Protecting Pluralism by Protecting Thy Neighbor

Rachel Held Evans Tweet

I learned with relief that the first gay couple in Kentucky received their marriage license, but not without disappointment that Rowan County ClerkKim Davis was jailed - and that her husband says she will not “bow down.” Surprising, since one would expect expect Kim Davis to be humble and compassionate - she is reportedly a born-again Christian and follows Christ. But it is Ms. Davis’ position as an elected official of the government, not her personal beliefs, that requires her to abide b … [Read more...]

The Future of Hinduism in America: Publicly Engaging Pluralism for Peace

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Eastern Religions. Read other perspectives here. When I last wrote about the Future of Hinduism, I had become a voice for the Hindu community in interfaith relations, as co-founder of both the local interfaith group in Michigan’s most Asian American cities and the Outreach Committee of one of Michigan’s oldest and largest Hindu temples. Because of my interest in the way that Hinduism i … [Read more...]

Another Rite of Passage: Celebrating a Decade of Interfaith Activism

A week ago the Troy-area Interfaith Group celebrated its 11th annual National Day of Prayer event. I helped start this community organization over a controversy - the contentious history is here, and also taught as a case study in pluralism by Harvard University's Pluralism Project - but it was a very peaceful, harmonious group that gathered to celebrate unity in diversity, with prayers from many people, from many traditions. I was honored that I was invited to share the reflection below on the … [Read more...]

Preserving Human Rights Through Article 26 of the UN Declaration

As a Board member of the Hindu American Foundation, I have had the opportunity to share what advocacy is with some stellar college students who join HAF's Congressional Internship program each summer. Current intern Tej Desai recently shared his experience after a month in DC where HAF's main offices are, but it is former intern Suneeta Israni's thoughts on the importance of the Hindu American Foundation's annual Human Rights Report and its relevance to Article 26 in the UN Declaration of Human R … [Read more...]

“Coalition Against Genocide” Seeks to Stifle Debate

The latter part of 2013 was largely taken up by my trying to ensure that a Hindu voice was part of the American mix - be it in interfaith, public policy, whatever.  A guest post from my fellow-Hindu American Foundation member Raman Khanna, of HAF's Executive Council, expresses clearly where we at the Foundation and others stand, defending our right to a seat at the table.  Let us hope that we can move forward in 2014, and get beyond the Hinduphobia. As Americans go, I am left of center: pr … [Read more...]

Faith in the Public Square: Inclusive or Exclusive?

In recent weeks, several high-profile religious leaders—including Pope Francis, Billy Graham, and Russell Moore—have expressed concern that churches can get so involved with controversial social and political causes that other important aspects of ministry are neglected, relationships suffer, and basic common teachings are overshadowed. Is it time for faith leaders to tone down the activism and pull back from engaging in contentious "culture wars"? As a Board member of the the Hindu American Fou … [Read more...]