A Level Playing Field in Missouri?

Offensive racial, ethnic, and religious slurs are means of asserting power and privilege, and thus creating a social space in which there are distinctive power differentials. The person being offensive is essentially asserting his or her power over others, whether it is Donald Trump or some other faceless drive-by bigot. In the same way taking [Read More…]

True Religion at the Parliament of World Religions – Not What you Think

Now that I’ve seen people shouted down, I’m certainly not speaking up.  “There is one true religion. . . . “ It is a phrase I heard a hundred times if I’ve heard it once at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Now if that phrase were followed by “It is Islam” or “It is [Read More…]

How to Stop ISIS Recruiting

At the Council for Foreign Relations lunch there was a vigorous and useful discussion about the need to amplify the voices of peaceful and socially conscious Islam so as to drown out the shouts of the extremists. Since I promised to report: 1. Wood spoke the classic language of hard power and soft power. While [Read More…]

Buddhist and Muslim Dialogue for the Earth

The word sacred has two related dimensions. One dimension of something sacred is that it connected to God, or whatever is the object of religious devotion, reflection, and faith. The second related dimension is that something sacred is worthy of veneration. And this second dimension is where we get into trouble when we talk about [Read More…]

ISIS and Religious Terror: To Report is not to Support

“By publicizing the views of ISIS as Islamic you are helping their cause.” That was more or less the accusation being made at the Council of Foreign Relations lunch at the Parliament of the World Religions. The target of the accusation was Graeme Wood, the journalist whose excellent article in the Atlantic on the Islamic [Read More…]

Mecca to Roseburg, Two Sides of the Same Hopeless Fatalism

Congress needs to get off its knees and back to work. Another shooter, another group of young people turned to corpses, and another group of American politicians feeling terrible sorry and praying for the families of the deceased. And as it turns out, more proof that American Christian congressmen are really no different from Saudi Muslim [Read More…]

On Obama’s Win and the Iran Nuclear Deal: The Wrong Time to Celebrate

Yesterday I learned from the Washington Post and New York Times that President Obama got the votes necessary for the multi-nation treaty with Iran over its nuclear program to stand. It was heralded as a victory for Obama’s foreign policy and I personally was glad to see it happen. But I’m not celebrating. First because [Read More…]

Rodeo Season in America

Although I come from a long time West Texas family I confess that we were not of the horses and cattle sort of Texans. More doctors, educators, and journalists to be honest. But I still love my boots and watching a good rodeo – because the culture of cattle and horses belongs to the deepest [Read More…]

Wouldn’t I, Wooden Eye, Hairlip Hairlip

There is an old and rather ugly joke about two people on a cruise. They who both want and need each others love. But there is a misunderstanding. She says, “wouldn’t I, wouldn’t I” in response to his invitation to dance. But obsessed with self consciousness about his wooden eye he offers an ugly retort [Read More…]

Fear of Death in Farmersville

Thus far the Islamophobia in Farmersville Texas, spurred on by a Christian pastor named David Meeks and others without name, hasn’t resulted in shed blood and has thus created little sense of outrage or concern at a national level. As a nation we are as comfortable with overt bigotry against Muslims today as we were [Read More…]


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