of speech? A recent editorial by Frank Bruni tells of a Catholic Diocese now requiring teachers in its schools to sign a contract greatly restricting not only their sexual behavior, but their [Read More…]