Oak Creek Anniversary


Monday is the one-year anniversary of the shooting at the Oak Creek Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin.  I was contacted for comment this morning by a reporter from our local news station.  Valarie Kaur, a Sikh activist and founder of Groundswell, notes that a full year later, everyone knows about Aurora and other tragedies, but most never understood what happened at Oak Creek and have already forgotten.  The anniversary is a good reminder to those of us in another misunderstood minority religion of the … [Read more...]

Who’s TRULY Being Compassionate?

Wild Garden: Pagans in the Growing Interfaith Landscape

Who’s TRULY being compassionate?As a pagan, I am sometimes surprised when I hear a generic Christian admonish an evangelical faith group for their 'so-called' acts of compassion. It makes me ask myself: to what extent can we as a human race call ourselves compassionate?The truest forms of compassion can be defined through too many variables, words, interpretations, and means of thought processes. What compassion is to one person, another person will undoubtedly have a completely d … [Read more...]

The Solace of Holy Stone

Wild Garden: Pagans in the Growing Interfaith Landscape

I am on pilgrimage for a couple of weeks. I have also called it "field research." And sometimes "visiting friends." I am in Britain to teach a workshop at the Glastonbury Goddess Conference and am using some time ahead of that adventure to see some old standing stones, some old churches, and some old riverbeds. It has me thinking about this element of earth and how we begin to approach it in ways that we deem holy.Certainly there is the phrase "holy ground" and there is also "the Holy Land." … [Read more...]

Them and Us Part II – The Metaphysics of Unity and Separation


Michael Talbot’s 1991 classic, The Holographic Universe, lays out a breathtaking overview of late 20th century quantum physics which reveals the unmistakable metaphysical nature of the cosmos. He quotes physicist Bohm about the “implicate order”--“In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possibl … [Read more...]

Them and Us – Coming of Age Late in Life


I walked in my first protest march at age 14 (20 miles, and we achieved a stay of execution from strip mining for Crowder's Mountain).  Three years later I attended a community meeting at a black church following the unfair expulsion of a student at my high school.  We were unable to undo that sad outcome, but it was a remarkable learning experience for a teenager only a few years out of segregated schools.  Having cut my social justice teeth on environmental and race issues, I was only too ha … [Read more...]

Hospital Chaplaincy, an Interfaith Challenge

Hospital chaplaincy is an often misunderstood vocation. Many unfamiliar with the work of the hospital chaplain equate it with ministry, but that is not what it is at all. Ministers seek to bring a specific message to those with whom they work. Hospital chaplains lay aside their personal beliefs at the door to the patient’s room and seek instead to immerse themselves in the spiritual worldview of the patient or the patient’s family.At Huntsville Hospital where I am working we have one per … [Read more...]

Interfaith experience within the ‘same’ faith…

Winston-Salem City Council "Compassionate City Resolution" vote

This Thursday’s blog is about a recent experience an interfaith colleague of mine had during a radio talk show interview.  Jerry McLeese is the chairperson of Interfaith Winston-Salem, and a good friend of mine. Jerry is not your average Christian. When I asked Jerry what flavor of Christianity he would use to define his religious/spiritual beliefs, this is how he responded:“I dislike labels and would not claim one for myself.  Some friends would call me a liberal Christian.  Others have told … [Read more...]

Does your Religion Make You Happy?


So, I've been on a writing hiatus for a little while because of all of my children, my Master's thesis has been the most difficult. It has taken six years to be born and while I would like for it to have sprung fully formed from my head, the process has been more like Leto in perpetual labor. Without my dear friends and relations cheering me on, there is no way I would be able to finish. I just have to give it one final push and my little contribution to science will have been born. I'll let you … [Read more...]